chapter  Chapter Eight
13 Pages

Comment on James Hillman’s “Psychology: Monotheistic or Polytheistic?”

WithWolfgang Giegerich

In the discussion of the question “monotheism or polytheism?” in psychology, the distinctions between one and many, integration and differentiation. It also seems that it is less a question of possibly jealous claims for dominion on the part of individual gods at the address of man, and also not primarily of compulsiveness versus a more relaxed stance. Of course, monotheism, too, starts out from man as finite creature, even in an eminent sense, but psychologically man is precisely not that as which he is explicitly defined, namely finite, because even his finite nature is viewed and thought from God’s superordinate point of view—sub specie aeternitatis. It is all psychopathology that time and again irritates, eats into, us as individuals and undermines the monotheistic position up in the heights and thus provokes us into psychological polytheism.