Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Writer's Challenge

Dr. James Hillman
founder of Archetypal Psychology
Director of Jung Institute in Zurich in the mid-20th C,
but asked to leave because of his "radical" ideas

James Hillman, the founder of Archetypal Psychology and one of the depth psychologists from the lineage of Freud and Jung (and way back before Plato and Hericlitus) died today - of bone cancer, like my father. He was 85. Hillman believed that the soul needed a voice and that it speaks to us through images -  in dreams, in architecture, in culture, in our madness. He was a maverick in the world of psychology and loved it that way. He wrote a book whose title I just love, We've Had 100 Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse.  He also wrote the beautiful The Soul's Code and Revisioning Psychology.

So, as Lee's work follows in this lineage, we toasted Dr. Hillman tonight. He taught a few of Lee's classes, during which Lee was always enlightened and he donated his library to Pacifica. Tonight, I dug into some of his books for "light bedtime reading." Yikes. He is not an easy read. But Revisioning Psychology started with this great quote from the Spaniard Ortega y Gasset; Hillman had it in front of him as he wrote Revisioning Psychology. I present it as a challenge to all of you friendly writers out there; it was so powerful, it catapulted me out of bed to my computer to write this post.

"Why write, if this too easy activity of pushing a pen across a paper is not given a certain bull-fighting risk and we do not approach dangerous, agile, and two-horned topics?"

-Ortega y Gasset

Indeed. I've been playing it safe.

What needs to be written?

Rest in peace, James Hillman.

1 comment:

  1. synchronicity?
    another writer awakened in the night.

    blessings on james hillman.
    blessings on you, alecia stevens, blessings of earth.