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  #1  
Unread 10-27-2011, 11:20 PM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is online now
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Default James Hillman

I miss him already. A wonderful man, writer, and trickster. Bly's comment in this obituary is apt: " 'I don’t know what to say about James,' Mr. Bly said in an e-mail. 'You could say, "James threw enormous parties for the spirits." '

Coming back to this to add that I don't think the obituary gets what Hillman was about, at all. The so-called men's movement was a small part of his work, and an aspect that interested me least. Parts of books like Re-Visioning Psychology and The Dream and the Underworld actually invoke the imaginal realm that Hillman wrote about so eloquently. And his book on Henry Corbin (applying Corbin's thought to his own "archetypal" psychology), Thought of the Heart and Soul of the World, is what brought me to Corbin's great writings. He was enormously erudite. The obituary makes him sound a bit Jung-lite, which he definitely was not.

Last edited by Andrew Frisardi; 12-02-2011 at 07:03 AM.
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  #2  
Unread 10-28-2011, 08:21 AM
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R. Nemo Hill R. Nemo Hill is offline
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He was an intellectual giant. He certainly guided my studies and my imagination for 20+ years, and most of what I am interested in today began with a playful directive from his mind to mine. Actually I know little of his later men-oriented work. Apart from the books Andrew mentions (The Dream And The Underworld is my favorite), his book Healing Fiction is a great way to understand his debts and detours from not only Freud, but also from Adler and Jung.

His passing is a huge event for me. I really love the guy, not least for being the secret mediator of my relationship with Cally.

Nemo
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  #3  
Unread 10-28-2011, 10:13 AM
Cally Conan-Davies Cally Conan-Davies is offline
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Sorry. Everything will be all right.

Last edited by Cally Conan-Davies; 10-28-2011 at 10:38 AM. Reason: shock
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Unread 10-28-2011, 01:56 PM
Cally Conan-Davies Cally Conan-Davies is offline
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Without time for loss you don't have time for soul.

-- James Hillman



Oh let us talk of quiet that we know,
that we can know, the deep and lovely quiet
of a strong heart at peace!

-- D.H. Lawrence, 'The Ship Of Death'



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Unread 10-28-2011, 02:18 PM
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When we move the soul insights of the dream into life for problem-solving and people-relating, we rob the dream and impoverish the soul. The more we get out of a dream for human affairs the more we prevent its psychological work, what it is doing or building night after night, interiorly, away from life in a nonhuman world. This lifelong activity of nightly imaging is distinct from what we do in the day with these images, applying all the humanistic fallacies—egoistic, naturalistic, moralistic, pragmatic. Dream activity might better be conceived as soul-making, or in D. H. Lawrence's words, building the Ship of Death. (James Hillman, Re-Visioning Psychology)

Underworld images are nonetheless visible, but only to what is invisible in us. The invisible is perceived by means of the invisible, that is, psyche. (James Hillman, The Dream And the Underworld)

Soul sticks to the realm of experience and to reflections within experience. It moves indirectly in circular reasonings, where retreats are as important as advances, preferring labyrinths and corners, giving a metaphorical sense to life through such words as close, near, slow, and deep. Soul involves us in the pack and welter of phenomena and the flow of impressions. It is the patient part of us. Soul is vulnerable and suffers; it is passive and remembers. It is water to the spirit's fire, like a mermaid who beckons the heroic spirit into the depths of passion to extinguish certainty. (James Hillman, Re-Visioning Psychology)

With slow suspicion or sudden insight we move through the apparent to the less apparent. We use metaphors of light—a little flicker, a slow dawning, a lightning flash—as things become clarified. When the clarity itself has become obvious and transparent, there seems to grow within it a new darkness, a new question or doubt, requiring a new act of insight penetrating again toward the less apparent. The movement becomes an infinite regress which does not stop at coherent or elegant answers. The process of psychologizing cannot be brought to a halt at any of the resting places of science or philosophy; that is, psychologizing is not satisfied when necessary and sufficient conditions have been met or when testability has been established. It is satisfied only by its own movement of seeing through.
(James Hillman, Re-visioning Psychology)


This passage proved revelatory for me:

This first entry into myth needs an important correction. It commits the ego fallacy by taking each archetypal theme into the ego. We fall into an identity with one of the figures of the tale: I become Zeus deceiving my wife, or Saturn devouring my children, or Hermes thieving from my brother. But this neglects that the whole myth is pertinent and all its mythical figures relevant: by deceiving I am also deceived, and being devoured, and stolen from, as well as the other complications in each of these tales. It is egoistic to recognize oneself in only one portion of a tale, cast in only one role.
(James Hillman, Re-visioning Psychology)


I could go on like this forever. In some of Hillman's books I have underlined almost every sentence.

Nemo
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  #6  
Unread 10-28-2011, 02:22 PM
Cally Conan-Davies Cally Conan-Davies is offline
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Then let's go on like this forever...!
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Unread 10-28-2011, 02:46 PM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cally Conan-Davies View Post
Then let's go on like this forever...!
Ok, here goes:

The activity of perception or sensation in Greek is aisthesis which means at root ‘taking in’ and ‘breathing in’—a ‘gasp,’ that primary aesthetic response. . . .

What is it to ‘take in’ or breathe in the world? First, it means aspiring and inspiring the literary presentation of things by gasping. The transfiguration of matter occurs through wonder. This aesthetic reaction which precedes intellectual wonder inspires the given beyond itself, letting each thing reveal its particular aspiration within a cosmic arrangement.

Second, ‘taking in’ means taking to heart, interiorizing, becoming intimate with in an Augustinian sense. Not only my confession of my soul, but hearing the confession of the anima mundi in the speaking of things.

Third, ‘taking in’ means interiorizing the object into itself, into its image so that its imagination is activated (rather than ours), so that it shows its heart and reveals its soul, becoming personified and thereby loveable—loveable not only to us and because of us, but because its loveliness increases as its sense and its imagination unfold. Here begins phenomenology: in a world of ensouled phenomena. Phenomena need not be saved by grace or faith or all-embracing theory, or by scientific objectiveness or transcendental subjectivity. They are saved by the anima mundi, by their own souls and our simple gasping at this imaginal loveliness.


—from The Thought of the Heart and the Soul of the World


I wish I had a copy of Myth of Analysis here to copy a passage from. That’s the first Hillman book I read, a life-changing event for me.

I knew Nemo and Cally would be in on this thread.
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Unread 10-28-2011, 03:00 PM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is online now
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I like his shoot-from-the-hip style too, as in We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse:

The goal of my therapy is eccentricity, which grows out of the Jungian notion of individuation. Jung says, 'You become that you are.' And nobody is square. We all have, as the Swiss say, a corner knocked off.

and

Coping with the dysfunctional suggests that you become more and more dysfunctional as you become more and more adjusted.
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  #9  
Unread 10-28-2011, 03:03 PM
David Mason David Mason is offline
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The Soul Fox


My love, the fox is in the yard.
The snow will bear his print a while,
then melt and go, but we who saw
his way of finding out, his night
of seeking, know what we have seen
and are the better for it. Write.
Let the white page bear the mark,
then melt with joy upon the dark.


(for Christine Allinson, 28 October 2011)
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  #10  
Unread 10-28-2011, 04:01 PM
Cally Conan-Davies Cally Conan-Davies is offline
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Mason does the moves on Hughes!

How apt - how like a fox Hillman is. (To say 'was' is ridiculous.) His lean body, penetrating eye, insouciant tail. Fidelity to the art of night.

At the start of wendy v's workshop a few weeks ago, she asked each person to name a poet who meant a lot to them, and to give a memorable line or two from their work. The figure that reached out at me was James Hillman, and the life-lines:

In your suffering is your soul.

The soul is always in want.


Andrew - he's great on the subject of bread, too! He said one of his ruling archetypes is Mars. I'm sure he said somewhere that Mars is behind his writings.
The Myth Of Analysis is crucial to me, too. Eros and Psyche tale, the torture of love, that love underlies analysis, that love only desires increase in understanding, increase in love.

And death, too. That death is the via regia of soul-making. And the polytheistic nature of the psyche.

I mean, all his obsessions are the stuff of poetry.

He is a poet, a poet who went to the well of poetry to body forth his ideas.

The first thing I ever read was his essay on 'Betrayal', which was life-changing for me. That lead to a life-long study of his works, and writing about him and Lawrence, and this path, of course, led to becoming a pariah of the academy...thank the gods!

My lips keep getting numb.
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