The dream and the underworld

by James Hillman

Book, 1979



Call number


Call number



New York : Harper & Row, c1979.

Original publication date


Physical description

vi, 243 p.; 21 cm

Local notes

In a deepening of the thinking begun in The Myth of Analysis and Re-Visioning Psychology, James Hillman develops the first new view of dreams since Freud and Jung.

User reviews

LibraryThing member paradoxosalpha
Hillman's slim volume is the best book I have read about the significance and experiential weight of dreams. He opposes the therapeutic and vulgar divinatory approaches that want to merely convert dreams into utilities of waking consciousness. While situating his study within the psychoanalytic
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tradition, he constructs his theory with extensive reference to classical notions of death and the underworld.

Magicians reading carefully can also find a wealth of pointers about the "astral" and the full range of visionary experiences which access materials from an unconscious source--collective or individual. In fact, this book is one of the most valuable texts I have found for that purpose.

An early monograph by Hillman, The Dream and the Underworld has a style that is more incisive and demanding than his later popular work like The Soul's Code. He often uses untranslated Greek terms in order to orient the reader to what is likely to be at first an alien perspective on the underworld into which we all must descend. Although short, it requires genuine work to read, and it should repay the effort well.
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LibraryThing member ronsea
i read this over and over again
LibraryThing member CenterPointMN
James Hillman develops the first new view of dreams sice Freud and Jung. In a profound extension of Jung's ideas of the collective unconscious, Hillman goes back to classical theories in terms of the poetics of mythology. He relates our dreaming life to the myths of the underworld--the dark side of
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the soul, its images and shadows--and t the gods and figures of death. This leads to a revisioning of dream interpretation in relation to the psychology of dying. He concludes with the long section on specific dream images and themes as they appear in psychological praxis.
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