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What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life Hardcover – December 26, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
James Hollis is a very wise man. His prose is both simple and profound. He calls on the reader to perform a most difficult, necessary task -- to (p. 39) "review every commitment, every old friendship, every practice, and every summons, and say in a new way, 'I will not serve that which does not serve me.'" In other words, re-consider your entire life so that, instead of serving the ego's needs, you are serving the needs of your soul.
I bought this book the first day it went on sale. The act of reading it was like spending time with a brilliant, compassionate friend who loves you more than you love yourself, and who is willing to call you on your worst, most self-destructive qualities in a way that opens the door to healing the wounds that might create new qualities and a better life.
Are you ready for a richer, more interesting life? Are you ready to do what's necessary to discover you soul's mission? Mr. Hollis will guide you.
I am grateful to this man for sharing his wisdom.
For there is no final, complete, all-encompassing answer, much as we might want one. Accepting uncertainty & ambiguity is the only way to grow beyond our social & cultural programming, "maintaining the tension of opposites," as many have put it. This means never being 100% sure, yet cultivating self-confidence; taking risks & striving for something that may ultimately elude our grasp; being resolute, yet never forgetting humility in the face of mystery. Above all, it means facing the most unsettling, troubling aspects of our own being, things we'd rather not know.
But let's be clear: Hollis is NOT advocating mere narcissism, ignoring personal responsibility & obligations for the sake of sweetly addictive navel-gazing. That's the farthest thing from what he's proposing. He doesn't promise happiness or security ... but he does say that life will be far more interesting, charged with greater meaning, so that even suffering will have some purpose & place.
Because in the end, we all face countless losses, right down to our own mortality. Not one of us is immune. Whether there's an afterlife or not, all we know for sure is this fleeting life, with all of its wonders, pitfalls, sorrows & joys. How will we make the most of it, this brief, ephemeral moment in the ocean of infinity? That is indeed the question!
So don't open these pages looking for neat, simple answers.Read more ›
Eight months later, I'd say this is my favorite Hollis book. It feels like his most personal work -- he alludes to the death of his son while writing it -- and so it seems less like an analysis of Jungian ideas and more of where Jungian thought has brought him to feel and value as important. That said, I do think familiarity with his earlier work enriches the reading of this book.
If you are new to Hollis, my recommendation would be to get this book in conjunction with his excellent CD set Through the Dark Wood, which is a survey of the themes of most of his earlier books. Hollis is an excellent speaker, and the material offers enough depth for repeated listens. You could then purchase his earlier books depending on what interests you.
Two things strike me about this book, which Hollis himself may take issue with, but what the hell...
1. If you are familiar with Myers-Briggs, Hollis to me presents a distinctly NT view of the world, more evident here than in his other work. So, if you have ever felt like you are an NT living in an SJ world, you may find you resonate with this material in a powerful, energizing way. (I suspect earlier reviews accusing Hollis of a liberal agenda were written by SJs who have a hard time finding value in things like doubt and uncertainty.)
2. This book serves as an indictment (or antidote, perhaps) of the insurance industry-friendly cognitive-behavioral, pill-popping school of problem-solving.Read more ›
This book was so satisfying to me that it was not only food for thought; it was a banquet for my soul.
Mary Jane Hurley Brant
When Every Day Matters: A Mother's Memoir on Love, Loss and Life (Simple Abundance Press, Oct. 2008)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Can read sections individually. Deep and thoughtful exceptional for reflection time.Published 27 days ago by hskydg80
This is my second Hollis book & I am as thoroughly enamoured with it as I was with the first one. The level of this author's knowledge & insight astound me. Read morePublished 3 months ago by C. BISHOP
This is a good mid-life crisis book. If you're feeling out of sorts with life, or that you've been chasing the wrong carrot for many years, this is a good book to help you sort... Read morePublished 6 months ago by John Rogers
Poetic writing by Jungian analyst/philosopher. Inspiring.Published 15 months ago by Peggy O. Heller
Nobody explores the topic of midlife and what creates meaning in life the way Hollis does. On top of sharing some very important insights, he has a poetic way with language that I... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Alberta