Some insightful quotes from my current read: Man's Search for Meaning
People are looking for meaning and when they can’t find it, they become lost.
In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.
Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
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.
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.
“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 dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender 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 do to 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 of of it.”
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 fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little.
Death in Tehran: A rich and mighty Persian once walked in his garden with one of his servants. The servant cried that he had just encountered Death, who had threatened him. He begged his master to give him the fastest horse so that he could make haste and flee to Tehran, which he could reach that same evening. The master consented and the servant galloped off on the horse. On returning to the house the master himself met Death, and questioned him, “Why did you terrify and threaten my servant?” “I did not threaten him; I only showed surprise in still finding him here when I planned to meet him tonight in Tehran,” said Death.
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.
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.”
To be sure, a human being is a finite thing, and his freedom is restricted. It is not freedom from conditions, but freedom to take a stand toward the conditions.
“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.” (Speaking of the reprieve his love for his wife gave him in his torment)