James Hillman, Jungian bad boy: Ten Quotations

“This is a man who isn’t afraid of looking at the dark side or saying things that are unpopular or politically incorrect.”

Tracey Cleantis
Psychology Today
James Hillman: Follow Your Uncertainty
February 22, 2011

One of the more articulate quasi- and post Jungians is James Hillman, founder of Archeytpal Psychology. One of his more provocative book titles is, One Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and We Are still not Better. All of his books make for interesting reading.
Read Ms. Cleantis’s blog, then read these ten quotations from him:

The sexual fascination is the soul trying to get out and get into something other than itself.

My practice tells me I can no longer distinguish clearly between neurosis of self and neurosis of world, psychopathology of self and psychopathology of world. Moreover, it tells me that to place neurosis and psychopathology solely in personal reality is a delusional repression of what is actually, realistically, being experienced.

The word “normal” comes from the Greek norma, which was a carpenter’s square, that right-angled tool for establishing straightness.

Soul enters only via symptoms, via outcast phenomena like the imagination of artists or alchemy or “primitives,” or of course, disguised as psychopathology. That’s what Jung meant when he said the Gods have become diseases: the only way back for them in a Christian world is via the outcast.

The psyche is highly flammable material. So we are always wrapping things in asbestos, keeping our images and fantasies at arm’s length because they are so full of love.

Our life is psychological, and the purpose of life is to make psyche of it, to find connections between life and soul.

It’s important to ask yourself, How am I useful to others? What do people want from me? That may very well reveal what you are here for.

Psychotherapy theory turns it all on you: you are the one who is wrong. If a kid is having trouble or is discouraged, the problem is not just inside the kid; it’s also in the system, the society.

Too many people have been analyzing their pasts, their childhoods, their memories, their parents, and realizing that it doesn’t do anything-or that it doesn’t do enough.

You don’t attack the grunts of Vietnam; you blame the theory behind the war. Nobody who fought in that war was at fault. It was the war itself that was at fault. It’s the same thing with psychotherapy.

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