(Hillman, J.H. (1983). Inter Views, Spring Publications (Woodstock): p. 27.
On first reflection, by “twist” Hillman means to alter the psychological meanings in his own personal way. Yet his twists also seek to avoid becoming literal about Jungian psychology so as to pull something out of a concept or turn it by either isolating or fastening down some aspect, which adds to the original meaning a nuance or variation.
To attempt to “twist” a meaning gives it a non-linear or non-directional push, so that the process sets something in motion, but the caveat is to avoid the ego desire to get from point a to point b. Hillman-type twisted concepts attempt to spiralize the original idea, that is to hopefully enliven and expand them by giving it a more vegetal shape.
Twisting, as a psychological process, takes one on the snake-like saurian winding road of amplification and association where one can more easily give a concept a chance to re-shape and also it shifts the momentum away from linear interpretation. Twisting a concept becomes an internal “betracten” (Jung, 1997, p. 661) or brooding process that imaginally squirms and writhes, in the serpentine dance within the darkness. It becomes the devious rotating of an idea – the devolution of progressive thinking to enable something new to arise.
If one is not satisfied, desiring a further imaginal possibility, one may take on the move of process from twist to turn, which changes the motion from serpentine to rotary. Now we leave the reptilian analogy (domain?) and enter the imaginal world of warm-blooded mammalian function. This upsets the regular balance and order that we habitually use in everyday life process to move or even reverse the vantage point.
Jung, C.G. (1997). Visions: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1930-1934, Vol. 2, Princeton Univ. Press: Princeton. — at Boulder, Colorado.