10 Most Meaningful Passages – Mans Search For Meaning
“Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is among the most influential works of psychiatric literature since Freud.”
Frankl, who survived the concentration camps, writes that suffering is inevitable and that avoiding suffering is futile. Rather, one should be worthy of one’s suffering and make meaning of it instead of surrendering to nihilism, bitterness and despair. He uses poetic, moving anecdotes from the concentration camps to illustrate those souls who find a deeper humanity from their suffering or who become animals relegated to nothing more than teeth-clenched self-preservation. Though not specifically religious, this masterpiece has a religious purpose–to help us find meaning. This book succeeds immeasurably.
…everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms-to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
Highlighted by 2423 Kindle users
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.
Highlighted by 2307 Kindle users
Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.
Highlighted by 1952 Kindle users
Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.
Highlighted by 1927 Kindle users
“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 dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.
Highlighted by 1748 Kindle users
“Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!”
Highlighted by 1657 Kindle users
Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not he is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases somehow to be of importance.
Highlighted by 1543 Kindle users
When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique 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.
Highlighted by 1338 Kindle users
Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning. The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life. Frankl saw three possible sources for meaning: in work (doing something significant), in love (caring for another person), and in courage during difficult times. Suffering in and of itself is meaningless; we give our suffering meaning by the way in which we respond to it.
Highlighted by 1301 Kindle users
Frankl approvingly quotes the words of Nietzsche: “He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.”
Highlighted by 561 Kindle users