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Peters, R. (1986). HILLMAN, J. (Dallas). The Thought of the Heart. Eranos Lectures. Dallas, Spring Publications 1984. pp. 50. Paperback.. J. Anal. Psychol., 31(4):387.

(1986). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 31(4):387

HILLMAN, J. (Dallas). The Thought of the Heart. Eranos Lectures. Dallas, Spring Publications 1984. pp. 50. Paperback.

Review by:
Roderick Peters

Edited by:
Barbara Wharton

Those who know Hillman's work will already know his vision of analysis as the unique work of soul-making, his passionate belief in the importance for the individual of realising the soul's participation in mythic reality and its capacity consciously to experience the animated world. For those who are unfamiliar with Hillman, this 1979 Eranos lecture may seem far from easy to articulate with analytic experience.

A work of love for Henry Corbin, it is composed in the key of ‘Himma’; Himma is the experiencing as ‘real’—not as products of our own making, but as genuinely created and authentic—the figures of the imagination; they exist outside the imagining faculty itself. Hillman takes it as already established (by Corbin) that the heart is the seat of imagination, that when we speak from the heart we speak imaginatively.

His intention is to try to restore the animal sense to imagining, linking Himma with the animal sense. To this end he evokes first the image of the Lion heart—the animal heart, the microcosm sun heart, the sulphur of life, courage and passion—suggesting that it is by means of this animal heart that we perceive and respond imaginally. Without the opus contra naturam of analysis, however, the love of this heart is fused with its object (compulsive projections). Next he looks at what has happened to the image of the heart with the advent of the heart of Harvey—anatomised, mechanicalised, the divided pump, the heart that has become ‘the number-one killer’.

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