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The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling


The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling Cover

ISBN13: 9780446673716
ISBN10: 0446673714
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Plato and the Greeks called it "daimon," the Romans "genius," the Christians "guardian angel"; today we use terms such as "heart," "spirit," and "soul." For James Hillman it is the central and guiding force of his utterly unique and compelling "acorn theory," which proposes that each life is formed by a particular image, an image that is the essence of that life and calls it to a destiny, just as the mighty oak's destiny is written in the tiny acorn. It is a theory that offers a liberating vision of childhood troubles and an exciting approach to themes such as fate and fatalism, character and desire, family influence and freedom, and, most of all, calling - that invisible mystery at the center of every life that speaks to the fundamental question "What is it, in my heart, that I must do, be, and have? And why?" The Soul's Code dedicates itself to what is truly innate, not to how it got this way or where it's going. Hillman does not see human beings as results or, worse, victims of their lives, nor does the promise or even seek a "cure"; instead he welcomes the necessity of every aspect of what makes up a life and advocates using "symptoms" as clues to what the daimon demands. Essentially, Hillman believes that there is more to life - to each individual - than can be explained by the traditional "either/or" categories of genetics and environment. His method is to use the extraordinary (an extensive array of examples from Yehudi Menuhin to Jeffrey Dahmer) as a way to inspire the ordinary, as well as urging his readers to reexamine their childhood impulses, fantasies, thoughts, and even accidents, all of which reflect the "blueprints" that give direction to the course of a biography.


Includes bibliographical references (p. [307]-320) and index.

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Susan Grand, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by Susan Grand)
Just bought this book because I recently read an article on James Hillman in the Sun Magazine. Very thought provoking comments on the limiting priorities of our current culture. For example, "..."its' hard for us to think of friendship as a calling, because it's not a vocation." Looking forward to reading this book!
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psyched out, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by psyched out)
Turns "family of origin" counseling on its ear. Hillman revisits more a more archaic cosmology where a "Daimon" (soul) descends to earth and is comes into body through the parents. Rather than the parents creating and forming this person, this acorn chooses the parents and setting it needs to grow into the entity it is destined to be. Brave and thought provoking writing from a psychotherapist who has seen and practiced all sides of Jungian and Freudian therapy. I don't find this book to be a rejection of classical psychotherapy, more the opening of a long closed door into an older room in the house.
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Product Details

Hillman, James
Grand Central Publishing
New York :
New Thought
Fate and fatalism
Gifted persons
Individuality in children.
Edition Number:
Warner Books ed.
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
8.53x5.55x.92 in. .85 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Jung and Jungians
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
Metaphysics » General
Metaphysics » Theosophy

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