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Friday, April 26, 2013

How are we implicated in the rise of violence?

Today Thomas Moore's blog touches on the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon as he elucidates James Hillman's work with images in his post "Real Presences". He bases the piece on a passage in Hillman's book, Revisioning Psychology.

 Moore includes:
"I live near Boston, where the tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon took place not two weeks ago. Understandably, many were immediately ready to prosecute or kill those responsible. Some felt that if the two young men were put away, one way or another, people would be safe — again, personalizing a situation that is far more complex. In this case, by personalizing we free ourselves of responsibility or involvement in the conditions that gave rise to the atrocity. If we reflected differently, we might realize that we have not yet responded to the world situation where we are implicated in injustices and biases that play a role in the rise of violence."
Moore writes, "Imagination is failing, and with its weakening come increased literalism and personalism."

He also considers the role of the therapist:
"If I don’t treat the images of dream and the stories of life as powerful and serious fictions, therapy itself becomes personalistic. I get involved in my own pet ideas and agendas, and I try to influence the person I’m trying to help rather than care for the soul. Therapy becomes life management based on personal prejudices or on the wishes of the client." 
 Throughout this post, Moore regards images as real, not literal, "without being naive or simplistic."