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Viktor E. Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” Quotes (31 Quotes)


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  • Austrian public-opinion pollsters recently reported that those held in highest esteem by most of the people interviewed are neither the great artists nor the great scientists, neither the great statesmen nor the great sport figures, but those who master a hard lot with their heads held high.
    (Viktor E. Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning")

  • The third aspect of the tragic triad concerns death. But it concerns life as well, for at any time each of the moments of which life consists is dying, and that moment will never recur. And yet is not this transitoriness a reminder that challenges us to make the best possible use of each moment of our lives?
    (Viktor E. Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning")

  • But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.
    (Viktor E. Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning")

  • The transitoriness of our existence in now way makes it meaningless. But it does constitute our responsibleness; for everything hinges upon our realizing the essentially transitory possibilities.
    (Viktor E. Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning")

  • For too long a time--for half a century, in fact--psychiatry tried to interpret the human mind merely as a mechanism, and consequently the therapy of mental disease merely in terms of technique. I believe this dream has been dreamt out. What now begins to loom on the horizon is not psychologized medicine but rather those of human psychiatry.
    (Viktor E. Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning")


  • The truth-that love is the highest goal to which man can aspire.
    (Viktor E. Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning")

  • Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.
    (Viktor E. Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning")

  • 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
    (Viktor E. Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning")

  • Having been is also a kind of being, and perhaps the surest kind.
    (Viktor E. Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning")

  • There are things which must cause you to lose your reason or you have none to lose
    (Viktor E. Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning")

  • Here lies the chance for a man either to make use of or to forgo the opportunities of attaining the moral values that a difficult situation may afford him. And this decides whether he is worthy of his sufferings or not.
    (Viktor E. Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning")

  • 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.
    (Viktor E. Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning")

  • Human kindness can be found in all groups, even those which as a whole it would be easy to condemn.
    (Viktor E. Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning")

  • Usually, to be sure, man considers only the stubble field of transitoriness and overlooks the full granaries of the past, wherein he had salvaged once and for all his deeds, his joys and also his sufferings. Nothing can be undone, and nothing can be done away with. I should say having been is the surest kind of being.
    (Viktor E. Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning")

  • 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.
    (Viktor E. Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning")


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