In the temples once we were blessed for our ‘coming in and going forth’. The blessing took into account the human as a moving being, a soul with feet, a physical being in the midst of a physical world made to walk in, as Adam and Eve walked in Eden. That garden is the imagination’s primordial place of nostalgia, which recurs unconsciously in all utopian dreams. And that garden was created, you will remember, by a walking God. That image says, there is walking in Paradise; it also says, there is Paradise in walking.

– James Hillman

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James Hillman (1926–2011) was an American psychologist trained in the Jungian tradition who founded a movement towards archetypal psychology. Hillman was critical of developments in psychology such as biological psychology, behaviourism and cognitive psychology that he and others considered to be reductive, materialistic and literal – as one writer put it, “They are psychologies without psyche, without soul.” Instead, Hillman developed an idea of psychology that focuses on the deepest patterns of psychic functioning, including ideas of myths, gods, goddesses, mortals and animals shaping our psychological lives.

This edited extract is from an article first published in Resurgence Issue 129 (July/August 1988). It proved so popular that the article was republished in Issue 197 (November/December 1999).