Woe to him who saw no more sense in his life, no aim, no purpose, and therefore no point in carrying on.
A man's concern, even his despair, over the worthwhileness of life is an existential distress but by no means a mental disease.
An active life serves the purpose of giving man the opportunity to realize values in creative work, while a passive life of enjoyment affords him the opportunity to obtain fulfillment in experiencing beauty, art, or nature.
If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.
Long ago we had passed the stage of asking what was the meaning of life, a naïve query which understands life as the attaining of some aim through the active creation of something of value.
The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity - even under the most difficult circumstances - to add a deeper meaning to his life. It may remain brave, dignified and unselfish. Or in the bitter fight for self preservation he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal
Ultimate meaning necessarily exceeds and surpasses the finite intellectual capacities of man... What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms. Logos is deeper than logic.
What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaninglessness in rational terms.
Challenging the meaning of life is the truest expression of the state of being human.
For the first time in my life, I was able to understand the words, 'The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.'
It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.
A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the 'why' for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any 'how.'
Each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.
Our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life.
For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment.
Allport, Gordon W., in his preface to Man's Search for Meaning 'Why do you not commit suicide' Dr. Frankl asks his patients. ... in one life there is love for one's children to tie to in another life, a talent to be used in a third, perhaps only lingering memories worth preserving.... As a long-time prisoner in bestial concentration camps he Viktor Frankl found himself stripped to naked existence. His father, mother, brother, and his wife died in camps or were sent to gas ovens, so that, excepting for his sister, his entire family perished in these camps. How could he every possession lost, every value destroyed, suffering from hunger, cold and brutality, hourly expecting extermination how could he find life worth preserving.
Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone's task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.
What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.
There is also purpose in life which is almost barren of both creation and enjoyment and which admits of but one possibility of high moral behavior namely, in man's attitude to his existence, an existence restricted by external forces.
We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways (1) by doing a deed (2) by experiencing a value and (3) by suffering.
Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives.
Most men in a concentration camp believed that the real opportunities of life had passed. Yet, in reality, there was an opportunity and a challenge. One could make a victory of those experiences, turning life into an inner triumph, or one could ignore the challenge and simply vegetate, as did a majority of the prisoners.
More Viktor E. Frankl Quotations (Based on Topics)
Life - Man - Suffering - Death & Dying - Love - Success - Duty - Liberty & Freedom - Contemplation - Happiness - Courage - World - Opportunity - Purposes - Mind - Work & Career - Facts - Value - Potential - View All Viktor E. Frankl Quotations
More Viktor E. Frankl Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Man's Search for Meaning
Sigmund Freud - Phil McGraw - Carl Jung - Abraham Maslow - Ram Dass - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi - Jean Piaget - Howard Gardner - Emile Coue - B. F. Skinner