“I would say that being human is being responsible–existentially responsible, responsible for one’s own existence. Existence thus may well be authentic even when it is unconscious, but man exists authentically only when he is not driven but, rather, responsible. Authentic existence is present where a self is deciding for itself, but not where an id is driving it.”

“There is a way by which the unconsciousness–including the spiritual aspect–yields itself to exploration, namely, by the way of dreams.”

“All freedom has a ‘from what’ and a ‘to what’. The ‘from what’ of man’s freedom is his being driven, and the ‘to what’ is his being responsible, his having consciousness. These two facets of the human condition are best expressed by a simple admonition from Maria von Ebner-Eschenbach: ‘Be the master of your will, and the slave of your conscience!'”

“There turns out to be three avenues that lead up to making fulfillment. First, doing a deed or creating a work; second, experiencing something or encountering someone; in other words, meaning can be found in love. Most important is the third avenue: facing a fact we can’t change we are called upon to change ourselves. Turn suffering into a human achievement and accomplishment, derive from guilt the opportunity to change for the better, and see life’s transitoriness an incentive to take responsible action.”

“Doesn’t the vital meaning of life, too, reveal itself, if ever at all, only at its end, on the verge of death? And doesn’t the final meaning, too, depend on whether or not the potential meaning of each single situation has been actualized to the best of the respective individual’s belief and knowledge?”

An ape cannot grasp the purpose of suffering because of its limited intelligence. “What about man? Are you sure that the human world is a terminal point in the evolution of the cosmos? Is it not conceivable that there is still another dimension, a world beyond man’s world; a world in which the question of an ultimate meaning of human suffering would find an answer?”

 

Read Man’s Search for Ultimate Freedomby Viktor E. Frankl

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