“Creativity is conceived as a reproductive act with a tangible result — a child, a book, a monument — that has a physical life going beyond the life of its producer.”

“Creativity, however, can be intangible in the form of a good life, or a beautiful act, or in other virtues of the soul such as freedom and openness, style and tact, humor, kindness.”

~ James Hillman, American Psychologist, Author & Visionary

Spirit of the Night, 1879 by John Atkinson Grimshaw. PD via Wikimedia.

James Hillman was a re-imagineer, and an advocate of a more soul-conscious psychology. He was, by all accounts, something of an iconoclast, and a wry-witted critic of the tyranny of overly calcified convictions, or fundamentalism.

He didn’t exempt his own professional field, psychology, from critique, as his books, Re-Imagining Psychology (1975) and We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy – And the World’s Getting Worse (with Michael Ventura, 1993), suggest.

In his paper, Spiritually Sensitive Psychological Counseling, James Benziger gives us more insight into what moved and inspired Hillman’s work:

“In The Thought of the Heart and the Soul of the World (1992), Jungian psychologist James Hillman argued that contemporary society values Aristotelian displays of intellect but devalues the thought of the heart, which is Aphroditic.”

“The thought of the heart, he wrote, is evidenced in compassion, imagination, and authenticity. Its characteristic action is sight and its response is aesthetic.”

The spiritually developed heart, therefore, finds evil ugly.”

Hillman believed (and wrote) that “each person bears a uniqueness that asks to be lived and that is already present before it can be lived.”

Iceberg in the Arctic. Photo by A. Weith and shared PD-CC via Wikimedia.

He called that inborn uniqueness “the soul’s code,” and observed that if this uniqueness wasn’t allowed to develop, emerge, and express — due to “convictions that clamp the mind and heart” and other means of smothering creativity and uniqueness — various physical and mental symptoms presented instead.

He was true to his own “soul’s code,” it seems, given his astro-natal Mars and Jupiter in Aquarius, Venus and Uranus in Pisces, and a renegade Saturn in Scorpio, among other “Soul’s Code” astro-clues.

Circe (1889), by Wright Barker.

This uniqueness of the Soul’s Code wasn’t about abject selfishness or egomania, though.

If it was soul-sourced and aligned, our unique gifts were inseparable from character and virtue — the spiritually developed Aphroditic heart (Divine Feminine).

Perhaps such creativity flows more abundantly when the Soul’s Code, the innate uniqueness born from the spiritually developed heart, is freed?

Your sense and experience of stifled and/or freed creativity and the ‘soul’s unique code’?

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Hillman’s quote on creativity was shared by Rob Brezsny, Pronoia

Benziger, James B., “Spiritually Sensitive Psychological Counseling: A History of the Relationship between Psychology and Spirituality and Suggestions for Integrating Them in Individual, Group, and Family Counseling” (2009).