Through the Dark Wood

Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life

Through the Dark Wood

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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.


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Customer Reviews

A truly rich book Review by alexandra

I find this a mandatory book for anyone in the second-half of her/his life.

(Posted on 3/8/2017)

Immediately helpful, rich in wisdom! Review by Regina

Although just beginning my listening experience I have been so deeply moved by the extraordinarily wise and helpful content. Sending along much gratitude to author James Hollis and also to Sounds True for making this cd set quickly available - exactly when I needed it!

(Posted on 11/29/2015)

Excellent Review by Franck

This is really an extraordinary program; timeless in its analysis, so you should find it relevant every time you listen to it. Even Dr. Hollis' voice is healing!

(Posted on 6/4/2015)

Deepest and best book yet Review by Den

I bought this audio book a few years ago and continue to listen to it regularly. It is by far the deepest and best book I have read on the subject of life, meaning, the search for self. Hollis's voice is sincere and you can see he speaks from experience. Magical!

(Posted on 3/15/2015)

Review for Through the Dark Wood Review by Tomi B

One of the most profound pieces I have listened to. I found the information compelling, mesmerizing and life changing. If you want to listen to something that will impact every aspect of your life and shift your thinking, this is it!

(Posted on 9/5/2014)

Review for Through the Dark Wood Review by Catherine B

Very interesting. I am learning a lot. I highly recommend this audio program.

(Posted on 9/4/2014)

Review for Through the Dark Wood Review by Neo Pachisia

Superb, excellent material and very annoying delivery. I don't know if there is any sound editor listening to people record and tell them to slow down a bit....james zips through his stuff like on fire and I'm having to go back after 15 mins to re-listen to what he's said. If you are distracted for a few seconds you've missed whole paragraphs! And this kind of stuff is not light 'reading'--this is heavy material which needs a few seconds to register. I'd have given five stars if the whole thing were recorded better..

(Posted on 9/4/2014)

Review for Through the Dark Wood Review by Karl B

In this six-CD set, Dr. Hollis imparts much pithy wisdom. His mellow voice and down-to-earth, humor-enriched style is easy to follow and never boring. The topics he discusses and the questions he poses are great fodder for thought and discussion, long after listening. I highly recommend this set!

(Posted on 5/20/2014)

Review for Through the Dark Wood Review by Jill F

Really enjoy his interpretation of Jungian concepts. His voice is calming and engaging. The content is stimulating and Hollis comes across as wise yet humble. Would recommend to a friend.

(Posted on 3/12/2014)

Review for Through the Dark Wood Review by Patricia B

I enjoyed this program very much. The presenter, Ian Hollis, spoke from his considerable professional expertise but also from his experience as a human being who has experienced both the joys and tragedies of life and has managed to weave them into a profound philosophy with which to meet the second half of life.

(Posted on 2/1/2014)

Review for Through the Dark Wood Review by Clare N T

In-depth overview; sounds like oxymoron but isn't.
Hollis uses Jungian archetypal material, myth and symbol to create understandable explanation of the major life shift from outer reality to inner reality.
High on my list of support material in search of living a more fully conscious life.

(Posted on 12/17/2013)

Review for Through the Dark Wood Review by Marjolein D

Very good

(Posted on 7/4/2013)

Review for Through the Dark Wood Review by Irene S

I love James Hollis. His style of teaching, writing is great. The wisdom shared helps me to understand
my life so much better.

(Posted on 7/4/2013)

Review for Through the Dark Wood Review by Sherryl W

I really like it. Good material. Walks you through some deep self-analysis.

(Posted on 6/19/2013)

Review for Through the Dark Wood Review by Trevor Simpson

If I were to have one book on a desert island, this would be the one. Articulate and insightful it is an invaluable support for anyone interested in self awareness and finding meaning in their experience. It is the perfect companion for the journey of the Soul.

(Posted on 2/5/2013)

Review for Through the Dark Wood Review by Sheila A

Wonderful -- so thought provoking -- helpful to make sense of life. :-)

(Posted on 12/29/2012)

Review for Through the Dark Wood Review by Roland Wilhelmy

A wonderfully rich set of CDs. A lifetime's worth of wisdom. It will take me at least a year absorb it.

(Posted on 3/8/2012)

Review for Through the Dark Wood Review by marlene melcher

OUTSTANDING!! Exactlly what I needed to put the last few missing pieces together in MY puzzle of life! I'm 64 and it really spoke to me... Where were you when I was looking for answers 20 years ago?? Thank you Thank you!!! You are brilliant! I give you not 5 but 10 stars!!

(Posted on 2/10/2012)

Review for Through the Dark Wood Review by Jim Brillon

James Hollis provides a deeper understanding of the core issues of individuation, and the existential and spiritual questions that come to the surface in the 2nd half of life. I love this audio book - and the book it's based on! I read it several year ago and it had a huge impact on my understanding of my path.

(Posted on 5/25/2011)

Review for Through the Dark Wood Review by Susan B

This program has had a deep impact on me and it would not be exaggerating to say it is the finest product on personal growth that I have comes across. Dr Hollis is a wise and compassionate man with a gentle and intimate manner of speaking. His extensive knowledge of philosophy and psychology, gained through a long academic career and then over 30 years of practice as a psychotherapist, suffuses the entire program but is never condescending. On the contrary, it sounds as if Dr Hollis is talking to the listener personally, with compassion, understanding and humor. This program is an investment that can be listened to many times in future, and will continue to offer further insights for those who are willing to do the work of living a more meaningful life. If there were any more programs from Dr Hollis available on Sounds True I would purchase them without hesitation.

(Posted on 2/26/2011)

Review for Through the Dark Wood Review by Lamees Mansur

This is one of my favorite audio CDs. The work and the teachings by this marvellous man are priceless - down to earth yet transforming. I also listened to it over and over and still do for as I listen, I am working on transforming myself and the material sinks in deeper and deeper. Highly recommended by me. This program is a gift.

(Posted on 2/1/2011)

Review for Through the Dark Wood Review by Janet Steinwedel

This is a phenomenal work filled with so many gold nuggets you will be compelled to listen again and again. Dr Hollis is an extremely knowledgeable and gifted speaker, and he comes across very effectively on the CD's. Don't miss out!

(Posted on 5/10/2010)

Review for Through the Dark Wood Review by David Brown

Outstanding audiobook - I've listened to this many times through the dark nights but I still keep hearing new and original insights.

I keep looking on the website for more by James but no luck yet - work on him Tari!

(Posted on 3/31/2010)



Contents 6 CDs (7 hours, 25 minutes)
Date Published February 01, 2008
ISBN-10 1-59179-679-2
ISBN-13 978-1-59179-679-4
Dimensions 6 7/8 x 6 5/8 inches
Product Code AF01310D

Audio Download

Contents 1 Audio download (7 hours, 25 minutes)
Filetypes M4B, MP3, PDF, ZIP
Date Published February 01, 2008
ISBN-10 1-60407-348-9
ISBN-13 978-1-60407-348-5
Product Code AF01310W