Key Points from Book: Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life

From suffering alone comes wisdom

The self or soul is in service to the soul, which is to say, th directivr, purposeful energies that govern our lives are themselves in service ro meaning, though a transcendent meaning that often has little to do with our narrow frame of concious understanding

When we live without meaning, we suffer the greatest illness of all

Whether in a relationship or not, each of us has a profound need to feel the resonant support of the soul, ro feel that we are participats in a divinely generated story.

Meaninglessness inhibits fullness of life and is therefore equivalent to illness-Jung

Individuation, the lifelong project of becoming more nesrly the whole person we were meant to be

Yet it is clear that we cannot choose not to choose, for not choosing is a choice from which consequences flow, and the inner split between soul and world widens

The gods want us to grow up, to step up to that high calling thst each soul carries as its destiny

Your journey is your journey, not someone else’s. It is never too late to begin it anew

Our greatest sin may be choosing to remain unconscious, in spite all the evidence that mounts through the years that other elements within us are actively making choices on our behalf, often with disastrous consequences

The dream is a clue brought to us by the self, solicits the attention of consciousness and asks a question

In the end we will only be transformed when we can recognize and accept the fact that there is a will within each of us, quite outside the range of conscious control, a will which knows what is right for us, which is repeatedly reporting to us via our bodies, emotions, and dreamss, and is incessantly encouraging our healing and wholeness. We are all called to keep this appointment with the inner life, and many of us never do

The younger we ade, and the less formed our sense of conscious self, the more intimidating and destabilizing sich probing questions seem to be

To engage with the summons of our souls is to step into deepest ocean, uncertain whether we will be able to swim to some new, distant shore

We frequently have enormous expectations that carreers will provide satisfaction in our life, but in the second hal of life we often find ourselves working for them

Life must be remembered backward but lived forward- Soren Kierkegaard

No matter how nervous we may be, we have to step toward center stage in that play we call life, the only one we get

This more conscious journey, which demands a life of spiritual and psychological integrity, is the only journey worth taking

Fear is a challenge and a task, because only boldness can deliver from fear. And if the risk is not taken, the meaning of life is somehow violated

Our tendency toward wrong choice, is fueled by what we wish to believe, and the assumption that we know all we need ro know about ourselves and the situation ro make wise choices

Everything we do as adults is logical if we understand the unconscious psychological premise from which it emanates

Our response to insufficiency of our early environmental srtting is to overcompensate and seek power, wealth, the right partner, fame, or some form ofmsovereignity over others

The damage wreaked by the narcissistic oarent is awesome, and typically ripples into the grandchildren, who are the carriers of the unhappy tnpensions in their oaren’t lives

The chief motive of any addiction is, of course, to help one not feel what in fact one has already been feeling

Whenever we are frightened, stressed, or whenever conscious control is lessened, these old patterns are especially prone to reactivation

What was once experienced in powerful ways is internalized, provisionally interpreted, and institutionalized within, and the dynamics of that fated early environment are recreated over and over

The place origin for pattern in behavior are in the traumatic past, from the disempowered world of the child, confined within limited range of choices and values of that world

Psyche is never silent, and suffering is the first clue that something is soliciting our attention and seeking healing

It is far easier to walk in shoes too small for us than to step into the largeness that the soul expects and demands

What we initially see in the mirror is what we wish to see, the persona, not the instinctually grounded self

Many people in therapy have learned that the way out of depression is through, asking not what I, the ego consciousness, want, but what the soul wants

Relationships have a tendency to disappoint because so much, too much, is asked of them

What is not faced inwardly will play out in external world. Whatever burdens within still, sooner or later, burden without

The second hal of life asks of us, and ultimately demands, relinquishment. Relinquishment of identification with property, roles, status, provisional identities, and the embrace if other, inwardly confirmed values

We many not want to grow, but we really forced togrow, or we will regress and die, because the soul, eternal dimension of our quite mortal lives, demands growth

We are hurt every day by what we do not know, and we in turn hurt others

It is far easier to be disappointed in the other than to call ourselves to account

As historically charged creatures, we have a tendency to transfer those historical patterns, and their predictable outcomes, into every new relationship

Once two people have met, each of them is already affected, already changed, though neither may be conscious if such a transformation of the space between them

While romance can arouse a psychic high, for it intimates the possibility if soul, it cannot sustain the connection, and inevitably leads to disappointment

The cure for loneliness is solitude

Accepting the journey as our home will free the relationship to serve the agnpenda of life, the agenda of growth, and the agenda of soul

What usually has the strongest psychic effect on the child is the life which the parents… Have not lived- Carl Jung

Those who experienced loving, supportive relationships in their family do not need to long for what they experienced, for now they carry with them an internalized stable and empowering ground to their being

I though I was to leave home, not home leave me – a kid whose parents divorced

The difficult task is to balance one’s own need for personal growth and personal freedom with the needs of others

The ultimate test of the family is not whether it provides safety and predictability, but whether or to what degree each person can leave it, freely, and return, freely, as a larger person

In the end, we are alone responsible dor our choices and for the acquisition of nurturing and empowering experiences in our life

If our work does not support our soul, then the soul will exact its butcher’s bill elsewhere

If the ambitions of youth, many of which we are able to achieve, truly served the soul, then we would see a lot more happy people

Hell is not other people, it is ourselves, constrained by the world we have constructed for ourselves, or allowed others to construct for us

We need to be strong enough to examine our lives and make risky changes

We are here to love God and enjoy life

Without more conscious suffering, we can never find depth or meaning, never really grow, and never really change our lives

The soul desires ever greater life, and what it desires may have little to do with any of our ego’s scheme

A person who dreams of possessing a new object, or position in life, in order to provide some lsrge measure of happiness, inevitably ends in disatisfaction

Religion is for those afraid to go to Hell, and spirituality is for those who have been there

To be mindful of our fragile fate each day, in a non morbid acknowledgement, jelps us remember what is important in our life and what is not, what is matters, really, and what is not

Without journey, risk, conflict, we are already spiritually dead amd are simply waiting for the body to drop away as well

Grief is honest acknowledgement of loss, which is based on honest acknowledgement of value

We cannot have the rich ess without the possibility of loss, and without loss we cannot fully treasure the gifts we have been given

People who merely believe and don’t think,forget thst they continually expose themselves to their own worst enemy: doubt

Pur fears are typically derived from our powerless past, but from a conscious, much more empowered present, fears may be confronted

Be kind. Everyone you meemt is carrying a big problem- Philo of Alexandria

The ongoing curriculum of life does not demand that we avoid suffering, it asks instead that we lives more meaningfully in the face of it

Feeling good is a poor measure of life, but living meaningfully is a good one, for them we are living a developmental rather than regressive agenda

We can soend decades climbing the ladder, only ti realize too late that we placed it against the wrong wall- Joseph Campbell

If we cannot speak the truth, our truth, to ourselves, we will be unable to speak it to the world either


About Journeyman

A global macro analyst with over four years experience in the financial market, the author began his career as an equity analyst before transitioning to macro research focusing on Emerging Markets at a well-known independent research firm. He read voraciously, spending most of his free time following The Economist magazine and reading topics on finance and self-improvement. When off duty, he works part-time for Getty Images, taking pictures from all over the globe. To date, he has over 1200 pictures over 35 countries being sold through the company.
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