Swamplands of the Soul

James Hollis, a Jungian psychotherapist from the Philadelphia area, wrote Swamplands of the Soul in 1996. I have just finished the book and enjoyed nearly every word.

Hollis raises deep questions for all of us. Is the purpose of life to achieve happiness? Who does not long to arrive some distant day at that sunlit meadow where we may abide in pure contentment? But we know life is not like that. Much of the time we are lost in the dismal states of guilt, grief, betrayal, depression and the like.

Swamplands of the Soul explores the quicksands where we have all floundered. It lights a beacon of hope by showing what they mean in terms of our individual journey and the engendering of soul. Encompassing both the meadow and the bog, this author’s perspective asserts that the goal of life is not happiness but meaning. And meaning, though it may not be all sunlight and blossoms, is real.

I especially enjoyed Hollis’ use of poetry throughout the book, drawing upon the works of Rilke, Shelley, Yeats, Eliot, Auden and Robert Frost.

Interested in reading the book? Click here.