23 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Intriguing - but implies making disgusting generalisations,
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!