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Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Upby James Hollis
Synopses & Reviews
The second half of life presents a rich possibility for spiritual enlargement, for we arenever going to have greater powers of choice, never have more lessons of history from which to learn, and never possess more emotional resilience, more insight into what works for us and what does not, or a deeper, sometimes more desperate, conviction of the importance of getting our life back.
What does it really mean to be a grown up in today?s world? We generally recognize only three developmental periods of life — childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. We assume that once we "get it together" with the right job, marry the right person, have children, and buy a home, all is settled and well. But adulthood itself presents varying levels of growth, and is rarely the respite of stability we expected. Turbulent emotional shifts can take place anywhere between the age of thirty-five and seventy when we question the choices we?ve made, realize our limitations, and feel stuck — commonly known as the "midlife crisis." In Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, Jungian analyst James Hollis explores the ways we can grow and evolve to fully become ourselves when the traditional roles of adulthood aren?t quite working for us.
Revealing a new way of uncovering and embracing our authentic selves, Hollis offers wisdom to anyone facing a career that no longer seems fulfilling, a long-term relationship that has shifted, or family transitions that raise issues of aging and mortality. Through case studies and provocative observations, Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life provides a reassuring message and a crucial bridge across this critical passage of adult development.
"The midlife crisis is familiar enough, but as in previous works, Hollis (The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning at Midlife), brings a Jungian perspective to it that goes deeper than the idea of finding mere self-fulfillment. That feeling that you've been living the wrong life, that you're lost and confused, is 'an insurgency of the soul,' he says poetically, which 'overthrows the conscious conduct of our lives.' This mental suffering presents an opportunity to embark on a journey transcending expectations foisted on us by others, such as parents, and to find true self-knowledge. Hollis offers not a simple how-to on facing this crisis, but rather a deep Jungian exploration of individuation, the process of becoming the person one was meant to be. Sprinkling his discussion with references to prose, drama, poetry and popular culture as well as examples from patient histories, Hollis recommends working toward a mature spirituality by being true to personal experience and embracing the mystery of life. This spirituality is a reconnection to the voice of the soul, dramatized by images that appear to us in dreams. Hollis is humane and compassionate regarding the human condition, and his focus on the underlying meaning of life will resonate for many, though they may not respond to his somewhat mystical, god-laden language." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Finding for Meaning in the Second Half of Life contains the writing of a gentle and insightful soul who does not bog down in analytical dryness, but speaks to and teaches from the heart. A combination of genuine vision and genuine humanity is a rare and valuable gift, and readers will find both in this work." Clarissa Pinkola Estés, author of Women Who Run with the Wolves
"James Hollis is the most lucid thinker I know about the complexities and complexes that interfere with living a full life. His broad background in literature, philosophy, and Jungian psychology is everywhere present in this important book, which, as it strips away illusions, posits the soul-work that's necessary for the difficult task of making our lives meaningful. He's one of our great teachers and healers." Stephen Dunn, Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet
"James Hollis?s new book is a work of soul-making. It brings solace and wisdom to those of us who finds ourselves in a dark wood, in the second half of life." Edward Hirsch, author of How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry
"Midlife is a time when people can lose their way and flounder. Jungian analyst James Hollis knows this terrain, describes it well and asks the important questions that can lead to clarity, maturity, and meaning." Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., author of Goddesses in Everywoman and Gods in Everyman
A noted Jungian analyst, professor, therapist and author explains the developmental and psychological tasks people face in the second half of life, showing that the mid-life crisis is a "summons of the soul" to really, finally, grow up.
What does it really mean to be a grown up in today’s world? We assume that once we “get it together” with the right job, marry the right person, have children, and buy a home, all is settled and well. But adulthood presents varying levels of growth, and is rarely the respite of stability we expected. Turbulent emotional shifts can take place anywhere between the age of thirty-five and seventy when we question the choices we’ve made, realize our limitations, and feel stuck— commonly known as the “midlife crisis.” Jungian psycho-analyst James Hollis believes it is only in the second half of life that we can truly come to know who we are and thus create a life that has meaning. In Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, Hollis explores the ways we can grow and evolve to fully become ourselves when the traditional roles of adulthood aren’t quite working for us, revealing a new way of uncovering and embracing our authentic selves. Offering wisdom to anyone facing a career that no longer seems fulfilling, a long-term relationship that has shifted, or family transitions that raise issues of aging and mortality, Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life provides a reassuring message and a crucial bridge across this critical passage of adult development.
About the Author
James Hollis, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst in private practice and executive director of the C.G. Jung Educational Center of Houston. Educated at Manchester College, Drew University, and the Jung Institute in Zurich, he was a humanities professor for more than twenty years and is the author of ten previous books, including the best selling The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning at Midlife and The Eden Project: In Search of the Magical Other. Based in Houston, he lectures frequently throughout the country and worldwide.
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