Praise for Hope

Childhood forms the foundation of one’s life. A good, solid upbringing of discipline, education, and direction with a heavy dose of love, guides development into a healthy mature adult filled with confidence, integrity, wisdom, and compassion. It takes decades of hard work for individuals to replace any of these elements should they be lacking from the beginning. Such is the story of Marshall Jung. --Mary Doyle, Doyle's Delights


One might peruse this book as an interesting, sometimes provocative, life story of a seventy year old Chinese American and find it a satisfying read. Or, one could find in its pages a tale of humanity. The latter choice allows the reader to enter the core of the person, both the person of Marshall Jung and that of oneself. His story then evokes our own.

Jung’s lengthy introduction sets the scene, definitively stating his purpose and desire for his work: a help to “increase [our] understanding of hope and enhance and enrich [our] relationship with God, loved ones, and others [we] encounter throughout life.”

Interestingly, the poem of welcome he offers, as part of a family tradition, upon the birth of his daughter belies the feelings of rejection, alienation, denial, and hopelessness that plagued him throughout most of his life. For many years, Jung did not feel welcome in his birth family. However, in the paradox of life, his struggle with that reality was also his saving grace. It provided him with the first hand experiences which ultimately underscored and deepened his sense of compassion, both as a human being and specifically as a therapist.

Jung grew into an understanding that one can, even must, transform the burnt ashes of life into elements of goodness. Life’s lessons can, he notes, “instill wisdom strengthen character, prepare us for the future, and lead us into discovering fulfilling, enriching lives.”

The power of this book lies in its authenticity, the honesty found in the relating of personal stories. The stories bear witness to the damage we can do to each other when we rigidly adhere to our often misguided opinions. A deep soul sadness emerges from his description of the deepening feelings of shame and stupidity which led him from acting the class clown to being a pillar of silence caught in the double bind of desiring recognition and receiving ridicule. It’s a situation to which we can all relate.

Jung interjects a variety of case studies and quotes, offering a change of pace to his clinical presentation. Additionally, he offers simple but serious suggestions for the readers’ journey into wholeness. “Admit mistakes. Engage collaboratively. Focus on the other. Learn from experts. Realize what we admire in others is hidden in ourselves—waiting to be discovered and expressed.” 

His experienced belief in hope shrouded in mystery and faith in an unpredictably wondrous future filled with the surprising presence of Divinity offers readers a “rest in solitude.” Offering five principles which allow effectiveness as a spiritual practitioner, Jung underscores the holiness of truly human behavior. Compassionate presence; listening and responding  with comfortable silence; speaking prudently by validating interior goodness; acknowledging the value of spiritual rituals and symbols; and being a conduit for healing are essential to the realization of hope as a journey of discovery.

Reviewed by:
Fran Salone-Pelletier has a Master's degree in Theology and is the author of Awakening to God: The Sunday Readings in Our Lives [a trilogy of Scriptural meditations], Lead Chaplain at Brunswick Novant Medical Center, Religious educator, retreat leader, lecturer and grandmother of four.