Hillman’s ‘Soul of the World’ – In Dialogue with the Work of Mary Watkins
Not only are people alive, animated by the life-force or living energy, but so is the world, the cosmos. In Andrey Platonov’s classic novel Soul, the main character Chagataev puts it succinctly: ‘Life itself is enough to earn you happiness! Our soul is in the world now. And that’s the only soul there is’ (Platanov, 1999: 106). To quote Rudolph Steiner, an illustrious interpreter of Goethe, ‘my soul and the great world are one’ (Steiner, 1993: 113). Some authors, such as David Tacey and Thomas Moore, refer to a perspective that is aware of this animation as ‘re-enchanting the world’ (Moore, 1996) and others, such as James Hillman, as ‘ensouling’(Hillman, 1992). It’s this space and practice of ensouling, or ‘re-enchanting the world’ that I want to leap into in this chapter. It feels like a leap, because it’s mind-blowing, breathtaking, paradigm shifting stuff. It requires a great phenomenological leap into a different view and experience of the world.