Yesterday, I experienced a mini heartbreak when I discovered that I would likely miss the exciting webinar related to DEPTH PSYCHOLOGY ALLIANCE’S exploration/definition of depth psychology to which I had looked soooo forward. And yes, I’ll admit that upon finding that because of some computer snafu having blocked access to my participation, I had what could best be described as a tearful, regressive tantrum, reminiscent of a childhood in which my greatest claim to fame was being or feeling left out of the party!
OK so what! A few hours passed. I calmed down. Had a lovely talk with my soul sister, depth psychology member, psychotherapist, astrologer, and Kaballah colossus Eva Rider. Eva referred me to the excellent video by James Newell, in which the evolution/origin of depth psychology was beautifully articulated and chronicled. I watched the video and fell asleep. However, upon awakening in the middle of the night, something felt incomplete.
I was back from dreamland, and at the ungodly hour of 4 am, I was immersed in the wonderful experience of once again following the thread that any experience spent in the process of musing from dreamland always provides. There is always some awakening thought or question that jars me to consciousness. What had I missed because of my inability to attend the aforementioned webinar? Just what was/is the nature of depth psychology. Was/is there more? What did I personally need more of in the way of definition?
I began my Internet exploration. While my destination seemed unlikely, its impetus certainly was not.
After my perusal of various sites, I arrived at Jung and the Kabbalah where a discussion entitled “The Depth of the Soul: James Hillman’s Vision of Psychology,” by Sanford L. Drob was taking place.
My daimon did not disappoint. Of course! I had been led there. Where else? After all, hadn’t I just completed a telephone conversation with Eva Rider, whose current main squeeze was her work on the wonders of Kabbalah? And for me, wouldn’t a discussion and attempt at definition of depth psychology be incomplete without a discussion of James Hillman’s in-depth vision of soul? To this end Stanford L. Drob had written:
For Hillman, the psyche is inherently multiple, and requires a psychology that insists neither upon integration nor a unified subject. The soul has many sources of meaning, direction and value, and, as Thomas Moore puts it: The psyche is not only multiple, it is a communion of many persons, each with specific needs, fears, longings, style and language. The many persons echo the many gods who define the worlds that underlie what appears to be a unified human being. (Moore 1991, p. 36)
It’s that last line of Moore’s that really grabbed me. Yes! It is those “many persons “ that “echo the many gods who define the worlds that underlie what appear to be a unified human being.” That sentence not only attracts the hell out of me, but also does a fine job of providing what for me is a core tenet of the depth psychological perspective. I’ll say it another way, one that perhaps makes the definition more practical and useful. We are many people inside and out. We are each fed by layers and layers of complex needs. Often we get very hungry, very cold, too hot, very lonely. We are driven and possessed by need. We are needed by, love and long for, a myriad of “others” appearing in the guise of strange gods, whose eternal cries, haunting laughter, love, and hate, is ever alive, ever deep, often bottomless.
For me depth psychology is the honoring and allowing in of those many souls /persons, that as Moore has so eloquently stated, “define the worlds that underlie what appear to be a unified human being.”
In part my work as an archetypal astrologer also affords an additional in-depth picture and offers a host of possibilities for doing, defining and exploring our human worlds. The horoscope is a container for those gods and goddesses that underlie and star in the life dramas that are specific to for, and within each particular person. That’s why I so love the astrological horoscope with it’s map of in-depth multiplicities.
Hillman’s ideas stand well upon, and in-part comprise the psychological shoulders of all who have gone before. We cannot possibly know what this will mean for the future of a depth psychology whose earthly boundaries, also extend outward and beyond the soul and person of the human being. At the very least, we must keep those earthly, human shoulders well muscled — its ground well fed, with the respected depth of psyche’s images. To do so, would mean an honoring of depth psychology, no matter its locus or definition,
May – 2015
Drob, Sanford L.
The Depth of the Soul: James Hillman’s Vision of Depth Psychology
Jung and the Kaballah
New Kabbalah website (c) Sanford L. Drob, 2001.
Moore, T (1991). Prologue, Introductions. In A Blue Fire: Selected Writings by James Hillman, introduced and edited by Thomas Moore. New York: Harper Perennial.