Only two species of mammal have an extensive, post-reproductive life: killer whales – whose elders can sniff out food for their pods – and Homo sapiens. While the rationale behind the whale’s longevity seems clear, what is the point of ours? This question intrigued Carl Jung who observed that if a culture is to thrive, it must find a balance between the energy of the young and the experience of the old. But to obtain this equilibrium, we need to pass through the dreaded middle years.
Examining the Jungian concept of the midlife crisis, and the lives of prominent figures who endured it (including Abraham Lincoln and Marie Curie), psychoanalyst Andrew Jamieson shows how there is an evolutionary purpose behind this rite of passage which – once traversed – holds the key to our prosperity.
Andrew Jamieson trained at the Bath Centre for Psychotherapy and Counselling and received an MA in Humanities and Integrative Psychotherapy at Middlesex University. He lectures and writes articles on a series of subjects, including psychotherapy’s interconnection with philosophy, music and literature. Parallel to his psychotherapeutic career, he has promoted orchestral concerts throughout the UK for over forty years. ‘As this wise, beautifully written book explains with patience and humanity, the thing we fear most may be the thing that ultimately liberates us.’ Stephen Johnson, author of How Shostakovich Changed my Mind
‘This valuable book has opened my mind and understanding to new trains of thought, fresh healing ideas and a radical new view of childbirth. Andrew Jamieson writes in a clear manner and presents complex thoughts in an accessible fashion. This book will help and comfort many and will pay repeated reading.’ John May, The Generalist