The Force of Character
And the Lasting Life
By James Hillman
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345424051, 272pp.)
Publication Date: July 5, 2000
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In his powerful bestseller The Soul's Code, James Hillman brilliantly illuminated the central importance of character to our spiritual and emotional lives. Now, in this magnificent new book, Hillman completes his exploration of character with a profound and revolutionary reflection on life's second half.
"Character requires the additional years," declares Hillman. "The last years confirm and fulfill character." Far from blunting or dulling the self, the accumulation of experience concentrates the essence of our being, heightening our individual mystery and unique awareness of life. Drawing on his grounding in Jungian psychology, Hillman explains here the archetypes and myths that govern the self's realignment in our final years.
The Force of Character follows an enriching journey through the three stages of aging--lasting, the deepening that comes with longevity; leaving, the preparation for departure; and left, the special legacy we each bestow on our survivors. Along the way the book explores the meanings and often hidden virtues of characteristic physical and emotional changes, such as loss of memory, alterations in sleep patterns, and the mysterious upsurge in erotic imagination.
Steeped in the wisdom of a lifetime, radiant with Hillman's reading in philosophy, poetry, and sacred texts, charged with a piercing clarity, The Force of Character is a book that will change--and affirm--the lives of all who read it.
James Hillman is a psychologist, scholar, international lecturer, pioneer psychologist, and the author of more than twenty books, including The Soul's Code, Re-Visioning Psychology, Healing Fiction, The Dream and the Underworld, Inter Views, and Suicide and the Soul. A Jungian analyst and originator of post-Jungian "archetypal psychology," he has held teaching positions at Yale University, the University of Chicago, Syracuse University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Dallas, where he cofounded the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. After thirty years of residence in Europe, he now lives in Connecticut.
"Marvelous . . . For a book about longevity, The Force of Character is just about perfect, not only for the wisdom of its content but also for its tone and pace."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"This is a book that will comfort someone afraid of getting old. Its gentle messages shine through."
--Los Angeles Times
"Provocative . . . Hillman breathes new life into a venerable concept, and in so doing helps us to rediscover the soulful possibilities of aging."