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Re-Visioning Psychology

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Book Overview

This groundbreaking classic explores the necessity of making connections between our life and soul and developing the main lines of the soul-making process. Hillman: - argues that modern science... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

A must for every psychologist/spiritualist.

An excellent introduction to archetypal work. Following Jung's footsteps but also going beyond them, Hillman criticizes the ideas of spiritual wholeness. Also he brings back the term "soul" in a beautiful romantic way, showing us why it is important and the role it has in our lives. Overall an interesting read, would recommend to people already somewhat introduced to Psychodynamics, particularly Jung's ideas, otherwise it can be a painful read. But no pain no gain!

Psyche and Imagination

Excellent read - Hillman's dialectic compells us to consider that integration does not necessarily need to mean sythensis - in fact, we will continue to be alienated if we pursue this heroic task blindly.


This is Hillman at his best, presenting psychology in a new light. The book gave me many new perspectives; combining Hillman's creativity and intuition with a modecum of "enfant terrable". Although not always easy to read, it is well worth the effort. I have given this book to a rather square psychoanalyst in the hope that it would turn his head around a bit.

Seeing Through the Serious Business of Psychotherapy

I think Jung would have appreciated the irony: in a way this book both completes and thoroughly undermines the Jungian project. At least that's how it worked for me. Hillman is a genuinely wise man (I do hope he never reads this, or if he does, that he forgives me for saying so! :-). Yes, he is certainly a poet, a mythologist, a psychotherapist, a thinker, an iconoclast, a scholar etc, etc... But above all, he is a wise man -- a shaman, a guide. In this book he turns his gift for "seeing through" to the subject of psychotherapy itself. I can only describe the result as an astonishing, erudite, profoundly beautiful and ultimately liberating dance, in which Hillman, on our behalf, engages (and disengages!) himself with the psychological stuff of psychotherapy. This is healing of the highest order, and I never expected to encounter it in such an accessible form.Having read this book, I can no longer think of Psyche in terms other than those of polytheistic "seeing through". And I can no longer read any books on psychotherapy, except through Hillman's playful, re-visioning eyes -- no, not even Jung, nor Hillman himself. The circle is complete. The thesis and anti-thesis have combined into synthesis, and in the four-step magical dialectics, got transmuted into a new totality. Where do we go from here? I have no idea, but it will be somewhere else.

A Coup de Grace

Hillman boasts in his foreword that this book is packed with ideas. He was being humble. It will take several rereads to fully savor all the things he has said and all the things he has intentionally left for our imagination to grasp and intuit. This is one of the few 20th century books I have come across that does indeed deal with psyche-ology--understanding the soul. The closest contender I have seen is Rollo May's "Love and Will." After reading Hillman other works read like elementary textbooks. Many may be repelled by Hillman's seeming anachronistic and animistic return to gods, daimons, and personifications; as if taking the field of psychology on a regress. Hillman may even seem to some as living in a fantasy world concocted out of what he's read between Plato and the Renaissance period. But this is not mere atavism on his part, to revive a nostalgic time and worldview. As Hillman states in his latest book "The Soul's Code" we need only fall madly in love to admit of a daimonic possession. Gods--archetypes--animate us. Some gods may be dead but many others certainly are up to the task of roiling us.Hillman is a master writer. He is effusive as any scribe of the soul should be. He is poetic and mythic; he provokes the reader and evokes a litany of images and connections. Helmsmen Intuition and Imagination are continually steering Hillman's hand. If there are contradictions in this work then they are most welcome, and even sought. How else can it be? Simple sciences breed simplistic answers. Something as complex as the soul and as great as the imagination cannot but procreate that which to Logic appears as contradictions. And so his style and objective as he admits is to confuse and confound rather than reduce and ground (in the empirical and, therefore, to a halt). There can be no pat and final answers or theologies of the soul and the gods, and Hillman makes certain of that.

An excellent overview of archetypal theory

For those of you not put off by James Hillman's obviously ornate writing style, this book is an excellent place to turn if a deeper understanding of archetypal psychology is your desire. Hillman is as hard to read here as he is elsewhere, but he's hard to read with a purpose: since part of his thesis is that metaphoric and mythic language is more alive than "conceptual" language, he spends much of his time writing mythically and metaphorically. If you have no patience with poetry, avoid Re-visioning Psychology. However, if you are willing to indulge Hillman and allow yourself to experience his ideas in your heart (and soul) and not exclusively in your head, then give this book a try.
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