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Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche Paperback – June 9, 2009
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From Library Journal
- Lucille Boone, San Jose P.L., Cal.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Robert A. Johnson, a noted lecturer and Jungian analyst, is also the author of He, She, We, Inner Work, Ecstasy, Transformation, and Owning Your Own Shadow.
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Top Customer Reviews
Johnson writes that if I can be with the opposites, at the point of their intersection and stay with my conflicting thoughts and impulses long enough, the two will teach each other something and produce an insight that serves both... produce something utterly new instead of win, lose or compromise.
The key appears to be that every real solution has to grow from the unique situation I face. Formulas, how-to's, devices and processes can never be enough in such moments. Referring to my own past for an experiential reference or to another's experience or advice can't do it, either, because it prevents or sidetracks the point of unlimited potential that wants to appear in and emerge out of each unique encounter.
I liked what Maria had to say in her post: "Meet your shadow", dated November 22, 2003. She said she gave it only 4 stars because he doesn't tell how to DO that is described as possible in the book... I felt a little of that, too. And I have since appreciated the blessing of not being told how until I've done a bit of my own struggle with my own opposites in many life situations.
A book I found to be a perfect companion to this one is "I of the Storm - Embracing Conflict, Creating Peace", by Gary Simmons. I highly recommend it in addition to this book. It addresses some of the questions I felt about the nature of conflict after finishing Owning Your Own Shadow, in a way that shed light into my life. I am very appreciative of both books.
The biggest error a reader can make is to try to read the book as a step-by-step manual. This book should be read for the big picture which appears when all of the details are assembled, otherwise the apparent contradictions will become very confusing. The reader would do well to remember that any discussion on the shadow is a discussion of opposites. You must therefore be able to focus on both opposites to understand the essence of the shadow. If you read other reviews you will notice that at least one of the reviewers seemed to be unable to make this leap.
I was surprised with the authors heavy use of Christian symbols. Normally Jungians draw from several spiritual systems with thier systems, but I suppose it fits with Christianities repeated attempts to demonize the shadow in the first place.
The discussion of the mandorla followed the same pattern: OK, here's an ancient European symbol that expressed this idea. We should use it again. Got it. Use it...how? How to work with one's shadow? We're admonished to honor it in ways that are not dangerous and destructive, but isn't that EXACTLY the problem? Most of us *don't* have tools for non-destructive engagement with it, and hence we repress it. Oh, those saints over there: they have it all balanced out. Great. But how?
Finally, the book is written from a peculiar, Catholic point of view: a Catholic who wants to revel in the dark imagery of the Mass, rejects the Vatican II changes that toned down that imagery, but yet who (elsewhere) decries the essential misogyny of relegating femininity to the shadows.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fast read for philosophy and psychology students. Helped
to better understand the complexity of concepts such as dualism and paradoxes-
Despite some negative reviews I bought this book because it spoke to me. Not only was I not disappointed but I found this book to be a powerful tool in my recovery and renewal... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Chris C de Baca
Dr Johnson is the rare mixture of a world class Jungian analytic mind who can write in a way that non Jungians can understand. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Doc Griffin
Owning Your Own Shadow presents an important concept of Jungian psychology -- the shadow -- from a distinctly Christian point of view. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Paul Laub
One of my favourite books, especially about Jungian understanding. Any book by Robert A Johnson is a bur gem. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Arjuna
I refer this book to people all the time who are in midlife crisis. I'm a therapist who sees people having, "not me" experiences. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Warren J.