We are excited to bring you this excerpt from James Hillman’s What Kind of Society Nurtures the Soul? This lecture and discussion examine the uses of psychotherapy and what the future may hold for psychology. We hope you enjoy this lecture.
“In our book, we’ve had 100 years of psychotherapy, and the world is getting worse. Michael Ventura and I challenged these notions in therapy, this neglect of the world and the sabotaging of political consciousness by therapeutic theory. The sabotaging of political consciousness by therapeutic theory. I’m not attacking individual therapists who are in the front line trying to mop up after the huge destructions left by the Reagan/Bush 12 years and before that even. So I’m not attacking individual therapists who are working very hard with impossible problems in every kind of situation, but therapeutic theory, what they have to work with.
I don’t need to go on with what we said in that book here or even refine and explain what we said there. What I do want to do here is emphasize that the way the world gets to us is through sense perception, what the Greeks called aesthesis, from which our word aesthetics, and that by suppression of our aesthetic responses we leave the world to itself and isolate ourselves from its plight. And no amount of relating and community building will restore us to the world and restore the world unless we trust our aesthetic responses. Therapy says, “Connect. Only connect.” I’m saying, “Sense. See. Notice. React. Only react.”