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RE-Visioning Psychology Paperback – 29 Feb 1992


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial; Reissue edition (29 Feb. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060905638
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060905637
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 16.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 208,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Pub Date: 1977-12-28 Pages: 304 Language: English Publisher: HarperCollins US This groundbreaking classic explores the necessity of connections between our life and soul and developing the main lines of the soul-making process.

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First Sentence
In this book I shall frequently use psyche or soul as the subject of the sentence, making statements such as "the psyche claims, hungers, needs" "the soul sees" "the psyche reflects upon itself." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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68 of 68 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Jan. 1999
Format: Paperback
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.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Dec. 1998
Format: Paperback
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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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By P. Matthews on 26 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
Hillman is an excitable character, his writing on the subject is passionate and you end up taking deep breathes before re-entering the text. A Jungian thearpist, Hillman has a major issue with psycho-therapy, that it is internalising emotions and soul-less in its literature. 'The Modern vision of ourselves and the world has stultified our imaginations. It has fixed our view of personality (psychology), of insanity (psychopathology), of matter and objects (science), of the cosmos (metaphysics), and of the nature of the divine (theology). Moreover it has fixed the methods in all the fields so that they present a unified front against soul...What is needed is re-visioning, a fundamental shift of perspective out of that soulless predicament we call modern consciousness.' Hillman's quote is typical of his energy, the point is - he is right and needs to listened to - seriously - buy this book, you will learn an awful lot.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. Farrell on 29 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
Revisioning is the title and this book is Hillman's opus major on his passionate sholarly and sophisticated twist on the psyche. As rich as Hades in treasures and a book that astounds on every page and takes you on a journey into a radical psychology that places imagination at its heart. The ideas propounded are complex and though written in the 70's, are still fresh and the implications have not yet, as far as I am aware, been imagined forward other than by Hillman himself, although others have responded and been enthused such as Thomas Moore. But hey, stay with the real McCoy. I love this book and each time I have ventured to take a breath and read it, be immersed in it I have been startled by the insight, the originality and the breadth of learning woven through every page. Should be a classic and a core text for any psychologically minded human anumal
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 19 reviews
107 of 114 people found the following review helpful
A Coup de Grace 23 Jan. 1999
By Edwardson Tan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
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.
68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
An excellent overview of archetypal theory 5 Dec. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
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.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
The Last Great Classic of Psycho-Mythology 13 Jan. 2009
By John David Ebert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is one of the great classics born out of the crossing between psychology and mythology. Indeed, one might even say this was the LAST such classic, for there have been very, very few great books on mythology produced since this came out in the mid 1970s.

Hillman is a Jungian, but a refreshingly nihilistic one who does away with the theory of Individuation, mandalas, the ego - Self axis and other such baggage. What interests Hillman is strictly the archetypes because for him, the archetypes essentially are the gods -- the Greek gods -- hiding in the modern world. Hillman's interest in mythology, it should also be said, is exclusive to Greek and Roman myth: you will not hear him making references to Hindu or Chinese deities. Ever. For Hillman, mythology means Greek myth and that is both one of his failings and his strengths.

The key idea of "Re-Visioning Psychology" is Hillman's notion of what he calls "psychologizing," in which he says, quite simply, that "there are gods in our ideas." Hillman has a knack for cracking open concepts -- scientific or otherwise -- and coaxing the runny yellow gold of the gods to come forth. Ideas in the mind, he says, often conceal mythological archetypes as their indwelling inspiration. Darwin's theory of evolution, for instance, involves the archetype of the Great Mother and her dying and reviving consort; Locke's theory of the mind as a tabula rasa, or empty slate which requires experience to fill it up, is really a disguised version of the myth of Sleeping Beauty, waiting for her prince to wake her up; Freud's theory of the ego and the Id is really a version of the hero myth, in which the solar warrior hero descends into the underworld in order to conquer it. Where Id was, there shall ego be.

"Psychologizing" is thus one of the most useful ideas in the history of mythology / psychology since it can be applied to a broad spectrum of ideas. Ideas often do conceal myths inside them, as do, according to Hillman, things like illnesses and depression. Masturbation involves the god Pan, for instance; depression is the archetype of Saturn; and the great myth of analysis, for Hillman, is the story of Cupid and Psyche.

Hillman is interested in the psychology of the soul and not -- like Ken Wilber, for instance -- the realm of the spirit, with its intolerance of ambiguities, suffering and chaos. The realm of the soul has to do with suffering, depression, anxiety and suicide. These are the dark areas of the human psyche which to Hillman become revelations of the soul's need for attention in the form of fantasies of death. The soul craves the death / rebirth experience, not in a literal sense, but in an imaginal sense.

According to Hillman, the fantasies which the soul spins forth are images -- in our dreams, in our fantasies -- which, over the course of a life, are creating our own private ship of death, our own imaginal vessel which will carry us on to the afterlife.

Hillman, these days, seems to have fallen a bit out of fashion, and that's too bad, because he really does have good ideas to contribute to the field of psychology and mythology. If you ever decide to read any of his books at all, read this one. It's his best.

SEE ALSO MY LECTURE ON HILLMAN ON YOU TUBE

--John David Ebert, author of "The New Media Invasion."
51 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Seeing Through the Serious Business of Psychotherapy 9 July 2000
By Mike Arnautov - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
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.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Most influential book I have ever read 6 Jun. 2009
By Michael D. Bogar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
On the initial episode of the award winning HBO series, The Sopranos, a depressed gangster named Tony Soprano tells his wife Carmela that he is seeing a psychiatrist, and is now taking Prozac. Carmela is thrilled and replies, "Tony! That's wonderful! Psychology doesn't address the soul; that's something else." This bit of writing by David Chase is incredibly insightful; modern psychology addresses behavior, statistical norms and bio-chemical brain activity, but not The Soul. James Hillman addresses Soul, or re-addresses Soul as he re-visions and points to the Idea of Soul in Psychology.

I have been a student of religion and psychology for over thirty years. I have read thousands of books. This book, without exaggeration, is the most profound and revolutionary book I have ever read. The perspective of soul-making is refreshing, and is potentially a new unifying numinous center in a world where culturally-bound religions must fade away. Hillman draws on the soul of history, philosophy, literature, mythology, theology and other fields with Psyche as the hub of the interdisciplinary spokes in the wheel.

The notions of soul-making through personifying, pathologizing, psychologing and dehumanizing are fascinating ways of using and being used by Psyche. Notice that each of the four word ends in 'ing,' implying that these are activities of soul, not states or qualities. Psyche is alive, active and eternal. Psyche is the unfathomable Imaginal Realm in and from which we swim, dream, fantasize and develop.

This is not an easy read. It is a tough nut to crack; but once you reach the myriad kernels inside, the value is immense! I am reading, I should say contemplating the Ideas in this book for the fifth time. This book doesn't give you principles or solutions, but rather a way of seeing, and seeing through. If you have never read Hillman, you may want to read The Soul's Code first; it is a sort of Primer for his opus, Re-Visioning Psychology.

If you are interested in a Soul-making Blog, please visit my site at: [...]

Michael Bogar, MDiv, ThM
[...]
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