I have been to many places in the past couple of weeks. Each locale with their own set of manners, and individual characteristics. I had found myself being touched by the esthetics of ageless history, and my senses uplifted by the natural hues of the various regions of Italy. Anagni, Gaeta, Sperlonga, Rome are some of the locales along with many others that had been part of my journey.
A Quest for Beauty: A Ponder on Hillman’s Afrodite near the delicate tides of Gaeta.
“.. beauty works as a calling to better things, pulling the heart to love, to the mind to imagine more vividly. Moreover, morality without beauty stifles both heart and mind. Boring. Dull.”
– James Hillman
The pink book was appealing. An imagery of The Pearls of Aphrodite was chosen to be on the front cover. The painting, an exquisite example of Neoclassicism was the creation of Herbet Draper from the Victorian era. The cover so elegant to the eye, was a delight to behold. In the same way a child would test a set of newly bought markers. I kept the book in my hands as I would enjoy observing the contrasting colors of Gaeta’s blue sea, paired up to the book’s bright femmine coloration. I walked and read. Aphrodite being either of Kythera, or Paphos is an interesting debate. The greek goddess of love has various tales of the origins of her birth. For Homer she is Cypris, for Hesiod (the Greek poet) the goddess was born through the castration of Ouranos, to then rise from foam. Wherever the place might have been is a matter of the discussion, and study. Within Aphrodite’s Justice instead the philospher James Hillman decided to take a closer look of the psychological aspects of Aphrodite. Combining the behavioral study of psychology to the realms of spirit.
What is considered to be sacred for one may be considered an obscure cause of pain, and lust to the other. The perspective, a collection of internal experiences and external conditioning is a mean of measurement bound to be diverse in each of us. Hillman hints there was a reasoning pertaining to the past Christianised philosphers’ opinions, whose ideas separated justice from beauty, contradicting their very beliefs. An interesting account of Psyche, and Eros was written within the essay. The two being a combining representation of passionate desire, the psychologist attempts to help the reader understand the trials of the justice in regards to the goddess. The goddess of the poets, artists, and for he who search for harmony within the forms is bound to change us as we search for a sense of wonder. The higher love associated to Aphrodite Urania, that is of harmony with the heavens was not suprisingly developed slowly, throughout the course of ages. The question of beauty working like a dialouge between the subjective, and the objective. Beauty is also not limited to what Hillman calls “easy prettiness”, but takes part of the full range of emotions of vast lively confusion that is felt when we are in the prescence of it. This reminds me also of Walter Benjamin’s concept of aura.
“Psyche succeds by virtue of her morality. She is vulnerable; influences reach into her, confuse her, and are assimilated.” – James Hillman
James Hillman (April 12, 1926 – October 27, 2011) from Atlantic City, New Jersey was an American psychologist who created an Archetypal form of Psychoanalysis that derived from Carl Jung’s analytical form of psychology. The essay La Giustizia Di Afrodite, published by Edizioni La Conchiglia (an pubblisher located in Capri, Italy.) was translated thanks to Silvia Ronchey an expert on Byzantine History that teaches in the University of Siena.
“As you set out for Ithakahope your road is a long one,full of adventure, full of discovery.” – C.P Cavafy
I want to warmly thank the following hotels: Silva Hotel Splendid (Fiuggi), The Duke Hotel (Rome), Hotel Veneto Palace (Rome), and J.K. Palace Hotel (Rome). The staff has treated me so well, and I appreciated every moment of it.