The Soul’s Code In Search of Character and Calling–James Hillman

by nikkitabella14



I purchased this very special book on eBay. I was looking for some Psychology books to be used as reference for my Psychology class. I stumbled upon this and read it’s summary as posted by the seller. I automatically fell in love with it and bought it right away. It’s actually a second hand book, a Christmas present for the seller. How did I know? I received it and on the first page there was a note written: “Merry Christmas Sherri”.  And even before this, As I opened the packet containing the book, I got a note from Sheila saying that this book is truly special and as if saying, I am passing this onto you because I believe you need it more than I do so please take good care of it. It did feel truly special and I consider myself lucky for owning this book. First, for its sentimental value and second, for it priceless content. Now let me tell you, this book came in perfect timing. I felt like i was stuck in a rut. I wanted a change in my life in a good way. I needed to know what my purpose was and where I should be going.  I often asked God to give me a sign or reveal to me my purpose. I prayed so hard every night for God  to help me find my way, to show me which path to take and to reveal this to me at the time he thinks I’m ready. So he did. He sent me this book. He made me realize that each individual is a unique one and that I  should learn to accept what God has planned for and not force what I planned for my self on selfish motives. It was quite difficult because I wanted things that would provide my own happiness, and not for God’s satisfaction. It felt as though he was pushing me to take the road I never wanted to take. Year after year, I did things my way and lost track. I lost myself. Had I listened to God, then I would not be in a desperate cry for help.

Now, don’t you worry. I will not go on preaching. I  will share with you something I have learned. Something extremely thought provoking and demystifying. Because I have not yet finished reading the book, I will be posting some lines.. feel free to follow and post comments, reactions, thoughts regarding each line or anything that has caught your attention.

Happy reading!

..Sooner or later something seems to call us onto a particular path.

” I don’t develop; I am” – Picasso

The soul of each of us is given a unique daimon before we are born, and it has selected an image or pattern that we live on earth.This soul -companion,, the daimon, guides us here; in the process of arrival, however, we forget all that took place and believe we come empty into this world. The daimon remembers what is in your image and belongs to your pattern, and therefore your daimon is the carrier of your destiny.

“We elected the body, the parents, the place, and the circumstances that suited the soul and that, as the myth says, belong to its necessity. This suggests that the circumstances, including my body and my parents whom i may curse, are my soul’s own choice- and I do not understand this because I have forgotten.” – Plotinus

We must attend very carefully to childhood to catch early glimpses of the daimon in action, to grasp its intentions and not block its way.
a) recognize the call as a prime fact of human existence;
b) align life with it;
c) find the common sense to realize that accidents, including the heartache and the natural shocks the flesh is heir to, belong to the pattern of the image, are necessary to it, and help fulfill it.

Soul– thin insubstantial human image, in its nature a sort of vapor, film, or shadow… mostly palpable and invisible, yet also manifesting physical power.” – Primitives

“Soul originates in an image and conceived in the form of an image” – Ake Hultkrantz

Paradeigma – a basic form encompassing your entire destiny” – Plato in his Myth of Er

Part II (Continuation…)


Edgar Wind is the greatest scholar of the Renaissance imagination.

A method that fits the small work but not the great has obviously started at the wrong end… the commonplace may be understood by amplifying the commonplace. Both logically and casually the exception is crucial because it introduces… the more comprehensive category.Edgar Wind

Thought to ponder on: If the exceptional is the more comprehensive category, then we may comprehend more, by studying an extraordinary person, about the deeps of the human nature than by studying even the largest sample of accumulated cases. A single anecdote lights up the whole field of vision. We may see disturbances in children less as developmental problems than as revelatory emblems.

Part III


Excerpt from The Soul’s Code:
During early life, the children and the daimon often are taken to be one and the same, the child absorbed by the genius, a confusion which is understandable since the child has so few other powers and the daimon comes with so much. Then the child is set apart as exceptional, special, a prodigy- or as a dysfunctional troublemaker, potentially a violent criminal, to be tested, diagnosed, and weeded out.

Could we begin to look at children with this vision in mind?

Let us exchange the term “abnormal” for “extraordinary” and let the extraordinary be the vision against which our ordinary lives are examined.
Should we choose to embrace each one’s individual differences, gifts, extraordinary behavior… then society shall accept what is beyond normal and set aside flaws.


Part IV


NOTE: You may have noticed I’ve been using the term daimon a lot. “Daimon” as Plato and the Greeks call it is otherwise known as “Genius” by the Romans, “Guardian Angel” by the Christians, “Heart” , “Spirit”, “Soul” as we use these terms today.

Moving on, I would like to share with you another excerpt from The Soul’s Code…
By looking at ourselves as examples of calling, at our destinies as manifestations of a daimon, and at our lives with the imaginative sensitivity we give fictions, we might put a stop to the worry, the fever, and the fret of searching out causes. Like dogs chasing our own tails, we are bedeviled by the “why” question, which conjures up its twin, the devilishly “how” – how to change. The pursuit of happiness becomes the pursuit of answers to the wrong questions.

I say:
Happiness is about being contented with what you have. It is a choice. It is an attitude you choose to live by.

Do not change who you are or what you want to be. Create the person you want to be. Don’t let other people persuade you into being the person you’re not. Don’t live by someone else’s rules. LIVE YOUR LIFE.

Like cures like: A theory of life must have a base on beauty if it would explain the beauty that life seeks.

Wallace Steven makes clear these cloudy thoughts:
… The cloud preceded us
There was a muddy centre before we breathed,
There was a myth before the myth began
Venerable and articulate and completed.