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Re-Visioning Psychology Paperback – June 19, 1997
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Many may be repelled by Hillman's seeming anachronistic and animistic return to gods, daimons, and personifications; as if taking the field of psychology on a regress. Hillman may even seem to some as living in a fantasy world concocted out of what he's read between Plato and the Renaissance period. But this is not mere atavism on his part, to revive a nostalgic time and worldview. As Hillman states in his latest book "The Soul's Code" we need only fall madly in love to admit of a daimonic possession. Gods--archetypes--animate us. Some gods may be dead but many others certainly are up to the task of roiling us.
Hillman is a master writer. He is effusive as any scribe of the soul should be. He is poetic and mythic; he provokes the reader and evokes a litany of images and connections. Helmsmen Intuition and Imagination are continually steering Hillman's hand. If there are contradictions in this work then they are most welcome, and even sought. How else can it be? Simple sciences breed simplistic answers. Something as complex as the soul and as great as the imagination cannot but procreate that which to Logic appears as contradictions. And so his style and objective as he admits is to confuse and confound rather than reduce and ground (in the empirical and, therefore, to a halt). There can be no pat and final answers or theologies of the soul and the gods, and Hillman makes certain of that.
Hillman is a Jungian, but a refreshingly nihilistic one who does away with the theory of Individuation, mandalas, the ego - Self axis and other such baggage. What interests Hillman is strictly the archetypes because for him, the archetypes essentially are the gods -- the Greek gods -- hiding in the modern world. Hillman's interest in mythology, it should also be said, is exclusive to Greek and Roman myth: you will not hear him making references to Hindu or Chinese deities. Ever. For Hillman, mythology means Greek myth and that is both one of his failings and his strengths.
The key idea of "Re-Visioning Psychology" is Hillman's notion of what he calls "psychologizing," in which he says, quite simply, that "there are gods in our ideas." Hillman has a knack for cracking open concepts -- scientific or otherwise -- and coaxing the runny yellow gold of the gods to come forth. Ideas in the mind, he says, often conceal mythological archetypes as their indwelling inspiration. Darwin's theory of evolution, for instance, involves the archetype of the Great Mother and her dying and reviving consort; Locke's theory of the mind as a tabula rasa, or empty slate which requires experience to fill it up, is really a disguised version of the myth of Sleeping Beauty, waiting for her prince to wake her up; Freud's theory of the ego and the Id is really a version of the hero myth, in which the solar warrior hero descends into the underworld in order to conquer it. Where Id was, there shall ego be.Read more ›
Hillman is a genuinely wise man (I do hope he never reads this, or if he does, that he forgives me for saying so! :-). Yes, he is certainly a poet, a mythologist, a psychotherapist, a thinker, an iconoclast, a scholar etc, etc... But above all, he is a wise man -- a shaman, a guide. In this book he turns his gift for "seeing through" to the subject of psychotherapy itself. I can only describe the result as an astonishing, erudite, profoundly beautiful and ultimately liberating dance, in which Hillman, on our behalf, engages (and disengages!) himself with the psychological stuff of psychotherapy. This is healing of the highest order, and I never expected to encounter it in such an accessible form.
Having read this book, I can no longer think of Psyche in terms other than those of polytheistic "seeing through". And I can no longer read any books on psychotherapy, except through Hillman's playful, re-visioning eyes -- no, not even Jung, nor Hillman himself. The circle is complete. The thesis and anti-thesis have combined into synthesis, and in the four-step magical dialectics, got transmuted into a new totality. Where do we go from here? I have no idea, but it will be somewhere else.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Psychology should be part of medicine and science and should be scientific and empirical, in other words, the opposite of this sort of thing. Read morePublished 5 months ago by doug korty
Good follow-up to Hillman's other book : We've Had A Hundred Years of Psychotherapy And The World Is Getting Worse.Published 12 months ago by Bernard
In 1992 two books came out together.
The first one was Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul (Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness). Read more
Purchased to add to my J. Hillman collection. I haven't read it, yet, but whatever I think about it, I'm keeping it in my personal library collection.Published on April 16, 2014 by NMDanLe
Stumbled into this one, but couldn't put it down. Clarity amidst a growing confusion in the battle for your conscious and unconscious. Read morePublished on December 27, 2013 by Jeffrey Svestka
Dr. Hillman is no longer with us but his imaginative approach to every topic on which he wrote is highly refreshing and erudite. Read morePublished on July 6, 2013 by Carol A
Hillman is a walking library so it ihard for him to make simple declarative sentences. He regurgitates everything he ever learned about the science and then discounts all of it and... Read morePublished on November 30, 2012 by john sears underhill
O book that comes to break paradigms even to Junguian's students.
It's necessary an open heart, or intention of, to appropriate it's contents.
A reed for the soul...