American Academy of Religion

Review: The Gods and Soul: An Essay-Review Author(s): David L. Miller Source: Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 43, No. 3 (Sep., 1975), pp. 586-590 Published by: Oxford University Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 16/10/2011 12:35
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dehumanizing. DAVID He is the author of Gods and Games and The New Polytheism. No.C.and from the egoism of one-dimensional selfunderstanding.New York: Harper & Row.seeing imagesin ideas. MILLER. finding stories in hurts.The Gods and Soul: An Essay-Review* DAVID L." mythology in symptoms. MILLER in N iconoclastic reformation thepublished and prophetism a metaphoric version of James Hillman's1972 Terry Lecturesat Yale Universitymake Re.This leads Hillman to his fourth trope.L.$12. "Words are persons. 74-25691. By JAMESHILLMAN. distinguishing it from all others. metamorphosizingthrough metaphor. This is perhaps most crucial of all the tropes. Hillman sees literalism psychologically as an ego viewpoint and suggests the strategyof metaphor(performingone activity as if it wereanother)as peculiarly felicitous for "soul-making" (his phrase for psychologizing). 586 .social activity. 1975. forsaking both letter and spirit for soul.catching Hillman'sown episodicargumentby its aphoristictail while hunterand quarryare both running in circles? It is like trying to see the eye with which one is seeing. Hillman wants to "join Owen Barfieldand Norman Brown in a mafia of the metaphorto protect plain men from literalism". How is one to reviewa re-view." Hillman notes with the poet.50.VisioningPsychologycrucialfor the studyof Religionandat the same time difficultto review." means dehumanizing. a transcendence of epic voluntarism of ego into the mythological many-facetednature of the archetypal self (not just Oedipus. Personifyingis the re-peoplingof the universeof meaning. archetypologizing. Since "humanism's psychology is the myth of man without myths. L. nor secularreligion.Visioning Psychology. becoming neither humanistic education. depth psychology maintains its integrity. but all the presiding metaphors of all the complexes). transforming messes into variegatedrichness.which is understoodas the releaseof the personalinto deepersoul power."Psychologizing(precisely the opposite of psychologism)is seeingthroughthe literalismof everypositivism. presently France is in of writing.Professor Religionat SyracuseUniversity. xvii+266 pages. and bringing thought to life by seeing life in thought. Hillman'simaginalway of re-viewingpsychologyis seen in his mastertropes. spiritualguidance. Viconian cyclometryis never easy. but perhaps important. rearchetypal psychology *Re. and it leads Hillmanto say: "Byclingingfaithfullyto the pathologicalperspectivewhichis the differential root of its discipline. and he adds a psychologist's conclusion: is Pathologizingis discoveringa "Personifying the soul's answerto egocentricity.

Formallyspeaking.and what may have seemedto have been statementsin an argumentturninto self-implicating insights. Emotion.As Brown's. but with something much more valuable:a way of seeing.Like the works of these men. Anima. with And in an before completion. literateMoebius strips.though they disagreestronglyin content. Such errancy talk as this and the observation of a formal relation between Hillman'sbook and the latter-daythinkingof Brownand Laing brings to mind Wittgensteinand Heidegger. Brown is to Freudianand as Ronald D.Laing's. they are all radical revisionists. The "argument. Suicide and the Soul. "A re-vision of psychology. respectively). but with the survival of soul. at least beyond a psychology which is trapped by Cartesian rationalism and Aristotelian in substantialism ideasabout the self. "meansrecognizingthat psychologydoes not take placewithoutreligion.anindirection." prose organizationof Hillman'sbook may fool the readerinto not noticing that that actuallythe work has no rigidbeginningor ending..Languagein the laterworksof each man explodes. not a planner directions. stopping just short of lyric in if aphorism. Philosophy. alsoanodd-job whojoinsthisbitwiththat. is "episodicand circular. scrounging man. 164) 2.a characteristic the author has himselfacknowledged. The whole vanishes.Visioning Psychology stands in referenceto the rest of the corpus (principally The Myth of Analysis.likeErostheCarpenter rogue. bricoleur like"aballrebounding. and the essays on Pan. Hillmanwishesneither to psychologizereligionnor to redeemit: "Archetypal psychology'sconcernis not with the revival of religion. and the Child) as Brown'sLove's Body and Laing'sKnotsareto theirearlierworks(principallyLife Against Death and TheDivided Self. ReVisioning Psychology goes beyond traditional metaphysics. suggestion leaving. Love's Body.THE GODS AND SOUL 587 mythologizing. . Laingis to Existentialist. nor in the gamey manner of Wittgensteinin the Tractatus.Hillman'snew book standsin relationto his previousworkexactly as Heidegger'sGelassenheit the and essays on poetry are to Being and Time. The text approaches poetry. open phrase.a handyman." says Hillman. and Re.Hillman'snew work makes this observationparticularly compellingwhen seen in relationto his earlier writings. a systems-architect. Re.and Hillman'sbooks "end. and theologizing... Hillman is to Jungian psychology as Norman O."the texts turn back upon themselves.not in the weightymannerof Heideggerin Beingand lime. Psychology.the Knight The psychological mirror Errant his is the adventure." such a term is proper to the mode of thinking in A Knots.Re. TOPOGRAPHY 1." A glance at the topography of Hillman'sargumentwill begin to demonstratehow the gods and soul-powerconnect. Feeling. rather.VisioningPsychologyis morelike the later philosophicalwritingsof Heideggerand Wittgenstein. leaving the reader with nothing to see.because thereis alwaysa God in what we aredoing."Just the same. and as Wittgenstein'sPhilosophical Investigations are to the Tractatus and the later essays. (p. The Hillmanian breakthrough from rationalism and substantialism is also indicated. a a fromits direct course" psychologizing or dog straying a horseswerving upon andaboutwhatis at hand. Insearch.VisioningPsychology. The transcendent leap-froggingappears. hanging theair. So Hillman can write: on that walksdownthe road.

Re. "protestant" Hillmanlocates himself in this symbolic and metaphoricprotestantizing. won the Goetheprizefor literatureratherthanthe Nobel Prizefor medicine. on the one . but ratherin Paul Tillich'stheo-philosophicalsense of "the protestant principle."He says: "Itdoes not matter whether we are behaviorists or strict Freudians. the priesthoodof all believers. 4.when he writes on "The Empireof the Roman Ego: Decline and Falling Apart.and heroicself. Re. feels negatively about such Reformation psychology becomes clear when he remarksthat all that is accomplishedby it is that "theweight and seriousnessof psychotherapy(even in the Californiasurnshine schools) createin its participants new loads of guilt. whether we are engaged in self-masteryor self-surrender. Psyche (soul) is not in the personalself (ego). and psychologism are gone. nay. They are precisely the enemy.588 DAVID L.but not with northern Europeanchurchism. That Hillman (p. by his move behind Descartes and Aristotle to Plato and Heraclitus. All these notions. depth was not distinguishedfrom height).Iconoclasmsuggests prophetismand protestantism. Letters. like Freud'swork which. or whether we try to break loose with glossolalia. Digressionsinterrupt creativityis manifestin the "helter the sequencesin the text by coming out of the blue. subjectivism. This occurs however not without tough-headedand iconoclastic thinking. Theology. Alchemy. But the creativityis also found in the substance of the work's metaphoric imagery."where there abound categories of the autonomy of graceand sin. as Hillman notes. psychologyremainstrueto its Reformationalbackground" 220). 3. Yet all traces of relativism. Its skelter" form of the book. for they representthe ego turned inward upon its epic."In this section he is carefulto note the close connection between Roman imperialismin religionand society.To say that Hillman'swork is protestantwill be offensiveto its author. In the realm of ideas Hillman's soul-mates are Gnosticism.Visioning Psychology is protestant. MILLER philosophically. and Romanticism (especially William Blake). precisely because of his protestant iconoclasm against Protestantism. introspectionor statistics. but in some verticalresonancethat becomes trans-personal(he notes that in the term bathos. Yet in spite of Hillman'santi-Protestant talk. He spendsmuchspace in the final sections of the book bemoaning the Germanic. and especially that of in priesthoodof all believers. voluntaristic. but the self is in objectivesoul. Hillman is clearly a self-conscious friend of the Renaissance neoplatonists. creative painting.Visioning Psychology fits most appropriately in the realm of imaginal psychology. Mythology is the universallocation where soul makes itself manifestin some non-relativistic and non-solipsisticsense.It is not this in the socio-historicalsense that the author is seeing the ProtestantReformation. This places Hillman'sworkalso in relationto Picasso and Joyce for whom mythology was so important. However. Thematicmaterialsare often expressedparadoxicallyand seldom move developlentally. now in regardto the moralityof its therapeuticaims"(p.Protestanttone of and contemporarypsychologywith its "literalism voluntarism. Indeed. 221). it is not collective in the sociological sense.a function that shows itself in the many denominationsand sects that have flourishedwithin the framework. Hillman'sviewingis archetypaland collective.implicatethe "protestant principle" an unconscious conspiracywith Hillmanin the direction of incipientpolytheism. which leads to a third way of placing his work. rational.and the bondage of the heroicwill of spirit in matters of ultimate meaning. as used by Heraclitus. and nude encounters.

there is a god. For Jungeach complex has more than one archetype:the anima-complex may be informedby Artemis. Psyche.and E.the moralisticand doctrinalmeaning of Torahand Creed . is why in the plursignificationof meaning. "Reversion" not a new is mode of diagnosis. and the psychologicalfantasy of heroic egoism.VincentVycinas'Search Gods(Nijhoff. When single-mindedreligious meaning . Wherethereis only a man." And to Cioran. Each archetypehas its articulationin a myth. Freudhad noted manycomplexes.In the storiesof universal memory chronos becomes kairos.a way to get purchase on one's own experienceof the events of life. Ex UNO PLURES In all of this Hillmanhas associatedhimselfwith a numberof writerswho have argued.Hillmandiscoversin personal moods a numberof fantasies. Theologically this puts Re. It is not that we must find some gods when God succumbsin culture or lifeexperience. M.why in all of these is thererequired the additionalstep to polytheism. it is partly because our psyche has undergone a long Pax Romana. on the other. It is Hillman.Visioning Psychology near Luther and opposed to popery. many archetypes.failed in the lives of individuals. Ideas and thoughts become images and persons.and (2) the full experienceof the lack (the death of God) could not be therapeuticallyfruitfuluntil the personal narrativeand need were broken through by a transpersonalcontext (e. 26).as in that of gods .g. Electra. in the radical or ethnic pluralismof society."monotheism contains the germof everyform of tyranny. but for cosmic and ontic polytheism. It makeseventseventful.Withineach fantasy(a narrativestructureimagined in biographicalmemoria)there is a complex.who shows why the recoveryof soul poweris ineluctablytied in his own work. Hillman'sargumentand his method is one of "reversion. in the polyvalenceof the self. And a god or goddess presidesover each myth. Oedipus).Eileithyia.precisely at the moment of God's being called into question as a source of deep meaning. released by the death of .THE GODS AND SOUL 589 hand.two thingswerenoted:(1) the meaningwas likely projectedin the first place out of a memory and out of a personalneed for completion.the new translation for of Alain's Les Dieux (New Directions.but even more radical. in the generalattack on onedimensionalmeaning-and in that of Freudand Jung.."The questionin thesetheorizings. a plot." For Alain.." But now "central command is losing control" (p. Carl Jung's experiencewas similar. but of course also in direct opposition to sixteenth-centuryProtestant scholasticismand Pharisaism. "the gods are everywhere.but Erosand Thanatosand so on). Withineach complex there are.1974)arejust a few examples. For Vycinasthe philosophicaltask is to searchfor the gods during the twilight of the gods becausethe gods "carry the meaningsand the realness of things. Cioran's TheNew Gods (Quadrangle. each with a singlearchaicstructure(not only Oedipus. Augustine. What otherwise may be causal and logical is now experienced synchronisticallyas a narrative sequence.not only for radicalpluralismin self and society. it is rather a way ." it is based on a and view of memoriathat is found firstin St. 1974) the gods? Arethe gods of polytheismany less dead or eclipsed than the God of monotheism? Perhapsit was Sigmund Freud who began to make inroadson this question.. 1972). It is that the gods are there already.however. Hillmansays: "Ifit is common today to fantasy our cultureagainst that of old Rome.and/or many others. in the manner of Jung.Kastalia.

questionis The whether shallbea resource an inundating undifferentiated or and confusion. It willyet takean appropriation religious of in studiesof a psychology like in that religion Hillman's order thefullpowerof metaphor befelt in the may of and aboutreligion(theology). Sartre). is The Wittgenstein's fly-bottle filledwith Furies(cf.When bottom and personalmeaning.the sufferingof pathologyrevealsthe manynessof in extremity precisely the formof thepersonaeof the gods and goddesses. American theologyalmost got this point in the postBultmannian hermeneutical Whatwas missingtherewas not spirit discussions.AndWittgenstein. thinking soul (psychology) in the thinking The questionis not whether thereare gods and goddesses. us thatpictures told in FrancisCornford.It has to do withpersonifying.Goddiesandthegodsareloosed . dehumanizing. trickis to know in to of how.590 DAVID L.It is crucialto univocal in or But or operates language in life. our philosophical theological formsweregivensubjective predicative and syntactical shape. fragmentation's but articulate nameis polytheism. they a Babel without names. takeadvantage thepoeticpowerof syntax of in confusion into the multivalent precisely its failure. the pantheon in of weretrapped the otherend of our tradition thinking. MILLER monotheisticthinking whose imperialismcaused us to think that the and had the dropsoutof social pandaemonium thepolytheism left. poesy. butsoul. pathologizing. if no god-term god-term-function all meanings loosedat once.likeAthena the Oresteia.andin the are of Western grammar meaningthis meansthe Greekpantheonout of whose and as mythological parataxes. is that a viabletranscendental referent functionslike a lowestcommon point denominator referential for meaningin discourse. meaning. makingthe connection syntaxof our abstract language. This latter is fragmentation. and noticingthat the relationbetweenthe powerof soul-making the gods is of in metaphor:the deliteralizing thinkinginvolves one necessarily a reof mythologizing life. Aristotleknew. it has to do with psychologizing. Hillman and That is. The the to between Aristotle Wittgenstein. and revealed pictures be mythologia.transforming meaning seemsto know Athena's trick. . Thisshould comeasno surprise. had Aristotle saidin theMetaphysics Already at in thatall of Homer's wereresident hisideas.