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What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life Hardcover – Bargain Price, December 26, 2008
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About the Author
The author of more than a dozen books, James Hollis, Ph.D., teaches at the Jung Educational Center of Houston and is a distinguished faculty member of the Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center in San Francisco. A graduate of the C. G. Jung Institute of Zurich, Switzerland, he maintains a private analytic practice.
Healing, satisfaction, and meaning only come when we identify what feeds our soul . . . says therapist and writer Hollis in this thoughtful program. The elegance and poetry in this writing will frustrate listeners looking for something more direct or colloquial. Literature lovers, on the other hand, will devour the writer's philosophical tone and the many quotes from authors like Pascal and Dylan Thomas. Narrator Jim Bond's academic tone helps to keep the production anchored to the author's largely intellectual approach. Yet Bond is so comfortable with this kind of material that he makes it come alive with humanity and clarity. This well-performed essay is sure to influence those who warm up to its important message. T.W. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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. Shallow pop psychology, soothing religious anodynes, fuzzy self-help -- none of that will be found here. In fact, you'll find far more questions than answers. But they're vital questions, and the struggle to answer them will deepen & enrich your life in ways you hadn't imagined.
Let me add a little personal testimony. After a year of loss myself, Hollis' words strike home all the more for me. They're not condescending, not uttered from some ivory tower on high, not always comforting -- but they've helped me a great deal, by treating me as an adult. Why settle for becoming anything less?
Most highly recommended!