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Jacoby, M. (1976). HILLMAN, James Re-visioning psychology. New York, Evanston, San Francisco, London, Harper and Row. 1975. Pp. 266. $12.50.. J. Anal. Psychol., 21(2):227-229.

(1976). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 21(2):227-229

HILLMAN, James Re-visioning psychology. New York, Evanston, San Francisco, London, Harper and Row. 1975. Pp. 266. $12.50.

Review by:
Marianne Jacoby

The first draft of this book was delivered at the 1972 Dwight Harrington Terry Lectures at Yale University. The lectures’ aims call for a pioneering spirit, and are ‘not the promotion of scientific investigation and discovery, but rather the assimilation and interpretation of that which has been or shall be hereafter discovered ….’

These aims pervade the whole book. It is not written for analysts alone, but for the analyzed or any reader who cares for his psyche and imagination. The last nouns should be transposed into ‘psychologizing’ and ‘imagining’, so as to match the four chapters whose titles read, abbreviated: ‘Personifying’, ‘Pathologizing’, ‘Psychologizing’, and ‘Dehumanizing or soul-making’. With the emphasis on psychological activity the gerunds seem inescapable, if unfamiliar, in the author's search for a language that is not soulkilling. Rhetoric is essential to the structure of Hillman's archetypal psychology and becomes more his own with each new publication.

In this context, Jung's work appears to become more a point of departure than to remain a temenos. Hillman points beyond Jung, as well as Freud. Yet, both old masters seem to meander through the book from beginning to end. But Hillman searches for earlier, cultural ancestors and meets them in our own Western history which, he thinks, we tend to neglect in favour of looking East.

I am starting here with the end of the book and feel quite happy to do so, because in the author's own view the flow of his ideas is ‘episodic and circular’. On one of the last pages the message of this book is cast into a symbolic image. The author envisages—in his imaginal geography—a vertical axis, leading from North to South, of which, he reminds us, we are not sufficiently aware. The longitudinal shaft is intersected by the Alpine, horizontal axis, which connects Occident with Orient, of which, he warns us, we make too much.

Starting again at the top, where, symbolically, our consciousness resides, Hillman points out that our consciousness should not be regarded as Western but as Northern.

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