• Through the Dark Wood

  • Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life
  • By: James Hollis PhD
  • Narrated by: James Hollis PhD
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (487 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Have you ever looked at your career, your relationships, or your role in life and wondered, "Is this why I’m really here?” If so, then you are ready for your “midlife crisis" - the pivotal time when you have the opportunity to become the person your soul seeks to be.

"When the illusions of our youth begin to crumble," explains James Hollis, "we reach a turning point that the poet Dante called the 'dark wood.'" With Through the Dark Wood, this author and Jungian analyst reveals the steps we all must take on our road to true maturity, meaning, and fulfillment.

When the Second Half of Life Begins

How do you know when you’ve reached the “second half ”of life? According to Hollis, the first sign comes when you feel dissatisfied by where you are today—and hear a call from within to live a more purposeful life. This marks the collision between your “False Self,” created from the expectations of others, and your instinctive “True Self.”

Drawing upon his experiences with hundreds of clients, Hollis provides an essential map for traversing the universal challenges of midlife, such as building genuine relationships, cultivating a mature spirituality, and letting go of old beliefs that no longer serve you.

An Invaluable Guide through the Challenges of Midlife

"The second half of life isn’t about looking for easy answers," James Hollis says. "It’s about honestly exploring the questions that bring richness and value to your life." With Through the Dark Wood, this penetrating thinker shares a lifetime of insights about how to navigate your life’s most turbulent passages - and emerge from the darkness wiser, stronger, and in greater harmony with your soul’s purpose.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2009 James Hollis (P)2009 James Hollis

What listeners say about Through the Dark Wood

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  • DP
  • 10-23-15

Required listening for anyone searching for answers

This is another amazing piece of work by Dr. James Hollis. The only thing I wish I had done differently when listening to this book was that I be sitting at home taking notes because the amount of wisdom that pours out of Dr. Hollis is like nothing I have ever seen. This book and his work talks to me like nothing else ever has. I'm 36 years old and going through the Darkwood. This book has help me to understand why I have been going through such a tough time for the past 10 months of my life. I'm so relieved to know that there is someone out there who truly understands exactly what I am feeling.

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Magnificent and deep

Hollis’s narration itself adds SO SO much interpretative meaning that it makes the audio book much better than the print version.

You are transported right there via his real life stories.
There are so many nuggets here that I found myself re listening to chapters several times over multiple year periods

I Could not give this book a higher rating but it can be heavy. So one must be ready for this book and you probably need to BE in the second part of your life.

Patrick

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Easy to listen and grasp the deep meaning

very easy to listen and grasp the deeper meaning about midlife crisis as a transition.

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Very enlightening

Loved how this book is like a therapy session. I would totally recommend this book to anyone who is searching

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Good insights

I have listened to James Hollis lecture on Youtube and out of those in the Jungian school I find he is one of the easier to comprehend, he puts things into an easy format for nonjungian analysts (everyday people.) A lot in this lecture is repeated in other lectures, but much of it was new to me. I don't think it is for everyone, there are some who wouldn't benefit from this, you have to be willing and ready to look at yourself, your actions, and intentions critically, but also have compassion for yourself. It is more self help, than a study of depth psychology, it doesn't go deep into Jungian concepts, there is definitely an aim at practicality. Overall, it is just another guy's observations and opinion, albeit a guy with a lot of experience. I'll listen to it again it reminds me that some of my motivations aren't so obvious to myself.

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Exactly What I Needed

Dr. Hollis has created a deeply meaningful product here.

I'll going to have to come back and relisten to this every year for the rest of my life.

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Insightful.

A good book, of this type, not only makes important insights that i had not made for myself, but triggers my own understanding through my own connections to some of “their” expounded ideas, that I am able to expand upon and find deeper meaning, for myself. This is such a book.

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This man’s work is genius

I feel less alone on a lonely road, caressed by paradox and warmed by my body’s adjustment to the cold.

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A brilliant roadmap and storyline of the psyche

One of the best audio books i have ever worked through! Such a brilliant deconstruction of Jungian concepts, in a simple, relatable way to understand. So profound that I had to replay each chapter 2-3 times. One of the greats in the field of consciousness, and a must-read/listen for any psychonauts!

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Essential reading

Going through the book a second time and it feels like I didn't read it at all the first time. so much wisdom in each chapter. Great at any age. Thank you Dr Hollis. The presentation is calming and encouraging.

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  • Mr. M. Dillon
  • 10-27-16

Insightfull and detailed

Have listened to it several times over and learned something new every time. I would recommend it.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Mr B
  • 01-04-17

Life changer!

James Hollis has now become one of my major life gurus. Read this book 3 times and 3 of his other books. I cannot recommend this book enough. It's like being given the key to my mind, how and why we think.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Lucy Giles
  • 04-17-16

Gem

I have no idea how I stumbled on this book, but I'm at the age that when it popped up on audible I was intrigued.

James Hollis is a writer with soul. A classically trained Jungian Analyst, with years of life experience and a fine mind as well as heart James Hollis has written Through the Dark Wood first and foremost as a gift I believe. There is a real commitment to the reader to navigate mid life for the duration of the book with them.

I loved that he asked so many questions of such great depth that he will leave me pondering them for some time to come. It's a beautifully crafted piece with three distinct sections. He draws from Jung a lot and if anything has now piqued my interest to read more of his work.

If you are a ponderer, a deep thinker and a seeker whether inside or on the periphery of the dark wood and the cusp of mid life or beyond, this is an excellent place to dive deeper with a fellow human being well qualified to be your guide.

It's a body of work I will be returning to again and again. Loved it.

15 people found this helpful

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  • scania price
  • 04-22-17

Fantastic!

Beautifully read and would recommend to everyone. Amazing book! Begin your journey now and live your life to the full 😀🌟

6 people found this helpful

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  • K Parmar
  • 08-07-20

The journey to healing

Absolutely brilliant book from James. Thank you. I have been studying Jung for for about five years as an amateur. I’ve read the excellent map of the soul by Murray Stein and I have to say this, along side Map of the Soul is one of the greatest books in order to understand some of the concepts of Jung. I found it really helpful as I lost my young son in a catastrophe and When something like that happened to you all of a sudden we need to get a greater understanding of life in order to get Through and this book helps do thats

4 people found this helpful

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  • Melody Jansen
  • 10-13-20

perfect timing.

I stopped and listened, and I realised I had been stuck waiting for life to move me. Perfect, just what I needed.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Somya
  • 09-04-20

Absolutely Brilliant!

I can't recommend it enough. If I were to gift everyone with something special, it would be this book.
Thank you James Hollis! :)

3 people found this helpful

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  • RabbitLemon
  • 07-24-20

Very helpful

Pick this up earlier rather than later. Full of wisdom and exciting ideas, to lead our own lives. Take heed and we can enjoy being in the woods.

3 people found this helpful

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  • bangandthedirtisgone
  • 04-12-20

When you are ready the teacher appears ..

Profound and thought provoking, yet very straightforward and easy to understand. I really like that it’s read by the author - feels like getting actual therapy. I’m going to listen to another by this author (although the others are sadly not narrated by by him). This one is perfect if you are wondering how you got where you are and shows the deep importance of finding the path that is right for you.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-24-20

Fascinating and illuminating

Very interesting and shed much light on areas of my life. So excited to begin living with more awareness, understanding and excitement for the future.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Rafael
  • 05-25-22

Legendary

Fantastic introduction to Dr Hollis, I started this after hearing him on a podcast. Thanks for taking the time to read this Jim! Much appreciated, the wisdom, compassion and insight so clearly carries through your reading.

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  • Boyd
  • 01-14-21

Amazing

An absolute must for self reflection when you are reading to review your relationship with self and others.

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  • FritzRadda
  • 04-07-20

Everyone at a mid life junction will benefit

If you carry skeletons in the trunk or boot of your journey vehicle, and you are halfway there and your job is done and evolution had no more need for you, this is a form of roadmap that might have utility. Your home is your journey. Thanks James. xx

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-25-19

A deeper remembering

This book was magical to listen to and stoked the fire burning deep within highly recommend

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  • Phil Botterill
  • 06-01-19

Outstanding

James I truly appreciate your work on this book, it has created a sense of excitement and whole hearted-ness for me as I move into the dark wood alone but also somehow with all of humanity alongside. Thank you!

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  • Dave
  • 03-28-19

lost me after about 15mins

Far too technical and theoretical beginning, failed to take me on a journey and I just couldn't listen any more after 15mins as I was too bored and disengaged.

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  • mark devan
  • 12-16-18

Wisdom for the second half of life

Dr. James Hollis does a brilliant job in providing practical advice on journeying into the second half of life. He shares his insights as a Jungian analyst in an easy to understand way. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be listening to it again.

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  • JM
  • 11-03-18

A journey inward

James is able to communicate Jungian concepts with such ease and wisdom. It helped me gain a new understanding on psychological projection, transference and our most important life passage - individuation and the journey within. Profound read for those going through change, a cross road or questioning meaning in their lives.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-09-18

Profound wisdom.

I've become a huge fan of James Hollis' work. He explains the human condition in a caring, insightful, and wonderful way. I recommend this to anyone who's willing to look in the mirror and grow or wants to go deeper into understanding themself and others.