Health & Wellness

Dr. Michael Cornwall: The Meaning of Life and the Healing Balm

IMG_0429Excellence Reporter: Dr. Cornwall, what is the meaning of life?

Michael Cornwall: The meaning of life is found in experiencing the emotion of love. That’s why we’re here.

To feel love for ourselves. To feel love for others.

To feel love for life itself, feel love for beauty — to every second hold onto, or as quickly as possible return to the subjective emotional experience of feeling love — even when other painful emotions are present — hate, fear, grief, shame, guilt, envy, anger, despair, loneliness, hopelessness.

The emotion of love itself is the healing balm that eases our emotional pain. It always has been.

The ultimate meaning of life is to experience as many moments of the emotion of love as possible before we die.


~Michael Cornwall Ph.D. is a licensed Jungian therapist, a researcher on alternative approaches to psychosis, a prolific writer on and an Esalen Institute group leader on compassionately responding to people in extreme states.

Copyright © 2016 Excellence Reporter

3 replies »

  1. Well…what is meaning after all? It is what feels important. In finding the answer to a complex mathematical puzzle… Why try? There is some motive, some emotion, that underlies even our most rational and intellectual pursuits. To eat, and drink, to escape from cold to warmth, to run from danger to love life and body. To strive, in any way, is the love of life, itself, and the richest and most MEANINGFUL is to feel love. The skeptic and atheist in me must agree with it.


    • “Humans give meaning to everything.” I thought that was disheartening. To say that we invent the meaning of things and the things do not have it themselves? Then I realized that to GIVE them meaning, is to FIND the meaning that actually IS in them. It is the intersection between the properties of the things, and the properties of our minds. The meaning is in the matrix.


  2. Hi Michael – Wow! Great conversation starter! Of course every answer comes from each individual’s perspective and there are no wrong answers. Years ago I would have agreed life’s meaning lies in learning about love and expressing/sharing it and evolving in consciousness. Now? I have come to the place where I’ve recognized that life has no meaning whatsoever. Why seek for meaning? Isn’t life itself enough? The sheer fact of it is astounding! The sheer existence of the illusion of a separate existence and thus a limited mind to ponder it is stupendous! Life is. I am. There’s more than enough fodder in those two statements for an Eternity of exploration. The search for meaning is a pursuit of the unsatisfied mind that has yet to realize its own illusory status. 😉


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