Here’s To A New Era Of Being And Living

March 1, 2011 by  
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James Hillman — psychologist, scholar, culture critic, and author of more than 20 books, including the bestselling “The Soul’s Code” — is one of the modern era’s most original thinkers on the human and collective psyche.

On an interview by Pythia  Peay posted on the Huffington Post a couple of days ago, Hillman discusses a new era of being and living that is bubbling underneath the old and failed post-modern models.

Living in America we get to experience the extreme of some of these crumpling structures; capitalism and the end of this country’s notion of exceptionalism.

There is no doubt the world as we know it has come to an end a new model will emerge.  What is different about this new model is that it will challenge us to live life as a circular experience not as a staircase model – inflexible hierarchy.

How does that impact us at an individual level?  Absolute truths are being challenged such as: If you are rich you are happy.  Power brings sense of worth.  Freedom means only the ability to say and go anywhere I want.

If you are reading this, is because you too are in search of a new way of being.  You have tried making the money, being powerful, exercising your strength over others, and failing with each attempt to truly find meaning and freedom.

I recently saw a live performance written and directed by Moisés Kaufman – 33 Variations – where the character played by Jane Fonda is suffering from Lou Gehrig.  Towards the end she says there is great freedom in the loss of hope.  That statement really stayed with me.  While it sounds like a downer at first sight if you delve into the deeper meaning you will find truth; the freedom that comes with turning our attention to the world within.   Like a tree finding truth in the roots and not in the branches.

Please read on…

Now approaching his 85th birthday, I spoke with Hillman as he was recuperating from two years of illness. “It’s a new life,” he told me. “A lot of reflection instead of ambition.” The American psyche has always stoked Hillman’s reflections; the following is the second half of an edited version of our conversation on the current zeitgeist.

Pythia: In our initial conversation you said that America today has a certain “tragic aspect.” Can you say more about that?…Continued

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