I am a member of the Melbourne Jung Society and went to a discussion last night about betrayal as portrayed by James HIllman. There were about 20 people there and the conversation was bot h reflective and vigorous. It included a lady with a jewish perspective, a catholic discussing sexual abuse by priests and two people who had experienced infidelity from their respective partners - one who could be reconciled and one who couldn't . I have personally experienced betrayal in relationship to my father. I was open to discussion about HIlmans essay and what it  means.

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i'v uploaded the file for others to read


I haven't had the chance to re-read this yet, but as I recall, this was a difficult piece to digest, but opened up the spectrum of an archetype that holds both betrayal and forgiveness. That without both, their is less development and deepening of consciousness. A hard read intuitively and emotionally though. Reminds me of Hillman's Terrible Love of War.

Interesting anecdote regarding Terrible Love of War and difficult discussions around Hillman...When that book came out in 2005 I was running a community bookstore that hosted author events and discussions. And although I loved Hillman (in particular his Healing Fiction and the Ventura/Hillman conversation, but I was scared off enough by the title that I passed on having him at our store. Dang it all. I still regret that decision, for the sake of "keeping the peace" with my community and customers.

HI Mark,  I'm curious to know how it is hard and counter-intuitive? in the discussion group I mentioned - one person felt that he had never experienced betrayal in his life [ aged 70 ] lucky man! I feel/think that the understanding of spectrum and duality as you allude to are significant qualities in the living and breathing of archetypes. I note your valuable contributions elsewhere  on the 'electronic collective consciousness' - as manifest in Facebook as well!

Hey Bob,

I only meant counter-intuitive to the layperson or non-initiated Hillman reader. In the same sense that his fourth pillar of soul making in Re-visioning is "dehumaizing." I still remember on first reading how off-putting that label was to my personal story of soul making. Out of context, when we read the labels for these ideas of his they can be jarring (like "the terrible love of war"), but of course if we stick with him and see through to the psychological, we are jarred and jolted by Hillman in his poetic languaging into new consciousness. 

Never a betrayal in his life at the age of 70! Wow! Big heart, deep trust, transcendent forgiveness, divine forgetfullness--what do you think his secret was?

That text is like a Rorschach test. For instance, I see in it a dilemma how to deal with the world when it loses purity and innocence in your eyes and shows its deviant, filthy, stupid, or just complex side. Should you be active or passive? When? Why?

I think of all life being a rorschach test - it reflects us. Learning when to be active or passive depends on the circumstances - polako ali ako - as my grandfather would say! Both sides exist and life is not black or white it is a spectrum an ordered/disordered explosion - a joining together and a pulling apart - out of every betrayal forgiveness, healing and growth can occur.


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