James Hollis is a Jungian Psychoanalyst, and is a person who has, through his many books walked alongside me for well over a decade. I’ve drawn significant insight and benefit from reading and listening to him.
Here are two excellent 2017 conversations. The host is Chicago's Laura London, and I must say that I really enjoy her approach, and the types of questions she puts to her guests:
The Shadow. The conversation, while alluding to Hollis’ book Why Good People Do Bad Things: Understanding Our Darker Selves (incidentally, Hollis doesn’t like this title, which was given by the publishers; preferring instead the title he wanted, “Darker Selves”). Front and center in the conversation is our darker sides, our complexes, and shadows – with some reference to the contemporary American political scene (recorded 17th May 2017).
You can here this conversation here.
The Eden Project: In Search of the Magical Other – A Jungian Perspective on Relationship, “…The Eden Project is a timely and thought-provoking corrective to the generalized fantasies about relationships that permeate our culture. This is not a practical guide on how to fix a relationship, but rather a challenge to greater personal responsibility in relationships, a call of individual growth as opposed to seeking rescue through others…”
You can hear Hollis discuss this book and related material here (recorded 16th August 2017)
I also want to highlight a new book from James Hollis. Published by Sounds True in February 2018. Its titled: Living an Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journey. It doesn't appear to be a paperback edition of his earlier Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up (see also his audio series: Through the Dark Wood: Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life). One reviewer of Living the Examined Life has noted: "...This book is not an improvement on the author's older books but rather a distillation and part repetition..." It may well be that this book serves as an introduction to Hollis; a starting point for those not already familiar with him, or those who have not already read his early books, including Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life. Personally I’d start with Hollis’ Inner City Books titles. They’re relatively expensive, but a beautifully published, well edited, and come in an around 150-165 pages.
Its publisher describes the new book in this way:
“How do you define "growing up"? Does it mean you achieve certain cultural benchmarks-a steady income, paying taxes, marriage, and children? Or does it mean leaving behind the expectations of others and growing into the person you were meant to be? If you find yourself in a career, place, relationship, or crisis you never foresaw or that seems at odds with your beliefs about who you are, it means your soul is calling on you to reexamine your path.
With Living an Examined Life, James Hollis offers an essential guidebook for anyone at a crossroads in life. Here this acclaimed author guides you through 21 areas for self-inquiry and growth, challenging you to:
- Recover Personal Authority-how to stop living in response to the expectations placed on you
- Choose Meaning Over Happiness-why seeking truth instead of entertaining distractions ultimately leads to greater fulfilment
- Exorcise the Ghosts of the Past That Bind You-how the voices that haunt you can lead you to grow
- Bestow Love on the Unlovable Parts of You-recovering the guiding force concealed in your Shadow
- Construct a Mature Spirituality-the five essential elements of integrating meaning and mystery into your life
- Seize Permission to Be Who You Really Are-the challenge of fully showing up for your life
With his trademark eloquence and insight, Dr. Hollis offers Living an Examined Life to inspire you toward a life of personal authority, integrity, and fulfillment. "It is my hope that this book will be a tool to recover your respect for that which abides deeply within," writes Dr. Hollis. "You will not be spared disappointment or suffering. But you can know the depth and dignity of an authentic journey, of being a real player in your time on this turning planet, and your life will become more interesting, taking you deeper than ever before." You will find a PDF sample here, on the publishers site.