On This Journey We Call Our Life: Living the Questions (Studies in Jungian Psychology in Jungian Analysts, Volume 103)

On This Journey We Call Our Life: Living the Questions (Studies in Jungian Psychology in Jungian Analysts, Volume 103)

On This Journey We Call Our Life: Living the Questions (Studies in Jungian Psychology in Jungian Analysts, Volume 103)

Over the years James Hollis has offered us many a feast, and we have grown to appreciate the nourishment of their unique mixtures of bitter and sweet. Here he shares our boat, navigating the questions without charts that haunt us all. This is not a book of revealed truths. Rather it surrenders to the questions, guided only by whatever insight, endurance and energy each of us may have. He acknowledges the uniqueness and value of each individual life journey, sharing his personal experience only so that we can find our own understanding.

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3 Comments so far »

  1. Autodidact Andy "IndiAndy" said,

    Wrote on March 28, 2013 @ 10:20 am

    59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Willing to be Asked the Questions, August 10, 2005
    By 
    Autodidact Andy “IndiAndy” (Golden State California) –

    This review is from: On This Journey We Call Our Life: Living the Questions (Studies in Jungian Psychology in Jungian Analysts, Volume 103) (Paperback)

    “On This Journey We Call Our Life – Living the Questions (Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts) is one of the 4 books by Hollis I own which include a superb audio book on CD he cogently narrates titled “The Middle Passage – From Misery to Meaning in Midlife”. On This Journey… was published in 2003 and is his third latest book – his most recent being “Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life – How to Finally, Really Grow Up”.

    The Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts is a wonderful series published by Inner City Books with Daryl Sharp as founder and chief editor (himself an accomplished Jungian Analyst and writer). Marie-Louise von Franz is their Honorary Patron with 9 of her classic titles in the offerings. The publisher’s charter was “…founded in 1980 to promote the understanding and practical application of the work of C.G. Jung.” Since then they’ve published over 110 titles in this series with other prolific Jungian writers & analysts such as Barbara Hannah, Edward Edinger, and Marion Woodman to name a few. Hollis is a Zurich-trained Jungian analyst practicing out of Texas where he is also the Executive Director of the Jung Educational Center of Houston. He’s contributed 8 titles to the Studies in Jungian Psychology series himself. We recently shared some correspondence and I found him warm and thoughtfully responsive.

    After a nice Publisher’s Forward by Daryl Sharp, Hollis tells us early in his introduction “One way of looking at this journey is to observe that psyche presents us with two large questions…” one for each of the two halves of our lives. The question of the first half is ‘”What is the world asking of me?” and that of the second is “What, now, does the soul; ask of me?” To the first he remembers when, as children, we asked the great mysterious questions only to relinquish the profound imperative: “The wonder and terror forgotten, buried but not dead beneath the details of the daily grind.” And, sadly “…we forgot those questions, and who we were, and that we were really called upon to do something with this gift of life.” To the second question (for the second half of life) Hollis offers up some poignant questions to be asked (but not necessarily answered) by honest, humble, self-seekers willing to ask and grow. These ten questions are reflected in the Table of Contents and are expanded in each chapter to flesh out the real meaning of the questions. However Hollis does not “…purport to offer their answers, though I present possibilities.”

    By What Truths Am I Living My Life?
    What Is My Shadow and How Can I Make It Known?
    What Is My Myth?
    What Is My Vocation?
    What Are My Spiritual Points Of Reference?
    What Fiction Shall Be My Truth?
    What Is My Obligation to the World?
    So, Ahem . . . What’s This Death Business?
    What Supports Me?
    What Matters, in the End?

    In his chapter “What Is My Shadow and How Can I Make It Known?” he poses “Seven Questions for Personal Reflection on the Shadow”. Incidentally, the whole shadow business has been hands down the most fascinating topic for me. The subject proved the genesis of my journey into individuation and the world of Jungian psychology – a veritable gateway & goldmine!

    One theme I appreciate in several of his works is the affirmation that “We are all more than the sum of what happened to us.” that is “I am not what happened to me – I am what I choose to become.”

    There’s some recurrence of certain poetry and philosophy from earlier works (e.g. “The Middle Passage”) and this is certainly fine with me. To name a number of poets & philosophers he cites: James Agee, Stephen Dunn, T.S. Eliot, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Kierkegaard, D.H. Lawrence, Rainer Maria Rilke, Dylan Thomas, Thoreau, Yeats (and C.G. Jung of course).
    Relevant footnotes throughout helpfully point the interested reader to Hollis’ earlier books and they show how this material effectively evolved out of those works. Simply put, this book ties together threads from those earlier works and weaves a nice tapestry of Jungian analysis. A good bibliography and index help the reader find sources and subjects.

    The last chapter, “What Matters, in the End?” hits on aspects of our projections and requires “Doing Our Work” accepting responsibility, finding strength to pull back our projections, and a engaging in a rapport with our inner world where our choices develop. The next sub-chapter “Ask the Meaning of Your Suffering” explains how this question “tends to relocate our sense of selfhood beyond the narrow purview of our ego.” It concludes with two sub-chapters that suggest we “Keep Asking What Matters, in the End” and “Suffer Consciously” lest we take the unconscious alternative of avoiding what is in us.

    Finally, Hollis concludes: “…While the ultimate purpose of this journey and our unique role in the great scheme of things will…

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  2. B. Weinberg "truth seeker" said,

    Wrote on March 28, 2013 @ 10:57 am

    16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Just the list of questions worth the price!, August 16, 2006
    By 
    B. Weinberg “truth seeker” (Connecticut, USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: On This Journey We Call Our Life: Living the Questions (Studies in Jungian Psychology in Jungian Analysts, Volume 103) (Paperback)

    James Hollis accomplished MASTERFULLY what he set out to do. He simplifies and illustrates clearly how…in Jungian terms…we repeat our patterns of behavior, endlessly, until we examine, recognize and work at changing them.

    I especially appreciated the questions and tools he presented to aid the reader in the process of making new choices. He presumes some knowledge of Jung and his language can be a bit pretentious at times, but overall, I found this to be a deeply valuable and useful book.

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  3. Madrasi said,

    Wrote on March 28, 2013 @ 11:18 am

    30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Profound Wisdom, November 29, 2003
    By 
    Madrasi (Montana) –

    This review is from: On This Journey We Call Our Life: Living the Questions (Studies in Jungian Psychology in Jungian Analysts, Volume 103) (Paperback)

    Wow, this guy is an amazing writer and thinker and translator of Jungian concepts. I read THE MIDDLE PASSAGE and then started reading ALL of his books. His words give meaning to the journey, that’s for sure. Highly recommended!

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