Why Good People Do Bad Things: Understanding Our Darker Selves

Why Good People Do Bad Things: Understanding Our Darker Selves

Author:

Hardcover, Pages: 272

Genres: Psychology, Nonfiction, Philosophy, Self Help

Language: English

Reads: 16

Downloads: 1014

Rating: Rated: 496 timesRate It

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Description

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.

Reviews
  •    Dokazahn Atomanczyk
    2020
    This is a really, really good book. I am not ready to pass it on yet so find your own copy!

    Hollis says we repress evil. It's in our unconscious, what Jung called our Shadow. But the Shadow is never gone. It's always part of us. If we don't examine our unconscious thoughts and feelings, we'll be loose cannons. That's why, to use the old saying, those who don't remember the past are condemned to repeat it. The path to enlightenment is not to ignore or deny the unconscious darkness that makes us uncomfortable, but to understand it and learn what it is trying to tell us. For a simplified example: a lifelong hardcore ascetic probably has a repressed hedonistic side and would be better off accepting that it's not so bad to occasionally share a laugh and a candy bar, especially if this softens the urge to stomp around yelling at everyone else for not being ascetic enough. In accepting opposites within ourselves we can be more balanced personalities who are more tolerant of others--in short, less evil. Evil is an ego problem, according to Hollis. He says this pattern also plays out on a cultural level. When cultures have massive wounds, like the legacy of slavery or imperialism, that aren't fully comprehended and actively dealt with, they can be pushed back into the Shadow and they can resurface unbidden in new forms of evil. He says this pattern affects Western cultures more so than Eastern cultures because in the West there's different assumptions about ego, although he doesn't provide specific historical examples to back this up.

    I wish I'd read this book before reading Why Can't We Be Good by Jacob Needleman, since Hollis's book gives a framework for understanding why self-understanding prevents evil, and Needleman's book delves into more pedagogical, how-to details for engaging in the sort of dialogue that enhances self-understanding.
    Reply
  •    Kazralkree Fengler
    2020
    I love Dr. Hollis. First, even though he is Jungian, he doesn't feel the need to insult Freud or his ideas, and even cites Freud at times. I found that attitude refreshing. Second, Dr. Hollis takes the concept of the Shadow and makes it clear and understandable. I am definitely ready to encounter and embrace the ideas in this book.
    Reply

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