Man's Search for Meaning - by Viktor Frankl

my notes:

Thus, when we saw a comrade smoking his own cigarettes, we knew he had given up faith in his strength to carry on, and, once lost, the will to live seldom returned.

If you want to stay alive, there is only one way: look fit for work.

At such a moment it is not the physical pain which hurts the most ( and this applies to adults as much as to punished children) ; it is the mental agony caused by the injustice, the unreasonableness of it all.

The salvation of man is through love and in love. 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.

Love goes 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.

Nothing could touch the strength of my love, my thoughts, and the image of my beloved.

Man’s suffering is similar to the behavior of gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human should and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the ‘size’ of human suffering is absolutely relative.

Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.

For tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.

From all this we may learn that there are two races of men in this world, but only these two—the ‘race’ of the decent man and the ‘race’ of the indecent man.

It is the task of the dr. To pilot the patient through his existential crises of growth and development.

We should not be hesitant about challenging man with a potential meaning for him to fulfill.

So 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.

NO one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves them.

What matters most is the attitude we take toward suffering.

The burden of unavoidable unhappiness is increased by unhappiness about being unhappy.

What is so often regarded as a cause of neurosis is sometimes rather a symptom of the neurosis than a cause.

Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.