Tag Archives: meaning of life

Viktor Frankl: The Final Wisdom

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“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked.”

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that 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.”

“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”

“A thought transfixed me: 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 the highest goal to which man can aspire.”

“Even when it is not fully attained, we become better for striving for a higher goal.”

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

“When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.”

All quotes by Viktor Frankl

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David Blaine Nailed It

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Charlie Rose: You never tell how you do things, do you?
David Blaine: No, I don’t think that’s what it’s about.
Charlie Rose: It’s about what? It’s about the joy of illusion?
David Blaine: It’s about the moment when people aren’t thinking about anything. There’s no, …there’s no logic. You’re just only reacting to the moment, and you’re stripped away of everything, you’re left open. That’s what it is, I think.
[That excerpt was from a 1997 Charlie Rose interview, when David Blaine was only 24 years old.]

david-blaine-cardsThis is why David Blaine inspires me. He nailed it. He said it. He knows it. Life itself, the life we all fear, overstress about, work extremely hard at, feel insecure throughout, and think that we need to win because we might lose — that life — it’s an illusion. And the ones that find bliss, and find balance, well, they aren’t lost in their heads, they’re in the moment, fully present.

Some people come to that realization the hard way. For them, it means being stripped away of everything before they can fully be present to what is. Sometimes that means literally stripped of what they value most (health, family, money, friends, partner, property, etc). But more often, it just means being stripped of concerns or concepts that only get in the way of one’s own bliss.

Being open is flow, it’s allowing yourself to be moved. Instead of being taken over continuously by habitual thoughts & programmed patterns, you are free — you are no longer bound by what you think you know. Knowing differently, knowing deeply, knowing better, happens when you pull yourself out of that box, or when life itself does it for you.

So many of us awaken to the beauty, mystery & gift that is life only after natural disasters, losing loved ones, devastating disappointments, near death experiences, or anything so moving that it completely knocks some sense into us and awakes us from our slumber. Heavy heartbreaking (more like ego breaking and heavy heart opening) experiences are really effective in waking people up. But not everyone needs to do it the hard way. There are some people that can do it while they still live an average everyday life, without severe ups & downs or scares. I’d say, let’s do it that way! Don’t wait for a hard wake up call, wake up now! Be open now. Get out of your head now. And fall in love with everything & nothing — with nothing but the simplicity & purity of every moment.

Every moment has infinite gifts and eye opening experiences, and deep deep stillness that puts us in touch with the mystery & source of all life. It both humbles us & empowers us. But in order to see this, we have to be awake, we have to be open. Like David Blaine says, his work offers glimpses of this. If you watch the people that he performs for, they are so focused, so wide-eyed, so still, so grateful, so full of joy, so full of wonder — this is what life is all about! This is available at ANY moment, under ANY circumstance. It’s always with us, around us, and in us. But we have to see it. Life itself is magic. You are magic! It’s all a gift. But you have to be open to fully receive it, to fully enjoy it.

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