Viktor Frankl's 1946 book Man's Search for Meaning chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate
“An active life serves the purpose of giving man the opportunity to realize values in creative work, while a passive life affords him the opportunity to obtain fulfillment in experiencing beauty, art, or nature.
But there is also purpose in that life which is almost barren of both creation and enjoyment
and which admits of but one possibility of high moral behavior: namely, in man’s attitude to his existence, an existence restricted by external forces.
A creative life and a life of enjoyment are banned to him.
But not only creativeness and enjoyment are meaningful.
If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering.Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death.
Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.”
"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."
"Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!"
"We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing a something or encountering someone; and (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.
"Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.
"When we are no longer able to change a situation - just think of an incurable disease such as inoperable cancer - we are challenged to change ourselves.
The key to this passage is in understanding the metaphor Viktor Frankl is laying out.
First he portrays the obvious span between active creative living as opposed to passive enjoyment of life.
He says that each of these two aspects have certain inherent and assumed sets of value that, though different, provide equal access to meaning and purpose.
Where meaning and purpose are the necessary ingredients of fulfillment which are necessary to a worthwhile life.
Then Viktor Frankl introduces a third extreme in this metaphoric structure, suffering, which he implies has previously been assumed to be effectively barren of any ingredients for worth in life, or for “high moral behavior” as he puts it.
Making his point he asserts authoritatively that meaning is not the exclusive province of just the two extremes of creativity and enjoyment.His concept is that life is an empty container in which meaning and purpose reside.
He is saying that meaning and purpose are pervasive throughout the container of life, therefore, as a consequence of simply being within the container of life, suffering also has meaning and purpose.
Contrary to popular belief, he asserts, suffering cannot negate nor restrict access to meaning and purpose.
Viktor Frankl is saying that we have a generally accepted idea that life is inherently meaningful except for the areas of life in which suffering occurs.
When you observe a person in a state of suffering you get the impression that meaning and purpose are absent or that the suffering person is prevented from accessing them.
Viktor Frankl assumes that life is inherently meaningful, so he points out how suffering must also be meaningful because of the fact that it is part of life, ipso facto.
Since life is inherently meaningful then any assumption that is made about the inherent meaninglessness or purposelessness of suffering is false, an illusion.
Is it possible that Victor had a glimpsed into emptiness, the original "Buddha" nature of mind where there were no concepts, prejudices or ideas with a sense of ownership(me, mine and myself) that that led to suffering? But in the end he attaches meaning to suffering and did not transcend samsara in the Buddhist sense.
Surrender is surrender to this moment, not to a story through which we interpret this moment and then try to resign ourself to it.
For instance, we may have a disability and can't walk anymore. The condition is as it is.
Perhaps our mind is now creating a story that says, “This is what my life has come to. I have ended up in a wheelchair. Life has treated me harshly and unfairly. I don't deserve this.”Can we accept the "isness" of this moment and not confuse it with a story the mind has created around it?
Surrender comes when we no longer ask “Why is this happening to me?"
Even within the seemingly most unacceptable and painful situation is concealed a deeper good, and within every disaster is contained the seed of grace.
Throughout history, there have been women and men who, in the face of great loss, illness, imprisonment, or impending death, accepted the seemingly unacceptable and thus found “the peace that passeth all understanding.”
Acceptance of the unacceptable is the greatest source of grace in this world.
"Ananda, whatever contemplatives and priests who in the past entered & remained in an emptiness that was pure, superior, & unsurpassed, they all entered & remained in this very same emptiness that is pure, superior, & unsurpassed. Whatever contemplatives and priests who in the future will enter & remain in an emptiness that will be pure, superior, & unsurpassed, they all will enter & remain in this very same emptiness that is pure, superior, & unsurpassed. Whatever contemplatives and priests who at present enter & remain in an emptiness that is pure, superior, & unsurpassed, they all enter & remain in this very same emptiness that is pure, superior, & unsurpassed.
"Therefore, Ananda, you should train yourselves: 'We will enter & remain in the emptiness that is pure, superior, & unsurpassed.'"
That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, Ven. Ananda delighted in the Blessed One's words.
Cula-suññata Sutta: The Lesser Discourse on Emptinesshttp://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.