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Bedi, A. (2011). Hill, John. At Home in the World: Sounds and Symmetries of Belonging. New Orleans, Louisiana: Spring Journal Books, 2010. Pp. xii+288. Pbk. $26.95/£22.50.. J. Anal. Psychol., 56(4):550-551.

(2011). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 56(4):550-551

Book Reviews

Hill, John. At Home in the World: Sounds and Symmetries of Belonging. New Orleans, Louisiana: Spring Journal Books, 2010. Pp. xii+288. Pbk. $26.95/£22.50.

Review by:
Ashok Bedi

The author has divided his concept of home into sections that make it convenient to get our hands around this complex subject matter. In the opening section, Home, Womb of Many Stories, the author proposes that a home is the symbolic womb of our soul where a home of stones and mortar becomes a home made of subtle elements. John Hill soulfully depicts the story of his fascination with a Kelim rug on a visit to Turkey. Its simple design, of green patterns in the centre and around its fringes a background of light beige, gripped him in a complex. Further reflection revealed the symbolic significance of the fascination: the light beige is the colour of the Aegean Islands that he loves, the green the colour of Ireland, his native land. Hill proposes that the artist who made this exquisite rug eventually let it go, just as we must let go of the material, but the memories endure in their emotional significance.

In the next section, Home as the Birthplace of Culture, the author proposes that the father tongue is the scientific and technological language of schools, universities and professions, while our first language of encounters with the mother, lover and friends is the mother tongue. The mother tongue is the relational language of the unconscious, rooted in our right brain; it is the medium where we are at home with ourselves, others, our history and our soul. While the father tongue may become the voice of our ego, the mother tongue is the home of the soul.

In the next section, Home as the Temenos of the Soul's Lineage, Hill postulates that a therapist cannot provide home as a material replica of childhood, but home's meaning or lack of meaning can find reappraisal within the context of analysis as a building block in one's individuation.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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