The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling

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9780446673716: The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling

Some call it" genius". Others have named it "spirit", "daimon", and even "guardian angel". But while philosophers and psychologists from Plato to Jung emphasized the fundamental essence of our individuality, our modern culture refuses to accept that a unique, formed soul is within us from birth, shaping as much as it is shaped.

Now in this extraordinary bestseller, James Hillman presents a brilliant new vision of our selves not defined by family relationships or the mentality of victimization. Drawing on the biographies of such disparate people as Ella Fitzgerald and Mohandas K. Gandhi, James Hillman argues that character is fate and shows how the soul, if given the opportunity, can assert itself even at an early age. The result is a reasoned and powerful road map to understanding our true nature and discovering an eye-opening array of choices -- from the way we raise our children to our career paths to our social and personal commitments to achieving excellence in our time.

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Review:

James Hillman, a former director of the Jung Institute who has written more than 20 books on behavior and psychology, delves into human development in The Soul's Code. Hillman encourages you to "grow down" into the earth, as an acorn does when it becomes a mighty oak tree. He argues that character and calling are the result of "the particularity you feel to be you" and knocks those who blame childhood difficulties for all their problems as adults. According to Hillman, "The current American identity as a victim is the flip side of the coin whose head brightly displays the opposite identity: the heroic self-made man, carving out destiny alone and with unflagging will." Hillman's theories seem disarmingly simple, but he backs them with a careful, well-practiced intellect.

From the Inside Flap:

Plato and the Greeks called it "daimon," the Romans "genius," the Christians "guardian angel." Today we use the terms heart, spirit, and soul. To James Hillman, the acknowledged intellectual source for Thomas Moore's bestselling sensation Care of the Soul, it is the central and guiding force of his utterly compelling "acorn theory"--in which each life is formed by a unique image, an image that is the essence of that life and calls it to a destiny, just as the mighty oak's destiny is written in the tiny acorn.

In this new look at age-old themes, Hillman provides a radical, frequently amusing, and highly accessible path to realization through an extensive array of examples. He urges his readers to discover the "blueprints" particular to their own individual lives, certain that there is more to life than can be explained by genetics or environment. As he says, "We need a fresh way of looking at the importance of our lives."

What The Soul's Code offers is an inspirational, positive approach to life--a way of seeing, and a way of recovering what has been lost of our intrinsic selves.

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