Drs. Harville Hendrix & Helen LaKelly Hunt: What is the Meaning of Life?

Hunt-hendrix copyThe question that precedes the question of the meaning of life is “why is there life at all.” And that has no answer. And the next question is “what is life” and that has no answer as well. Except those answers that are constructed out of the emptiness of knowledge, called the imagination. All answers at this level of questions are functions of a cognitive condition called symbiosis which is created by the brain’s need for information and proclivity to make up answers if there is none.

From our perspective, life has no “meaning.” Life just “is.” Any comment after that is a mental construction that fills the empty space created by the absence of knowledge, a predication that does injury to its subject by confining it to “meaning.”

What seems clear is that whatever life is or why life is, we humans are “an instance” of it, and according to quantum mechanics, all “instances” of life are connecting in the web of Being which makes being Connecting.

Connecting is Being. And when we “experience” ourselves as conscious node in the web of Being—rather than as something separate, or some “thing” we only know about—we experience the sensation of joy and full aliveness. And when we are not experiencing Being as Connecting, the sensation of which is joyful aliveness, some sort of negation has triggered the possibility that we might not “be” at all. The terror of the possibility of non-being, which is experienced as the sensation of anxiety, replaces the sensation of joyful aliveness.

Our search for the meaning of life indicates an absence of the experience of Connecting. The absence of the felt sense of Connecting is so painful that it raises the question of the meaning of life as a compensatory process.

The “felt experience” of Connecting as Being is the sensation of joyful aliveness, and when one is joyfully alive, the question of the meaning of life is uninteresting.


~Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D believe that how we interact with each other, in all our contexts—family, workplace, schools, etc.—is the key to our emotional, physical and economic well-being and to the well-being of our children and society. They vision the possibility of shifting from the age of the individual to the age of relationship; when “relationship” rather than the “individual” will be the primary value system of culture.

To make relational information and skills available to everyone, Harville and Helen co- initiated Imago Relationships International as a training institute for couples therapists, Relationships First® as a collaborative mission to change the cultural value system, and Safe Conversations® as an experiment to raise the joy index of a whole city, making the work available in workshops, training programs, lectures, seminars and books.

Harville and Helen continue to co-create Imago Relationship Theory and Therapy and make it available in workshops, training programs, lectures, seminars and books. Over 1200 Imago therapists practice in 37 countries. Their professional partnership has produced 10 books including three NYT best sellers (Getting the Love You Want, Keeping the Love You Find, and Giving the Love that Heals). Their latest book is The Space Between (2017). They are working on a new professional text on Imago theory and therapy. In addition, a 30th anniversary edition of Getting the Love You Want will launch in 2018.

Harville is a couple’s therapist with over 40 years’ experience as an educator, clinical trainer and lecturer whose work has been on Oprah 18 times. In addition to Helen’s partnership with her husband in the co-creation of Imago, she is sole author of Faith and Feminism and And the Spirit Moved Them. She was installed in the Women’s Hall of Fame for her leadership in the global women’s movement.

Helen and Harville have been married for over 30 years, have six children, and reside in Dallas, Texas.


Copyright © 2018 Excellence Reporter

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