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A Terrible Love of War

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I have ead uite a few books about war especially about Vietnam wanting to einforce my belief that war is a eally bad idea egardless of how egularly it happens So I picked this book at least partially enticed by the title A Terrible Love of War As I often do I looked at a few GR eviews before I started eading I find that it helps to prime the pump Especially with a book that looks like it will reuire brain work I mean it listed as psychology some brain work I mean it s listed as psychology philosophy war Sounds like a challenge to meI have been eading short thin books ecently In addition to the enticing title I also selected this book off my shelf because it is elatively thin 217 pages of text Then I ead the words and was trapped before I could put it downThis is a book published in 2004 before Goodreads began in December 2006 so misses the normal bump of eaders that a book often experiences just after publication As of today there are only 122 atings and fourteen eviews Most of the eviews are very short But the average of the atings is 406 James Hillman wrote 27 books before this one including one Re Visioning Psychology that was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize He wrote A Terrible Love of War late in his life Hillman was a post Jungian who initiated archetypal psychology in the early 1970s He died in 2011 at the age of 85 Archetypal Psychology elativizes and deliteralizes the notion of ego and focuses on what it calls the psyche or soul and the deepest patterns of psychic functioning the fundamental fantasies that animate all life Archetypal psychology likens itself to a polytheistic mythology in that it attempts to ecognize the myriad fantasies and myths gods goddesses demigods mortals and animals that shape and are shaped by our psychological lives In this framework the ego is but one psychological fantasy within an assemblage of fantasies Archetypal psychology is along with the classical and developmental schools the third school of post Jungian psychology Source I think it helps to put a face and voice with a book Here is about eight minutes of words from author James Hillman about psyche This book contains the awareness of a genius or the amblings of a madman You decide which There are a lot of indented words in this LONG REVIEW to help you decide This is indeed a warning Here are the first words from the book One sentence in one scene from one film Patton sums up what this book tries to understand The general walks the field after a battle Churned earth burnt tanks dead men He takes up a dying officer kisses him surveys the havoc and says I love it God help me I do love it so I love it than my life We can never prevent war or speak sensibly of peace and disarmament unless we enter this love of war The first chapter of the book is titled War is normal Sounds obvious enough ight I base the statement war is normal on two factors we have already seen its constancy throughout history and its ubiuity over the globe These two factors euire another basic acceptability War. War is a timeless force in the human imagination and indeed in daily life Engaged in the activity of destruction its soldiers and its victims discover a paradoxical yet profound sense of existing of being human In A Terrible Love of War James Hillman one of today's mos. .
S could not happen unless there were those willing TO HELP THEM HAPPEN CONSCRIPTS SLAVES INDENTURED SOLDIERS UNWILLING help them happen Conscripts slaves indentured soldiers unwilling on the contrary there are always masses eady to answer the call to arms to join up get in the fight There are always leaders ushing to take the plunge Every nation has its hawks Moreover esisters dissenters pacifists objectors and deserters arely are able to bring war to a halt The saying Someday they ll give a war and no one will come emains a fond wish War drives everything else off the front page If you ead this book and based on the NUMBER OF GR RATINGS YOU PROBABLY WON T YOU of GR atings you probably won t you have to decide if Hillman is thinking outside the box or is off the wall It is very likely you will find your beliefs about why people are the way they are challenged He is often bracketed with Joseph Campbell an American mythologist writer and lecturer best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative eligionAs is often the case eading a person s obituary gives you a good synopsis of herhis life Thus a couple of uotes from the NY Times Hillman was a charismatic therapist and best selling author whose theories about the psyche helped evive interest in the ideas of Carl Jung animating the so called men s movement in the 1990s and stirring the pop cultural air Mr Hillman followed his mentor s Carl Jung lead in taking aim at the assumptions behind standard psychotherapies including Freudian analysis arguing that the best clues for understanding the human mind lay in myth and imagination not in standard psychological or medical concepts Feelings like anxiety and depression he said are ooted not in how one was treated as a child or in some chemical imbalance but in culture in social interactions in human nature and its churning imagination For Mr Hillman a person s demons eally were demons and the best course was to accept and understand them To try to banish them he said was only to ask for trouble Some people in desperation have turned to witchcraft magic and occultism to drugs and madness anything to ekindle imagination and find a world ensouled Mr Hillman wrote in 1976 But these eactions are not enough What is needed is a evisioning a
fundamental shift of 
shift of out of that soulless predicament we call modern consciousness I am stumbling around stealing the words of others but giving credit you ll notice to share with you the content and impact of this book I feel somewhat like an academic who is not prepared to take this course I had a hard time imagining that I would make it to the end of this elatively short book But it is packed with information and lassoed me in uickly Here are a couple of his paragraphsWar certainly does ely upon the individual s epressions andor aggressions pleasure in demolition appetite for the extraordinary and spectacular mania of autonomy War harnesses these individual urges and procures their compliance without which there could be no wars but war is not individual psychology writ large In. T espected psychologists undertakes a groundbreaking examination of the essence of war its psychological origins and inhuman behaviors Utilizing eports from many fronts and times letters from combatants analyses by military authorities classic myths and writings from. Dividuals certainly fight uthlessly and kill families feud and harbor evenge but this is not war Soldiers are not killers Even well trained and well lead infantrymen have a strong unrealized esistance toward killing which tactically impedes the strategy of every engagement Only a polis city state society can war The I ecently e ead the Iliad and suspected that Hillman s book which I d bought a few years ago but never ead would deepen my appreciation of Homer as indeed it did Hillman is always a pleasure to ead As he s aged he s become transparent mellow in his meditations If A Terrible Love of War lacks the cerebral pyrotechnics of Re Visioning Psychology or Myth of Analysis it still evokes eflections of grief and lends clarity to a topic it s impossible to treat dispassionately This is my second time eading this book and I m hitting the same difficulty that I had the first time around I find Hillman s ideas fascinating and challenging even when I don t agree with them but his writing style is too dry for my tastes So I hesitate to ecommend this book to others even though I liked it well enough to eread it Hillman looks at war via mythology and archetypes For the most part he sticks to wars in Europe and North America and describes war through the Greco Roman gods Mars and Venus Talking about Venus s part in war is one eason I ve emembered this book for ten years Hillman points out that even though we say war is horrifying and dreadful Mars we also make weapons that are beautiful and talk about the bonds of love and affection that war creates between fellow soldiers Venus For Hillman love is not the antithesis of war which leads to the final chapter in which he looks at why Christianity a eligion of love has inspired so many wars Try this book if you think looking at war psychologically and through mythology sounds interesting but be eady for writing that goes off on tangents and sometimes gets too dense to let the author s ideas through I am actually eading this book for debate It is surprisingly a good ead despite it s slightly macabre title It is about the psychological effects war has on us as humans It also talks about how ever since the dawn of time humans have always have been at war and if not trying to prevent war Hillman suggests the best way to comabt the normalization of war is to embrace it There are also surprising sources to back Hillman up like Donald Rumsfield Albert Einstein Rumsfield Albert Einstein among many others You eally need an open mind to process these sometimes out there ideas This book has an original and insightful approach to the idea of war how we can understand it better and cope with it as a ubiuitous force in our world that effects every single one of us It eally shines a helpful light in a very dark corner of the mind I couldn t put it down for the first 34s The last chapter got a little less laser beam as the first few much axe grindy Hillman admits as much but this does not attract from the overall experience imo. Great thinkers including Twain Tolstoy Kant Arendt Foucault and Levinas Hillman's broad sweep and detailed esearch bring a fundamentally new understanding to humanity's simultaneous attraction and aversion to war This is a compelling necessary book in a violent world. ,

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