I offer this book containing the summation of decades of working with students, clients, analysands, and myself in the hope that it will be helpful to each reader in the conduct of his or her life and bring a greater sense of purpose and personal permission to be, in the end, who he or she is. All that sounds so simple, but in fact it is very difficult.
For the last thirty years, I have had the privilege of
This book contains twenty-one desiderata, the daily acknowledgment of which will change your life, make it more interesting, make it more nearly your own, and make possible the recovery of your journey. It is my surmise that you have not picked up this book idly or as a distraction. You have done so out of a nagging curiosity, a deep, abiding pain, an unresolved life problem. Moreover, you most likely want surcease of suffering, rapid improvement, and abiding change for the better. If someone tells you the truth—that you will likely be dealing with these issues most of your life that you will come back to them over and over in new venues, new relationships, new
Lessons in living for mid-life stages of life—you would likely move on quickly. But the truth is the truth, and as Jung pointed out, we seldom solve problems, but we can outgrow them. That is what this book is about, not solutions, but attitudes,
It is my hope that this book will be a tool for each of us to recover respect for that which abides deeply within. As we do, we will not be spared disappointment or suffering, but we will know the depth and dignity of an authentic journey, of being a real player in our brief moment on this turning planet, and our life will become more interesting to us, taking us deeper than ever before. Only then are we on the journey of the soul. As the Danish theologian Kierkegaard observed: merchant mariners get their sailing orders in the safe harbor; men-o’- war open their instructions on the high seas. Whether you know it or not, you are on the high seas of the soul and have been so for a long time. It is time to open our instructions, set a new course, turn and tack into the wind, and sail onward, with the destination unfolding as we move.
James Hollis, Washington, DC
Excerpted from LIVING AN EXAMINED LIFE, by James Hollis, PhD. Sounds True, February 2018. Reprinted with permission.
The extract was featured in the Autumn 2018 Cygnus Review. Living