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The Middle Passage (Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts (Book 59)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Inner City Books (March 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0919123600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0919123601
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Hollis, Ph.D. is a Zurich-trained Jungian analyst. He is the acclaimed author of seven other books in this series. He lives in Houston, Texas, where he is director of the C.G. Jung Educational Center.

From AudioFile

Jungian analyst James Hollis looks at that point in life when people return to questioning who they are and where theyre going. While its often called a mid-life crisis, Hollis prefers to call it a passage--after all, its not a crisis for everyone. Reading his own work, Hollis discusses the pressures that lead to this passage, points out the weight of past influences, and offers suggestions on how to navigate these treacherous waters. With a calm tone and a friendly voice, Hollis leads listeners through this perilous period and advises on ways to negotiate it. While the narration is fine, the book itself is dense, and listeners may need to take some time to reflect on some of its profound ideas. K.M. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

More About the Author

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

Customer Reviews

His prose is very good.
DB361
This short, superb book is one of the best works on midlife that I've ever read.
William Timothy Lukeman
As frightening as the midlife passage can be, Hollis gives us hope.
Kenneth R. Mabry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

134 of 136 people found the following review helpful By C. B Collins Jr. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 12, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
James Hollis had written a short but well thought out book on the midlife crisis. The term "mid-life crisis" would not be a term Hollis would use, because he sees the conflicts and disturbances that happen at mid-life as wonderful warnings that new directions are needed to achieve a meaningful life. He compares the depression, the loss of energy, the unexplained anger, the flare up of passion, as earthquake type pressures that give evidence of the rumblings below.
He compares the magic thinking of children, to the heroic thinking of young adulthood, to the more realistic thinking of the second adulthood. It is during this second adulthood that we must recognize what behavior patterns we bring from our early family of origin and whether those patterns have become maladaptive rather than adapative. He asks us to be aware of emotional outbursts or unrealistic passions of any type that signal that an unresoved complex still directs us emotionally and may be blocking our growth. He asks us to be willing to go into the luminous darkness within to seek answers, after all, by midlife you should have seen enough of the world to know that answers rarely lie outside of ourselves.
I enjoyed the poetry of Tennyson, Rilke, and Kazantzakis that he uses throughout the book. I especially liked the linkage to Tennyson's Ulysses, a poem that honors the fact that Ulysses' greatest adventures happen after mid-life.
Hollis believes the greatest tragedy during the midlife crisis is to remain unconscious and never examine the illusions, concepts, complexes, and dark shadows within us. After all, as we reach mid-life, this is the last chance for a meaningful life. The meaningful life is a higher goal that the happy life for both Jung and Hollis.
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64 of 64 people found the following review helpful By William Timothy Lukeman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 10, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This short, superb book is one of the best works on midlife that I've ever read. Hollis is NOT offering simple answers or formulas; instead, he's making clear just how difficult but rewarding the Middle Passage (as he names it) can be. I especially appreciate his oft-repeated dictum that the goal of life isn't Happiness so much as it is Meaning. Isn't this perpetual struggle to find & grasp an elusive happiness precisely what gets so many of us tied up in knots? His insistence that we must be willing to go into our own dark places, that we must be willing to acknowledge & discard out illusions, is far better advice than most of the Self-Help industry offers ... and far more helpful. A book that provokes thought & reflection, this slim volume of inner treasure is highly recommended!
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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By DB361 on January 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the BEST book about getting safely to the other side of 50. If is NOT pop-psyche or New Age. It is solid Jungian psychology. It is written to and for an educated audience but is jargon free. His prose is very good. It is a short book and therefore one that actually can be read in a couple of sittings. It shows the process of how one develops survival mechanisms at an early age that become threadbare in adulthood, but are very hard to recognize and change without some honest reflection and hard work. But he makes an excellent case that failing to do the work leads to a deepening of the misery one often experiences at the onset of mid-life. Hollis tells the reader what must be done, and makes it seem exciting rather than painful.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Randy Paterson on May 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have dozens of books that I recommend to clients, and a few that I suggest to friends. There's only one I have given as a gift a half-dozen to a dozen times. This is it.
Hollis is an insightful therapist with a hopeful AND realistic perspective on mid-life and the difficulties that can beset us as we realize that "this is it", that we're not preparing for adulthood anymore, that we are there and better make something of it. He is also a gifted writer who can take Jungian theory and bring it down to earth, explaining it clearly without oversimplifying. (I'm more of a hard-nosed research-based cognitive-behavioural type myself, and I still think the book is brilliant.)
Best of all, he is a judicious self-editor. Too many self-help books have one idea that gets padded out to 300 pages. (In the process of writing one of my own, I came across dozens of bad examples.) Hollis is concise and clear. The text of the book is 117 pages, worth twice as much for being half as thick as he could have made it.
My suggestion: Buy it, read it, apply it, and then go buy copies for your mid-life friends' birthdays. On a selfish note, it's great not to be stuck for 40th birthday present ideas any more.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Jane Walberg on September 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
After a lifetime of steadfastly holding onto increasingly ineffective ways of dealing with life and its disappointments (large and small), I finally cracked and landed smack in the middle of a mid-life crisis. Divorce, depression, anxiety, and a total loss of comprehension about life's purpose were the wreckage of a lifetime of disowning my authentic self in order to meet the high expectations of others and of our culture in general. As I began to read "The Middle Passage," it was as though a curtain had been opened to reveal a new possibility and the normalcy of the process of mid-life introspection, pain, discovery, and rejuvenation. It's a "let's grow up" book, and through its compassionate prose and honest voice it invites one to risk a journey that, otherwise, one might never choose to take.
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