Join the "Depth Discussion" about Hillman's Notion of Eros & Psych — July 11, 2013

Please chime in with your thoughts!

Tags: consulting room, eros, hillman, psyche, psychological creativity

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I'm writing my dissertation on dreams. The literature review has put me in touch with how little I care about books, research articles and more thinking ( admittedly an inferior function). But has put me in touch with where my dream work originally lead me. Over time I began taking different dreams ( perhaps a mood it left me with or a particular character or whatever) and sit down  and began writing some verse ( poetry) around that or anything else. Not surprisingly I was often lead elsewhere. I can't say I learned I thing. But by god I had and have a hell of alot of fun. Tears, laughter, mystery. My 23 yr old daughter ( a very fine painter) and I were lamenting about that today.  Who can say.

I thoroughly agree with this, very wise. It is easy to forget to play, but when the necessity for play and to change arrive - look out!

"...we can see the psyche going to therapy in search of eros. We have been looking for love for the soul. That is the myth of analysis." (Hillman, p. 296) 

I see this possibility only in an individual's free will decision and commitment to engage in personal development (so-called), otherwise known as the Hero's Journey: inwards to face and heal their shadow side.

Spirit notices who is so committed (this demonstration can itself take years of effort) and arranges help as necessary; this is why we have our Guides in a higher reality.

Very few authentic personal development group seminars (whose intent is not primarily commercial) now exist, and this journey is sufficiently hazardous it should not to be undertaken without experienced support, not necessarily from psychologists, many of whom were traumatized in childhood and have yet to investigate their own psyches in sufficient depth!

This particular form of question indicates an analytical perspective or slant; this is not the best attitude or method for self-discovery as it tends to limit one to the conscious mind which knows little.  It is not necessary to know of Jung's thought to engage in self-(un)development, indeed the less theory known of, the better.

Those who think they know something are the hardest to teach!  Cf. Doctors make the worst patients!  'Get out of your head' as was frequently said to me by a wise mentor, herself with a razor-sharp mind.

Forget the words psyche and eros!  Engage and mobilise personal courage: much will be required.  The hardest thing anyone can attempt is to face themselves.

well said. lot a mystery. Jung said ( paraphrasing) : It's not what you know that heals but who
you are.  Also being aware of likes and dislikes in therapist and
client is really important. I'm getting old enough that when
someone doesn't like me or something I said .....I don't take it as
personal as I use to ( I guess I can thank exwife and daughter
for some of that). Conversely it sure feels good when someone
does ( understanding  it's part of a greater mystery).

Eros and Psyche meet continually in male and female love. I see it as an eternal power struggle with the two to unite in heaven upon earth. It is not for the faint hearted. I would refer to Jung's work for creativity, or to art, literature and poetry.
is this just too simple, or is it just the basic truth?

Eros and Psyche…What a timely question for me to ponder! Saturday, I facilitated a Men Only Workshop. Generally i only offer Women's Empowerment Workshops but recently I have had a felt need to offer support to "fatherless" men. So, I listened to the sounds of my heart, went out onto a ledge, and somehow in the middle of a sunny Saturday afternoon came life changing moments. I was expecting only to tap into their need for new tools for healthier relationships. Instead, I tapped into soul. What occurred was a seamless interplay of Eros and Psyche. We embarked on an inner voyage supercharged with inspiration and love. I became a guide to nurturing their inner artist, to nurturing their own inborn creativity in a community of "salt of the earth" type men who felt themselves authentically connected to each others' stories. I, from a calm professional demeanor, witnessed their inner hunger for connection take on a life of its own!
Charlyne Gelt, Ph.D

Once again, for always and forever, no matter where, how, why or when...soul wants love and love without soul only skims the surface.. 

Eros and Psyche, an ongoing story of union and separation...The myth sets the ultimate task for Psyche, to bring beauty from the dark places of the underworld. Psyche needs a pair of twin coins to pay Charos on her way in and out of the unknown difficulties. The way inwards and outwards is one and the same...I see the coins as a symbol of creativity, poetry, myth...anything that captures, pays attention to Love and Soul. Creativity is the way to 'erotically' unify with the other half, the invisible, and the same path to bring outwards its inner beauty and eachness.

Good bit on the coins. Got me musing on a dream a year or so ago.....I'm at my apt. and find in my closet a several dozen or so stacks of very rare Morgan Silver dollars (some auction in the six figure range). A business acquaintance of mine ( who can confirm their value) asks, "what are you gonna do with them"?

I've been asking myself the same question ever since. I feel strongly the "Morgan's" are my poems and dreams. I'm ( or was) for better or worse a poet.  I've written thousands of poems ( not unlike Mr. Bukowski, Williams, Whalen, Stafford  or Bly ...who generally speaking wrote something each day).

Some of my poems are signature ( not unlike the rare Morgans). I've also thoughtfully considered dreams ( I've lost count long ago) both in and out of analysis. All this and more is worthless (my Morgans are worthless) if I can't bring them to the collective. Thanks again for your thoughtful comment..


Very well put! For me, at least, it really encapsulates the discussion. Thank you for posting it.

Many, years ago, I purchased two blue-grey stones. You know, the kind that have been so popular in hip, psychologically tuned in gift shops and book stores. On the larger grey stone was carved the word Trust. On the blue-grey stone was the word Eros. Not too long after that I received a Christmas gift from my daughter of quite a large lighter, grey, stone, with the words Imagine meticulously carved upon it. These three words became my mantra. Trust, Eros, & Imagine . ..Or Imagine & Trust Eros. Or, Imagine, Eros & Trust. Or, Trust & Imagine and find Eros. etc. I often would sit and stare at the stones as I spent time day dreaming of various scenarios within my own life.  Those three stones, which not one patient,  in all these years, has ever commented upon have stood silently by, like protective, inspirational, and at times even seductive sentinels watching over psyche.  I have learned many things from their presence.   Their meaning has been a source of personal,  professional, artistic inspiration, and courage.Each time I begin a new sculpting project, I must trust the impulse that drew me to the idea to create this particular thing. Sometimes I find I am off the tract and must change course. But step by step the piece reveals what  and how it wants to be..Every step of the way I am faced with placing my faith and trust in Eros.  Several years ago I was moved to sculpt  a small bust of Eros. Shocked at the end by how well it turned out, my teacher, suggested I write the words, "My Eros"  on the bottom of the piece. Writing that phrase, as I owned my creativity  was one of the most memorable, powerful moments of my life.

Often I refer patients who are in training or  practicing therapists to the late, Robert M. Stein's landmark work, Incest and Human Love. The essays at the end of the book, I feel should be required reading for anyone working as a psychotherapist., or anyone who is a parent.  Bob's exploration of this subject in all of its permutations, in my view, directs one to an understanding, of what  I have come to think of as healthy risking. The term healthy, here being operative. In the myth, Psyche risks everything when she  looks at the face of Eros. And from what  I recall about the story, at this 4 am hour,  everything then unfolds. As we traverse the  trajectories of our lives we travel in and out of deep places within ourselves and with one another, where we must, if we wish at all to live an authentic life, meet the challenge to bring forth out of ourselves the courage to, as Hillman has noted,   Face.."the Gods.."The myth of Psyche and Eros, brings to my attention, how very empty life is when love and imagination are absent, and how, if and when one has the courage to imagine while  placing their Trust in Eros, then love and creativity, as the offspring of that union, with all  its myriad of permutations, can and will, be born.

Judith Harte.Ph.D.

IMAGES OF SOUL:Reimagining Astrology


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