Sacred Disorder | Cliff Bostock's blog – 'Finally, I came to regard as sacred the disorder of my mind' (Rimbaud)

Thomas Moore reflects on Hillman

Thomas Moore, most known as author of the best-selling Care of the Soul, has a wonderful piece on the Huffington Post about James Hillman.

Moore, as he explains, was Hillman’s colleague (or, arguably, his protege) at the Dallas Institute. I interviewed him not long after Care of the Soul was published, but I was already quite familiar with his work. Before going mainstream, he published two fascinating books. One, The Planets Within, was based on his doctoral dissertation about Marsilio Ficino, the Renaissance thinker whose work in astrology could be regarded as the West’s first move toward psychological practice.

The other book was Dark Eros, a study of the work of the Marquis de Sade. One reviewer described Moore’s intention this way: “He exposes the psychological and imaginative implications of torture, violence, and victimization.” Considering America’s network of prisons around the world, where torture has become routine practice, maybe the book is ready for a broader audience than its original target, psychotherapists.

I was surprised, after reading these rather edgy books, that Moore would write a book like Care of the Soul, which I found kind of sappy. I recall that during my interview, I asked Moore a very rude question. “Haven’t you basically rewritten James Hillman’s work to make it more accessible to mainstream readers?” I asked (I’m paraphrasing).

Not surprising, I guess, Moore was offended. But I still feel that’s largely true. One difference, though, is that Moore (like Robert Sardello) maintains an interest in spirituality while Hillman’s work dwells on soul as something pointedly different from spirit.

I often wondered if watching Moore’s books hit the best seller lists motivated Hillman to write more “accessible” books like The Soul’s Code and The Force of Character. Hillman certainly deserved as much attention as Moore, but these late books did not come close to the sublime and revolutionary thought and writing of his earlier work.

EVENT PLANNED: The Dallas Institute of the Humanities and Culture will celebrate its 30th anniversary, Nov. 10-12, with a conference entitled “Longing for Beauty.” As it happens, Thomas Moore and Robert Sardello will be part of the conference in which Hillman planned to participate too. You can learn more about the conference here. It will include a tribute to Hillman.

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There are 1 Comments to "Thomas Moore reflects on Hillman"

  • bradley brooks says:

    hi cliff,, i’m big time into your mind and thomas more’s mind,, i noticed no one commented on your artical,,, this does not suprise me ,, i think i’m one of very few people who actually do understand the deepeth of both of you men there are some of us out there,,,,,,,, please keep up the GREAT WORK ———– i love it

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