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The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Mid-Life (Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts) Paperback – 1 Feb 1993

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Inner City Books; First Edition edition (1 Feb. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0919123600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0919123601
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 14.9 x 0.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
I have always been interested in the theories of Carl Jung, yet often found the contemporary texts written by or about him somewhat heavy going as a read. Hollis makes the teachings of Jung much more accessable in this book, drawing upon references to contemporary literature and art to illustrate his points, i found this book fascinating from both a psychological and literary perspective.
The middle passage, more commonly referred to as 'the mid life crisis' (not exclusive to men and can happen anywhewhere from early 30's to late 50's) is a period in our personal evolution we all go through, when the methods and strategies learnt in childhood suddenly become irrelevant to the life we want to live, we have to start over, to find ourselves anew. The process of shedding our skin is often a painful and labourious time, Hollis brings the meaning to this period of misery. Helping us to understand the necessity and inevitability of these growing pains and the meaning that underlies them.
At a time in my life when all i could feel was the pain, Hollis landed in my lap, held my hand and reassured me that what i was going through was a normal part of human development and not the end of the world. What a relief!
I intend to read the rest of his books now and would recommend anyone who is feeling that suddenly their life doesn't make sense to read this one.
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I wish I'd read this book before having a mid-life crisis, it would have explained so much. The trouble is that no one ever reads books like these before the worst has happened. Maybe doctors should give us a copy on our 49th birthday with the warning 'Keep it safe - you'll be needing this before too long.' This would save a lot of heartache and a great deal of money.

Unfortunately doctors don't do that, so misguided idiots desperately try to recapture their lost youth by embarking on affairs, getting divorced, buying sports cars and having plastic surgery. This book is certainly worth reading before you resort to all that and is considerably cheaper. If it fails to prevent your life imploding, at least you'll have the satisfaction of knowing why it's happening.
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Format: Paperback
An absolute gem of a book - a real life saver. I lost track of the number of times I thought 'Oh my god, this man understands exactly what I have been feeling and going through!' A book full of wisdon, compassion, understanding and explanation about the unconscious processes that well up into our lives in midlife, often with such devastating and disorientating force. It's hard to imagine not benefiting from reading this book if lost in mid life - for me it was like a kind, wise man sitting down with me, calling me to wake up, explaining what was happening, and pointing to the way out. And re-reading it I never fail to learn something new. It should be behind glass on the wall in all homes, perhaps beside the fire-extinguisher, with the notice "In case of emergency, break glass here". Even better, perhaps one day in a wiser, more mature society men and women will be taught in advance what to expect in mid life and so find the process of the middle passage less painful and disorientating. I can't recommend the book highly enough.
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Format: Paperback
Another gem from James Hollis. A "must read" for therapists or anyone wishing to understand mid-life transition, wish fresh thinking provided by the author. I have only one small criticism in that it would have been a more complete volume if this stage of life had been articulated further in terms of the "whole life project", and perhaps drawing on the archetypes that surface and wane as we follow our path of individuation. Otherwise, faultless. One the best writers on Jungian Analysis in my view. A beautifully written, clear and concise volume from an excellent series.
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Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic little book. Hollis writes with great clarity about the challenges of midlife. It is a book both for professional therapists and interested non-specialists, for it addresses issues with insight but without heavy vocabulary. He encapsulates an important truth; that crisis and midlife neurosis represent "a wonderful, though often painful, opportunity to revision our sense of self."

I will be recommending it widely.
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Format: Paperback
This book has a depressing cover and a miserable title. But it is gold dust. Read it, and be yourself.
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Thin book but very, very thought provoking. I'm not a psychologist or well read in the subject but picked this book up on someone else's recommendation. I'm of a certain age and pondering a lot of things over this last year. If you're expecting a self help with a step by step 'how to' guiide - you'll be disappointed but if you want something that makes you think about your feelings / life / where you are going and why then this is it. I've read it in several snippets throughout the past few days and have still not processed it all yet. For Hollis the midddle passage is all about 'becoming' the person you need to be for you and not for anyone else- and not feeling guilty over that growth. Affirming the midlife 'crisis', Hollis sees it as an opportunity for growth. Well written without too much psychological 'jargon' but its a book that needs you to be focused on it while reading.
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