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The midlife crisis, or the passage

The midlife crisis, or the passage

If you're lucky, mid-life takes place around your 40th or 50th birthday, give or take a few years. Many people report going through a deep, reflective period around this time, questioning who they are, where they're going, and if they've been consistently true to themselves.

James Hollis reflects on this time period in his book "The Middle Passage" asking the existential question: how do we start living authentically and acknowledge our true selves?

In his book, Hollis analyzes the changes that take place when we enter midlife; often coined the "midlife crisis" in the western world, Hollis argues we should be turning our attention to what we could be going forward. He argues we should reflect and think about how we want the remainder of our lives to unfold.

The big question in the book is: who am I apart from my history and the roles that I play – the roles that I learned after birth which I functioned in the adulthood of my life. The middle passage is the opening move from the false self to the true self.

I'll leave you with a quote that The Marginalian published recently, contained in The Middle Passage:

"Perhaps the first step in making the Middle Passage meaningful is to acknowledge the partiality of the lens we were given by family and culture, and through which we have made our choices and suffered their consequences. If we had been born of another time and place, to different parents who held different values, we would have had an entirely different lens. The lens we received generated a conditional life, which represents not who we are but how we were conditioned to see life and make choices… We succumb to the belief that the way we have grown to see the world is the only way to see it, the right way to see it, and we seldom suspect the conditioned nature of our perception."