James Hillman: A Terrible Love of War

I recently re read the Iliad and suspected that Hillman s book which I d bought a few years ago but never read would deepen my appreciation of Homer as indeed it did Hillman is always a pleasure to read As he s aged he s become transparent mellow in his meditations If A Terrible Love of War lacks the cerebral pyrotechnics of Re Visioning Psychology or Myth of Analysis it still evokes reflections of grief and lends clarity to a topic it s impossible to treat dispassionately I imagine James Hillman was masturbating furiously as he wrote this Oh yeah he said out loud If it is a primordial component of being then war fathers the very structure of our existence and our thinking about it our ideas of the universe of religion of ethics war determines the thought patterns of Aristotle s logic of opposites Kant s antinomies Darwin s natural selection Marx s struggle of classes and even Freud s repression of the id by the ego and superego Mmmcondensing entire scientific political psychological and philosophical theories into a crude mold to fit my pretentious narrative really gets me off he noted as he fapped furiously We think in warlike terms feel ourselves at war with ourselves and unknowingly believe predation territorial defense conuest and the interminable battle of opposing forces are the ground rules of existence HNGGHHH OH YEAHHHH If you re interested in some self aggrandizing mental masturbation comprised mainly of other s words but sprinkled with bullshit then strap yourself in for a brain numbing ride full of hyperbole and circular reasoning that ultimately goes nowhere Enjoy This book has an original and insightful approach to the idea of war how we can understand it better and cope with it as a ubiuitous force in our world that effects every single one of us It really shines a helpful light in a very dark corner of the mind I couldn t put it down for the first 34s The last chapter got a little less laser beam as the first few much axe grindy Hillman admits as much but this does not attract from the overall experience imo I have followed James Hillman now for years His book The Force of Character And the Lasting Life is a worthy reference book It sums up life and living a very intelligent bookIn an article by Richard A Koenigsberg the library of Social Science he ponders People say they would like to achieve peace But how can peace be attained if people love warHe adds that A ournalist during the First World War recalled meeting a wounded Canadian soldier in pain He reports how he tried to console the soldierAs I looked into his face and saw the look of personal victory over physical pain I gripped him by the hand and said My good man when you go back home to Canada back to your home you need not tell them that you love your country that you love your home ust show them your scars Being wounded functioned as a testimonial demonstration of love In war the good the sacred ideal and the bad violent acts are fused into oneWhy do people love war Because it provides the occasion to demonstrate one s devotion We love war because it allows us to prove that we love our countryJames Hillman starts his book One sentence in one scene from one film Patton sums up what this book tries to understand The general walks the field after a battle Churned earth burnt tanks dead men He takes up a dying officer kisses him surveys the havoc and says I love it God help me I do love it so I love it than my life We can never prevent war or speak sensibly of peace and disarmament unless we enter this love of war This is my second time reading this book and I m hitting the same difficulty that I had the first time around I find Hillman s ideas fascinating and challenging even when I don t agree with them but his writing style is too dry for my tastes So I hesitate to recommend this book to others even though I liked it well enough to reread it Hillman looks at war via mythology and archetypes For the most part he sticks to wars in Europe and North America and describes war through the Greco Roman gods Mars and Venus Talking about Venus s part in war is one reason I ve remembered this book for ten years Hillman points out that even though we say war is horrifying and dreadful Mars we also make weapons that are beautiful and talk about the bonds of love and affection that war creates between fellow soldiers Venus For Hillman love is not the antithesis of war which leads to the final chapter in which he looks at why Christianity a religion. War is a timeless force in the human imagination and indeed in daily life Engaged in the activity of destruction its soldiers and its victims discover a paradoxical yet profound sense of existing of being human In A Terrible Love of War James Hillman one of today's mos.

Of love has inspired so many wars Try this book if you think looking at war psychologically and through mythology sounds interesting but be ready for writing that goes off on tangents and sometimes gets too dense to let the author s ideas through A discussion of the psychological and mythic bases of war that it is a force with its own life and drives War Ares is a god and will have Its way Although beautifully written and simple lucid prose it is nonetheless a difficult book to grasp gleaning essential truths about war and violence throughout history religion and psychology And to those who have faith that war can be replaced by peace Hillman offers no comfort the acts of war may be directed even transmuted but war is he establishes part of what makes us human I have read uite a few books about war especially about Vietnam wanting to reinforce my belief that war is a really bad idea regardless of how regularly it happens So I picked this book at least partially enticed by the title A Terrible Love of War As I often do I looked at a few GR reviews before I started reading I find that it helps me to prime the pump Especially with a book that looks like it will reuire some brain work I mean it s listed as psychology and philosophy and war Sounds like a challenge to meI have been reading short thin books recently In addition to the enticing title I also selected this book off my shelf because it is relatively thin 217 pages of text Then I read the words and was trapped before I could put it downThis is a book published in 2004 before Goodreads began in December 2006 so misses the normal bump of readers that a book often experiences ust after publication As of today there are only 122 ratings and fourteen reviews Most of the reviews are very short But the average of the ratings is 406 James Hillman wrote 27 books before this one including one Re Visioning Psychology that was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize He wrote A Terrible Love of War late in his life Hillman was a post Jungian who initiated archetypal psychology in the early 1970s He died in 2011 at the age of 85 Archetypal Psychology relativizes and deliteralizes the notion of ego and focuses on what it calls the psyche or soul and the deepest patterns of psychic functioning the fundamental fantasies that animate all life Archetypal psychology likens itself to a polytheistic mythology in that it attempts to recognize the myriad fantasies and myths gods goddesses demigods mortals and animals that shape and are shaped by our psychological lives In this framework the ego is but one psychological fantasy within an assemblage of fantasies Archetypal psychology is along with the classical and developmental schools the third school of post Jungian psychology Source I think it helps to put a face and voice with a book Here is about eight minutes of words from author James Hillman about psyche This book contains the awareness of a genius or the ramblings of a madman You decide which There are a lot of indented words in this LONG REVIEW to help you decide This is indeed a warning Here are the first words from the book One sentence in one scene from one film Patton sums up what this book tries to understand The general walks the field after a battle Churned earth burnt tanks dead men He takes up a dying officer kisses him surveys the havoc and says I love it God help me I do love it so I love it than my life We can never prevent war or speak sensibly of peace and disarmament unless we enter this love of war The first chapter of the book is titled War is normal Sounds obvious enough right I base the statement war is normal on two factors we have already seen its constancy throughout history and its ubiuity over the globe These two factors reuire another basic acceptability Wars could not happen unless there were those willing to help them happen Conscripts slaves indentured soldiers unwilling draftees on the contrary there are always masse Frustrated with the Author Such excellent ideas and thesis but his delivery lacked an over arching coherence to tie all his various excellent points beautifully together One of Carl Jung s protege s I had high expectations for him as he tried to tackle such an incredibly challenging topic He takes on the challenge of Humans and War and why it seems to be such an inescapable part of the human experience as well as why it shatters the men and women involved in it He argues that peace is only known as the absence of war which by it s definitio. T respected psychologists undertakes a groundbreaking examination of the essence of war its psychological origins and inhuman behaviors Utilizing reports from many fronts and times letters from combatants analyses by military authorities classic myths and writings from.

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N makes it intricately linked to war to give Peace any meaning whatsoever Pacifism is ust another form of War by other means waged by employing tactics of non violence but it is still a form of warfareThen he dives deeper into Ma mre m'a tu - Survivre au gnocide des Tutsis au Rwanda just what War is and argues that is a human experience that transcends human reason because it only exists in the realm of madness and chaos That the predictable world of the average human is forever crushed by the randomness and chaotic events of war That the human souls struggles to comprehend the incomprehensible He suggests that the only way to do this is through using the ancient myths as they try to give form to madness in the personification of the ancient Gods of Ares and Aphrodite War is thanust horror and cruelty The Mes recettes au baby-robot juxtaposition of life s extremes makes for experiences of the sublime as well Aphrodite brings love and beauty into war and through her union with Ares they birth the child Harmonia Monotheistic religions fuels war by being founded upon the premise of one true God which makes tolerating any other Gods a threat to that very foundation Thus the only way to stabilize that foundation is to attack those of differing religions who pose as a possible contradiction to yoursIn the end the only way to control War is through the God Ares using the lessons of War against war itself Only Veterans can speak with the needed restraint and authority to try and slow the March to Folly Only the martial arts can control the martial spirit The sons of Ares are Phobos and Dienos monstrosityMy favorite uotesEven those who know history are doomed to repeat it because though it may be easy to kill the living it is hard to kill the dead To reach a certain point in life that is as close to the unliveablethe maximum of intensity and the maximum of impossibility at the same time NietzscheMyths are the norms of the unreasonableNot only does peace too uickly translate into security and a security purchased at the price of liberty Something sinister also isustified by peace which de Tocueville superbly describes as a new kind of servitude where a supreme power covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules minute and uniform through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate to rise above the crowd The will of man is not shattered but softened bent and guided men are seldom forced by it to act but they are constantly restrained from acting Such a power does not destroy but it prevents existence it does not tyrannize but i compresses enervates extinguishes and stupefies a people till each nation is reduced to nothin better than a flock of timid and industrial animals of which the government is the ShepherdOnly a shell remains of the human person who consists of memories feelings words needs for food and shelterDeath seems to want the thymos first the emotional blood of the personal life before the death stiffens the bodyAn eerie mood that would come over people in battle a kind of transcendent despairThey feel something in their soul surrender and they give in to everything they ve been most afraid of It s like a glimpse of eternity The god whom the soldier serves kills the life soul and the trooper who survives comes home a revenantIt is no longer possible for me to speak my tongue is broken a thin fire runs underneath my skin There is no sight in my eyes my ears hum sweat pours down me trembling seizes my whole body I am paler than the grass and I seem little short of dyingThe sublime is sheer chaos beyond reason beyond finity beyond orderTo encounter that place that moment of amazement to be elevated by traveling to the edge of the bearable where one is filled with fear Is this longing for the sublime what draws men to war I am actually reading this book for debate It is surprisingly a good read despite it s slightly macabre title It is about the psychological effects war has on us as humans It also talks about how ever since the dawn of time humans have always have been at war and if not trying to prevent war Hillman suggests the best way to comabt the normalization of war is to embrace it There are also surprising sources to back Hillman up like Donald Rumsfield Albert Einstein Churchhill among many others You really need an open mind to process these sometimes out there ideas While the book itself is an easy read the author seems to return to the same uote and the same descriptions too many times That coupled with a lack of true Great thinkers including Twain Tolstoy Kant Arendt Foucault and Levinas Hillman's broad sweep and detailed research bring a fundamentally new understanding to humanity's simultaneous attraction and aversion to war This is a compelling necessary book in a violent world.

James Hillman was an American psychologist He served in the US Navy Hospital Corps from 1944 to 1946 after which he attended the Sorbonne in Paris studying English Literature and Trinity College Dublin graduating with a degree in mental and moral science in 1950 In 1959 he received his PhD from the University of Zurich as well as his analyst's diploma from the CG Jung Institute and foun