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***See below for blog entry on this episode as well as a complete topic breakdown.***

Being a man in accordance with the roles and expectations of western society is painful.

I’d be an ignorant fool not to acknowledge that there is a complex system of implicit biases and institutionalised values in the Western world that put men (particularly white men) higher up on the priority latter of social value –a patriarchy. But being higher up on the latter of a profoundly sick society doesn’t make for happiness or nourishment.

There is a (very important) social movement happening at this time that is calling out the current power structures in play for the damage they inflict on the lives of people. But we do the entire movement a disservice when the deep wounding of men is left unseen.

My consideration is this:

There is a lot of people chanting ‘smash the patriarchy’ but how many of them are doing so in a way that acknowledges that the men who comprise it are as much the victims of it as they are the perpetrators? (sometimes more or less on either side).

If we want to build a better world, one that is free of the power complexes that subjugate others, it behoves us to address the root of those power complexes. In particular regards to the patriarchy, if we fail to see both the function and the origins of the patriarchy system in the psyche of man, we worsen it at best and, at worst, become power-obsessed oppressors ourselves.

The deep wounding of men by way of a toxic society is at the root of this interview with James Hollis PhD., whose ideas gave me stability in myself as I came to grapple with the pain, shame, and “quiet desperation” I have been carrying in my own life as a man.

James Hollis, Ph.D, is a highly regarded, accomplished, and recognised Jungian psychoanalyst

He has written a total of fifteen books, including his most recent book, Living an Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journey (which I loved) and Under Saturns Shadow: The Wounding and Healing of Men (which I also loved). He has also written over fifty articles and his books have been translated into Swedish, Russian, German, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Portuguese, Turkish, Italian, Korean, Finnish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Farsi, Japanese, Greek, Chinese, and Czech.

It is truly an honour to feature Dr Hollis on Adventures Through The Mind

I want to be clear about something:

This episode is not just for men, nor just for anyone and everyone who interacts with men. It is for everyone. Hollis offers us some incredibly important perspective for each of us on what it means to grow up, to discover who we really are, and to live a life in alignment with our soul’s purpose.



Episode Breakdown

  • The impact of society’s social conditioning of man – isolation, anger, anxiety, etc.
  • Oppressive behaviour does not remove oppression
  • How Dr Hollis came to write ‘Under Saturn’s Shadow’
  • The secrets men are expected to carry that lock them away from vulnerability, and profound impact of fear on a man’s life
  • How deep insecurity and fear dictate the creation of domination behaviour and the power complex
  • A foundation in Jungian psychoanalysis, the Archetypes, and how emotional repression impact the sense of self, perception of reality, and behaviour
  • A description of the patriarchy and its damaging role and impact on men
  • The Mother, the mother complex, and the role of the father
  • What does it mean to become a man, and who is teaching it to us?
  • Rites of passage and initiation – how boys become men, and why many adult males are still boys
  • A lacking sense of meaning in the lived life prescribed by the modern culture
  • Making Meaning and finding out who you really are
  • Empowerment vs power complex
  • What are your ultimate tasks in life?
  • How the social role conditioning of men prevents connection to the soul
  • So…. what about Jordan Peterson?
  • The potentials of psychedelic therapy in the context of Jungian psychoanalysis
  • An actionable, pragmatic piece of advice for relating to men (no matter who you are)

relevant Links

This is the homepage of Dr Hollis. Here you will find all of his books and some videos, as well as a schedule of his upcoming lectures.

Living An Examined Life (BOOK)

“It is my hope that this book will be a tool to recover your respect for that which abides deeply within,” writes Dr. Hollis. “You will not be spared disappointment or suffering. But you can know the depth and dignity of an authentic journey, of being a real player in your time on this turning planet, and your life will become more interesting, taking you deeper than ever before.”

Under Saturn’s Shadow (book)

Saturn was the infamous Roman god who ate his children in an attempt to stop them from usurping his power. Men throughout history have been psychologically and spiritually burdened by the Saturnian legacy, suffering from the corruption of empowerment, driven by their fear of women and other men, and wounding themselves and others. These and many other issues are addressed, suggesting concrete ways in which men may reclaim their sense of personal integrity.


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  1. Bob Dobalina Reply

    damn jimmy… two straight heavy topics in a row. it’s hard to be cooking chimichangas and having you going in so deep (title of your sex tape)…

  2. Good discussion about a subject that many people either ignore or shout down. So many men are floundering today because they no longer know what it means to be a man. Too many of the messages that our society gives contain the implicit view that boys and men are flawed, mostly violent, stupid, bad.

    • It’s true and we, as a species, will suffer the consequences of the modern ignorance and prejudice masquerading of social justice and liberalism if we are not careful to continue nuanced discussion and seek understanding over judgement.

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