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By James Hillman

Uniform variation of the Writings of James Hillman, quantity 9

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Suddenly, I am drowning in the middle of a lake as my brother and the polar bear watch from the shore. Somehow, the white bear swims out and saves my life. Not the brother “swims out and saves my life” but the white bear, paired with “my brother” and, perhaps, more than a brother, at least in the capacity of saving his life. The bear he has been trying to kill by making every effort (for so is how he tries to kill the bear: “by making every effort”) saves his life. The vanity of attempting to kill the bear, yet the pursuit of it, has brought him into friendly affinity of hunter with the hunted.

I am becoming aware that there is a different animal associated with each of the five that they hold or have at their sides. What animals they are is obscure since the men and the animals are hidden in the shadows. In addition, I am spellbound at the appearance in the center of the air of a blindingly bright and luminous form, that of a snow-white eagle whose feathers are covered with midnight-blue stars and crescents. In awe I think the eagle wears the devices on the cloak of a wizard. The eagle alights upon me and spreads its wings.

Two eagles. Enormous, with a wingspan of some 30 to 50 meters. I can hear the swish of their formidable wings beating as they gyrate around in some kind of love play. The spectacle is awe-inspiring. Nearby is a fishpond. Dark fish in it. Suddenly I realize that on my left, as if hidden in a grotto just underneath the shore, is an enormous fish. It is black and facing the open water. A man connected with the place remarks that it is, or is not, dangerous. On waking, I was a bit scared The fish was dangerous.

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Animal Presences by James Hillman


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