I spent the whole of today reading, Googling, listening and watching everything I could about this guy, and I have ordered his book Re-Visioning Psychology, which is mentioned in the YouTube clip above. I even got to look at his birth chart, courtesy of these video’s by Richard Tarnas, who incidentally does seem to share a lot of Hillman’s beliefs.
I am really quite blown away by Mr Hillman. He thought in a way that I believed no one did anymore. He spoke of the Anima Mundi, the soul of the world, an idea that I think originated with Plato. Soul of the world is a concept that I haven’t heard anyone speak of by name maybe ever. Soul is like a dirty word today it seems, its kind of like he who must not be named, in the Harry Potter books. Time we started talking dirty I think.
One really thing that struck me, in one of the clips I watched, was when he spoke of his time in analysis with Jung. He talked about how Jung was such a big man, and his aura was so powerful, so intense, that he knew he could not continue analysis with him, for fear of being swallowed up. I have never heard Jung described in this way before, no wonder he had such an effect on the world. Still, great as Jung was, Hillman takes his depth psychology even further.
I have a long way to go, and a lot of reading to do with James Hillman, I am sorry I discovered him after he died, (in 2011), but I think he is tapping my shoulder from somewhere.
I have long been interested in the writings of Carl Gustav Jung, and am trying to find time to read more. But recently I have been focusing on his thoughts concerning the shadow aspect of human beings. Jung said:
Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.
From Psychology and Religion by C.G. Jung (1938)
I like Jung because he always holds hope for the individual. He believes we can heal ourselves by contacting our unconscious through symbols such as archetypes and myths and facing our darker side. My long relationship with the Tarot started partly because of learning about Jung and archetypes as a teenager. Bt umostly I think it came about from my love of the darker side of life. oddly I no longer consider The Tarot as at all “dark”, on the contrary it can be a journey to enlightenment.
Here is another quote from Jung:
To confront a person with his shadow is to show him his own light. Once one has experienced a few times what it is like to stand judgingly between the opposites, one begins to understand what is meant by the self. Anyone who perceives his shadow and his light simultaneously sees himself from two sides and thus gets in the middle.