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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 14th April 2017 > Ian Rickson, director, looks inside The Soul’s Code

Ian Rickson, director, looks inside The Soul’s Code


I read The Soul’s Code (1996), by psychologist James Hillman, at a challenging time in my life. I had been in intensive care in New York after a serious head injury caused by a speeding cyclist. The recovery period was complex, as I began a process of questioning how I was living and what I was doing creatively.

Into that space came The Soul’s Code, with its gentle provocations about who we are and the dominion of who we can be. Hillman, a Jungian analyst, posits the “acorn theory” of our existence, the idea that there is something within us—at times referred to as our acorn, daimon or soul— separate from genetics and our environment, and it propels our lives forward. By examining the lives of people as different as singer Ella Fitzgerald, actress Judy Garland and musician Kurt Cobain, Hillman writes lucidly about how empowering it can be to place ourselves at the center of our own heroic story.

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