Change the World

Perhaps having experienced the persuasion of  words and ideas, James Hillman’s Archetypal psychology remains paramount in my life. But, what fantasy am I in when I feel this compulsion to share his ideas with you? Is it to change the world, or maybe just to be in the world as it is, or at least as it presents itself; dark, lonely, beautiful, scary, mysterious and yet, full of desire. Before the change mustn’t we know what we’re changing from and what we’re changing to?

“Why are words so important in a culture, and why has the art of persuasion, Athene’s peitho, so fallen into disuse in ours? The conclusion to the Oresteia answers the first question: words are able to persuade the darkest elements to take part and have place. We must speak and let them speak. The answer to the second question refers to the profound determining importance of psychological and spiritual reality.

If ultimate reals are objects, things, material events – dead things out there as Descartes would have it and materialism insists – then speech has no effect. Flatus voci – empty words, a waste of breath. Actions speak louder; Bia not Peitho. Then language must become simplified, an operational tool, part of the positivist’s and materialist’s kit for clear directions in handbooks, words that fit computing instruments to move and shape objects out there.

If, however, reality is psychological and spiritual, by which I mean ideational, religious, imaginal, fantastic – as it is especially in psychotherapy and as it was in the Greek world view – then affecting reality requires instruments for moving ideas, beliefs, feelings, images, and fantasies. Then rhetoric, persuasion, holds major importance. Through words we can alter reality; we can bring into being and remove from being; we can shape and change the very structure and essence of what is real. The art of speech becomes the primary mode of moving reality.”

Excerpt from Mythic Figures (Uniform Edition of the Writings of James Hillman

Thanks E.C. for the theme…

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