This is not news, but I just came across these two obituaries for men that both died in 2011, around the time I began this blog, men whose ideas are very important to my vision of life.
Theodore Roszak (November 15, 1933 – July 5, 2011)
Theodore Roszak died in 2011 at the age of 77. Roszak was the author of The Making of a Counter Culture (1969), Where the Wasteland Ends (1972), Unfinished Animal: The Aquarian Frontier and the Evolution of Consciousness (1975), and more recently The Voice of the Earth (1992). He is credited with coining the terms “counterculture” and “ecopsychology“. I have quoted Roszak on this blog several times and you can read my post about his notion of “the myth of objective consciousness” here. I first encountered Roszak through his book, The Making of a Counter Culture, in my high school library, and my world was forever changed. The book was like a Bible for my in my college years, full of fiery vision and terrible prophecy fulfilled:
“[The counterculture] looks to me like all we have to hold against the final consolidation of a technocratic totalitarianism in which we shall find ourselves ingeniously adapted to an existence wholly estranged from everything that has ever made the life of man an interesting adventure.
“If the resistance of the counter culture fails, I think there will be nothing in store for us but what anti-utopians like Huxley and Orwell have forecast–though I have no doubt that these dismal despotisms will be far more stable and effective than their prophets have foreseen. For they will be equipped with techniques of inner-manipulation as unobtrusively fine as gossamer. Above all, the capacity of our emerging technocratic paradise to denature the imagination by appropriating to itself the whole meaning of Reason, Reality, Progress, and Knowledge will render it impossible for men to give any name to their bothersomely unfulfilled potentialities but that of madness. And for such madness, humanitarian therapies will be generously provided. […]
“The question therefore arises: ‘If the technocracy in its grand procession through history is indeed pursuing to the satisfaction of so many such universally ratified values as The Quest for Truth, The Conquest of Nature, The Abundant Society, The Creative Leisure, The Well-Adjusted Life, why not settle back and enjoy the trip?’
“The answer is, I guess, that I find myself unable to see anything at the end of the road we are following with such self-assured momentum but Samuel Beckett’s two sad tramps forever waiting under that wilted tree for their lives to begin. Except that I think the tree isn’t even going to be real, but a plastic counterfeit. In fact, even the tramps may turn out to be automatons . . . though of course there will be great, programmed grins on their faces.”
James Hillman (April 12, 1926 – October 27, 2011)
James Hillman died in 2001 at 85. Hillman was a Zurich-trained Jungian psychologist and analyst. He was the founder of “archetypal psychology” and one of the leaders of “post-Jungian” theory. He was the author of Re-Visioning Psychology (1975), The Thought of the Heart and the Soul of the World (1992), We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy — and the World’s Getting Worse (1993), and The Soul’s Code (1997). He was a controversial figure in the Jungian world, not least for his deconstruction of the monistic conception of the Jungian self, and he was a leader, with Robert Bly, in the archetypal Men’s Movement. I have quoted Hillman numerous times, most often for his notion of “a psyche the size of the earth”.
“Man exists in the midst of psyche; it is not the other way around. Therefore, soul is not confined by man, and there is much of psyche that extends beyond the nature of man. The soul has inhuman reaches.” (Hillman, Re-Visioning Psychology).
He is probably best known to Pagans through Margot’s Adler’s work Drawing Down the Moon in which she cites Hillman in the context of discussing polytheistic belief.