Rollo May: Quotes From A Great Existential Psychotherapist

I've been reading some Rollo May and have been blown away by the depth and insight of his thought. I thought I'd share some of his quotes for you to enjoy: 

"Anxiety is an even better teacher than reality, for one can temporarily evade reality by avoiding the distasteful situation; but anxiety is a source of education always present because one carries it within." -The Meaning of Anxiety (1950)

"Therapy isn't curing somebody of something; it is a means of helping a person explore himself, his life, his consciousness. My purpose as a therapist is to find out what it means to be human. Every human being must have a point at which he stands against the culture, where he says, "This is me and the world be damned!" Leaders have always been the ones to stand against the society — SocratesChristFreud, all the way down the line." - As quoted in Marriage Today : Problems, Issues, and Alternatives (1977) by James E. De Burger, p. 444

The human being cannot live in a condition of emptiness for very long: if he is not growing toward something, he does not merely stagnate; the pent-up potentialities turn into morbidity and despair, and eventually into destructive activities.- Man's Search For Himself (1953)

Vanity and narcissism — the compulsive need to be admired and praised — undermine one's courage, for one then fights on someone else's conviction rather than one's own. - Man's Search For Himself (1953)

To love means to open ourselves to the negative as well as the positive — to grief, sorrow, and disappointment as well as to joy, fulfillment, and an intensity of consciousness we did not know was possible before.- Love and Will (1969)

Art is a substitute for violence. The same impulses that drive persons to violence — the hunger for meaning, the need for ecstasy, the impulse to risk all — drive the artist to create. He is by nature our archrebel. … the essence of the rebellion is in the new way of seeing nature and life. - Power and Innocent (1972)