James Hillman, a former director of the Jung Institute who has written more than 20 books on behavior and psychology, delves into human development in The Soul's Code
. Hillman encourages you to "grow down" into the earth, as an acorn does when it becomes a mighty oak tree. He argues that character and calling are the result of "the particularity you feel to be you" and knocks those who blame childhood difficulties for all their problems as adults. According to Hillman, "The current American identity as a victim is the flip side of the coin whose head brightly displays the opposite identity: the heroic self-made man, carving out destiny alone and with unflagging will." Hillman's theories seem disarmingly simple, but he backs them with a careful, well-practiced intellect.
From Publishers Weekly
Decades ago, pioneering Jungian analyst and author Hillman (Kinds of Power) challenged the assumptions of Western psychology by applying the ancient concept of "soul" to the modern psyche. Rendered in simpler terms by his protege, bestselling author Thomas Moore, Hillman's work on soul has fed the public imagination with the nourishing idea that we are vastly deeper and more permeable to the influences around us than we may think. Here, Hillman discusses character and calling, introducing an "acorn theory" that claims that "each life is formed by its unique image, an image that is the essence of that life and calls it to a destiny." Borrowing the language of Plato's Myth of Ur, Hillman suggests that this imaginary sense of our lives or callings drives each of us like a personal daimon or force. Drawing on extraordinary lives from Judy Garland to Coco Chanel to Hitler, he describes the movements of the daimon, showing how it can use everything in our environment, from lucky accidents to bad movies, to allow the acorn to "grow down" and express itself in the real material of our lives. Without succumbing to oversimplification or wishful thinking, Hillman challenges the reductive "parental fallacy"?the contention that our early experience with our parents determines our selves and our futures. The daimon, he says, pulls us up out of mere conditioning to have a fate. In this brilliant, absorbing work, Hillman dares us to believe that we are each meant to be here; that we are needed by the world around us. Simultaneous Random AudioBook; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.