Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Book Review

The Shadow Effect: Illuminating the Hidden Power of Your True SelfThe Shadow Effect: Illuminating the Hidden Power of Your True Self by Deepak Chopra

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"... without wholeness, all we can create is superficial change."

" Denial is a false solution."

"Love doesn’t need seeking. Like the air you breathe, it exists as part of nature; it’s a given."

"Big, blown-out fantasies about our lives stem from the pain of our unrealized potential,"

"Those we project on hold pieces of our unclaimed darkness as well as pieces of our unclaimed light."

I gave this book 4 stars more for it's subject matter rather than how it is written. For those of us who find the Law of Attraction doesn't work, or, worse, works in reverse, and therefore seems like so much smile-an-be-happy bullshit the Shadow is the other half of the equation the Law of Attraction is missing. This book asserts that the Shadow, compulsive behaviors, self-sabotage, bad decisions, life messiness, dramas, or even our pet peeves with other people, rather than being denied, turned off, or turned away from should be, must be, looked at as another way the universe shows us ourselves, as a source of knowledge, wisdom, creativity, and energy. Instead of banging our heads against the wall wondering why these things show up in our lives again and again we should look under the hood to see what kind of pain and fear we're hiding from and compensating for.

As to how it is written: Deepak Chopra goes first with a broad collage of the spiritual, metaphysical source and reason for the Shadow and how to approach it. I must say the first part of his essay is some of the messiest writing of his I've waded into. He puts forth divergent subjects in one paragraph but doesn't connect the dots between them. But stick with it. He soon settles down and gives us some gems we can use. Debbie Ford's part is next and it contains the most nuts and bolts we can use to turn our Shadows from destructive forces into positive, creative energy. But after Chopra's and Ford's encouragement to build a stable core and expand our awareness to encompass our Shadow and make it part of our Whole, along comes Marianne Williamson with her judgement and separation saying the shadow must be "gotten rid of". I found Ms. Williamson's writing the least useful and plowed through it as quickly as possible, although I did find a couple of gems, such as: "Rather than self-hatred, I was flooded with compassion for myself, because I realized how much pain I would have had to be in to develop that sort of coping mechanism to begin with."

This book is a good starting point for learning about the Shadow and I plan to explore more, mostly through Ms. Ford's work since she has the best concrete details for how to tap into its positive force.

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