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Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up Paperback – March 16, 2006


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Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up + The Middle Passage (Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts) + What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life
Price for all three: $44.74

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham; Reprint edition (March 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592402070
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592402076
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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. (May 1) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“How to find your way out of the woods (figuratively)…what’s at stake is what Hollis calls the biggest project of midlife: reclaiming one’s personal authority…”
More magazine

"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

More About the Author

James Hollis has a private analytic practice and is the executive director of the Jung Educational Center.

Customer Reviews

This book is a great read and re-read.
predawnwalker
Even if we have helpful guides along the way, in the end it's up to us, since an adult is ultimately responsible for his/her life.
William Timothy Lukeman
I would recommend this book to anyone in a relationship.
T. M. Lee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

183 of 192 people found the following review helpful By Ava on May 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
James Hollis is far and away the most brilliant psychologist of our time. His latest contribution to a series of books I cannot live without is as exceptional as the rest. In an intelligent and thought-provoking manner, Hollis encourages the reader to examine what lies under the emptiness at mid-life despite having attained all of society's achievements such as marriage, career and financial success. He challenges us to discover what forces and fears formed us, and how our lives have been shaped as a result. His words lead you towards finding meaning and also a personal spiritual connection for your life. This is no "Step One: Do This" and "Step Two: Do That" formula that is all too common in self help literature. Instead, Hollis takes you to the place where you can actually understand why you do what you do, why your intimate relationships fail, why your work lacks meaning, and why you feel disconnected from the world around you. He teaches you how your responses to normal anxiety have taken you further and further away from understanding your life by avoiding the things that discomfort you. He gives you the courage to put aside your frenzied existence, and confront the wounds carried since childhood. I feel blessed to live in Houston where Hollis heads the C.G. Jung Educational Center and routinely teaches. It is rare to have access to such great wisdom. This book and the many others by Hollis, most especially The Eden Project, provide readers an opportunity to access the knowledge and experience of the world's leading expert on Jungian psychology. My life has been completely changed by learning from Hollis.
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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Gail D. Storey on December 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a terrific book, really a synthesis of many undercurrents of psychological wisdom explored in contemporary terms. I savored it over several weeks, reading a few pages a day, so that I could fully absorb and reflect on James Hollis's insights. Both penetrating and accessible, the book also provided a common vocabulary to talk over the real issues with a friend going through a hard time. ("This book is me," was how he expressed his feelings of relief and validation.)

James Hollis writes with clarity and compassion about profound and complex dilemmas, in a deeply engaging way that reflects his personal and professional experience. The best thing about FINDING MEANING IN THE SECOND HALF OF LIFE is that rather than providing easy answers it asks the right questions, so that one is inspired to further evolve toward her own truth. I also recommend James Hollis's other books for their soulful exploration of meaning that can be pragmatically and creatively absorbed.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By GrantC on October 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is not a book that will give you sequential bits of advice on how to change your life but will instead offer insights which will encourage internal changes through the increased knowledge of our own personal and human condition.

Neither is it a book, at least for me, to be read at one sitting. But it is a pleasure to read in small bits and then ponder what was just read.

I gave a copy to an alcholic friend of mine, who is also looking for some deeper understandings in life, and he said it was the most important book he'd read since he quit drinking over 20 years ago. It is not a 'how to' book, but if you approach it with some patience and curiousity you will be immensely rewarded.
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57 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Joanna on August 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I've read a ton of books about psychology and the inner life. The vast majority are so simplistic as to be mind-numbing. Hollis is, I think, the best psychologist writing today, and this latest (I recommned ALL of his previous books) is an empassioned guide towards getting real with yourself. The best "self-help" book I have ever read. I think it should be required reading for everyone when they turn 40.

Rock on, James!
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By T. M. Lee on May 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In these times of extensive power-posturing, blame and fear-mongering from our leaders, it is a relief to have this voice of genuine strength and courage gently working its way into our psyche and society. This voice is James Hollis, Ph.D and he blazes the path toward giving meaning to the second half of our lives.

We can learn how to forgive the unavoidable mistake called "the first half of our life" and go confidently forward into the second, with our compassionate guide, James Hollis.

With his writings, he serves as the scout that we need to enter this uncharted territory within ourselves. We need not be scared to enter these depths. We can do this effectively if we read and heed the words of this sage.

I credit Hollis and his book "Eden Project, in Search of the Magical Other" for saving my marriage. I would recommend this book to anyone in a relationship. Hollis will guide you in an eloquent way through relationships and where we tend to go wrong in them. I look around me, at all the dissatisfied couples and think, they could save a lot of misery and money if instead of getting new partners, sports cars and face lifts, they just bought a copy of the Eden Project. It is not light reading, it is not band-aid psychology, but it is well worth the effort.

Now Dr. Hollis will guide us through the second half of life with this book. This is the stuff of real strength, written by a real hero. He has lead us to the promised land that is within.
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