Tuesday, April 5, 2011

On Finding The Gong - Reprise

"Not just any talk is conversation; not any talk raises consciousness. Good conversation has an edge: it opens your eyes to something, quickens your ears. And good conversation reverberates: it keeps on talking in your mind later in the day; the next day, you find yourself still conversing with what was said. That reverberation afterward is the very raising of consciousness; your mind's been moved. You are at another level with your reflections."
- James Hillman
We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse

James Hillman (born 1926) is an American psychologist. He studied at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, developed archetypal psychology and is now retired as a private practitioner.

Archetypal psychology is a polytheistic psychology, 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. The ego is but one psychological fantasy within an assemblage of fantasies. It is part of the Jungian psychology tradition and related to Jung's original Analytical psychology but is also a radical departure from it in some respects.

Whereas Jung’s psychology focused on the Self, its dynamics and its constellations (ego, anima, animus, shadow), Hillman’s Archetypal psychology relativizes and deliteralizes the ego and focuses on psyche, or soul, and the archai, the deepest patterns of psychic functioning, "the fundamental fantasies that animate all life" (Moore, in Hillman, 1991).

On Finding The Gong

Can I pass without
Banging you with this mallet?
Not on your bronze life.
I see the bright sheen
You display on your fine face.
I feel invited.
I expect deep sounds
From you, moving me southwest
Toward the setting sun.

My scout led me here,
Clothed me, filled my leather pack,
Advised my approach,
Then when we got near
He mopped his brow, checked his watch,
Said he had to go.

That's why I'm alone.

January 12, 2009 9:46 AM
First posted June 7, 2009


  1. Seems like a simple and charming dialogue hiding something under its surface. Love "Not on your bronze life." :)

    (Really random: I read "psychotherapy" as "Poughkeepsie" somehow, and it was "We've Had a Hundred Years of Poughkeepsie and the World is Getting Worse". I felt a little bad for them.)

  2. Joseph, I will leave to you all speculation as to what is buried beneath the surface.

    I think Poughkeepsie is a hoot. The book itself I have not read, is a dialogue between Hillman and the writer, who himself is witty and erudite though a journalist. The samples of the dialogue I read at Amazon impressed me enough I almost bought the book right then.

    word ver is saying "fatio". That feels like a cross between fatuous and fellatio. I feel like I am giving tongue to inanity. Or perhaps insanity.

    I am actually fairly under the weather with a virus attacking my tonsils.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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