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Hauke, C. (1994). Hollis, James The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Midlife. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1993. Pp. 127. Pbk. $15.. J. Anal. Psychol., 39(1):137-138.
   

(1994). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 39(1):137-138

Hollis, James The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Midlife. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1993. Pp. 127. Pbk. $15.

Review by:
Christopher Hauke

Edited by:
Christopher Perry and Ronald Jalbert

Like Jung's life-span arc (Coll. Wks 5), this book follows a developmental structure. In his first chapter Hollis establishes the ‘Provisional Personality’ - in his view an unavoidable ‘false self created as a result of childhood wounding and the need for social adaptation. His second section deals with the ‘Advent of the Middle Passage’, where Hollis discusses changes in identity, withdrawal of projections, and changes in the sense of body and time and hope. For Hollis ‘tectonic pressures’ arise as a neglected self threatens a defensive ego-consciousness, and ‘we ask “Who am I, apart from my history and the roles I have played?”’ (p. 19).

‘The Turn Within’ tackles the ensuing points of tension: ‘The Persona-Shadow Dialogue’, ‘Shadow Invasions’, and ‘Emergence of the Inferior Function’. This is quite simply put - for instance: ‘The persona is a more or less conscious adaptation of the ego to the conditions of social life’ (p. 42) and ‘the shadow represents the wounding of one's nature in the interests of collective social values' (p. 43). Hollis sticks to his twin poles of wounded child and social adaptation.

What has so far seemed a rather basic text, now (interestingly at its own midpoint) starts to take off into a fuller, more effective (and affective) style. In ‘From Child to Parent to Child’ (p. 61), Hollis discusses the many-layered subject of the change in the relationship to one's parents.

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