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Why Good People Do Bad Things: Understanding Our Darker Selves Paperback – April 17, 2008
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Nourishing. . . . Like a master chef, James Hollis knows that good food for the soul cannot be ordered to go. ("The Plain Dealer," Cleveland)
ÝHollis¨ speaks to and teaches from the heart. A combination of genuine vision and genuine humanity is a rare and valuable gift... (Clarissa Pinkola Est?s, author of "Women Who Run with the Wolves")
[James Hollis] is one of our great teachers and healers. (Stephen Dunn, Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet)
[Hollis] speaks to and teaches from the heart. A combination of genuine vision and genuine humanity is a rare and valuable gift... (Clarissa Pinkola Ests, author of "Women Who Run with the Wolves")
Everyone seems to be obsessing about the monetary cost of the graying of the American population, but theres very little talk of the soul. James Hollis...has plenty to say about the soul erudite and cultured but also accessible. ("The Portland Tribune")
Praise for "Why Good People Do Bad Things" and for James Hollis
?Hollis suggests that we can only become whole (and good) by acknowledging our Shadow and accepting that it's O K to have a dark side, as long as we never let it take control of who we are. . . . The difference between this book and most of the slick self-helpers is that Hollis has genuinely important, meaningful things to say.?
?Nourishing. . . . Like a master chef, James Hollis knows that good food for the soul cannot be ordered to go.?
?"The Plain Dealer"
Top Customer Reviews
Which leads us to the question: do you want to grow, to become more fully conscious, to strive towards wholeness? If so, you'll have to discard protective illusions, stop expecting someone else to solve everything for you, and apply an almost ruthless honesty to yourself. You won't like a lot of what you see in that dark mirror, and you'll try to fend it off, explain it away ... but that's our mistake. If we can acknowledge the part we unconsciously play in our own suffering, we may well learn how to alleviate some of it & live with what remains.
Mind you, Hollis never promises an end to suffering, a wondrous makeover that does away with every ugly scar & thought! He has too much respect for the tragic view of human life to hold up an illusion of perfect happiness, no matter how golden & comforting. He's very clear on this: what we need isn't happiness, but meaning. And to find it, we have to be willing to grapple with the Shadow, all that we fear & despise about ourselves, all that we reject & often project onto others.
I feel that this is one of Hollis' finest books, in that it possesses an extra depth & richness of insight.Read more ›
During a period of difficulty in my life which I am still working through, I stumbled upon this book. The title caught my eye but I was anticipating a Dr. Phil-ish over-simplification of human behavior full of soft answers and plenty of upbeat self-affirmations. I was stunned to find how wrong I was. Dr. Hollis examines not only the individual but how the individual creates the society that begets the evils mankind has brought upon himself over the millennia. I found myself stopping and re-reading passages constantly and because of the profundity on nearly every page, it took me quite a while to finish. Reading a chapter was an exhausting endeavor that challenged me with hours of thought-provoking reflection time just to try and wrap my head around the myriad observations that Hollis provides. In my cynicism, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop - the point at which the author wraps up all of these conundrums with one universal solution, naturally his solution that you have to buy the book to discover. Thankfully, there was no such moment. As anyone knows who has taken the time to really look deep into the darkness within, there are no easy answers in life and no slate cleaning cure-alls that make life better and wipe away the misery. Life is hard. Knowing who you are and why you do what you do just might allow you to avoid the mistakes we all seem determined to re-visit. Still, it remains in our hands to decide and throughout each day we are faced with choices. That is the struggle of our life.Read more ›
I feel blessed and very grateful for having discovered his writings.
His words are like a balm on many of my wounds.
Through the reading of Dr. Hollis' books, I have learned to go beyond mere acceptance of difficult situations in life to a place of forgiveness, which I had not known before.
This and all the other books of Dr. Hollis can help people to transform and to become more gentle-hearted, because they offer explanations for many questions. Not solutions, though. But - at least for me - explanations were what I had been looking for for many years.
This book is both a more general and thorough study of The Shadow (the unconscious aspects of our selves that by definition will always remain hidden until they unexpectedly intrude into our conscious and carefully managed lives) than his Saturn book, and as such really feels complete and appropriate for any thinking person.
Many times as I read I thought how I could use his insights, how they reinforced some of mine, how they illuminated my particular family dynamics, and how they applied to all of us. I found the last chapter "Shadow/Work - Encountering Our Darker Selves" especially practical and challenging (giving the basis for years of inner work).
Hollis may not always be an easy read (he doesn't talk down to his reader, assuming we have an interest and capacity to follow his journey into Jungian Psychology), is sometimes transparently ideologically bias, and may definitely not appeal to everyone! This paragraph I quote next will give a taste of what to expect;
"Not only do these theologies and today's pop psychologies, reinforce the ego, but they sanctify and legitimize our complexes, as well.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book got me hooked right away! I purchased it because its one of the books you have to own. This book really makes you think and question everything.Published 20 days ago by Luda
Incredibly insightful. Should be a required reading for all.Published 4 months ago by Tara Girshick
You need to read the book to understand the points the author is making. I read it and can see how some things relate to my personal life but that is from my perception. Read morePublished 9 months ago by DC
First the bad news. Four things irritated me about this book and prevented me from giving it 5 Stars.
ONE: His vocabulary was not user friendly. Read more
A suburb book. Fascinating discussion of human psychology with an emphasis on the Jungian Shadow. Please read it.Published 17 months ago by Shirley J. Henderson
This book Why Good People Do Bad Things, held my interest to the end.Published 17 months ago by Irene Cabral
At last a book that brings deep understanding. This is a book every person in their 40's and 50's should read.Hollis shares insights that help us grapple with our deepest motives.Published 20 months ago by Andrew Pocock