Soul-Making

Outside and inside, life and soul, appear as parallels in 'case history' and 'soul history.'

A case history is a biography of historical events in which one took part: family, school, work, illness, war, love. The soul history often neglects entirely some or many of these events, and spontaneously invents fictions and 'inscapes' without major outer correlations.

The experiences arising from major dreams, crises, and insights give definition to the personality. They too have 'names' and 'dates' like the outer events of case history; they are like boundary-stones which mark out one's own individual ground.

Case history reports on the achievements and failures of life with the world of facts. But the soul has neither achieved nor failed in the same way ... The soul imagines and plays - and play is not chronicled by report.

A love story is but an histoire, one of mille e tre, only the outer history of emotional events, like a crowd of yellow daffodils , unless it be recollected in tranquility, put through a psychological operation, such as the soul itself compels to - love letters, anxieties, poems, confidences, hazardous assignations, tumescent fantasies.

Dreams, visions, and feelings - so entirely inner and mine - have nothing to do with soul unless they oneiric fair, simply giveaways form the tunnel of love and the chamber of horrors unless they be put through the qualifying intelligence, the history-making of the psyche, sifted and weighted in the disciplined reflection of loving, of ritual, of dialectics, of an art - or of a psychological analysis with its therapeutic plot.
be recollected, recorded, entered into history. Inner images and feelings (so-called soul-stuff) are free for grabs, nightly at the

Outer means simply we are outside looking at it; it is closed in its factual literalism. This and this happened, and then this. Inner means we are taking it in; it is open to insight. Ingestion slows down the happenings for the sake of the chewing.

What we do not experience becomes only case material or world history, hastening the pace of events both in my soul and in the world. All haste comes from the devil, as an old saying goes, which psychologically means that one's devil is to be found in one's indigestion, in having more events than are experienced.

What we do experience by putting events through an imaginative process is taken off the streets of time and out of the ignorant sea of my mental turbulence. We beat the devil by simply standing still.

Or going backwards - regression belongs to the digestive mode of soul-making, so that a good deal of remembering, its pain, its shame, is recapitulation, revising the chapter again before it can close.

[James Hillman]
Healing Fiction, p.24, 27, 28

Related posts:-
Guiding Fiction
Memory Lane

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