During moments before thought translates into language, I recognize perhaps a truer, more immediate sense of my animal nature. In my relationships to other animals, I find these nonverbal states not only more readily happen, but are necessary for any exchange to take place. We may talk to animals, but in silent presence, where a …
I really enjoyed reading The First Gates blog post “Dreaming with Animals,” an insightful look at some primary differences between the works of C.G. Jung and James Hillman.
“What is the single greatest predictor of a hero’s success in folktales around the world?”
A professor who had studied the subject at length once posed that question in a psychology class. The answer, he said, was finding an animal helper. More than any other human or supernatural guide, an animal ally can lead the hero or heroine through trials and dangers to the end of their quest.
The professor was a friend and colleague of James Hillman (1926-2011) who loved animals and began collecting animal dreams in 1956. Toward the end of his life, Hillman helped compile and update five decades of essays and lecture transcripts for a ten volume collection of his work. Five volumes have been published to date, including Animal Presences, 2012, which I am currently reading.
After serving in the US Navy, Hillman studied at the Sorbonne, at Trinity College, Dublin, and in Zurich…
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