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Senex and Puer (James Hillman Uniform Edition, Vol. 3) Hardcover – November 30, 2005


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Product Details

  • Series: James Hillman Uniform Edition (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Spring Publications; 1st edition (November 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0882145819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0882145815
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,075,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

JAMES HILLMAN's pioneering imaginative psychology will soon span five decades. It has entered cultural history, affecting lives and minds in a wide range of fields. For the creativity of his thinking, the originator of Archetypal Psychology and author of A TERRIBLE LOVE OF WAR, THE SOUL'S CODE, and THE FORCE OF CHARACTER has received many honors, including the Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic. He has held distinguished lectureships at the Universities of Yale, Princeton, Chicago, and Syracuse, and his books have been translated into some twenty languages.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Robert William DeMarco on September 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
James Hillman is a brilliant author of profound originality. His development of the psychology of Carl Jung is faithful to the deepest, most important insights of Jung's own work and yet transforms it in a way that embodies Hillman's own creative genius and is perfectly reflected in the style of his thinking and writing. It is good to have these important essays and articles on the archetypes of the puer aeternus and the senex together in one place. This volume is essential reading for anyone seriously interested in the depth psychology of masculine development & its diverse pathways. These contributions seem to me remarkable--full of dazzling new insights into these themes and patterns of experience that has radically altered our understanding of them--in a rich, evocative, yet fragmentary, and unfinished way that is entirely in harmony with his subject matter. If I am right in seeing the puer archetype as crucial for an understanding of Jesus of Nazareth, the groundbreaking reflections of Hillman on this theme have implications for our understanding of the Christian religion, its history, and its impact on the whole of Western culture.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jane Chan on May 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Hillman's turf was soul. His signature brilliance was to congeal Jungian archetypes into intellectual precision. Robert Musil "Precision and Soul": "We do not have too much intellect and too little soul, but too little precision in matters of the soul."

Hillman's essay, "Senex and Puer: An Aspect of the Historical and Psychological Present" written at the peak of his powers, seems to me the most profound and intellectually rigorous essay ever. Hillman's Puer impulse was iconoclastic. But the rigor of his Senex generated genius. On my third reading of the essay (a smudgy photocopy given to me in 1978), doors of insight into vast inner realities swung opened into segments of clear seeing. Great Father, the driving force of my lifelong compulsive all-consuming dark existential mandate, emerged into awareness. WOW moments. Buddhists know it as Prajna. Hillman's companion essay on Great Mother and Her Son the Hero is almost as profound.
"The taming power of the Small..... It furthers one to see the Great Man".
For the exacting precision of your powers of discrimination:
Thank you, James Hillman.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ian Mccormack on April 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
senex and puer is an amazing book if you like hillman. it talks about the eternal child in a way that was very important to me at this time in my life.

in response to mr. ipp's comments about how hillman is satan (or maybe he used the word guru) and the jungians are a "cult", i would like to say that maybe you should look behind the big intellectual words you used and see how much hatred is within. i don't think your rationality or mind structures saved you from feeling that hatred; it only increased it. i agree that archetypal psychology isn't for everyone but either is the wonderful rational science you speak of that will save all of us from "disorders". the world is chaos, my friend, good and evil, light and dark are one - some of us actually want to face our "darkness" because it produces more love and acceptance of this mysterious universe. maybe for yourself you should stick to reading cognitive-behavioral psychology books and you'll feel more comfortable. but please don't judge a book by it's cover. the book of jungian psychology may have the cover of evil, but for some of us who can look deeply enough we see that the contents actually produce more love and goodness. the book of modern rational western psychology may have the cover of good with positive messages, new drugs to cure merely physical disorders, and hope - but look deeply within its contents and you can find a more insidious evil of numbed souls and repressed fear. and when you're a devil's advocate like myself and realize that both of the books can be looked at vice versa, that's when you realize that good/evil is not in the objects but in yourself. when you look at it in yourself, you gain power over it and naturally want to spread more good and love because it gives back more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MWin on June 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hillman's book "Senex & Puer" introduces a new archetype, namely the senex-puer. As usual, he has no facts to build on, neither dreams nor clinical examples, or the ideas of other authors. It is a theoretical edifice erected upon the clouds, in typical puer style. Hillman rejects scientific notions such as "facts". Nor does he regard it necessary to build on the bedrock of older theories.

He says that the senex is the "root of ego-formation", creating the archetypal ground of the ego, which is the "senex-et-puer". Whereas positive attitudes and behavior reflect its unity, negative attitudes arise from the splitting of this archetype into two archetypes, namely senex and puer.

Thus, maintaining the unity of the archetype is equal to maintaining the wholeness of the ego, because senex-puer is constitutive of the ego. Unity is preserved by short-cutting the ego by means of an endless monologue, or rather, dialogue between the constituent parts of the archetype:

"In answering one's own question one is puer-et-senex. In questioning one's own answer one is senex-et-puer. The two faces turned towards each other in dialogue. This unending dialogue with oneself and between oneself and the world is that which holds one in meaning.
[...]
Any solution originating from the usual mind would be one-sided; it would be a solution imposed by either the senex or puer components of the ego. Thus the ego must first undergo an archetypal therapy of its split root" (Kindle loc. 1001-1028).

After having thus replaced traditional psychological theory with an edifice predicated on his own neurotic constitution, he goes on to repudiate "the psychologist's maxim of integrating the shadow.
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