Man’s Search for Meaning

Man’s Search for Meaning

Frankl defines tragic optimism as the decision to say “yes” to life despite the pain, guilt, and death that one must necessarily face. These three negative forces are counteracted by the positive forces of hope, faith, and love.

Tragic optimism Quotes in Man’s Search for Meaning

The Man’s Search for Meaning quotes below are all either spoken by Tragic optimism or refer to Tragic optimism. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Search for Meaning Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Beacon Press edition of Man’s Search for Meaning published in 2006.
Experiences in a Concentration Camp Quotes

I sensed my spirit piercing through the enveloping gloom. I felt it transcend that hopeless, meaningless world, and from somewhere I heard a victorious “Yes” in answer to my question of the existence of an ultimate purpose.

Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:
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If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering. Suffering is an eradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.

Page Number: 67
Explanation and Analysis:
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At that moment there was very little I knew of myself or of the world—I had but one sentence in mind—always the same: “I called to the Lord from my narrow prison and He answered me in the freedom of space.”
How long I knelt there and repeated this sentence memory can no longer recall. But I know that on that day, in that hour, my new life started. Step for step I progressed, until I again became a human being.

Page Number: 89
Explanation and Analysis:
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Logotherapy: The Meaning of Life Quotes

One should not search for an abstract meaning of life. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.

Page Number: 109
Explanation and Analysis:
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Logotherapy: The Meaning of Suffering Quotes

It is one of the basic tenants of logotherapy that man’s main concern is not to gain pleasure or avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life. That is why man is even ready to suffer, on the condition, to be sure, that his suffering has a meaning.

Page Number: 113
Explanation and Analysis:
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Logotherapy: Psychiatry Rehumanized Quotes

Our generation is realistic, for we have come to know man as he really is. After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers at Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord’s Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips.

Page Number: 134
Explanation and Analysis:
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Tragic optimism Term Timeline in Man’s Search for Meaning

The timeline below shows where the term Tragic optimism appears in Man’s Search for Meaning. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Postscript 1984: The Case for Tragic Optimism
Freedom, Optimism, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Psychology and Logotherapy Theme Icon
Frankl defines tragic optimism as optimism in the face of “pain, guilt, and death,” or “saying yes to life... (full context)
The Search for Meaning Theme Icon
Suffering and Hope Theme Icon
Freedom, Optimism, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Psychology and Logotherapy Theme Icon
Frankl says that the best case for tragic optimism can be made by “the defiant power of the human spirit.” He cites as evidence... (full context)