James Hillman, author of the radically famous The Soul's Code, is examined through this magnificently constructed biography, The Life and Ideas of James Hillman: Volume I: The Making of a Psychologist. From his service in the U.S. Navy to his admittance to the renowned C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich, author Dick Russelm manages to tell a brilliantly comprehensive journey of a man. The spectacular accuracy of this piece comes from the numerous interviews with James Hillman and those close to him. And the oratory performance of Fred Sanders lends this remarkable story a polished and authoritative air.
The life of the world’s foremost post-Jungian thinker and best-selling author of The Soul’s Code.
Considered to be the world’s foremost post-Jungian thinker, James Hillman is known as the founder of archetypal psychology and the author of more than 20 books, including the bestselling title The Soul’s Code. In The Making of a Psychologist, we follow Hillman from his youth in the heyday of Atlantic City, through post-war Paris and Dublin, travels in Africa and Kashmir, and onward to Zurich and the Jung Institute, which appointed him its first director of studies in 1960. This first of a two-volume authorized biography is the result of hundreds of hours of interviews with Hillman and others over a seven-year period. Discover how Hillman’s unique psychology was forged through his life experiences and found its basis in the imagination, aesthetics, a return to the Greek pantheon, and the importance of “soul-making,” and gain a better understanding of the mind of one of the most brilliant psychologists of the 20th century.
©2013 Dick Russell (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Yes, the "headline" is trite and doesn't do the experience of this audio journey justice. It is the second book of "revelations" dealing with Jung and his legacy that I've "read" recently. Initially thought it might just be like any other biography ... kind of a "who's up who and who's not paying" combined with a "case history" of ancestry, childhood, school, academia, etc. In fact my first attempt at "reading" it, so to speak, was short! I got bored with the ancestry stuff ... I returned to it 2 weeks ago after listening to "Labyrinths"; about Emma & Carl Jung, Toni Wolff and a cast of players. (I really liked this too).
I did not regret taking it up again. "The Life and Ideas of James Hillman" a second time. I confess I cannot really write an adequate "review" of this book. It has, synchronistically, dovetailed in with my own journey, as I wrestle with the whole idea of "therapy", "pathology", "counselling" and, most importantly, SOUL.
James Hillman, like Jung before him, was a maverick. I nearly wrote "IS" a maverick. He certainly lives on through his books. They are mentors for those of us who are "mavericks" and "outsiders" and who are not content to simply toe the line with the status quo or settle for holding ego positions on ideas and beliefs, just so we can "belong" or "fit in" or, well, you know.
I should not be surprised at the fact that Hillman has, via Dick Russell, revealed, what seems to be a brutally and wonderfully honest account of his experience in Zurich with "the Jungians" ... Like with most charismatic figures, the cult of Jung became entrenched and "The Jungian Institute" was the church ... and of course it goes without saying that many fine and insightful "analysts" have come out of that school. Robert Johnson for one survived it.
What stands out MOST importantly is Hillman's own perceptive observations and understandings about the archetypal forces that were at play with regards his scapegoating. He always took that position, even when having the total force of what seems to be the forces of hell thrown at him; even when his accusers were unable to see their own projections and hypocrisy. And we also are told of how it affected him personally.
Enough from me. Buy the book! You won't be disappointed, especially if you are a maverick!
Well done Mr Russell! When is Part 2 coming out????!!!
"Every chapter of Hillman's life was a lesson"
One of my all time favorites. Though I have read several of Hillman's books I had never fully appreciated the "man" Hillman was until I completed this beautifully written biography. I hated when I completed the audiobook, as it was as though Hillman was fully alive and present with me the entire time. This is a must listen to book if one is at all interested in the twists and turns of life and how these twists and turns help shape each day we live. For me Hillman was a true genius and should be required reading for anyone who wants to answer the question of "who am I".
I would compare this book to any GREAT biography that I have been moved by. I experience each life so individualistic that comparisons are difficult but I have read biographies of Freud, Jung, Gandhi, ML King, Meher Baba, Yogananda, T. Roosevelt, and many more and Hillman's is one of my favorites thus far.
I enjoyed his reading as it was neither too slow or too fast. A plesant voice with clear enunciation. I never tired of the sound of his reading.
My extreme reaction was that I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. Hillman was a truly fascinating man.
This epic tale, meticulously researched, sheds in-depth light not only on James Hillman’s meandering unfurling and the motley Jungians in Zürich during the 50s and 60s, but functions also as a cultural analysis of the spirit of the times. Excellent! Fascinating! I can’t wait for Vol. 2. (review based on audio version only)
Brilliant renegade swims against the stream, and finds uncharted waters.
"I've listened to it several times."
It's very insightful and well-researched about a fascinating character.
The last third or so - the conflicts in Zurich and the essays at Eranos
I have listened to this book several times - it's very long. Each time I get more out of it. It's complex.
"A fine biography."
A revealing and engaging look inside the life of a man who was a mentor to thousands. Looking forward to vol 2.
"James Hillman Exposed"
When you compose ideas on the edge of the new knowledge emerging in psychology you expose yourself to controversial postures and resistance. This is the comprehensive story of Hillman's adventure into archetypal reasoning and beyond medical models of fixing people's mental disturbances. Much needed reminder in today's pill pushing medical community, Hillman made a firm stand for the value of the journey and pointed to our collective dysfunction as a cause for central concern.
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