Why Good People Do Bad Things: Understanding Our Darker Selves

Overview

Working with the Shadow is not working with evil, per se. It is working toward the possibility of greater wholeness. We will never experience healing until we can come to love our unlovable places, for they, too, ask love of us. 

How is it that good people do bad things? Why is our personal story and our societal history so bloody, so repetitive, so injurious to self and others? 

How do we make sense of the discrepancies between who ...

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Why Good People Do Bad Things: Understanding Our Darker Selves

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Overview

Working with the Shadow is not working with evil, per se. It is working toward the possibility of greater wholeness. We will never experience healing until we can come to love our unlovable places, for they, too, ask love of us. 

How is it that good people do bad things? Why is our personal story and our societal history so bloody, so repetitive, so injurious to self and others? 

How do we make sense of the discrepancies between who we think we are—or who we show to the outside world—versus our everyday behaviors? Why are otherwise ordinary people driven to addictions and compulsions, whether alcohol, drugs, food, shopping, infidelity, or the Internet? Why are interpersonal relationships so often filled with strife?

Exploring Jung’s concept of the Shadow—the unconscious parts of our self that contradict the image of the self we hope to project—Why Good People Do Bad Things guides you through all the ways in which many of our seemingly unexplainable behaviors are manifestations of the Shadow. In addition to its presence in our personal lives, Hollis looks at the larger picture of the Shadow at work in our culture—from organized religion to the suffering and injustice that abounds in our modern world. Accepting and examining the Shadow as part of one’s self, Hollis suggests, is the first step toward wholeness. Revealing a new way of understanding our darker selves, Hollis offers wisdom to help you to acquire a more conscious conduct of your life and bring a new level of awareness to your daily actions and choices.

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Editorial Reviews

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You might think of this book as a more proactive, more introspective version of Why Bad Things Happen to Good People. In Why Good People Do Bad Things, Jungian analyst Dr. James Hollis asks readers to engage with their shadow side, the aspect of their personality that most of us work feverishly to ignore. As in his Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, he unfolds a healing message, not a PowerPoint action plan. A good choice for readers who favor a spiritual or holistic approach to life's problems.
Booklist
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.
Plain Dealer
Nourishing. . . . Like a master chef, James Hollis knows that good food for the soul cannot be ordered to go.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592402762
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/15/2007
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.78 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

James Hollis, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst in private practice and executive director of the C.G. Jung Educational Center of Houston. Educated at Manchester College, Drew University, and the Jung Institute in Zurich, he was a humanities professor for more than twenty years and is the author of ten previous books, including the best selling The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning at Midlife and The Eden Project: In Search of the Magical Other. Based in Houston, he lectures frequently throughout the country and worldwide.

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Table of Contents


Preface     xi
Introduction: Shadow Encounters     1
Sundry Shadings of Soul: The Four Forms of Shadow Expression     7
Paul's Perplexity: "Though I Know the Good ..."     24
Running Into Ourselves: The Personal Shadow     38
Pathos: Shadow Invasions in Everyday Life     59
Hidden Agendas: The shadow in Intimate Relationships     83
One Multiplied: The Collective Shadow     107
Lowest Common Denominator: Institutional Shadows     128
Progress's Dark Edge: The Shadow of Modernism     147
Dark Divinity: The Shadow Side of God     167
Luminous Darkness: The Positive Shadow     183
Shadow/Work: Encountering Our Darker Selves     202
Bibliography     239
Index     243
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2008

    Why don't we always pursue our stated goals?

    This book is an excellent introduction to our 'shadow' self, that part of our personality that we hide from ourselves (and others). By exploring those hidden parts, we can better appreciate the internal conflicts that reside within all of us this book provides a guide for just that process.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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