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Showing 1-10 of 142 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 188 reviews
on October 20, 2016
It's like he opened my head, crawled inside, and put words to the thoughts and feelings I have had my whole life. I thought I was the only one thinking these things and feeling this way. Why had I never heard of this guy?! Highly recommend to any person, any age who wants to understand himself in a more profound, edifying way. I gave a copy to my 23 year old son. It IS heady and I have to reread some sentences a few times, but I've underlined just about every sentence in the book and that's saying something!! This book is for any person, any age who wants to "get it".
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on February 24, 2015
Wonderful book. Definitely not your typical self help book. Based on Jungian psychology, this book has given me much to reflect upon and goals to strive for outside of the usual "get happy" blather that's out there. If you want to understand more about yourself, your partner and others with whom you have close relationships this is a great book to read. Here are a couple quotes to help you decide if this book might be up your alley:

P 117: "...the best thing we can do for ourselves and for the other is to assume more of the developmental agenda for ourselves. In other words, to have a grown-up relationship, we have to grow up!...When we are sincerely able to ask the question "What am I asking of my beloved that I need to do for myself?" we have not only begun growing up, but may then be expressing a loving attitude toward that other after all."

P118: "Growing up means that we take spiritual responsibility for ourselves..until we accept this responsibility for ourselves, we are asking others to be a shelter for our homeless soul..remember that others will then be asking the same of us as well."
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on February 25, 2017
My oldest child moved out last summer. That same week my father-in-law and beloved dog passed away. My middle child will be moving out this summer and my youngest will be off to college. Needless to say, my soul has been in pain. But thanks to this book, I have a few new tools in my tool box.
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on April 22, 2017
AmaIng eye opening read. The author spoke to me and brough clarity and light to the confused state I was in as a result of my midlife crisis and depression. Recommended to all of those who feel empty and whose old paradigms and reference points have become meanigless. To those who seek to do away with the superficial and trivial and seek to truly reconnect with the essence of themselves. It will show you the way back home. I liked the concise writing. I chose this rating because it was a superve book that hit the spot.
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on November 11, 2013
Most people looking for a "quick fix" might battle with this book. If you are at that place where you 'know' you are not fulfilling your life, this book offers guidance on understanding our pre-programming. The journey we are on is an individual one, so no "one size fits all" applies. Use this book to stimulate reflection and get some understanding on why patterns appear in your life. It's then up to you to make the shifts or keep repeating them.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 13, 2006
As with his previous books, James Hollis offers no easy answers, no magic formula for happiness, no 10 or 12 or 20 simple steps -- which explains the disappointment of some previous reviewers, I guess, who obviously wanted the hard work done for them. But isn't that one of the most pernicious illusions we have to shed, if we truly want to find personal meaning? We have to accept that *we've* got to do the digging, the discovering, the accepting. 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.

So Hollis presents us with the tough questions, the ones we need to ask ourselves without flinching or making excuses for our hesitancy & failures. The poetry, the excerpts from literature & myth, are potent models & examples for us -- not to follow blindly, but to mull over & use as illumination for our own lives. Striving for wholeness & authenticity isn't easy, which is why so many step away from it more than once, unwilling to go forward. But it's the only worthwhile goal for life, especially the second half of life. Once we realize that our time is limited, that we must find or make our own meaning, rather than depending on others to provide it -- well, once you feel that in your gut, in the marrow of your bones, then you know there's simply no time to waste on self-imposed obstacles or distractions. Every day is precious, and should be put to good use. Whatever has wounded us in the past, whatever has hampered us, can no longer be used as an excuse: once we see & know what restrains us, then we're responsible for dealing with it. The choice is ours ... and perhaps that's what's so terrifying for some people.

So here is a book to read, contemplate, and then read again. It doesn't promise instant happiness, only the prospect of hard but rewarding work. The quest for personal meaning awaits, and sooner or later we've all got to embark upon it. Most highly recommended!
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on July 16, 2009
This book resonates on so many levels that I sometimes suspect Hollis wrote it for me personally. At 46 I find every chapter thought-provoking, and have read the book three times, once just reading it, then compelled to reread it while underlining a few passages and, finally, reading it while taking notes and journaling.

Granted, he draws heavily from Jung, but the concepts are presented with a 21st Century relevance. I find that I actually take solace in its pages; with reassurances that, while this path is challenging, I am not alone in sorting out what carries meaning here in the second half.

If you are younger than, say, 40, or you are a big fan of bullet points vs. elegant prose, then this book is probably not for you. But if 50 has too suddenly appeared on the horizon (or just blown past) and a little reevaluation might be in order, I think you'll find some gold in these pages.
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on March 22, 2010
James Hollis is an excellent communicator and deeply understands the need for some people to figure out why they have reached a point in life where the old patterns of their life are brought sharply into focus and these patterns do not seem sufficient to carry them through the remainder of life.

Essentially, this book is about conflict or pull between fate (i.e. your history and expectations of family and self etc.) and destiny which is the inner quest of the soul to seek meaning in life. In the second half of life Hollis highlights that the things that gave us a purpose and established us in the first half of life are no longer a guide to fullfilment later. He calls the reader to recognise what is good in their life and consider the value of the rest. He ask the reader to be open to the anxiety and uncertainty that the answers to these questions will bring. This he reminds the reader is a quest for meaning and so his book does not provide a cookbook of answers but a series of reflections on the issues that may present in the search.

James Hollis is a Jungian analyst so the quest reminds me of the film "the Wizard of Oz" - one of the films I hate most! A consequence of this is Hollis assumes things will be well if we follow our souls destiny. This is what I would call a nice American Liberal Arts viewpoint but of course is not necessarily true. Hollis accepts that the quest is difficult and potentially very rewarding but does not address the flip side - i.e. what if it doesn't work out. Throwing off the shackles of ones old life is something that must be carefully considered in light of an uncertain outcome. This is an excellent book that I would highly recommend with the cavet that the reader in finding his or her destiny should "make haste slowly".
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on July 9, 2015
One of the best books I have read in quite some time. More than just self-help pablum, and speaking a language blending the best of philosophy, practical spirituality, Jungian psychology and magazine-simple advice, this book manages to tickle the brain and soul at the same time by brilliantly articulating and addressing the kind of yearning most of us feel after a certain point in life, and the questions we have about our relationships. I am not much of a highlighter, but I think I have highlighted something inspiring on every other Kindle page, and look forward to going back to re-read each one. This would be an ideal book for group discussion.
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on September 3, 2016
Great read by a great thinker. Kindle version probably could be better proofread.
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