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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hillman's imagining at its best
When I first read Hillman's 'souls code' I found it difficult to approach and assess. Having read it through on third reading this is probably my favourite Hillman book. It weaves a clever but accessible imaginal revisioning of psychology, childhood and ontology that turns all the assumptions of developmental psychology on it's head. If read and taken literally it can...
Published on 6 April 2010 by L. Farrell

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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Apology of Platonism framed in a Jungian context
This book tries to form a coherent whole of the thoughts of Plato and Jung without really succeeding despite Hillman's many interesting ideas thoroughly exposed in his book. It is mainly centred around the philosophical struggle of Hillman in trying to conciliate the two thinkers in his own soul and mind. The engaging concept of the acorn can be traced back to the "Seven...
Published on 18 Nov 2003 by Enrico London


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hillman's imagining at its best, 6 April 2010
This review is from: Soul's Code (Hardcover)
When I first read Hillman's 'souls code' I found it difficult to approach and assess. Having read it through on third reading this is probably my favourite Hillman book. It weaves a clever but accessible imaginal revisioning of psychology, childhood and ontology that turns all the assumptions of developmental psychology on it's head. If read and taken literally it can lead you astray. There is a powerful agenda however that reinforces Hillman's central aim of raising awareness of the fundamental role that imagination has in structuring ideas, beliefs and assumptions, particularly in psychology, and how these can constrict our vision and view. A wonderful book that has faults and virtues. Hillman is possibly entertaining a different imagination of who we are replete with Platonic Daemons.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gateway to the soul, 28 Feb 2013
By 
Mr. Tj Chown "Toby" (Brighton) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling (Paperback)
Only 5 reviews for this book? This was the first Hillman book I read and his best seller. I think it makes a good gateway into the subversive complexity of his ideas. Hillman is not interested in espousing systems but more in exploding ideas with other ideas. This sounds destructive, but it is to Hillman's credit that his use of ideas is nothing if not creative. So the "parental fallacy"that takes on almost an entire arm of psychology and psychotherapy is argued not on the ground of attachment theory and its relative merits, but on the ground of a psychological need to have ideas about character formation that is not based on attachment or genetics. You could see the whole force of the book as pointing in this direction, arguing for seeing one's life as unique based on the evidence of the lives around us. This kind of robust intuitive imaginative approach is going to alienate some, but it does make the book necessary in redressing a balance. It opens up a new room in psychology that had been locked shut. As such, the book is a tour de force, flawed interesting and brilliant, it allows a person to re-imagine themselves without recourse to the hopeless platitudes of self help manuals. His earlier books are better, I would recomend InterViews as a great further introduction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Acorn theory, 15 Jan 2014
By 
cathryn wirth (north kingstown, RI, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling (Paperback)
This book is exactly what the title says....there is no avoiding your souls calling and learning how to see the signs/ opportunity along the way ., the acorn theory affirms our uniqueness and destiny
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Apology of Platonism framed in a Jungian context, 18 Nov 2003
This review is from: The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling (Paperback)
This book tries to form a coherent whole of the thoughts of Plato and Jung without really succeeding despite Hillman's many interesting ideas thoroughly exposed in his book. It is mainly centred around the philosophical struggle of Hillman in trying to conciliate the two thinkers in his own soul and mind. The engaging concept of the acorn can be traced back to the "Seven sermons to the death" written by Jung himself. Unfortunately, Hillman does not analyse these sermons that were published together with the German version of "Memories, Dreams, Reflections" by Jung. Moreover, one of the key tenets in the book is the so-called "parental fallacy" goes against many ychological studies that should have been at least mentioned in some footnotes.
- Briefly: Plato's and Jung's thoughts surely overlap to some extent but why shall we bother to force them together? To those interested in the Hillman's metaphor of the acorn I would recommend "The Gnostic Jung and the Seven Sermons to the Dead" by Stephan A. Hoeller instead.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The soul's code, 24 Mar 2011
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Interesting approach to a persons soul and character development. A deep dive into ones individuality. Can be helpful to find courage that lies within us.
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18 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ties together spiritual and psychological development, 26 April 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling (Paperback)
Hillman moves on from blame of the mother, to examining the inate core of one's being. He introduces the concept of "the acorn" theory of psychic development, how suffering develops soul and what it means to be a human being. This is a book that puts one to pondering.
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23 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing - but implies making disgusting generalisations, 8 Dec 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling (Paperback)
The part which ruins this otherwise superb book is the author's cruel and sickening - but repetitive - linkage between unpopularity and victimisation in childhood with later evil crimes. To implicitly associate the average class 'nerd' who suffers from poor social skills with Adolf Hitler and Mary Bell, is revolting - and surely extremely damaging to unpopular people reading it. Nevertheless, encountering the attitudes of Hillman will hardly 'soothe the savage breast'. The obvious concept - that in a VERY FEW cases generalised and totally understandable misanthropy generated by prolonged unfair bullying and ostracisation can result in later, particularised psychological eruptions of sadistic revenge (often at indiscriminate targets) is overlooked. ALL mass shootings etc are depraved, vile and utterly unforgiveable but according to media reports in many cases the culprits have been viciously antagonised over long periods by (usually) unprovoked and over-judgemental acquaintances and neighbours.
Is it right that Hillman implies I should be cold or mean to someone purely because of their body language, 'rigid personality structure', lack of humour, obsession with time and -unbelievably - their 'vulnerability'? A professional psychologist should never use terms like 'bad seed' about people either. Leave that to the horror-film directors.
However, Hillman's theories about personal progress and positive ideas about the role of suffering are fascinating and worthwhile. In the early pages this book is excellent and very thought-provoking. That's what stops this book getting a 1 mark. But then Hillman does care about 'Normal' People!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Soul's Code, 10 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling (Paperback)
I have given this product 3 stars because I got this book for a relative and she said that it is an OK read but nothing special. Thank you.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Soul's Code, 14 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling (Paperback)
The title misleads the reader that he/she is going to find out what the human soul is. Yet, it doesn't do that at all.

Kind of reminds me of Albino Luciani (Pope John Paul I who was murdered in the Vatican in 1978 after only 33 days on the job because of his extreme left wing ideals). As a young seminarian he would often ask his teachers: "What is the human soul?" He always got the same answer: "It is just something we don't understand."

Sadly, when you finish `The Soul's Code' you be left with the same question. "The soul is just something we don't understand."

As a result of his experience Luciani write his doctoral thesis `The Origin of the Human Soul' defining specifically what one is speaking of when one utters the phrase: "the human soul."

After the Pope's death in 1978 the Vatican confiscated his original thesis and distributed the censored version found in libraries today which claims the soul is of genetic orientation; not Luciani's original definition at all. It is in the best interests of the Vatican that its congregation does not know what it is trying to save.

The Reincarnation of Albino Luciani: In Search of the Human Soul - written by a onetime acquaintance of the Pope - is based on Luciani's `original' thesis. It defines the four dimensions of a human being - body - mind - spirit - soul - as entirely different entities. Contrary to popular belief there is an immense difference between the 'spirit' and the 'soul'.

As for `The Soul's Code.' You will never know.
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The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling
The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling by James Hillman (Paperback - 2 Oct 1997)
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