The Doctor and the Soul Quotes

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The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy by Viktor E. Frankl
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The Doctor and the Soul Quotes Showing 1-30 of 30
“We cannot, after all, judge a biography by its length, by the number of pages in it; we must judge by the richness of the contents...Sometimes the 'unfinisheds' are among the most beautiful symphonies.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul
“If we present a man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present man as an automaton of reflexes, as a mind-machine, as a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drives and reactions, as a mere product of instinct, heredity and environment, we feed the nihilism to which modern man is, in any case, prone.
I became acquainted with the last stage of that corruption in my second concentration camp, Auschwitz. The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment; or as the Nazi liked to say, ‘of Blood and Soil.’ I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some Ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“The pleasure principle is an artificial creation of psychology. Pleasure is not the goal of our aspirations, but the consequence of attaining them.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“Suffering is intended to guard man from apathy, from psychic rigor mortis.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“For in every case man retains the freedom and the possibility of deciding for or against the influence of his surroundings.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“If we were immortal, we could legitimately postpone every action forever. [...] But in the face of death as absolute finis to our future and boundary to our possibilities, we are under the imperative of utilizing our lifetimes to the utmost, not letting the singular opportunities - whose "finite" sum constitutes the whole of life - pass by unused.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“[U]ntil his last breath no one can wrest from a man his freedom to take one or another attitude toward his destiny.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“When we set up pleasure as the whole meaning of life we insure that in the final analysis life shall inevitably seem meaningless. Pleasure cannot possibly lend meaning to life. For what is pleasure? A condition. The materialist–and hedonism is generally linked up with materialism–would even say pleasure is nothing but a state of the cells of the brain. And for the sake of inducing such a state, is it worth living, experiencing, suffering, and doing deeds?”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“The destiny a person suffers therefore has a twofold meaning: to be shaped where possible, and to be endured where necessary.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“To compare yourself with anyone else is to do an injustice either to yourself or to the other person. [...] For everyone has a different kind of start. But the person whose start was more difficult , whose fate was less kind, can be credited with the greater personal achievement, other things being equal. Since, however, all aspects of the situation imposed by fate can never be assessed, there is simply no basis and no standard for a comparison of achievements.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“To compare yourself with anyone else is to do an injustice either to yourself or to the other person. [...] For everyone has a different kind of start. But the person whose start was more difficult, whose fate was less kind, can be credited with the greater personal achievement, other things being equal. Since, however, all aspects of the situation imposed by fate can never be assessed, there is simply no basis and no standard for a comparison of achievements.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“[P]leasure belongs to the category of events which cannot be brought about by direct intention; on the contrary, it is a mere side effect or by-product. Therefore the more one strives for pleasure, the less one is able to attain it.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“Our aim must be to help our patient to achieve the highest possible activation of his life, to lead him, so to speak, from the state of a “pattens” to that of an “agens.” With this in view we must not only lead him to experience his existence as a constant effort to actualize values. We must also show him that the task he is responsible for is always a specific task. It is specific in a twin sense: one, that the task varies from person to person—in accord with the uniqueness of each person. Two, that it changes from hour to hour, in accord with the singularity of every situation. We need only remind ourselves of what Scheler has called “situational values” in contrast to the “eternal” values which are valid at all times and for everyone. In a sense these situational values are always there, waiting until their hour strikes and a man seizes the single opportunity to actualize them. If that opportunity is missed, they are irrevocably lost; the situational value remains forever unrealized. The man has missed out on it.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“[E]very human task is an "eternal" one and human progress is endless, an advance into infinity, toward a goal located in infinity. And even then it is a matter only of each individual's progress in his own personal history.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“[I]n the last resort, man should not ask "What is the meaning of my life?" but should realize that he himself is being questioned. Life is putting its problems to him, and it is up to him to respond to these questions by being responsible; he can only answer to life by answering for his life.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“[I]t is a matter of indifference what a person's occupation is, or at what job he works. The crucial thing is how he works, whether he in fact fills the place in which he happens to have landed. The radius of his activity is not important; important alone is whether he fills the circle of his tasks.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“[T]o ask the meaning of existence is meaningless in that existence precedes meaning. For the existence of meaning is assumed when we question the meaning of existence. Existence is, so to speak, the wall we are backed up against whenever we question it.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“Work usually represents the area in which the individual's uniqueness stands in relation to society and thus acquires meaning and value. This meaning and value, however, is attached to the person's work as a contribution to society, not to the actual occupation as such. [...]
If there are cases where the actual occupation does not allow a sense of fulfillment to arise, the fault is in the person, not in the work. The work itself does not make the person indispensable and irreplaceable; it only gives him the chance to be so.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“[T]he symptom is never merely a consequence of some somatic factor and the expression of some psychic factor, but is also a mode of existence - and this last element is the crucial one.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“If all men were perfect, then every individual would be replaceable by anyone else. From the very imperfection of men follows the indispensability and inexchangeability of each individual; for each is imperfect in his own fashion.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“To escape into the mass is to disburden oneself of individual responsibility. As soon as someone acts as if her were a mere part of the whole, and as if only this whole counts, he can enjoy the sensation of throwing off some of the burden of his responsibility. This tendency to flee from responsibility is the motif of all collectivism. True community is in essence the community of of responsible persons; mere mass is the sum of depersonalized entities.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“[T]he full gravity of the responsibility that every man bears throughout every moment of his life: the responsibility for what he will make of the next hour, for how he will shape the next day.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“We are reminded again of that remark of Goethe’s which we have already quoted, and which we called the finest maxim for any kind of psychotherapy: “If we take people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat them as if they were what they ought to be, we help them to become what they are capable of becoming.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“[T]he task of existential analysis consists precisely in bringing the individual to the point where he can of his own accord discern his own proper tasks, out of the consciousness of his own responsibility, and can find the clear, no longer indeterminate, unique and singular meaning of his own life.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“All psychotherapy is ultimately something of an art. There is always an irrational element in psychotherapy. The doctor's artistic intuition and sensitivity is of considerable importance. The patient, too, brings an irrational element into the relationship: his individuality.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“Freedom is not something we "have" and therefore can lose; freedom is what we "are.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“Medical ministry belongs in the work of every physician. The surgeon should have recourse to it as much and as often as the neurologist or psychiatrist. It is only that the goal of medical ministry is different and goes deeper that that of the surgeon. When the surgeon has completed an amputation, he takes off his rubber gloves and appears to have done his duty as a physician. But if the patient then commits suicide because he cannot bear living as a cripple - of what use has the surgical therapy been? Is it not also part of the physician's work to do something about the patient's attitude toward the pain of surgery or the handicap that results from it?”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“Insofar as a sacrifice is "calculated," performed after careful reckoning of the prospects of its bringing about a desired end, it loses all ethical significance. Real sacrifice occurs only when we run the risk of having sacrificed in vein. Would anyone maintain that a person who plunges into the water to save someone has acted less ethically, or unethically, because both are drowned?”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“To explain everything as the result of a single factor which, moreover, is fixed by fate, has a great advantage. For then no task seems to be assigned to one; one has nothing to do but wait for the imaginary moment when the curing of this one factor will cure everything else.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
“Love is living the experience of another person in all his uniqueness and singularity.”
Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy