Finding Meaning In The Second Half Of Life: How To Finally, Really Grow Up by James HollisFinding Meaning In The Second Half Of Life: How To Finally, Really Grow Up by James Hollis

Finding Meaning In The Second Half Of Life: How To Finally, Really Grow Up

byJames Hollis

Paperback | March 16, 2006

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What does it really mean to be a grown up in today’s world? We assume that once we “get it together” with the right job, marry the right person, have children, and buy a home, all is settled and well. But adulthood presents varying levels of growth, and is rarely the respite of stability we expected. Turbulent emotional shifts can take place anywhere between the age of thirty-five and seventy when we question the choices we’ve made, realize our limitations, and feel stuck— commonly known as the “midlife crisis.” Jungian psycho-analyst James Hollis believes it is only in the second half of life that we can truly come to know who we are and thus create a life that has meaning. In Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, Hollis explores the ways we can grow and evolve to fully become ourselves when the traditional roles of adulthood aren’t quite working for us, revealing a new way of uncovering and embracing our authentic selves. Offering wisdom to anyone facing a career that no longer seems fulfilling, a long-term relationship that has shifted, or family transitions that raise issues of aging and mortality, Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life provides a reassuring message and a crucial bridge across this critical passage of adult development.
James Hollis, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst in private practice and executive director of the C.G. Jung Educational Center of Houston. Educated at Manchester College, Drew University, and the Jung Institute in Zurich, he was a humanities professor for more than twenty years and is the author of ten previous books, including the best sell...
Title:Finding Meaning In The Second Half Of Life: How To Finally, Really Grow UpFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 7.98 × 5.31 × 0.72 inPublished:March 16, 2006Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1592402070

ISBN - 13:9781592402076

Appropriate for ages: 14

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Serious Writing The overview of this book can be seen in the reference to the Jack Nicholson movie called “About Schmidt” - which is worth viewing. The movie begins as the Nicholson character Schmidt, is awaiting the arrival of his office clock to 5:00 PM – which will signal the commencement of his retirement from a bureaucratic mid-level job held most of his adult life. He goes home to a wife he has little communication with, a daughter who is distant and attempts to come to terms with the unprepared rest of his life. The wife unexpectedly dies, the daughter marries and moves far away and the Nicholson character is faced with the empty realization he has little in his life – and never did. This plot partly exemplifies what author Hollis calls projections. Which means that Schmidt has never progressed beyond the basic ego needs in his life. He came into the adult world projecting his contentment into the symbols of marriage, career, a certain status (albeit modest) and daughter – but there was no contentment because Schmidt never progressed from child to adult. While he attained the strict safety requirements of his ego there was no contentment in work, he scarcely knew his wife and daughter and had little else in his life. Rather than searching beyond his ego – meaning the ego that seeks comfort, security, satiety – into the goal of wholeness, of seeking out his soul by becoming conscious, mature, dealing with the struggle of life and understanding, and of becoming – he remained unconscious and unaware of the real things and possibilities of life. The symbolic goals of life, security, wealth, marriage, status, power and whatever else can be wholly attained, but in the absence of awareness, of inner dialogue happiness remains illusive. Author Hollis emphasizes that few people voluntarily enter the search for consciousness. It is a painful and initially frightening path of discovery. The search beyond the ego is typically the result of a life trauma that leaves the person little choice but to search for this meaning. Schmidt faces the option of a completely empty existence or looking deeply inward and gradually coming to terms with the issues of his life, having the courage to face uncomfortable truths about himself and through that process building an awareness of his true reality extending beyond the limitations of ego. The inward looking part is extremely important. There are always at least two sides to an event. We gravitate to the comfortable, ego driven version of our story and ignore or remain ignorant of larger reality and its implications on ourselves. I give personal examples. I have a friend who has been divorced for 15 years and to this day fervently believes he was blameless in the marital split, that it was entirely the fault of his wife. In my own case, my marriage split caused a great deal of anguish and depression – and while I accepted some blame, had the strong tendency to lean the underlying blame to my wife. How unrealistic and sterile – and deadening for the soul. I am still far from conscious, but I am more conscious for after my marital split, I gradually came to appraise myself more honestly with the realization that I brought much baggage, not only to the marriage but to my own well being. I did not do it voluntarily; it was forced since the option was psychological deadness. This book is about becoming whole.
Date published: 2009-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful book Although needing to be digested in varying size pieces this book was like talking to an old friend who I had lost contact with along the way or possibly had never met. I'm now age 55.
Date published: 2008-04-14

Editorial Reviews

“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