Viktor E. Frankl’s Love Quotes and Sayings
1. For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. 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.
2. Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.
3. Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in its 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.
4. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved.
5. A life of short duration … could be so rich in joy and love that it could contain more meaning than a life lasting eighty years.
Excerpt from Wikipedia: Viktor Emil Frankl M.D., Ph.D. (March 26, 1905 – September 2, 1997) was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. Frankl was the founder of logotherapy, which is a form of Existential Analysis, the “Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy”.
His best-selling book, Man’s Search for Meaning (published under a different title in 1959: From Death-Camp to Existentialism, and originally published in 1946 as trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen: Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager), chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate and describes his psychotherapeutic method of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most sordid ones, and thus a reason to continue living. Frankl was one of the key figures in existential therapy.
1. 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.
2. Challenging the meaning of life is the truest expression of the state of being human.
3. 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.
4. Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives.
8. Live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time.
9. 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.
10. Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, 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.
11. When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.
12. What is to give light must endure burning.
13. 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.
14. The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.
15. 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.
16. In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.
17. Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.
18. Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.
19. We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that 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.
20. I do not forget any good deed done to me and I do not carry a grudge for a bad one.
21. No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honesty whether in a similar situation he might not have done the same.
22. Human potential at its best is to transform a tragedy into a personal triumph, to turn one’s predicament into a human achievement.
Viktor E. Frankl’s Book:
Man’s Search for Meaning. Now in its 60th year — the landmark bestseller by the great Viennese psychiatrist remembered for his tremendous impact on humanity Internationally renowned psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl endured years of unspeakable horror in Nazi death camps.
During, and partly because of, his suffering, Dr. Frankl developed a revolutionary approach to psychotherapy known as logotherapy. At the core of his theory is the belief that man’s primary motivational force is his search for meaning. Cited in Dr. Frankl’s New York Times obituary in 1997 as “an enduring work of survival literature,” Man’s Search for Meaning is more than the story of Viktor E. Frankl’s triumph: It is a remarkable blend of science and humanism and “a compelling introduction to the most significant psychological movement of our day” (Gordon W. Allport).