Chapter One: Archetypal Theory
and the Construction of Self

I: The Imaginal Self

James Hillman's work is helpful in articulating an alternate understanding of self--particularly in regard to contemporary psychological conceptions of selfhood. Although it is my contention that Hillman challenges traditional understandings of the self and therefore can be helpful for other work of this nature, his archetypal psychology is not as concerned with such issues as immanence and patriarchy as are many contemporary feminist thinkers.1 Furthermore, as a psychologist Hillman is primarily concerned with the psyche rather than the body. For this reason his primary interest is in the soul and the means through which it expresses itself.

Hillman holds that everything that affects an individual or a community is first and foremost psychological in nature.2 He understands the workings of the mind as central to all experience. All empirically experienced sensations must be filtered through the mind. Furthermore, all conceptual categories are products of not just individual imagination but of a consensual imagination that has developed over time as a result of myriad factors--religious, psychological, mythical, scientific, and artistic. Hence, to Hillman, all activities, all thought, all experiences are necessarily psychological in nature. By not dichotomizing the unconscious and the conscious, as is the case in orthodox Freudian thought and academic psychology for instance, Hillman builds a platform from which he can observe psychological activities as originating in fantasy--imagining, day dreaming, and fancying--without being restricted to the notion that fantasy is unconscious behaviour and has no connection to the external or `real' world. Stated differently, we might say that all that is psychological is necessarily based in fantasy. If there is no distinction between the activities of the unconscious and the conscious, there is no reason to assume that the activities of the unconscious, generally characterized as neurotic or fantastic3, are significantly different from those activities of the conscious mind.4

The implications of Hillman's perspective are profound. His viewpoint allows us to understand human activity as being intrinsically imaginal, or fantasy-based. This is to suggest that all ideologies or belief systems, for example, are an articulation of a specific fantasy that has roots in the culture in which it was formed. This is precisely the outlook that Hillman uses to challenge traditional psychology and Western assumptions about notions of self and ego. He understands the Western view of ego to be one that is steeped in its cultural preferences--upon its forms of thought that have a historical specificity and have managed to enter into the mainstream of western conceptions of philosophy, theology, science, poetics, and aesthetics.

To Hillman, as the West understands it, the Self can be characterized as autonomous, monocentric, and in need of perfection. Hillman deconstructs such assumptions and finds that the root of western conceptions of the Self is buried in Christianity and in the positivism of the Enlightenment. Hillman, in fact, "has presented a psychology without a theory of Self, hardly mentioning the word, except to criticize it as a Senex term that maintains Jungian orthodoxy bound over to Christian theology."5 Instead of self, Hillman generally prefers to use soul as the root metaphor for psychology. He believes that depth psychology implies `going in deep' into the soul, in order to penetrate into that which is hidden. Hence, we learn about soul by penetrating into the depths; this very process also makes soul.6

Before proceeding further, it is necessary to characterize what Hillman means when he uses the term `soul.' In Archetypal Psychology, Hillman claims that the primary metaphor of psychology must be soul as the word `psychology' means the "reason or speech or intelligible account of the soul."7 This is to say that psychology must not only find a logos of the soul, it must also be able to recover the world as "a place of soul."8 To Hillman, soul refers to a perspective rather than a substance. That is, he understands the soul's primary activity to be imagining. The soul, he claims, is constituted by images which are self-generated by the soul itself.9

Hillman understands soul to refer to an ambiguous concept that permits the release of its full connotative powers. It has a religious concern that leads to the deepening of events into experiences by making use of the "imaginative possibilities in our natures."10 Furthermore, he notes that one does not see an image; rather, one sees by means of images, which are said to be more than merely subjective. He says that "an image is given by the imagination and can only be perceived by an act of imagining."11 Hence the distinction lies in the way that an image is responded to and worked, which is through imaginative and metaphorical means rather than the literal and fanciful. From this viewpoint, imaginative activity is understood to be fecund and capable of animating or re-sacralizing the world.12

Hillman uses the notion of soul as a root metaphor for psychology as an attempt to broaden psychology's cultural horizon in regard to human agency or subjectivity. The notion of soul functions, he claims, to remove psychology from its literalized notion of selfhood. Hence, Hillman gives psychology a tool with which it can begin to recognize the depths and religious implications of the human condition. Soul brings to the fore the profundity of the sacred, the mysterious, and the ambivalent aspects of the human condition.13

Yet, Hillman informs us, there are three barriers to such a perspective on the soul: materialism, oppositionalism, and Christianism. Materialism, he claims, is a modality of consciousness that connects all psychic activities to material causes. The soul's images are placed in the service of tangible things only, or they are materialized into a personalized realm. Consequently, materialism views the soul's feelings as irrational and discards them as pathological.14 Materialism finds its way into considerations of the soul through academic psychology's intellectual heritage, including positivism as well as its correlates (medical science and rationalism). Oppositionalism, in contrast, represents the Enlightenment habit of thinking in terms of oppositions or dualities. Hillman claims that it is necessary to deconstruct such habits of thought by shifting the oppositions so that we might be less caught up in them and find out to which archetypal perspective such `isms' belong.15 To Hillman, the perspective to which oppositionalism belongs is the Promethean or herculean ego, the reality tester, the villain that literalizes the imaginal.16 The way to overcome oppositionalism is to abandon ego consciousness, whose very definition is a literal mode of seeing, knowing, and ordering. We must abandon this perspective, Hillman continues, as the ontological basis of psychology and as the primary metaphor of many philosophies.17 Finally, Christianity is also understood to impede a paradigm for a psychology based in soul. To Hillman, Christ stands in the way of soul since his mission included the annulment of the underworld--the denigration of the dark world of the unconscious. This is a mission that exchanges soul for spirit, hence the defeat of the underworld is the defeat of soul or the loss of soul. The unconscious is equated with the devil, while consciousness is identified with Jesus. Furthermore, the soul, as it is personalized and interiorized by Augustine, is such that one's behaviour, one's thoughts, and one's imaginings are subject to the Christian God. It is this God who alone determines whether one has earned the privilege of entry into God's `grace.' This is to say that the Christianized idea of soul operates as a means of institutionalizing human behaviour and thought. For this reason Christianity has become a tool used to crush Hillman's notion of a soul that imagines irrepressibly.18

Because images and imagination embody both the subjective and the objective, the human and the divine, they cannot be resolved by a one sided interpretation or personalistic reduction without losing the in-between world of the soul. Therefore, the subjective must be extended to include the impersonal, to include mythical parallels. For Hillman, soul must be able to negotiate the ambiguity of human life. It need not categorize or analyze its symptoms but encounter such fantasies from an imaginative perspective. Hence Hillman's soul can be characterized in two ways: as life-soul, it has multiple and various associations with body parts and the emotions; and, as psyche-soul, it is equivalent with and manifests as shadow, as a death image, and as the dream soul.19 This is to say that for Hillman the soul must be considered to be diverse or multiple in nature as well as reflective of an ontological mode that escapes the bindings of the ego, or developmental psychology's fantasy of what constitutes a human being. Soul must be able to reflect the ambivalence and ambiguity that is characteristic of a psyche that imagines irrepressibly as well as to be understood as reflecting human states of being other than the merely rational or conscious.

It is psychology's inability to leave such space for the soul in its examination of the human condition that is ultimately detrimental. The tendency to theorize about self in opposition, materialistically, and from a strictly Christian doctrinal perspective, comprises psychology's dominant fantasy of the psyche. As noted, Hillman thinks that western psychology is a fantasy system based upon other fantasy systems or myths about humanity. Western psychology, he claims, is directly influenced by the Christian bias towards monotheism, the Cartesian belief that the world is dead, and a positivistic approach to the psyche that sprang from the ground of psychology's once fertile medical heritage. It is one task of this chapter to outline Hillman's criticisms of the traditional psychological approach to the self or psyche.

II: The Fantasies at the Root of Psychology: Medicine, Philosophy, and Christian Theology

James Hillman's critique of traditional western psychology involves several considerations, all of which have to do with its fantasy of self, or the paradigm of self held by traditional psychology. Hillman regards traditional western psychology's fantasies of the patient and, hence, its means of treating the patient, as being informed by its intellectual heritage. The influence that medical science has had on psychology, for instance, is one that insists that what is not normal is pathological and, therefore, must be cured. The medical approach, Hillman demonstrates, is itself influenced by two streams of thought which are mediated by the figure of Descartes: positivism and Christian theology. Hillman finds much in Cartesian thought that is objectionable in terms of how we understand humanity. In this section, I will outline Hillman's subversion of traditional psychotherapy by taking into account its practices as they are informed by medicine, Cartesian philosophy, and Christianity.

Hillman has maintained a running engagement with psychology as early as his 1964 Suicide and the Soul. In this book Hillman criticizes psychology for its literal approach to such events as suicide. He suggests that as a result of psychology's medical legacy, academic psychology approaches the patient as a doctor would: seeing suffering as pathology that is in need of a cure, as opposed to experiences that need to be lived and explored. The soul, Hillman informs us, is not to be approached in the manner that medicine works with the body--it is not a mechanical wonder.20 Hillman returns to the theme of speaking to analysts about analysis in Insearch (1967). This book is directed toward analysts who practice from the pastoral perspective. Hillman is adamant that pastoral counsellors remain in the position of imitatio christi rather than imitate the secular stances of medical psychology.21 Instead of emphasizing the medical or scientific aspects of therapy, Hillman suggests that soul--of both the analysand and the minister struggling with his calling--should be the primary concern of pastoral counsellors, for people come to their ministers with a different set of problems than they take to their therapists.22 This implies, of course, that Hillman is more interested in the numinous, mysterious, or religious side of the soul as opposed to the purely rational and curative emphasis of academic psychology.

During the 1970s Hillman continued his critique of traditional psychology in The Myth of Analysis (1972) and Re-Visioning Psychology (1975). In The Myth of Analysis, Hillman attempts to further deconstruct or deliteralize psychology's dogmas and doctrines. He claims that the attitude of curing sickness and the practice of making diagnoses are not only inappropriate but are also on the wrong track for soul-making.23 He concludes that such problems endemic to psychology indicate that it may be necessary to re-think psychological work as it has been constituted.24 Hillman asks whether psychology itself is ill, and concludes that the language of psychology insults the soul. That is, he believes that psychology, by suffering from the malaise of literalism, makes the soul `dis-eased' through the sterile practice of categorizing and labelling things--a practice inherited by psychology from Enlightenment positivism and secularism.25 Consequently, Hillman thinks that mental illness should no longer be talked about as pathology. Rather, taking his cue from Neo-Platonism, Hillman suggests that we approach the soul and psychological work from a perspective of myth so that it may become possible to once more re-unite the secular with the profane, and behaviour with its mythical meaning.26 Hence we find emphasis on a paradigm of self based in soul and the imagination as opposed to the rational ego of positivism.

In Re-Visioning Psychology the emphasis is on procedures which help to make soul. He begins by suggesting that `personification' be employed to return life or sacredness to the objects of the imagination as well as to challenge the accepted opposition between `living subjects' and `dead objects.' Personification, he concludes, is an epistemology of the heart, it is a "thought mode of feeling" which must not be judged to be inferior because it allows for profound insights into one's "psychological reality."27 Hillman also re-visions what is meant by pathologizing. He suggests that psychopathology is a state of being, an activity that implies snarled communications, a disrupted social nexus, or frustrated spiritual fulfilment. From this perspective, pathologizing constitutes an ontology of the soul.28 Rather than understand pathology from the scientific perspective of the medical model, Hillman wants psychology to understand pathology in a manner similar to what Freud was getting at in The Psychopathology of Every Day Life: that symptoms are part of the regular speech of the soul. To approach the soul's language from the curative perspective is tantamount to cutting off part of the soul itself. Hillman, therefore, concludes that psychotherapy is a "killing game" insofar as it annihilates one side of the soul.29 He claims that psychology must begin to psychologize itself--it must learn to see through, to reflect upon its nature, structure, and purpose. If psychology cannot deconstruct its own tools, it risks remaining caught up in their intrinsic literalisms. Psychology must be allowed the free reign to reflect upon itself as an open-ended process of ideation.30 Finally, Hillman suggests `dehumanization' as one means of working to remove the humanistic biases intrinsic to psychology. According to Hillman, psychology must focus on soul and not on what it considers to be human. This is to say that what psychologists consider to be moral or correct is not necessarily what is in the psyche. Rather than view the soul morally, Hillman wants moralisms to be investigated psychologically to see what they say about and to the soul.31

Hillman's battle with psychology became more intense during the 1980s. In Healing Fiction (1983) he deliteralizes psychology by pointing out that, first, the very act of healing is fictional and, second, that fictions constitute healing.32 He notes that our reality is created by our fictions and that consciousness of these fictions allows "creative access to and participation in the poetics or making of our psyche."33 Our sicknesses are rooted in our fictions and understanding such fictions allows for `healing.' Hillman then confronts the `fathers' of modern depth psychology (Freud, Jung, and Adler) and concludes that each are authors who separately helped to develop a new literary genre--a style of writing that oscillates between the humanities and medical science.34 Consequently, Hillman de-literalizes psychology by suggesting that the entire notion of therapy as a scientific discipline is itself fictional. He returns the discipline to its roots in fantasy, imagination, and dream, thus helping to remove psychology from its ostentatious and unnecessary claims of scientific status.

In the Thought of the Heart (1984), Hillman began to outline what he has only recently emphasized as a further paradigm for psychology to consider: aesthetics. By pointing out that contemporary musing on the heart, such as the personal-feeling and Christianized morality of the heart of Augustine or the mechanized heart of Harvey, are detrimental to a psychology based in soul. Instead, Hillman suggests that we return to the heart of the Lion, the heart's emotional and imaginal spontaneity as represented by our animal natures. He emphasizes that the literal, rational, and secular aspects of traditional psychology are unhelpful in understanding soul. Hillman suggests that in order to make soul we must find a way to imagine not only our hearts, but our entire world in a manner other than the purely rational, the mechanical, as well as the secular.

In the 1989 article "From Mirror to Window: Curing Psychoanalysis of its Narcissism," Hillman suggests that narcissism is an iatrogenic disorder endemic to depth psychology. He states that the "epidemic diagnosis `narcissism' states that the condition is already endemic to the psychology that makes the diagnosis."35 He believes that psychology sees narcissism because it sees narcissistically. By deconstructing the roots of narcissism (its romantic idealization of love objects, the opposition between bourgeois society and the inner self, the imprisonment of the self during analysis, and the tendency for analysis to perpetuate itself) it may become possible to free soul from narcissistic self-reflection and open up other vistas of imagining--the implication being that, because individualized therapy is inherently narcissistic, it separates people from one another. In this article we can find the beginnings of a shift in emphasis for archetypal psychology: from the individual to the communal. In the following pages I will take into account this recent emphasis on the communal aspects of soul. It is at this point that any chronological survey of Hillman's running engagement with psychology will be discarded in favour of a less linear and more literary approach.

In his most recent book, We've had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse (1992) Hillman continues to portray psychology as restrictive, oppressive, and supportive of a repressive status quo. Psychology is thus understood to be something that encourages mediocrity.36 First of all, Hillman is highly critical of the developmental strain to which American psychology adheres. To Hillman, developmental psychology contends that one's history is causal (i.e., it happened to me in childhood and that is why I am the way I am). The result of this perspective is that we tend to keep the things that affect us most locked up deep inside of ourselves, presuming that if something traumatic happened in childhood it must necessarily continue to influence one's life from there on. Furthermore, we are incapable of imagining that anything outside of our past or outside of our own specific life can affect us traumatically or otherwise. Consequently, we cut ourselves off from any notion that the world can affect us and that we can affect it.37

Such a fantasy of humanity, as Hillman points out, ultimately leads to the expression of what has been called the `inner child' in contemporary popular psychology. To Hillman, psychology's emphasis on the inner child is disempowering. Because we concentrate on the abuses we suffered as children, we disempower ourselves in regard to making a difference in our own contemporary lives and in the political world.38 We must not, however, understand this position as indicating that Hillman blatantly disregards one's childhood experiences of abuse, fears, and traumas. Rather, he wants to point out that "therapy makes it even more devastating by the way it thinks about it. It isn't just the trauma that does the damage, it's remembering traumatically."39 Hillman suggests that the more one remembers traumatically, the more one remains a victim in one's own memory. This serves to keep one in the position of the abused child, because one's memories are locked in the child-victim's view. In a sense, one enters into an imaginal world when remembering one's childhood experiences, not just a traumatic world.40 Hence, concludes Hillman, it is the memory of the event that really causes the trauma. Thus the logical conclusion of his position about childhood experiences is that it is not only the original traumatic occurrence that is important, but also what one's memory does with it, and what our culture's imagination says about it.41

What Hillman suggests is that psychology must "cast out the child." Beginning in the 1970s, Hillman pointed out that therapy must deal with the inherent confusion in our society in respect to actual childhood and our almost obsessive fantasy of the child: the emphasis on youth as the ideal state of being in the West, and the notion that in childhood are found all the events that will affect our lives for evermore. Since our understanding of the child and the state of childhood are not actual, Hillman suggests that we must comprehend more of the workings of the child fantasy in order to understand western society properly. Thus it becomes necessary to question what it is in psychology's child motif that projects so vividly and draws such fantasies onto itself as, for instance, the necessity of violent separation from the mother or the abandonment of the child.42 The notion of the inner child is subject to the same criticisms as is humanistic psychology--it pays attention only to the "precious, delicate, utterly vulnerable" aspects of the child. What of, Hillman asks, the child as being stubborn, as being the survivor, as being introverted to name a few alternatives.43 The notion of the inner child is said to function as a form of selective remembering--it "is in effect to substitute a fictional character for ourselves."44 The result is that a lot of memories that do not fit into this character are repressed, transformed, or otherwise altered and ultimately become inconsequential.45

Hillman suggests that because of the child fantasy, in our culture in general and in psychology in particular, regression has become attractive. That is, from a distance we can recognize the `angelic side' of the child. It is through the fantasy of abandonment, for instance, that the child is permitted to regress away from society and into nature. Such regression, Hillman informs us, allows the notion of the Herculean hero, or developmental psychology's ego-centric "I," to enter the picture. As the counterpoint to the child, the hero is that which leads the regressed, re-natured child back to the `civilized' world. That is, the hero is said to help the child `grow.'46 Under the hero's tutelage the child grows today in a very specific manner dictated by specific forms of psychology that operate on the basis of a specific fantasy of humanity and its relations to one another and to the world. This is a fantasy of growth or childhood development that such feminists as Keller and Chodorow characterize as involving matriphobic strife, as we shall see in Chapter Three.

Hillman, however, has a problem with the traditional western notion of growth. Not only is the connection between growth and the hero problematic, growth also denies a child his or her pathologies and fantasies.47 The notion of growth assumes that one must be nurtured in such a way as to fit into society, and to leave childishness--including the propensity to imagine--behind.48 The growth metaphor, Hillman believes, leaves one in a constant state of failure. It is an idealized image of soul that is impossible to achieve; it is an idealized fantasy that leads to an understanding of self as separate. Stated differently, the fantasy of the child disallows any possibility of process; it would keep one's soul in stasis--a condition resulting from a belief in our idea of the causality that emerges from the events of one's childhood. In other words, growth suggests that nothing of oneself will remain the same, yet must be the same because what happened to a person as a child still affects that person today.

Yet there are parts of the psyche that are absolutely changeless49 and it is one of the tasks of therapy, as Hillman sees it, to distinguish between those aspects of one's psyche that are changeable and those that are not. The fantasy of growth, Hillman proclaims, does not take into account the changeless.50 On the contrary, "Growth offers salvation from what developmental theory has dogmatically declared to be our basic nature, the helpless and hope-filled state called `my inner child'....[To Hillman] Growth equals secular salvation."51 In this way we may draw Hillman into this conclusion: that growth or maturation in Western society suggests a violent separation from one's status as a child and from one's mother who represents childhood.52 The fantasy alluded to here is one that believes that the child in stasis is unwell and requires a cure of some sort or another. We can see, therefore, that the notion of growth goes hand in hand with the need to heal that which is considered to be inferior or pathological. Hillman argues that psychology should imagine growth less as a linear process and more as changes in patterns of significance and imagery.53 By over-emphasizing childhood experiences, we leave out too much in the consideration of our lives and may mislead ourselves altogether. Instead of seeing human development in such linear terms as "a" leading to "b," it might be preferable to perceive growth as a cyclical and multiple appreciation of each of our stories about ourselves and about society as they arise and gain significance, only to fade and possibly return another time.

The fantasy of the child and its growth is as much a means of maintaining the psychotherapy trade, notes Hillman, as it is a means of providing the help that one lacks in today's society.54 Although the notion of growth enters into psychology as a result of its medical legacy,55 analysis must encourage a fantasy of growth that leads one toward the non-standard and eccentric and away from such notions as adaptability and coping.56 For learning to cope with our society's dysfunctions only serves to make us more dysfunctional.57 For this reason, Hillman declares that psychotherapy is "be-numbing": it is a form of sedation that calms us down from the stress and anxiety caused by a dysfunctional world.58 It is of utmost importance to escape the normalization of soul brought about by psychology's uncritical acceptance of its intellectual heritage. We must be critical of the dominant fantasy of the Self in order to instigate change. This is Hillman's way of pointing out that the traditional psychological paradigm used to understand the Self and its vicissitudes no longer functions harmoniously with how self is now being perceived in contemporary thought.

Hillman claims that psychology's medical influence has been devastating to how we presently understand psyche. For example, if the root metaphor of medicine is the continuation of life at all costs, then it is impossible for depth psychology to approach the notion of suicide from any perspective other than the literal. Medical training biases therapists against any metaphorical understanding of the expression of death and its symptoms.59 Yet because an analyst's main concern is the physical health of the individual, it is forever impossible to approach the soul in a manner that is sensitive to its ways of speaking and being. The purely physical approach is thus one of prevention, not understanding. Hillman writes: "If an analyst wants to understand something going on in the soul, he [sic] may never proceed in an attitude of prevention."60 Instead, analysts must learn to approach the soul with an attitude that promotes reflection, not the need for a cure. Rather than approach the soul from the dialectics of medicine, which intends to cure the `abnormal,'61 psychology must learn to deal with symptoms as experiences and not as objects to be discarded. By altering its perception of symptoms, it becomes possible for us to understand that symptoms are things to be lived with, not to be cured. For to cure one's symptoms, Hillman believes, is to take away the soul's means of communicating its dissatisfaction with its relations to the world.

If we would understand what is going on in the soul, Hillman notes, we should never approach it from attitudes of explanation and prevention. Rather, our approach must be one of confirmation and understanding. We must listen with a metaphorical ear that allows our own participation in order to approach soul with compassion.62 Medicine, the natural sciences, and theology, in contrast, have a differing approach. This approach is fixed or literalized insofar as there are no grey areas, only black and white.63 As a result of the medical model's influence on psychology, the healer as hero is the root metaphor for psychological practice. Thus, death and decay must be fought at all costs. Yet Hillman points out that medicine and psychology must remember that "suffering is normal health,"64 that those characteristics which do not fit the accepted understandings and practices of traditional depth psychology should not automatically be assumed deviant or pathological and in need of a cure, of needing surgical removal from the self.

The medical model, however, would tell us what is healthy. When we are told this, we are really being told what is right to think and feel.65 It is the uncritical acceptance of the legitimacy of the medical model that has led psychology to adopt an all-pervading perspective of selfhood that ultimately institutionalizes our understanding of what it means to be human. Without critical reflection on the ideas given to psychology from medicine and positivism, for example, psychologists help to perpetuate what has become a dogmatic expression of the human condition as something that needs a radical cure. Consequently, the fantasy of mental health is now policed by medical professionals and has been infused into all aspects of the community. Hillman's criticisms of the medical model recognize that "we cannot recover soul from its alienation in professional therapy until we have a vision of pathologizing which [sic] does not require professional treatment in the first place."66 If all illness is at root a fantasy, we need a therapy that will treat fantasy by focusing on fantasy, not illness. That is, it is through imaginative, not clinical, thinking that we find the way into fantasy. Fantasy cannot be approached from a one-sided, literalistic view that not only neglects but also denigrates perspectives that are different from the accepted paradigm. Hillman argues that we must never take any of the soul's contents literally.67 For this reason "a medical model for understanding pathologizing begs the question, since the medical model is itself a result of the primary process of pathologizing."68 In other words, the medical model is itself the result of a fantasy, a fantasy that only allows for the literal understanding of a person's or a society's symptoms, while disregarding any possibility of appreciating the metaphorical contents of soul and body.

It is the clinical biases of psychology that are ultimately dehumanizing. The practice of applying simple models to complex conditions "twists nature [in]to a prefabricated frame. It is a pathological bias."69 Something as complex as the symptomatic expression of suicide, for instance, requires a model more complex than the causality of medical science and developmental psychology. Instead of confusing pain with suffering and applying collective standards to all cases, analysts must expose their norms, which have been derived from medical training, to critical assessment. Analysts must remember that no single way of being fits a statistical norm.70

Hillman points out that ideals and norms are a means of comprehending pathologizing,71 but are not to be taken as a means of measuring it. Indeed, such notions as ideals and norms are themselves the result of pathologizing and must be recognized as belonging to a specific fantasy. For this reason an individual cannot even provide a norm for himself or herself. Because there is so much differentiation in the imaginal realm, in the psyche's activities, there can be no fundamental principles. Hence "no single perspective can embrace psychological life,"72 and norms are delusions prescribed by incomplete and insensitive attempts to apply collective standards to the psyche.73 The idea that there is no fundamental or essential principle to the soul's activities is crucial to the critique of traditional understandings of selfhood and for comprehending Hillman's call for an appreciation of the inherent diversity which characterizes soul and community.

If the unconscious is an operative factor in every soul, then we can say that pathologizing is an "inherent aspect of the interior personality."74 Freud's Psychopathology of Everyday Life demonstrates that pathology is not merely reflective of a special crisis situation, but rather that it is a part of everyday life. Yet clinical psychology, which sees literally, would make us all individually responsible for our afflictions. Based upon a causal model, clinical psychology (with the exception of object relations theory) does not permit the idea that we exist in relation to ourselves, to others, to myths, to images, or to archetypes.75 An excellent example of how therapy literalizes symptoms can be found in Hillman's various discussions about clinical diagnoses. Diagnoses, he argues, act as a means of not only categorizing individuals but also as a way of telling a person what they are and how they are supposed to behave.76 In effect, diagnoses lead to the institutionalization of self. Consequently we no longer speak of self, but the Self. Diagnoses refer to a known, and ignore the unknown.

If, indeed, diagnoses function as such, it becomes apparent that the language of psychology insults the soul by demanding that all that is acceptable, all that is normal, is all that can be known and all that is rational. Yet we know that the soul is composed of more than what is considered normal, rational, or even non-pathological. Consequently, clinical language cuts us off from the richness and depths within ourselves. Clinical language makes us ill, because it is itself ill.77 To Hillman it is the medical and positivistic heritage of psychology that deadens its language. That is, psychology follows the lead of the natural sciences in the drive to label and fix everything in existence.78 In this way, specialized terminologies remove soul from the world. Moreover, Hillman notes that the upsurge in the use of the term "psyche" brought about a down-swing in the usage of the word "soul." As a result, psychoanalysis brought soul back into psychology, but it has conceived of soul as having full and autonomous power.79 In other words, psychotherapy, by bringing soul back into the light, has closed its eyes about what it is. What Hillman refers to is depth psychology's strict belief that soul can be found only in human beings. By constricting soul to the Cartesian notion of the human interior, psychology has removed soul from its rightful place in the world80--an issue we will return to in the next chapter during the discussion about anima mundi, the world soul.

Hillman argues that medicine for the last four hundred years has continuously rendered the body ever more dead. It is now imagined to be a machine with parts--a further criticism of the Cartesian paradigm of self that some feminists exposed as resulting in the anaesthetizing of the physical world and the human body.81 As a result of the mechanization of the body, in tandem with the other Cartesian proclamation that rational consciousness is all, we have created a world in which individuals must necessarily exist in isolation while being embedded in inanimate physical surroundings. All things in the world, not just the human body, have been made dead to us, thus we have no real sense of connection to the world any longer.82 Our objectifying consciousness and our objectifying perspectives make the world and all its components objects. Hence, states Hillman, it is necessary to reanimate, to re-sacralize the world and the things in it so that we can enter into conversation, enter into connection with the world which surrounds us.83

Yet because we have personalized the soul, compressing it all into the human being, there is no place for soul outside humanity in the Cartesian fantasy of the world. The result is the swelling of the `I' characteristic of the ego-centricity of developmental psychology and the heroic ego. Consequently, we see ego consciousness as the only form of consciousness, as the only state of being available to us short of insanity.84 Hillman, however, wants to return soul to the world. He wants to find the soul in the everyday, physical world surrounding us. He would have us reject the Cartesian roots of depth psychological notions that claim the world is dead and that the only remaining animated thing is the metaphysical.85 Hillman claims the following: first, because we find soul in pathology, and, second, there must necessarily be as much soul in the world as there is in each of us and, finally, the world is just as 'soulful' as we are. It is Hillman's contention that we must stop viewing the physical world as a dead entity--a perspective that is the result of the philosophizing of Descartes and others.86

Hillman argues that therapy is a means of depriving the world of soul. Moreover, he suggests that therapy, "by emphasizing the inner soul and ignoring the outer soul, supports the decline of the actual world."87 R. D. Laing agrees with this assessment by suggesting that we are supposed to keep our imaginations inside of us. Laing also notes that we are considered odd at best if we insist that which is being imagined is going on outside our brains. That is, if our musings are not shared we are considered to be suffering from some form of psychosis.88 Hillman's point is that by emphasizing the journey to the interior, psychology maintains the Cartesian view that the world outside consists of dead material and that, in contrast, the world inside is alive. In this way therapy cuts us off from others. It destroys any sense of community with our surroundings and our ability to reach out to others. Consequently, psychotherapy relies over much on intimate personal relationships as the means by which we can satiate all our desires, needs, and outrages. But this is not enough. We need a community, one that is also political in nature, one that makes sense, and one that makes the world matter.89

Hillman points out that "Every psychological system rests upon a metapsychology, a set of implicit assumptions about the nature of the soul."90 Much of psychology's metaphysics is said to be based upon a set of nineteenth century scientific assumptions. But more of it, as previously mentioned, is influenced by Christian theology. Hillman notes that the unity fantasy of Christian monotheism is another disaster for modern psychotherapy.91 The notion of unity, in effect, gives rise to ideas of domination--i.e., dominating the other, marginalized aspects of our selves. Hillman is adamant that we cannot continue to understand self or soul in terms of structures based on unity and centring. "The [unitary] self idea doesn't get us out of the trap,"92 he writes. Rather the idea of a unitary self closes the door just as we would escape. Hillman claims that he is not against either Christianity or self but rather "that to work with psychic realities in your life you just can't put the new wine back into old bottles."93 Because the psyche can no longer be kept in old containers forged by Christianity, there is necessarily a "recrudescence and ebullition of individual fantasy, of pagan myth, [and] of the anima."94 This statement is one that appropriately summarizes the sentiments lurking behind the emergence of an alternate understanding of self in postmodern western society.

Still, as noted, psychology has its roots in Protestantism and no matter which way it turns, it cannot leave this heritage. Thus, notes Hillman, a culture that believes that its God is dead must produce a psychology that has no gods.95 "By refusing the fantastic nature of our lives, ourselves as metaphors and images made by soul, we have each become fastened into a constant forced literalism, ourselves as real, the Gods dead."96 Furthermore, the refusal to see ourselves as anything but `real' is an obstacle that prevents us from psychologizing ourselves. "For should we see through, we should shatter the prime literalism, the humanistic illusion in regard to every sense of reality other than the psychic."97 That is, to see through the claim that all that is real is the rational, psychical, and the metaphysical, is tantamount to giving the physical world its due and recognizing that there are other aspects to reality than that which traditional theology bequeaths to western society and modern psychology.

To move towards a renascence of psychology means recognizing primarily "the death of psychology's God and the consequent death in the soul of psychology as a viable carrier of soul-making."98 It seems logical to conclude, as would Hillman, that it is necessary to reintroduce soul and divinity into our ways of speaking the logos of the psyche. Academic, statistical psychology must necessarily take into account the numinous if it would take into account soul as it now appears, not as theology and science have historically claimed it to be.

The above summary of Hillman's critical perspective on traditional psychology, provides a context for a look at his proposed "polytheistic psychology" as an alternate paradigm for psychology to locate its thinking about selfhood, the human condition, or, as Hillman prefers, the soul, since an alternate psychology necessarily offers an alternate perspective of self.

III: Polytheism as an Alternate Paradigm for Psychology

In "Psychology: Monotheistic or Polytheistic," Hillman furthers his argument against the undue influence of the Christian paradigm of self, divinity, and cosmos in modern psychology.99 He begins by pointing out that the tension between monotheism and polytheism represents a basic split in Jungian psychology. Which fantasy, he asks, is it that governs our view of self? For many, Hillman continues, notions of unity, integration, and individuation seem to represent an advance over multiplicity and diversity.100 We know that in the history of western thought, particularly in such areas as the history of religions and cultures, monotheism has been considered superior insofar as it was believed to mark a higher level of spiritual, cultural, and intellectual development than did polytheism. It does not follow, however, that from polytheism must evolve a more purified Weltanschauung characterizable as monotheism. Yet western suppositions still suffer from a bias that refuses to recognize that perspectives other than monotheism reflect differences in temperaments rather than stages of development.101

Hillman tells us that "some people everywhere are by temperament monotheistic; they have a monotheistic psychology."102 This is typified in comments one can find here and there in which certain people claim that they cannot exist in a pluralistic world. By referring to Paul Radin's criticisms of monotheism, Hillman points out that all monotheisms have sprung from the ranks of the "eminently religious"--that is, an intellectually elite group of theoretical thinkers such as Christian trained scientists, philosophers, and theologians, who share a common temperament. The influence of such persons upon culture is said to be stubborn and effective. Monotheistic individuals are characterized as picturing the world only as a unified whole. This may explain Jung's propensity to see the world in terms of the unified, individuated self. Furthermore, Hillman claims that the monotheistic fantasy is strong in our culture because it is a theological equivalent of what is believed to be a more complete, integrated, and numinous psychic condition.103 Hillman notes Radin's argument that monotheism has not been the triumph of a unifying principle over a disruptive one. Furthermore, the persistence of monotheism does not necessarily demonstrate its superiority over polytheism or even its victory in the history of ideas. Both monotheism and polytheism are two differing attitudes toward divinity, which have existed alongside one another for centuries.104

Jung's approach to psychology and self is biased by the perspective of his time which "put monotheism on top in the name of integration."105 After looking at the evidence, Hillman concludes that "Jung's hypothesis may be more an expression of the theological temperament" as opposed to a statement of psychic reality.106 This conclusion prompts Hillman to declare that we must keep such ideas as individual development and cultural development distinct. That is, we cannot assume an equation between the presence of monotheistic stages of development and the Self stage of Jung's individuation. Hillman writes:

It is nowhere established (despite Erich Neumann) that the stages of religious thought...necessarily parallel stages of individual consciousness....Moreover, according to Radin, we should not think in developmental terms at all about the kinds of religions. Culture and religion do not move upwards from the many to the one, from disorder to order, from Babel to Jahweh: monotheism is not identical with superiority except within its own Anschauung."107

Therefore, Hillman postulates, if the so-called superiority of monotheism is in question, we must also question monotheistic models of self.108 To Hillman it is imperative that we be less concerned about stages of development in religions or self, and more interested in understanding why it is that we see the world from such perspectives. Hence, Hillman concludes that we must suspend monotheism both psychologically and theologically. Furthermore, we must cease our monotheistic desires for utopia and integration as well as the Jungian fantasy of individuation.109

As a result of these conclusions, Hillman suggests that we employ a polytheistic paradigm in our psychological understandings of soul. Polytheism, he notes, was first employed by Jung as a means of characterizing the objective psyche which he believed to consist of a multiplicity of partial personalities.110 Hillman further accounts for a polytheistic paradigm with the following statement:

By providing a divine background of personages and powers for each complex, it [a polytheistic psychology] would aim less at gathering them into a unity and more at integrating each fragment according to its own principle, giving each God [and Goddess] its due over that proportion of consciousness, that symptom, complex, fantasy which calls for an archetypal background. It would accept the multiplicity of voices...without insisting upon unifying them into one figure, and accept too the dissociation process into diversity as equal in value to the coagulation process into unity. The pagan Gods and Goddesses would be restored to the psychological domain.111

Focus on the many and the different, as opposed to the one and the same, Hillman informs us, would also allow for a variety of perspectives from which we could look at the psyche. Interest in polytheism, he claims, will "likely produce more insights into emotions, images and relationships even if it be less encouraging for a theology of evolutionary wholeness."112 That is, from the polytheistic perspective, there would be no preferred positions and that "when the idea of progress through hierarchical stages is suspended, there will be more tolerance for the non-growth, non-upward and non-ordered components of the psyche....We may then discover that many of the judgments which have previously been called psychological were rather theological."113

Hillman informs us, however, that the notion of wholeness differs in theology when compared to psychology. Theologically, wholeness refers to the one in relation to God; psychologically wholeness suggests everything--"all the phenomena as phenomena, things as they present themselves."114 In human terms, wholeness refers theologically to the degree of approximation to the ideal of unity and psychologically to "being what one is as one is."115 Thus from the view point of doctrinal Christianity, the proliferation of cults in the Hellenistic period always seemed a degeneration. But if this proliferation of cults is viewed psychologically, in terms of complexes and many forms of being, we could understand the psychic fragmentation supposedly typical of our times as the return of the repressed, "bringing [with it] a return of psychological polytheism."116 As Hillman puts it: "Babel may be a religious decline from one point of view but it may also be a psychological improvement since through the many tongues complete psychological reality is being reflected."117

Hillman notes that when our models of self are governed by a monotheistic psychology, every Self fantasy is necessarily a "prisoner for Christ." Stated otherwise, every way we have of understanding Self must find its meaning ultimately on the one path towards the integration and unity represented by the Christian, monotheistic God. Hillman claims that although science and clinical pragmatism were once the main enemies of the psyche, the major threat to the psyche's freedom of symbol formation today comes from another direction: Christianity. This is the faded Christianity of modernity that is dressed in the guise of a theology of self in its attempt to claim the soul as exclusively its own.118 What is needed, Hillman implies, is a means of apprehending the soul that allows for its diversity of expression, and a psychology based in a polytheistic paradigm can do just this.

One of the most important aspects of a polytheistic paradigm for psychology is the implication for the sacred. The re-sacralization of our means of speaking about the human condition and the physical world are well served by polytheism. There is a felt need in the de-souled, excessively rational and material contemporary world to find a kind of meaning that is analogous to the sacred, as opposed to the mere exchange of information. For Hillman, religions are not defined by the presence of Gods and Goddesses, but rather in terms of observances or the binding of events to one or many instances of numinosity, of that which moves the soul. For all the questions this definition of religion brings up, we must understand that Hillman is not so concerned whether monotheism or polytheism is better or worse (an opposition inherent in the monotheistic bias). Rather it is a question whether

Polytheistic psychology has room for the preferential enactment of any particular myth in a style of life....And [this suggests that] even the myths may change in a life, and the soul serve in its time many Gods. Polytheistic psychology would not suspend the commandment to have "no other Gods before me," but would extend that commandment for each mode of consciousness....No one model would be "before" another, since in polytheism the possibilities of existence are not jealous to the point of excluding each other.119

To Hillman, polytheism offers a style of consciousness that disallows the strict separation of psychology and religion. As I see it, Hillman's polytheistic psychology can help repudiate other separations such as the mind from the body, rationalism from unconsciousness, self from the other, the animated and unanimated. Hillman believes that the two, religion and psychology, are assumed by one another.120 Indeed, with the soul as the root metaphor of a polytheistic psychology, religious concerns are automatically acknowledged. That is, if analysis leads one to the "dark center" from which it is difficult to make the distinction between the unconscious and God, then it is impossible for the therapist to not be involved with religious problems.121

By reclaiming the religious background of the soul, it becomes possible to reclaim the value and meaningfulness provided by our imaginations, myths, stories, and physical experiences. Rather than submitting ourselves to traditional world views that negate the importance of our imaginations and experiences, we are empowered to find value where it had previously been denied. For David Miller, polytheism allows a person to experience himself or herself as many different and yet coextensive selves, "each of which is felt to have autonomous power."122 Miller also cautions us not to take a polytheistic state of mind as something that is pathological, but rather as something that has some "survival value" for the individual.123

In contrast to polytheism, Miller claims that monotheism appeared as an evolution of a self-consciousness that spoke about itself in a certain way: abstract, rational, formal, logical, and speculative styles of thought.124 Still, as in Hillman's appropriation of Radin, we find Miller claiming that the monotheistic style of thought--the rational--is but one style of ideation available to us. Miller, like Hillman, would have us learn to appreciate anew forms of thought other than the rational. He would have us value the mystical, the intuitive, and the imaginative--all activities of a polytheistic self that re-sacralizes the world surrounding it.125

There are two questions related to this issue that must arise at some point. Why turn to polytheism? And, why does Hillman emphasize the Greek polytheistic pantheon over any other assembly of gods? In answering the former question I remind the reader that archetypal psychology relies upon a model of soul that is variegated, with multiple connections both psychically and physically. The soul is seen as diverse or heterogeneous as opposed to being singular, separated, and homogenized. In sum, Hillman considers polytheism the most accurate model of humanity's innately diverse psychology: a model based in polytheism provides much more space for the expression of the marginal or the aspects of a person that are not of the ego. Second, archetypal psychology is the heir of polytheistic attitudes derived from Greek, Renaissance, and Romantic thought: all styles of thought that considered the human situation as one that reflects the diversity and the imaginative potentialities of the world. Furthermore, archetypal psychology's social, political, and psychiatric critique focuses on the hero-myth of secular humanism--i.e., the monotheistic bias that requires the identification of the Self from a singular viewpoint. Finally, a polytheistic psychology provides a multi-dimensional background from which the diverse psyche can be apprehended with sensitivity.126

In answering the latter question--Why turn to Greece?--Hillman suggests that "when the monotheism of consciousness is no longer able to deny the existence of fragmentary autonomous systems and no longer able to deal with our actual psychic state, then there arises the fantasy of returning to Greek polytheism."127 As we are already aware, Hillman believes that monotheistic ego-consciousness suits "the consciousness of an era or of an individual sense that its survival is best served by an archetypal pattern of heroism and unity"128--which, presumably, we have left. Yet the psyche, whether it is in crisis or not, has other fantasies of itself. Hebraic monotheism is not the only way to discuss the psyche: there is futurism, turning to the East, or the noble savage. Still, such alternatives are perceived by Hillman to be less satisfying than the fantasy of Greece because they are not a part of the West's historical consciousness and the images that affect Western individuals. This is the reason why Hillman advocates a "return to Greece." He claims that "Greece provides a polycentric pattern of the most richly elaborated polytheisms of all cultures, and so is able to hold the chaos of the secondary personalities and autonomous impulses of a field, a time, or an individual."129 It is through Greece that the West's images are derived, he claims, and that it is through Greece that we may find the means of imagining self that are not so far removed from our own experiences as to leave us floundering in a sea of half-understood metaphors and musings.130

It must be noted, however, that for all Hillman's insistence that psychology include the numinous in its conversations with the soul, a distinction is maintained between archetypal psychology and religion. Hillman sees Greek myth less as a religion and more as a psychological metaphor. He writes that "Greece becomes the multiple magnifying mirror in which the psyche can recognize its persons and processes in configurations which are larger than life but which bear on the life of our secondary personalities."131 Hillman suggests that by understanding the personified archetypes to be Gods and Goddesses, they become more than instinctual patterns or structures that are believed to order the psyche as it is found in traditional forms of depth psychology. Instead, we can learn to recognize them as persons, each with a separate personality or mode of being. Finally, we can come to realize that our lives contain a diversity of relationships with archetypes.132 To Hillman, it is through the imagination of Greece, for instance, that we can animate, personify, and enter into dialogue with the `partial personalities' that range about in each soul. It is through the imagination that the contents of our souls take on form and come to have meaning. Thus a further task for psychology, Hillman concludes, is being at home in the imaginal. That is, psychology must be able to deal with the "differentiation of the imaginal, discovering its laws, its configurations and moods of discourse, its psychological necessities."133 Until we know these things, we are forced to call the soul's activities `pathology,' which condemn "the imagination to sickness and the persons of it to making their appearances mainly through pathological manifestations."134

In the last few pages I have outlined Hillman's critique of traditional psychology and his call for the formation of a polytheistic paradigm when considering self. To use Hillman's terms, the fantasy of monotheism is no longer capable of containing the self as it is experienced today. To this apparent paradigm crisis in contemporary psychology's approach to self, Hillman offers another fantasy: the aesthetic response, or "thought of the heart." It is through the logos of the psyche, the language of the soul that we find a second means of approaching human social and psychic activity in a manner that is less restrictive than the literal, rational, monotheistic, and strictly scientific techniques. To Hillman, imagining is the primary activity of the soul. Furthermore, the soul is located in the heart--the heart of the lion, the heart of animal passions, the heart of spontaneity. This is the heart of our feelings and it is through our feelings, our reactions to the both psychic and worldly events that the soul makes itself heard.

In the next chapter, following the discussion of polytheism, I will investigate Hillman's emphasis on fantasy and imagination as the primary activity of the soul, as the soul's language. I contend that before it is possible to articulate an alternate notion of self, we must first be able to imagine it, to develop a language that respects the workings of the soul. But imagination alone is not enough. The question as to how imagination and soul work together must also be explored. Hence, this chapter will end where the next begins--with an examination of a second paradigm that Hillman offers psychology: aesthetics. To Hillman it is aesthetics, both beauty and ugliness, that moves the heart which is the seat of the soul. More importantly, however, is Hillman's aesthetic paradigm operates partially to ground the abstract nature of much of archetypal psychology. By imagining the soul as being seated in the heart--the naive, feeling heart of primitive nature--Hillman locates the soul firmly in the human body. Hence, Hillman's understanding of the soul is that it is not something removed from our physical natures, but is something intimately involved and interconnected both to the human body and is the physical world as anima mundi, the Neo-platonic idea of the world soul.


1 Although I am introducing a problematic inherent in Hillman's thought, it is not within the scope of this chapter to deal with areas of contention between Hillman and contemporary feminist thinkers about religion. This chapter is designed to outline archetypal psychology with an eye to pointing out how Hillman may be understood as articulating an alternate notion of self.

2 James Hillman & Michael Ventura. We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse. (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1992), 62.

3 In Hillman's thought, there is a distinction made between fantasy and phantasy. The former is said to refer to imagining, daydreaming, and fancying in such a way as to be equated with neurotic day dreaming. The latter is said to refer to the "imaginative activity that underlies all thought and feeling" and which has its roots in biological processes and symbolic elaboration. Charles Rycroft. A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis. (Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1977 [1968]), 118.

4 James Hillman. Re-Visioning Psychology, (New York: Harper and Row, 1975), 70. Charles Rycroft also argues that there is no reason to suppose that there is a fundamental difference between the activities of unconscious and conscious ideation. See: "Symbolism and its Relationship to the Primary and Secondary Processes," (Imagination and Reality. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1968), 42-58.

5 James Hillman. "How Jewish is Archetypal Psychology?" Spring 1992 53:121-130.

6 James Hillman. The Dream and the Underworld. (New York: Harper and Row, 1979), 25.

7 James Hillman. Archetypal Psychology: A Brief Account. (Dallas: Spring Publications, 1988 [1983]), 17. Hillman also points out the soul is used interchangeably with psyche, anima, and Seele.

8 Ibid., 17.

9 Ibid., 6.

10 Ibid., 17.

11 Ibid., 7.

12 Ibid., 8.

13 Idea gleaned in casual conversation with Henry R. Leyenhorst, February 23, 1994. See also Hillman's The Dream and the Underworld.

14 Hillman, The Dream and the Underworld, 69-73.

15 Ibid., 74.

16 Ibid., 82; 111-112.

17 Ibid., 83.

18 Ibid., 85-90.

19 Ibid., 100-104.

20 James Hillman. Suicide and the Soul. (New York: Harper and Row, 1964), 24-60.

21 James Hillman. Insearch: Psychology and Religion. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1967), 43-48.

22 Ibid., 47-55.

23 James Hillman. The Myth of Analysis. (New York Harper and Row, 1972), 6.

24 Ibid., 6.

25 Ibid., 120ff.

26 Ibid., 190-200.

27 James Hillman, Re-Visioning Psychology, 1-33.

28 Ibid., 56-57.

29 Ibid., 70-76.

30 Ibid., 145-160.

31 Ibid., 160-170.

32 James Hillman. Healing Fiction. (USA: Station Hill, 1983), ix.

33 Ibid.

34 Ibid., 16ff.

35 James Hillman. "From Mirror to Window: Curing Psychoanalysis of its Narcissism." Spring 1989: 62-75.

36 Hillman & Ventura, Hundred Years of Psychotherapy, 151.

37 Ibid., 17.

38 Ibid., 6.

39 Ibid., 25.

40 Ibid., 26.

41 Ibid., 27.

42 James Hillman. "Abandoning the Child," Loose Ends. (Zürich: Spring Publications, 1975), 8-16.

43 Hillman & Ventura, Hundred Years of Psychotherapy, 71f. The danger of the inner child ideology, as Michael Ventura points out, is that it "exaggerates both their vulnerability and their powerlessness, and denigrates a lot of good survival skills as "symptoms"." It ignores the viciousness and destructiveness of children as well as several other kinds of behaviour innate to children.

44 Ibid., 73.

45 Ibid.

46 Hillman, "Abandoning the Child," 18.

47 Ibid., 70. Hillman suggests a methodological approach that views life lived backwards. That is, he would have psychology view in "the mirror of childhood the traits, the wounds, and the wonders, but it [psychology must] see[...] them as fundamentally uncaused even if they are performed by actor-like parents and siblings and teachers (and violators) in the drama I call my life." (70)

48 Ibid., 19.

49 Hillman & Ventura, Hundred Years of Psychotherapy, 8f.

50 Ibid., 10.

51 Ibid., 70 [My emphasis].

52 Hillman points out that the growth fantasy also makes the assumption that the child exists in sin (i.e., original sin) and must be removed from such a state. For Hillman "Psychology does not notice that its constructs and interpretations have become dogmatic expressions of a fantasy, so that psychology no longer can reflect the actual psyche in conditions that bespeak neither hoping nor growing and are neither natural nor whole." (Hillman, "Abandoning the Child", 27.)

53 Ibid., 29 [My emphasis].

54 Hillman & Ventura, Hundred Years of Psychotherapy, 24-25.

55 Hillman, Suicide and the Soul, 160.

56 Ibid., 163.

57 Hillman & Ventura, Hundred Years of Psychotherapy, 205.

58 Ibid., 151f.

59 Hillman, Suicide and the Soul, 19.

60 Ibid., 48. Italics in original.

61 Ibid., 140ff.

62 Ibid., 48.

63 Ibid., 57.

64 Ibid., 130. Italics in original.

65 Hillman, Re-Visioning Psychology, 77.

66 Ibid., 78.

67 Ibid.

68 Ibid., 80.

69 Hillman, Suicide and the Soul, 130.

70 Ibid., 133.

71 Pathologizing is a term introduced by Hillman to refer to the "psyche's autonomous ability to create illness, morbidity, disorder, abnormality, and suffering in any aspect of its behavior and to experience and imagine life through this deformed and afflicted perspective." Re-Visioning Psychology, 57.

72 Ibid., 87f.

73 See Hillman's Egalitarian Typologies Versus the Perception of the Unique. Eranos Lecture Series 4. (Dallas: Spring Publications, 1980). In this book Hillman argues against the appropriateness of using typologies in psychology. To Hillman, typologies are a way of fixing individuals into simplistic categories, while ignoring the complexity and uniqueness of each individual.

74 Hillman, Re-Visioning Psychology, 70.

75 Ibid., 177.

76 James Hillman, Suicide and the Soul, 140ff.

77 James Hillman, The Myth of Analysis, 121f.

78 Ibid., 144.

79 Ibid., 128.

80 Ibid.

81 See, for instance, Catherine Keller's From a Broken Web: Separation, Sexism and Self. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1986); Mary Daly's Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1978); and, Carol P. Christ's Laughter of Aphrodite: Reflections on a Journey to the Goddess. (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1987).

82 James Hillman. Inter Views, (New York: Harper and Row, 1983), 131.

83 Ibid., 135.

84 Hillman, Re-Visioning Psychology, 48.

85 Hillman & Ventura, Hundred Years of Psychotherapy, 4.

86 Ibid.

87 Ibid., 5.

88 R.D. Laing. Self and Others. (Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1969 [1961]), 34.

89 Hillman & Ventura, Hundred Years of Psychotherapy, 12-13.

90 Hillman, Re-Visioning Psychology, 200.

91 Hillman, Inter Views, 82.

92 Ibid., 83.

93 Ibid., 85.

94 Hillman, Re-Visioning Psychology, 219.

95 Ibid., 221.

96 Ibid., 209.

97 Ibid.

98 Ibid., 221.

99 James Hillman. "Psychology: Monotheistic or Polytheistic?" (Spring 1971, New York: Spring Publications, 1971), 193-208.

100 Ibid., 193f.

101 Ibid.

102 Ibid.

103 Ibid.

104 Ibid., 194-195.

105 Ibid.

106 Ibid.

107 Ibid.

108 Ibid., 196.

109 Ibid., 197.

110 Ibid.

111 Ibid.

112 Ibid., 198.

113 Ibid.

114 Ibid., 199.

115 Ibid.

116 Ibid., 199.

117 Ibid., 200.

118 Ibid., 203f.

119 Ibid., 201.

120 Hillman, Re-Visioning Psychology, 168f.

121 Hillman, Insearch, 54.

122 David Miller. The New Polytheism: Rebirth of the Gods and Goddesses. (New York: Harper and Row, 1974), 5.

123 Ibid.

124 Ibid., 27.

125 Ibid., 36-37.

126 Hillman, Archetypal Psychology, 32-34.

127 Hillman, Re-Visioning Psychology, 27.

128 Ibid., 28.

129 Ibid., 29.

130 Hillman's (and Miller) demand that the west must adopt the Greek polytheistic pantheon for a polytheistic psychology is one area of contention that needs to be examined. Some feminists and members of a variety of new religious movements that adopt polytheism as part of their world view have problems with exclusively sanctioning the greek pantheon. For Starhawk, the issues resides in the fact that the Greek pantheon we know are familiar with has a basis in the written word. For Starhawk, the fact that the Greek pantheon comes to us via a tradition of literacy tells us that it emerged out of patriarchal social praxis involving patterns of warfare and heroic consciousness (she believes that goddess centered societies were defeated by the time of the invention of written language). Because of the paternity of the Greek cultural background at the material level, Starhawk suggests, the recourse to the gods and goddesses of ancient Greek myth leave little space for women (and men) who are attempting to reimagine selfhood as other than represented by patriarchy. (Starhawk. Truth or Dare: Encounters with Power, Authority, and Mystery. (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1987), 105f). Margot Adler, author of Drawing Down the Moon, is also critical of Miller and Hillman's exclusion of other polytheistic pantheons. Adler notes that many neo-pagans diverge with Miller and Hillman regarding the belief that it is inappropriate to adopt other form of polytheism than the Greek. Both Miller and Hillman may be right when they note that Greek thought has been influential in the west. Yet, to exclude such polytheistic traditions, for instance, as the Nordic, the Welsh, the Celtic, the Germanic, the African for African Americans, and Native traditions for Amerindians does an injustice to, first, a polytheistic perspective that has `no preferred positions,' and, second, to these other facets of the menage of western society's cultural heritage. (Margot Adler. Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1986), 24ff).

131 Ibid., 30.

132 Ibid., 35.

133 Ibid., 37.

134 Ibid.

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Last updated: April 22, 1996.