My rating: 96/100
See Book Notes for other books I have read.
Existentialism – A philosophy that stresses personal liberty and responsibility.
“Man can preserve a vestige of spiritual freedom, of independence of mind, even in such terrible conditions of psychic and physical stress.”
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s own attitude in any given circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
“In the final analysis it becomes clear that the sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision, and not the result of camp influences alone. Fundamentally, therefore, any man can, even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him – mentally and spiritually.”
Dostoevski once said, “There is only one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings.”
“One could make a victory of those experiences turning life into an inner triumph, or one could ignore the challenge and simply vegetate, as the majority of the prisoners did.”
“It is a peculiarity of man that he can only live by looking to the future – sub specie aeternitatis.”
Nietzsche: “He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.”
“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. Only very few realized that.”
“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 with almost any “how”.”
sadism – pleasure in causing pain
Victor Frankl’s definition of “existential”: (1) existence itself, ie the specifically human mode of being;(2) the meaning of existence;(3) the striving to find a concrete meaning in personal existence, that is to say, the will to meaning.
This book is so captivating that I read the first part (118 pages) in a single sitting at Starbucks after church one day. And I didn’t even have the benefit of drinking caffeine!
Existential Vacuum – “They lack awareness of a meaning worth living for. They are haunted by the experience of their inner emptiness, a void within themselves.”
“The existential vacuum manifests itself mainly in a state of boredom.””The existential vacuum often eventuates in sexual compensation.”
“According to logotherapy, we can discover meaning in life three ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed;(2) by experiencing something or encountering someone; and(3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.”
Regarding phobias and OCD: “As the patient stops fighting his obsessions and instead tries to ridicule them by dealing with them in a ironical way – by applying paradoxical intention – the vicious circle is cut, the symptom diminishes and finally atrophies.”