James Hillman -- one of the most creative thinkers in the field of psychology -- talks about the necessity of grieving, and the repercussions when it is sidestepped in this part II transcribed excerpt from his fascinating weekend seminar based on his book A Blue Fire.
Now, if that passive aggressive is not… if the aggressive part is not given something valuable -- which is what I think goes on in the men’s work, something valuable – true, some sort of images of poetry, spirit, body, and language -- I think that passive aggressive part of our nature will become ideological and fascistic and revert to its old forms. Well, not all together. Not all together. You haven’t yet seen. You know, we’re not lynching and we’re not marching. We vote for Reagan but that’s as far as it got. It’s gotten further than that. [talking in background: “You get gay bashing. You get racial slurs.” Etc.] It can get much worse. [talking in background] Well, it’s that absence of grieving. First the absence of grieving and mourning for the loss in Vietnam, and the fact that so many American males went through an initiation experience without the initiation mythology that goes with it. So they were deserted and they are the base of change in the country, but they are considered outsiders and put through psychotherapy. But no one who is responsible for Vietnam is put through psychotherapy!
Well, anyway… So this lack of mourning and grieving keep one out of touch with something much more profound that is a potential in the man. If you can’t grieve, you are not in touch with your real depths, and there’s more to it than that, but anyway. [talking in background] Yeah, but it’s a particular feeling. And as long as therapy band-aids, or tries to, as you say “get on with your life” or teaches coping -- and I don’t want to make it trivial -- it is complying with the entire political system. So my vision of therapy now is changing and I see that therapy could be a cell where revolution is prepared.