The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Mid-Life (1993)

The Middle Passage occurs when the person is obliged to view his or her life as something more than a linear succession of years. The longer one remains unconscious, which is quite easy to do in our culture, the more likely one is to see life only as a succession of moments leading toward some vague end, the purpose of which will become clear in due time. When one is stunned into consciousness, a vertical dimension, kairos, intersects the horizontal plane of life; one’s life span is rendered in a depth perspective: “Who am I, then, and whither bound?”

The Middle Passage begins when the person is obliged to ask anew the question of meaning which once circumambulated the child’s imagination but was effaced over the years. The Middle Passage begins when one is required to face issues which heretofore had been patched over. The question of identity returns and one can no longer evade responsibility for it. Again, the Middle Passage starts when we ask, “Who am I, apart from my history and the roles I have played?”

The Middle Passage | Swamplands of the Soul | Tracking the Gods | Under Saturn's Shadow | The Eden Project | The Archetypal Imagination | Creating a Life | On This Journey We Call Our Life | Mythologems | Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life | Why Good People Do Bad Things | What Matters Most | Hauntings