Scott Becker James Hillman
Inhuman Relations, Vol. 7 of the Uniform Edition of the Writings of James Hillman, contains what could be described as Hillman's more “clinical” writings. Hillman chose the title, Inhuman Relations, to emphasize the archetypal forces that shape our human interactions?—?the myths behind our messes, as he says in this volume. With this volume, Hillman decided to return to his groundbreaking book on soul-making, Re-Visioning Psychology, and organize most of essays under that book's original operative headings: Personifying or Imagining Things, Pathologizing or Falling Apart, Dehumanizing or Soul-Making, and Psychologizing or Seeing Through. The 24 essays in this volume illustrate these operations and allow the reader not only to appreciate their wide-ranging content, but also to become aware of their experiential influence.
As Scott Becker writes in his introductory essay: “We can say that Hillman was not only trying to make a point, he was trying to be useful. Because of Hillman's frequently martial style and his plutonic deconstruction of his subject matter, some critics have understandably tended to overlook the fact that he was, by training and temperament, a psychotherapist, and that his therapeutic intent continued long after he left the world of psychoanalysis proper. His passion was in the service of compassion. That he accomplished this by holding up a mirror to our follies does not detract from his therapeutic intent. Quite the contrary, our disillusionment and discomfort were the required first steps to letting go of our destructive ideas, a necessary nigredo phase as we descended, fell apart, went bugs. We had to lose our minds to find them.”