A Terrible Love Of War By James Hillman Essay

A Terrible Love Of War By James Hillman Essay

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Coming to Terms

After all our reading for this class, after all our discussion, I have come to realize that there are no easy answers when it comes to stopping the human practice of War. If war is in our nature as a species, then we will repeat the action over and over, like a spirit damned in the underworld. If it is not in our nature, then we as a species purposely set out to create chaos and destruction, not only of human life, but to the cultural diversity and species of our planet.
James Hillman states in his book, A Terrible Love of War, on page five, “If we want war’s horror to be abated so that life may go on, it is necessary to understand and imagine. We humans are the species privileged in regard to understanding…. It may even be a moral obligation to try to comprehend war.” He also states “The failure to understand may be because our imaginations are impaired and our modes of comprehension need a paradigm shift…. Is it war’s fault that we have not grasped its meanings? We have to investigate the faultiness of our tool: why can’t our method of understanding understand war? Answer: according to Einstein, problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them.” Is War itself, a non-thinking idea, like a meme that works to stay alive, with humans as symbiotic host? A meme is defined as: an idea, behavior, style or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture (Meriam-Webster, m-w.com). Do we as humans repeat the act of war, because we choose to not reimagine a different way of dealing with issues? Have we as human being, as a culture in the United States of America become that complacent in our ability to think and reason, that we choose War and destruction over reason and common sense? Or ...


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...rds, “They (the young men and women) come in here thinking it will straighten them up, that they will be adults.” Then there was a shaking of the head, recognizing that we know it does not. For some of us the military was a good experience, but maybe we had more life experience behind us. For most young people, especially when they go to war can we say this?
Tick talks of a rite of passage, an initiation that happens when our youth go into the military, and go to war. “Modern cultures, like the traditional ones, seek the initiation of their boys (girls, my word), the renewal and reaffirmation of society, and reconnection to the divinity through war. In effect, joining the military is the closest thing we have today to a traditional adolescent rite of passage…. Youths are promised the psychospiritual transformation from ordinary citizens into noble warriors.” (pg. 53)

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