“…the study of the stories of the soul.”I usually put together a few quotes to talk about a point that I want to make. But this quote by Hillman is all I need today. Please bear with me as I work out the ideas I am writing about here.
John Bradshaw said that incest is the ultimate “soul murder.” I dont know how to quantify that except to say that I am still trying to understand who I am at the age that I am. Do I attribute some of the dis-ease I suffer from to the early childhood events in my life, you damn right I do. The abuse that we are enduring as a culture is coming back to haunt us. Advertisements for anti-depressants, erectile dysfunction, bi-polar disorder, fibromyalgia, to just name a few are common place in my culture. What underlies the paradigm which says that all the relief you need is in “mother’s little helper.”
So we are needing to ingest chemicals to feel better. Not “feel,” better because we are being taught that those feelings, which cause somatic expression in the disorders of depression, erectile disfunction, etc., are wrong or unnecessary to deal with. All we need to do is mask them and then we will be better. At what expense?
At the expense of my essence. The part of me that saw the world as a wonder full, awe full, mysterious place of enchantment and a place where I could experience joy on a more regular basis. A place where I would not have to ingest anything to make myself “feel,” better.
Many people criticize Hillman for being distant, testy, aloof, arrogant. Well, I never met the man so I couldn’t tell you about any of those attributes he reportedly had. What I can say for me is that I am angry. I am angry that I had to and still have to deal with those “deep seated, sometimes quite forgotten, emotional conflicts that persist below the level of my conscious.” I am angry that children, my friends, have to deal with shit that some of them dont even remember experiencing. I am pissed off that parents think it is okay to abuse their children. Yes I get how life is difficult, but there is one thing I never did as Ggods are my witness. I never beat or physically traumatized my daughter. I gave her the effects of my abuse, but it was not an intentional act of violating her boundaries of her physical safety in any way.
What am I going to do? Hopefully if I am lucky tell stories to children someday that lets them know, hopefully intuitively, that they are okay and they dont have to live with being abused to get their needs met. I carry the wounds of my soul and hopefully I can share them with those whose wounds are there also.
James Hillman, in The Life and Ideas of James Hillman, p. 576