Presenting the unique perspective of respected analyst and author James Hollis, Ph.D., What Matters Most helps listeners learn to appreciate (even be amazed by) events unfolding within, even as the external world creates constant struggles.
Taking a fresh look at the concept of happiness, Hollis uses a warm, accessible tone to encourage listeners to learn to tolerate ambiguity, embrace growth rather than security, respect the power of Eros, engage spiritual crises, and acknowledge the shadow of mortality.
Providing inspiring wisdom and personal reflections to address our deepest worries, What Matters Most yields far more than mere self-help clichés. Instead Hollis guides listeners in uncovering the heart of the matter, discovering what it means to truly live life to its fullest, most meaningful state - as fully engaged citizens of the world.
©2008 James Hollis, Ph.D.; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Far and away the best introduction to the role of the psyche, ego and unconsious in our lives. Bold, challenging ideas about how to make the most of what life offers. Hollis is eloqent, poetic even, lucid and extremely well organized. Bond is a perfect narrator. My only complaint: the final chapter of the book is completely omitted from the supposedly unabridged audiobook. I discovered this because, having so enjoyed the audiobook , I purchased the hardback to keep on my shelf of cherished, "read-again-and-again" volumes.
The man who help me find answers to my life's questions just wrote another masterpiece. Recommended for anyone past 40.
I'm 23 and couldn't be happier to have found this book before i may really need it in old age. More than almost any other author, James Hollis has a way of making everything clear. Don't expect answers, but if you're looking for the right questions to be asking, this is the book.
James Hollis has become my wise guide in my personal journey of self-exploration, and his Jungian approach is a welcome change for me. I am still reading (or listening!) to this book, but I wanted to point out my conviction that it is dense with meaning and import, very much like Through a Dark Wood. I try to listen to it in small doses, interrupt my listening, and then reflect on what I have just heard, and then go on. It is not a book to whiz through or take lightly. It is a book that stimulates reflexion and self-examination.
Unfortunately it seems as if I am just at the beginning of this process, and there is so much that I don't know about myself; What Matters Most offers me some hope that I can make some progress in what I am beginning to regard as the most important work I may ever do in my life.
I am attracted to dream-work as a way of getting in touch with what is going on in "the basement" of myself, and Hollis's discussion of some of his patients' dreams shows what can be learned about oneself from dreams. It is a new endeavor for me, but I was reassured about the problem of the elusiveness of the dream's message by another audiobook: Clarissa Pinkola Estes's Beginner's Guide to Dream Interpretation, who says that a dream with an important message will recur until it has been received by the dreamer.
When I was much younger I bought Ann Faraday's Dream Power and The Dream Game (wish Audible had these available as audiobooks!) and spent some time writing down and interpreting my dreams by association, but I found that it was, although very revealing and important, anxiety-producing to a certain extent, and so I stopped it.
I am delighted now to have discovered audiobooks and to have the time to resume my progress on this important path of self-exploration, for which James Hollis has become an important counsellor.
Yes, I would recommend this audiobook, but I will say that it's not for everyone. Those who are unable, uninterested, or unwilling for whatever reason, to have an honest look inside their own soul may not get much from this. Those of us who are oriented differently - will most definitely find this to be a fascinating read and one that causes much reflection.
Just a more mindful approach to my everyday life and the commitment to ask myself daily - does this enlarge me or diminish me.
Excellent exploration of the human psyche - both our personality and our soul. The concepts, ideas and stories provide great insight into life's struggles - and have, for me, been helpful in addressing some of the bigger questions in life.
Why just short of five stars? A work like this will always include some mystical notes. Mostly I am OK with that - but just occasionally I felt that the writing went a little too far in that direction, and it became a bit disorienting. At those moments it felt as though I had lost a sense of what the point was, almost like having a mild case of vertigo.
This is not a book for the conventionally-minded, and I recommend that if you are at all a fundamentalist (or are dependent on the certainties that much of what religion preaches), you should just skip it. He has a definite opinion of religious fundamentalism, and it's not a kind one.
Also, if you are wedded to the material values of mainstream culture, this book may not be for you - no kind words there, either.
But if you are willing to start with doubt about the easy answers that our culture provides, or you find that you've begun to doubt them, then this book may help you on your journey.
If one has some background in Jung, Freud, psychoanalysis generally - there's helpful material here. I found the numerous quotations from other thinkers particularly interesting, and might purchase an e-edition to refer back to them more easily. But Dr. Hollis's style is so bloated and wordy it's hard to absorb the substance. Had the publisher reined in Dr. Hollis's enthusiasm for alliteration and adjectives, not to mention multi-multisyllabic words it would be a better book. Listening to alliterated phrase after alliterated phrase almost had me screaming in agony. A good dose of copyediting would have reduced the length of this book without reducing its substance. Then again, I might not have got as much weeding done as I did while listening.
Rambles on but goes nowhere. After listening to a couple of hours "What Matters Most" is finding a better audio book to listen to. Sorry I wasted a credit on this one.
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