Mythos project,'Being Built: Re-Visioning Architectural Design and Urban Planning for Our Existential Needs, L Huskinson

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Content: 1 Lucy Huskinson Mythos project, `Being Built: Re-Visioning Architectural Design and urban planning for Our Existential Needs' Dissemination of findings from the Hillman Archives. This document is to be read in conjunction with my Preliminary Research Report that was submitted shortly after my visit to the archives in July 2013. As stipulated in my original research proposal and within my preliminary research report, the dissemination of my findings from the Hillman Archives involves two outputs: my monograph Architecture of the Psyche: how buildings make and break our lives (contracted to Routledge: London and New York), and more significantly, a conference paper at an International Conference I organised, City Margins, City Memories (London, April 7-8 2014). I have now presented the conference paper and have attached it here. The paper was very well received, and there are plans to publish it within an anthology with other conference papers. I (and my colleagues, who helped me to organise the conference) have been approached by several publishers who want to publish a selection of papers from the conference within their own series on the cities and urban life. The two publishers we are giving serious consideration to are Chicago University Press, and Peter Langdon: Oxford. We are in the very early stages of planning. But it is hoped that the conference paper attached will be developed into a fuller paper of approximately 7000 words. Of course due credit will be given to Opus in any publication that arises from this conference paper, and no more than 500 words of Hillman's unpublished sources will be cited. The publication of my conference paper as a full chapter within a book does not preclude the possibility of me publishing a similar paper within any publication that Opus may plan. As an organiser of this conference, I also organised and Chaired panel sessions of other papers that discussed the nature of the city from the perspective of archetypal psychology. In all we had two panel sessions on themes archetypal psychology which comprising three papers each (though one presenter had to drop out at a late stage. However, another archetypal paper: on the poesis of Dublin city was included within another panel session called `Writing the City'). The main panel sessions for papers in archetypal psychology were titled, `Archetypal Shadows Within City Margins', and `Mythological Wanderings Through City Paths'. It is hoped that the publication will include these papers too.
2 I was able to publicize Opus by including their name on conference materials, and include the flyers kindly sent to me within the delegates' conference packs. My monograph will incorporate some commentary of Hillman's unpublished material and some of the citations that I use in my conference paper, but it will do so within the Wider context of architecture and psychoanalysis more generally. The conference paper, by contrast, is specifically about Hillman, and emphasises to the implications of my discoveries within the archives for making sense of his ideas about the built environment. The monograph requires a lot more time before its eventual completion, but I will notify Opus when its Publication date is announced. I also developed a website for the conference (http://cityconference.bangor.ac.uk/). If further research funds can be secured, the conference website will be developed into an online research center for Interdisciplinary Studies on The City, Built Environments, and Urban Life. Given the strong presence of archetypal psychology at the conference, and the very rich perspective that archetypal psychology brings to consideration of urban life and to the built environment generally, it would make a lot of sense for it feature predominantly within this site. Amongst many other useful resources, the site would make links to Opus, and to Graduate Pacifica. Lucy Huskinson
3 Lucy Huskinson Conference paper for the International and Interdisciplinary Conference, City Margins, City Memories, The Senate House, London, April 7-8. This conference paper cites 312 words of Hillman's unpublished material. However, the majority of this material is cited within the endnotes as references to support the claims I make in the main text. It is likely that most of this material will be cited within the main text when the paper is written up as more detailed piece for publication. Reclaiming the City for Psyche: Resetting a Cornerstone of Archetypal Psychology Abstract The natural environment is often idealised and romanticised within discourses of depth psychology as something to protect and venerate at all cost. Most notably within analytical and archetypal psychology we are told it is within the natural world that we find ourselves mental stable and more `in tune' with life. By contrast, the built environment is often blamed for the corruption, traumas and disturbances of psychic life, and for creating its very own anxiety disorders (such as we find with agoraphobia, or `market place phobia'). This paper examines ambiguities and tensions within James Hillman's ideas about the psychological value of the city and its architecture in relation to the natural world. In his published works he often describes them as having equivalent value, but at other times, he strongly celebrates the natural world to the detriment of the built environment. These contradictory approaches have significant philosophical implications for his renowned and fкted conception of anima mundi, where psyche is found both within our individual minds, and in the world `outside'. The ultimate question therefore is whether psyche can be found within the built environment as much as the natural world. This paper argues from the position that such a split is unwarranted: that the city facilitates our wellbeing no less so than the natural world. After describing further instances of Hillman's apparent denigration of the value of the built environment that are recorded in his unpublished notes and personal letters,1 the paper outlines a potential resolution to the perceived split through a consideration of Hillman's own conceptions of `pathologizing,' and aesthetics. The paper concludes that it is not all, but most, buildings that fail to house psyche in the world. For Hillman, only a built environment that is able to engage our aesthetic sensibilities can succeed in doing so, but the vast majority of urban spaces 1 From the Hillman archives at Opus: Archives and Research Center, California. We are delighted that Opus is one of the sponsors for this conference. For further information about Opus, please refer to the flyer enclosed in the conference packs.
4 remain anaesthetised by the ego's preoccupation with all things simple, mindless, pleasurable, pretty, and functional. Introduction: the problematic split of natural world and built environment The natural environment is often idealised within studies of depth psychology as something to protect and venerate. Despite the sheer unforgiving brutality of nature, and its propensity to commit, what philosophers have called `natural evil', killing innocent human lives through earthquakes, floods, fires and so on, we are often told that it's within the landscapes of the natural world that we find ourselves better off, more relaxed; psychologically and spiritually replenished. The city, by contrast, is targeted as a place of corruption, trauma and disturbance of psychic life.1 From city to nature we must flee,2 and the natural land we must save from the spreading disease of the building site. But is it fair to prioritise the Natural Landscape in this way? Can we not also find peace and authenticity in our urban city-scapes? After all, didn't Jung himself discover the healing function of the psyche within the City Square at the centre of the filthy, dark city streets of a dream-place called Liverpool? 3 It is within the rapidly developing `green' discourses of environmental concern that go by many names, such as ecopsychology and spiritual ecology that we find this tendency to promote the unhelpful split between natural and built environments.4 There we are often told that the natural world, in its resplendent green glory, is being vanquished, raped, and appropriated by the power-hungry interests of urbanisation. Theodore Roszak in his celebrated work of ecopsychology from 2002, called, The Voice of the Earth describes the city as "a pathological effort to distance us from close contact with the natural continuum from which we evolve." The built environment for him is nothing short of a pathological symptom of, what he calls, "city pox": a disease of the inflated human ego, with its delusions of grandeur, omnipotence, and megalomania. With the birth of the city, he says,
5 we can see the marks of human will graven on the face of the planet, a message of mighty structures that seems to declare to the heavens, "See, we are here. Take notice of us!5 For Roszak and other commentators of `green discourses', the building is an edifice and extension of ego; a symbol of our self-ordained authority to appropriate the natural world for our own arbitrary ends. And what is the solution they propose to save nature from the power-hungry ego? It is, they say, to realise that psyche or soul as the source of meaning and health, is as much `out there' in the world itself, as it is `within' our own individual minds. Only then will nature win back its rightful autonomy. This solution bears the hallmarks of James Hillman's celebrated notion of anima mundi, of psyche or soul acting within the world. However, their solution is also their undoing, for if psyche is to be found `out there', it's not only found in lush forests and untouched mountain-scapes, but also in the bricks and mortar of our dirtiest polluting cities, and in the innocuous tarmac road to the supermarket. HILLMAN ACKNOWLEDGES THE SPLIT AS ISSUE Thankfully Hillman does acknowledge this important point in his notion of anima mundi ­which, he says, calls upon us to embrace soul in all things, in "things of nature and man-made things of the street".6 "Our soul life takes place", he says "on highways in traffic, in houses[...], in malls [...]airports, [and] in open offices)".7 In Hillman we find psychotherapy isn't just something that happens between people, but between people and their environments, and this means that the city-scapes and their buildings and other manufactured products found there are no less veritable sites for psyche as trees and mountains of the natural world. But, when we look more closely at his writings, this crucial point is often ignored, and even contested. Thus although Hillman describes several examples of the merits of city-scapes for housing psyche and soul in the world, and goes so far as publishing a collection of papers under the title City and Soul, nowhere does he offer a conclusive or detailed account on this matter. We must simply
6 assume he adopted such a position given the all-inclusive notion of anima mundi, and the scattering of comments in his published works that seem to favour of it. However, in stark contrast to these comments, Hillman offers many more that denounce the built environment as soul-less, and uphold the natural world as the only veritable site for psyche after all. More often than not, when he alludes to the built environment it is in derogatory terms, highlighting their pathological nature and association with disease and ill health. He says, for instance, The `bad' place I am `in' may refer not only to a depressed mood or anxious state of mind; it may refer to a sealed up office tower where I work, a set-apart suburban subdivision where I sleep, or the jammed freeway on which I commute between the two.8 And, What we call psychological problems on the job--such as absenteeism, the need to take pills, sexual harassment [and so on]--[...]are architectural problems as much as psychological problems.9 Although Hillman suggests occasionally that buildings have the healing capacity of psyche or soul, he more often than not describes them as sites of sickness. Nowhere does he praise the building site above the natural world. THE NEED TO TURN TO HILLMAN'S UNPUBLISHED RESOURCES In the hope of resolving the ambiguous--and at times contradictory--remarks that Hillman makes about the value of the built environment in his published works, I decided to search for clues in his unpublished materials, stored in the Opus Archives and Research Center at Graduate Pacifica in California. For my research I was fortunate enough to have been awarded a grant by Opus, for which I am extremely thankful, as my findings there helped me to clarify this pressing
7 issue as I see it. And as I will shortly show, what I discovered in Hillman's notes adds weight to Hillman's apparent distrust of buildings as sites for psyche and soul. Earlier I described how Roszak attacks the built environment because it symbolises the pathological demands of ego. Hillman himself wrote an endorsement for the back of Roszak's book,10 and contributed a foreword to another of his celebrated works called Ecopsychology (2002) ­ which is perhaps better known as his short essay, `A Psyche the Size of the Earth'.11 And although Hillman doesn't equate buildings with pathological egos in this foreword--as we might expect given Roszak's own enthusiasm for the idea--he does make this connection in various unpublished notes: perhaps most clearly in notes that discuss buildings as metaphors for different parts of the human body and psyche.12 These sorts of architectural metaphor are often found within discourses of the humanities, and Hillman's allusion to the building as a representation of psyche, follows in the footsteps of those of Freud, Breuer, and Jung, before him, whom each describe similar `houses of psyche', with the attic rooms representing the domain of the ego, and the lower, basement rooms representing the place of the unconscious. Hillman's own description, however, focuses heavily on the top floor of the metaphorical building, where we encounter the lofty heights of ego.13 He barely considers the symbolism of the lower floors, reducing his metaphor of building as psyche to the `place of control', where, he says, `you have the greatest perspective on everything. It can even be heroic. You are at the top, above every one'. Indeed in one unpublished note that ridicules both Jung's version of the metaphor, and Jung's actualized version of it in concrete form (which is to say the house Jung designed and built on the shores of Lake Zurich, which he referred to as his "tower") Hillman--in this note--is at pains to portray Jung as an isolated ego imprisoned within the walls of its oppressive architectural design.14 Thus, for Hillman, Jung's tower is a symbol of pathology, of the ego's failure to engage with life. He notes, "we are really in a strange place inside [this] tower", and Jung, as its inhabitant, identifies himself with "the self-enclosed stonewalled personality [of] the Self". Hillman then proceeds to associate Jung's tower to the problematic skyscrapers of Chicago and New York City, and in terms similar to Roszak's, he proclaims these towers to be symbols of the
8 pathological ego, or, in his words, a "monument in stone to the self-enclosed ego", and expressive of "walled off individualism, the disease of [...] the twentieth century".15 And there are several other unpublished notes by Hillman that equate architectural design with the neurotic attempts of ego to fortify itself and maintain the pretence of its self-containment. He claims, amongst other things, that buildings symbolise inevitable `destruction', and the segregation of self from others, and feelings of disdain for the world.16 Certain architectural features such as windows and doors are similarly targeted for criticism. The window is emphasised, not in line with the old adage, `a window to the soul', but `a window to social isolation'--a defence rather than access--one that contributes to, Hillman says, the "paranoid fantasy" that anything can enter and invade our private space. 17 Likewise, the door becomes in Hillman's notes, a pathological defence to protect ourselves from the wider reality from which it keeps us apart.18 POSSIBLE RESOLUTION IN HIS NOTION OF PATHOLOGIZING AND AESTHETIC NOTIONS OF UGLY AND BEAUTIFUL. So how are we to make sense of Hillman's derogatory remarks about the built environment in light of his concept of anima mundi? --particular their associations with the isolated ego?-- ...for anima mundi requires psyche to be found within all places, a requirement that means the built environment must house the soul, and not merely ego. One potential resolution to the ambiguity that I've discerned is in Hillman's notion of pathology and what he refers to as our `pathologizing' tendency to find things in the world disturbing and ill-fitting. Importantly, this is not a tendency to find things problematic or sick, but rather for those things to evoke a response within us that affects us through means--"deeper" means, as Hillman puts it--other than those available to the ego alone. For Hillman, pathology is therefore associated with unconscious meanings and affects rather than the prescriptive diagnostics of problematic illness per se.
9 Hillman further maintains that our "pathologizing" tendency to experience the unconscious depths of psyche through things is dependent on our aesthetic sensibilities. Our aesthetic response is of a different order to the rational contemplations of ego. We experience aesthetics within our bodies, as--he says--"a gasp", "startle" or "shiver";19 an aesthetic response, he says, "take[s] your breath away, make[s] your hair on your neck rise, give[s] you goose bumps, and bring tears to your eyes".20 For Hillman, anima mundi, or the soul of the world is thereby experienced through those objects that evoke in us a bodily shudder, arousing within us feelings of pleasure or displeasure. In the context of Hillman's notions of aesthetics and pathologizing, we find that buildings are not inherently problematic or soul-less, and, not all buildings embody ego alone. But, rather, most are, and most do. In considering these notions, we find that only a particular kind of building is incapable of housing anima mundi, with the majority able only to accommodate ego. The buildings that are problematic are those that fail to incite any immediate aesthetic response in us; they express neither beauty nor ugliness, but instead appeal to the rational values of ego; that is to say, naпve ideals, such as, "the pretty, simple, pleasing, mindless [...] easy",21 " sweet", "sentimental"22 and "old-fashioned."23 It is important to note that Hillman doesn't argue for this scheme as I have presented it, in a sustained or consistent manner, and his discussions of aesthetics and pathology are no less ambiguous and muddled than his remarks about the value of the built environment. However, the gist of my scheme can be traced in his writings, and underpins much that he says. So, let us now briefly outline the resolution to our problem as I see it. Resolving the problem According to Hillman, our technological age has repressed our aesthetic sensibilities and our need to find things beautiful. Instead we tend to approach the world through the disposition of ego alone, preferring that which is functional, economical, ordered, and systematized to those non-rational experiences that lead us away from the self-containment of ego, and into the
10 world of psyche or soul. A consequence of this is that we are more likely to create objects that reflect these superficial ideals. The majority of our buildings are therefore sterile and uninspiring, and incapable of overcoming our insipid tendencies by evoking our aesthetic responses. When Hillman denounces buildings as edifices of ego, he is thereby denouncing those that are designed without aesthetic appreciation in mind; those that fail to wake us up and incite a bodily reaction. In reading Hillman we find that even `ugliness', as an aesthetic category, is beneficial to building design; for the ugly, he says, incites a strong feeling-response within us. 2425 It unsettles us, and thereby disrupts the ego's sense of self-containment,26 surprisingly, more so than its aesthetic counterpart, `beauty', for ugly things are more evocative and memorable.27 [By unsettling the ego and stirring the unconscious in this way, the ugly building can bypass our rational response, and engage with our personality at a "deeper" level]. However, both beauty and ugliness can be problematic and unhelpful within a sterile and desensitised environment that is unprepared for their affects. Ugliness, Hillman contends, is unable to "master the form it seeks to be". It thereby repels our ego's needs for order. Rather than undermining the ego by unsettling it, ugly objects can make us "turn our heads" away, and prevent us from engaging with their evocative power in a useful way. In an interesting passing remark, Hillman thereby makes sense of "urban sprawl" as a common consequence of what happens when ugliness is left unchecked by ego; in urban sprawl ugliness has freedom to run riot within our desensitised streets.28 By the same token, feelings of beauty often overwhelm us, causing us to defend ourselves against them by applying control and restraint. When we exert too much control over beauty, it becomes, Hillman says, `Apollonian beauty'; a beauty that is fixed within specific places, a beauty that is segregated and "permitted" he says, "to make its appearance only in certain scenes". Within the city, beauty appears within particular types of buildings only, within, he says, "restaurants, art galleries, [and] museums". It can be found "in the privacy of homes", he maintains, but "closeted" within prized objects and possessions.29 By being restrained in this
11 manner, beauty is prevented from entering everyday life; from, Hillman says, scenes of "normality", within, he says, all "streets and buildings of cities".3031 Our desensitized culture does not engage effectively with beauty and ugliness. It mistakes beauty for the naпve and superficial values of ego, and it is "because beauty is conceived" naively that, Hillman says, "it appears as merely naпve, and can be tolerated only if complicated by discord, shock, violence", or in other words, by those things we perceive as `ugly'.32Hillman continues, "Notice, too, what happens to our blank bank walls and office buildings, the merely functional fortresses [... with] their cost-effective, low maintenance, impersonal facelessness. They become refaced--though we say defaced--with graffiti, signatures, monograms, declarations of love, territorial markings, [and...] daring, inventiveness."3334 Buildings are therefore problematic when they seek to regulate and control notions of beauty in their architectural design, or fail even to consider the relevance of aesthetic value, so that the function and economic cost of the building supersedes considerations of how it will appear to its inhabitants and passers-by. What is required for our buildings, it would seem, is to bring ugliness and beauty together, in an expression of what Hillman regards as a moment of the "sublime"; that is to say, an aesthetic beauty tinged with terror, which evokes the depths of feeling. 35 Indeed, in my reading of Hillman, if we are to wake from our desensitized environments of sterile, soul-less buildings, we must stop searching after what he calls the "American" sublime. That is to say, we should no longer design according to abstract principles of vastness; but design our buildings with the contrasting notion of particularity in mind. By noticing unique qualities within each building, we can therefore become more aware of its aesthetic affect on us. So let us now conclude. A close reading of Hillman's writings suggests that buildings are not problematic in their own right, but can be veritable sites for psyche. The problem, however, is that the vast majority of
12 buildings are unable to fulfil this function. The problem is that they have ignored aesthetic considerations within their architectural design, and prioritize instead rationalized constraints,36 which seek to impress the ego's desire for order, with their emphasis on functionality, cost-efficiency, shallow prettiness, vast heights, and so on. Hillman's dislike for tower blocks falls readily within this category. To build upwards is a cost-efficient measure to manage expensive ground space within inner cities; and their soaring heights, coupled with the fact that one tower block looks very much like any other, means they adhere to the reductive sensibilities of the "American" sublime, rather than the sublime encounter Hillman seeks through images of "particularity". Though his notions of aesthetics and pathologizing, we can trace in Hillman alternative criteria for `good' architectural design, and begin to develop practical measures for the Design and Construction of buildings to house psyche; buildings that equal the aesthetic capacities of the natural world, and wake us from the slumber of a desensitized urban life. References Clinebell, H. (1996) Ecotherapy: Healing ourselves, healing the earth, Routledge: London and New York. Hillman, James. Opus Archives and Research Center, James Hillman Collection, Box 185A, Series: Letters. Hillman, J. (1991) `The Repression of Beauty' in City and Soul, Uniform Edition, Vol. 2 (edited by Robert J.Leaver), Connecticut: Spring, pp.172-186. Hillman, J. (1992) The Thought of the Heart & The Soul of the World, Dallas: Spring. Hillman, J. and Ventura, M. (1993) We've Had a hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse, San Francisco: Harper.
13 Hillman, J. (1995) `A Psyche the Size of the Earth' in Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind (edited by T.Roszak, Mary E. Gomes and Alan D. Kanner), San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, pp.xvii-xxiii. Hillman, J. (1995b) `Segregation of Beauty' in City and Soul, Uniform Edition, Vol. 2 (edited by Robert J.Leaver), Connecticut: Spring, pp.187-206. Hillman, J. (1995c) `Natural Beauty Without Nature' in City and Soul, Uniform Edition, Vol. 2 (edited by Robert J.Leaver), Connecticut: Spring, pp. 155-171. Hillman, J. (1997) `The Cost of the Ugly' in City and Soul, Uniform Edition, Vol. 2 (edited by Robert J.Leaver), Connecticut: Spring, pp. 194-206. Jung, C.G. (1961) Memories, Dreams, Reflections, New Edition, Fontana: Illinois, 1995. Kidel, M. (1994) Architecture of the Imagination, BBC Television series, Opus Archives DVD Collection. Roszak, T. (2002) The Voice of the Earth. An exploration of ecopsychology, Phanes: Michigan. Tuan, Yi-Fu (1990) Topophilia: A study of environmental perception, attitudes, and values, Columbia: Columbia University Press. Notes 1 See for instance, Roszak 2002: 83 "But what if [madness] derives not from the distant ancestral past but from something more recent: the beginnings of civilized life, the social and economic transition that rooted our species out of its original environment and relocated it to the city". 2 See for instance, Lynda Wheelwright Schmidt, in the Long Shore, who "points to the need of city-dwellers to find healing in wilderness" (cited in Clinebell 1996: 46). "Entering the wilderness and its microcosms--gardens and parks--gives us an opportunity to reconnect with that instinct and rests our fragile psyches from the exhaustion of trying to stay intact in the civilized world, which is so alien to many of us". 3 Jung 1961: 197-8. 4 See for instance, Yi-Fu Tan (1990): `the virtues of the countryside require their anti-image, the city, for the sharpening of focus, and vice-versa' (p.102); "of city corruption and rural virtue" (p.108; pp.103-9). 5 Roszak 2002: 216. More: It is a ""theatrical arena that magnifies the stature of its occupants and multiplies their energy". (ibid., 216). 6 Hillman 1992, p.101; italics are mine. 7 Hillman 1997: 196. 8 Hillman 1995: xx. 9 From the 1994 BBC series Architecture of the Imagination by Mark Kidel, Part 1 (Kidel 1994, Opus Archives DVD Collection). 10 "Because it's thorough, because it's right, and because it speaks the ideals of a passionate heart, Roszak's book lays a groundwork for the theory and practice of psychotherapy for the coming century." -- James Hillman
14 11 Hillman 1995. 12 A very important idea that is highly relevant to my research is the idea not simply that different features of buildings represent different features of our bodily and mental selves, but for the psychological underpinnings or reasons for these metaphorical conjunctions. In other words, as Hillman states in a handwritten note, `the tower, like the bridge and the wall and the stairs [and door] is already in the human psyche before they were ever constructed as architectural things in the world.' (Note titled: `Note 1993. TOWERS. 5; Hillman, James. Opus Archives and Research Center. James Hillman Collection, Box 185A, Series: Letters.) And, and in another note, he states, `we must look at the significance of the tower not as a useful and necessary function in architecture, but as a symbolic necessity for modernist consciousness or urbanized humanity.' (From a typed outline manuscript of the episode on Towers for the 1994 BBC series Architecture of the Imagination by Mark Kidel. This note appears in section 3, `The tower and the idea of the modern city', Hillman, James, Opus Archives and Research Center, James Hillman Collection, Box 185A, Series: Letters.) 13 Of course, the motif of the building (especially the domestic `house') as representative of human form and essence has a very long-standing and rich tradition within many cultures, from times ancient to modern. And Hillman can be regarded in similar tradition as Freud and Breuer, for instance, who described a house of psyche in order to explain the workings of hysteria, and also, Jung, who described in eloquent detail his recollection of a dream he had in 1909, of a multi-storied house of psyche (which he said led to his discovery of the collective unconscious). Jung himself writes of a dream he had of a house in which he finds himself descending its several storeys, which represent progressively older architectural styles, from eighteenth century Rococo, which represents for Jung the level of ego-consciousness, to Medieval and Roman design, which depicts the personal unconscious, and finally to the ground of the psyche itself: the cellar rooms of prehistoric cave dwelling. It is this building and its structural design that alerts him in his waking life to the existence of the collective unconscious of the psyche, and inspires him to build a similar construction in concrete form, which became known as his `tower' at Bollingen. In Jung we therefore have a notion of building place as more than ego alone: as the whole psyche, arranged in interconnected parts. Hillman's own metaphor is concerned mostly with the ego aspect at the top of the building. There is one note that refers to the lower parts of the building: "[towers] depict the soul of a person who lives up so high that he has disdain, Jews too, everything that is below-- even his own digestive system, and the common people" [note titled, TOWERS 2 1993; Hillman, James, Opus Archives and Research Center, James Hillman Collection, Box 185A, Series: Letters.). 14 See: Hillman, James, Opus Archives and Research Center, James Hillman Collection, Box 185A, Series: Letters. In making this comment, Hillman uses architectural analogy to critique Jungian analytical psychology in derogatory terms. 15 He continues to suggest that he regarded the tower and its various architectural features to be inherently `pathological'. In the BBC series Architecture of Imagination, episode on the Tower, he says, `there's a danger of being a king in one's own tower', as indeed we find Jung enacting within his (Kidel 1994, Opus Archives DVD Collection). In his notes for this episode, Hillman writes, `Destruction is almost inherent in the defiant nature of the building involved (pride leads to a fall [...]).' (in a typed note with the heading, `8. The tower and its destruction'). He asserts that towers inevitably insulate a person from the world. See for instance, the following note from 1993: `...all big cities that emulate the towering sky scrapers of Chicago and NYC. They are monuments in stone (steel. Aluminium, glass) to the self-enclosed ego. In Dallas they are statements of the man who puts up the money. But do they not call for "lightening" and collapse as in the Tarot image, and do they not represent waLLED [sic] off individualism, the disease of downtown and of the twentieth century.' (typed notes, entitled `TOWER', section 6; Hillman, James, Opus Archives and Research Center, James Hillman Collection, Box 185A, Series: Letters). And the following note, also written in 1993: `Towers. Sky scrapers "keep the clean people above the street, and the poor, cold, hungry, etc. are down below. Instead of connecting, they are now excluding'. (from `TOWERS. 5'; ibid.). And, as we saw in endnote 13, towers create in their inhabitants feelings of `disdain' for the world. And in a scrap of an undated note, Hillman equates `paranoia' with our `looking far out' from it, `looking down from it', `looking up to it'. Hillman further asserts in the series Architecture and Imagination, `Fortress walls are paranoid walls'. Interestingly, Hillman makes similar remarks about the ceiling as he does to the disorientating effects of looking down or up to the tower: "What statements are these ceilings making? What are they saying about our psychic interiors? If looking up is a gesture of aspiration and orientation toward the higher order of the cosmos, an imagination opening towards the stars, our ceilings reflect an utterly secular vision--short-sighted, utilitarian, unaesthetic. Our heads reach up and open into a meaningless and chaotic white space" (Hillman 1997: 196). 16 It is possible of course that Hillman's indictment towards these types of buildings betray his own subjective fantasies about them. Indeed, his unpublished notes suggest he had subjective preferences for particular parts and features of buildings (for instance, expressing greater knowledge for the symbolism of doors and ceilings, and openly admitting less authority when it comes to talking about towers, and even less so, stairs). There seems to be something curious about Hillman's view of the stairs and what it might symbolise for him personally. In his notes for the BBC programme, and in his personal correspondence with Mark Kidel, Hillman declares his discomfort at having a whole episode on stairs, due to the fact that he has little to say about them ­ which is a bit of an oddity in itself given the many allusions and ideas and images that are readily available, and which he could easily have drawn upon. In the programme itself he alludes to the more obvious, and now clichй, Freudian reading of the staircase and stair well as representative of the sexual act (alluding to the Greek etymological route for the word, as one meaning `climax', so that there is, so to speak, he says, `an invisible climax at the top of the stair'). In his notes, Hillman suggests
15 he will focus less on the symbol of stairs than on the psychological implications of its decline in use within modern architectural design (that is to say, with the increased use of escalators, lifts/elevators, and new legislature that requires all public places be made accessible to the disabled). I sensed from consulting his notes for this particular part of the series, that Hillman was a little uncomfortable with the stair them; there seemed even to be some avoidance on his part to discussing the symbolic meaning of stairs in and of themselves, choosing instead to focus on the meaning of their absence. Perhaps linked to this, we find in another not unrelated typed note, Hillman write about his own grandmother's stairs. He says, that his grandmother could report on the number of stairs she had climbed in many places, and how many stairs there were in the family house. `She also had in her house', he notes rather cryptically, `an iron spiral staircase: what mystery!' (typed notes for the episode on `STAIRS'; Hillman, James, Opus Archives and Research Center, James Hillman Collection, Box 185A, Series: Letters.) 17 "I think when you go past a street where the buildings have been burnt, or where the windows are boarded up, the windows are smashed, it's a terrible feeling, it's like you're looking at a face with the eyes out. It's as if the soul of the building has been destroyed because the eyes are the windows of the soul. So something is destroyed when the windows are smashed." (from the BBC series Architecture and Imagination, (Kidel 1994, Episode 3; Opus Archives, DVD Collection). And in his preparatory notes for this episode, Hillman discusses the problem with windows, especially those windows "that don't open" or "are double or triple glazed". These windows, he says, "reinforce the isolation or loneliness of the person inside. They come out of a paranoid fantasy that anything can come in on me, invade me, and so they reinforce our social isolation. You're absolutely hermetically sealed." Interestingly, Hillman notes that the development of different styles of window designs (e.g. the development from the Roman fortress with its small-slit windows to larger, glass windows that allow more light in) "parallels the development of our kind of minds. They get bigger", they allow more "light [to] come through into [the] interior" (from Hillman's typed notes to episode 3; Hillman, James, Opus Archives and Research Center, James Hillman Collection, Box 185A, Series: Letters). In another note, Hillman's takes this idea further to assert, while the fortress wall, with its slit windows denotes `paranoia' with its `paranoid' walls, "a very different fantasy of the window is all plate glass windows, open" (ibid.). By putting the two notes together we can deduce from the metaphor that Hillman maintains that our minds have developed in such a way that we have become more open and less paranoid. However, this does not sit well with in the context of his more general thoughts on the matter. 18 As for the doors of a building, for Hillman, as with Jung and Freud before him, doors are thresholds, or the psychological scaffolding that enables one to experience the important distinctions between inner and outer: in allusion to Bachelard, Hillman says doors are, a `psychological necessity' for `rational and logical thinking' (in his typed notes for episode 4 on doors), which is to say a necessity for ego. Furthermore, in another note Hillman asserts that a `huge investment in [the] Front Door [e.g.] Oak door. Carved Door. SIGNIFY REPRESSION' (Captialized script in the original handwritten note entitled `DOORS'; Hillman, James, Opus Archives and Research Center, James Hillman Collection, Box 185A, Series: Letters). In other words, to emphasise the threshold of a house is to emphasise the ego's pathological attempts to isolate itself and to defend against the wider reality from which it sets itself apart. 19 Hillman 1995b: 189. 20 The aesthetic response can be recognised "as a gasp, a sign, a startle" (ibid.: 190). The very words, `aesthetic' and `anesthesia' (or numbed insensitive) derive from this instinctual gasp or sigh" (ibid.) It "take[s] your breath away, make[s] your hair on your neck rise, give[s] you goose bumps, and bring[s] tears to your eyes" (ibid.: 188); "the physical shiver" (ibid.: 189). 21 Hillman 1991: 172. 22 Hillman 1995b: 188. 23 Hillman 1997:195. 24 Hillman's use of the term `ugly' is also ambiguous. At times he uses it to mean a problem, for instance; "Why is the USA so ugly and what might be done about it?" (1995b: 189); and, "...it becomes the citizen's duty...above all, to work to protest actively against ugliness wherever it appears, or threatens to appear' (ibid.:193). Ugly is a problem of faulty design, notions of cheap, productive, efficiency: e.g. "careless design... cheap dyes, inane sounds, structures and spaces... direct glaring light... bad chairs... hum of machine noise, looking down at a worn, splotched floor cover, [being] among artificial plants... project housing" `repression of beauty' (Hillman 1991: 176). And, at other times, he uses it to refer to a sublime effect of the unconscious: feelings of distress, which are necessary to wake us up from the problems of faulty design above. In this sense, (sublime, aesthetic) ugliness is required to wake us up from (naпve, unaesthetic) ugliness! 25 Hillman promotes traditional notion of the sublime: beauty tinged with monstrosity, with terror, but not in vastness, but in the particular:"I am suggesting a reduction in the scale of awe from a romantic and sublime immersion in vastness--the American way--to joy in pondering the particular" (Hillman 1995c: 168). However, this particular point does not chime with a more positive comment he makes within the same essay regarding "the experience of inspiration" one may get "from the towering structures of glass, steel, and aluminium" when "walking down Fifth Avenue in New York" (ibid.,: 168). 26 See Hillman (1997): "The cost of ugliness gains a further meaning. Ugliness costs us pain. We hate it, we are shocked, dismayed at so much ugliness everywhere. We find ourselves outraged, emotional life in disarray. But this pain to our senses may be the entrance fee, the cost required for attaching ourselves to the world, re-finding our love for its beauty. It costs ugliness to awaken our contemporary anesthetized consciousness" (203).
16 27 Hillman says that the ugly stirs us more than the beautiful. But elsewhere he says, on the contrary, `Nothing stirs the heart, quickens the soul more than a moment of beauty' (1995b: 188). Furthermore, he equates ugliness with the very lack of having been stirred, with numbness: "[you must protest against ugliness] otherwise you remain `anesthetized'--without aesthesis, without the awakened aesthetic response--passive and compliant with whatever is going down' (ibid.: 193). 28 "An ugly thing is something that has not been entirely mastered by form (morphos)" "mastery of the medium and its material is essential to eliminating ugliness... the ugly is lacking in contemplative thought about itself. It therefore cannot be truly what it is. It is not true to itself, and consequently it cannot be beautiful or do good (Hillman 1997: 204). 29 Hillman 1995b: 187. 30 See: "Beauty hardly gets into downtown, to the lunch counter or cafeteria, the shopping mall and parking lots around them. Moreover, the retail strips, the industrial parks, commercial zones--forget it" (ibid.: 187). 31 He writes for instance, that the image of the soul is discovered through the pathological feelings evoked in us by objects (such as buildings), but `if we emphasize the structure or even the image too much, we can also move pain away from our sense, our pores, and our guts, where it is really felt. [...] (unpublished letter to Manisha Roy, an independent Jungian analyst in Massachusetts.) 32 Hillman 1997: p.195. 33 Graffiti in this reading is an attempt to restore the repressed aesthetic impulse, an attempt to beautify the desensitized building through a shock of the ugly. 34 Hillman 1997: 198-99. 35 Hillman writes, "design that invites depth will indeed Focus on form, but this focus will not exclude the pathological. The problem for the designer like that for the therapist is to coordinate the pathological within design, so that the psyche's "d"s are neither excluded like at Disneyland Mall nor running around loose like an urban sprawl. Therapy has to be sublime. Terror has to be included in its beauty. So too design. It seems only our war equipment so far shows this sense of the sublime in design." (Hillman 1993: 127) 36 "If, for instance, a public plaza is to be constructed, town planners first arrange the traffic question then the accessibility for shopping and other commercial uses, last comes the "look" of the place: a commissioned sculpture, a fountain, a little grove of trees and flower beds, special lights. The artist is brought in last and is first to be eliminate when the project begins to go over budget. Beautification costs much. It is uneconomical" (Hillman 1991: p.176; cf. Hillman 1995b:192; Hillman 1997: 205).

L Huskinson

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