Plato called it "daimon," the Romans "genius," the Christians "guardian angel"; today we use such terms as "heart," "spirit," and "soul." While philosophers and psychologists from Plato to Jung have studied and debated the fundamental essence of our individuality, our modern culture refuses to accept that a unique soul guides each of us from birth, shaping the course of our lives. In this extraordinary bestseller, James Hillman presents a brilliant vision of our selves, and an exciting approach to the mystery at the center of every life that asks, "What is it, in my heart, that I must do, be, and have? And why?"
Drawing on the biographies of figures such as Ella Fitzgerald and Mohandas K. Gandhi, Hillman argues that character is fate, that there is more to each individual than can be explained by genetics and environment. The result is a reasoned and powerful road map to understanding our true nature and discovering an eye-opening array of choices--from the way we raise our children to our career paths to our social and personal commitments to achieving excellence in our time.