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.
The one thing you cant take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of ones freedoms is to choose ones attitude in any given circumstance.
Challenging the meaning of life is the truest expression of the state of being human.
When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task.... He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.
I recommend that the Statue of Liberty be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the west coast.
Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart The salvation of man is through love and in love.
Being tolerant does not mean that I share another ones belief. But it does mean that I acknowledge another ones right to believe, and obey, his own conscience.
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.'
When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves.
Live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time.
Logotherapy ... considers man as a being whose main concern consists in fulfilling a meaning and in actualizing values, rather than in the mere gratification and satisfaction of drives and instincts.
The meaning of our existence is not invented by ourselves, but rather detected.
The last of human freedoms - the ability to chose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances.
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.'
... nothing could touch the strength of my love, and the thoughts of my beloved. Had I known then that my wife was dead, I think that I still would have given myself, undisturbed by that knowledge, to the contemplation of that image, and that my mental conversation with her would have been just as vivid and just as satisfying. 'Set me like a seal upon thy heart, love is as strong as death.'
What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.
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.
Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima we know what is at stake.
I had wanted simply to convey to the reader by way of concrete example that life holds a potential meaning under any conditions, even the most miserable ones. And I thought that if the point were demonstrated in a situation as extreme as that in a concentration camp, my book might gain a hearing. I therefore felt responsible for writing down what I had gone through, for I thought it might be helpful to people who are prone to despair.
Only to the extent that someone is living out this self transcendence of human existence, is he truly human or does he become his true self. He becomes so, not by concerning himself with his self's actualization, but by forgetting himself and giving himself, overlooking himself and focusing outward.
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.
Fear may come true that which one is afraid of.
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
What is to give light must endure burning.
I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world may still know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when a man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way an honorable way in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment.
Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked.
A human being is a deciding being.
Again and again I therefore admonish my students in Europe and America Don't aim at success the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run in the long-run, I say success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.
Sigmund Freud - Erich Fromm - Carl Jung - Ram Dass - Philip Zimbardo - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi - Kurt Lewin - Karl Jaspers - Edward de Bono - Carl Rogers