Shadow Dance Paperback – May 11 1999
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"Our scared and arrogant ego has an enormous capacity not to know itself," says Esalen Institute psychotherapist David Richo. The shadow self, the dark side of the personality, is hidden in the psyche. Others often see it, but we do not. As Jung says, "The shadow is the negative side of the personality, the sum of all those unpleasant qualities we like to hide, together with the insufficiently developed functions and the contents of the personal unconscious....[The shadow] also displays a number of good qualities such as normal instincts, appropriate reactions, realistic insights, creative impulses, etc." Richo has written an enormously useful book in which he introduces the reader to the conscious persona and the subconscious shadow. Unlike other practitioners, he includes conscious but negatively perceived traits in his definition of the dark side, plus undiscovered or unused positive traits. By helping the reader to befriend the shadow self instead of projecting it onto others in dysfunctional or destructive ways, the author performs a profound service, freeing emotional and creative resources through which we can manifest brighter, healthier lives. --P. Randall Cohan
"Deep and spiritually challenging."—Spirituality & Health
"David Richo has written a big book, much more than a book on the shadow and its context. Shadow Dance is a poem, a paean to the psychological life, written with a great sense of culture and depth. My world has been enlarged by reading it."—Jeremiah Abrams, author of The Shadow in America and coeditor of Meeting the Shadow
"As useful a self-help book as one is likely to find."—Huston Smith
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Top Customer Reviews
The book contains essays which lead you down the path of doing "shadow work," with each essay followed by a section of journal exercises and topics to think about. These "to do" sections help the reader to work with the ideas in the book, rather than just read about them. Not all the exercises will appeal to everyone, but there is such a wide range offered in each section that there is surely something for every reader.
My only problem with the book was that at times it was repetitive and wordy. However, Richo offers so much that is wise and profound that I readily forgave him and kept reading.
One of the things I found most helpful in this book was his excellent chapter on the positive shadow, an idea with which I was unfamiliar. The positive shadow needs attention just as much as the negative, and providing that attention is pleasant work--thus it balances out the sometimes toilsome aspect of dealing with one's darker side.
This is not a book to read and set aside. It's meant to be worked. The more people do this work, the more compassion and harmony there will be in our world.
Shadow Dance is an easy to understand and very helpful text for those wishing to find and then befriend all those elements we don't like about ourselves, are afraid to admit or maybe even unaware. In addition, each chapter also provides exercises that allow us to search for and accept all our positive and untapped potentials that prevent us from living a genuinely satisfying life and engaging in authentic relationships withourselves and others.
Shadow Dance is an exciting journey of mindfulness that takes you into the untapped areas of your mind and soul.
Most recent customer reviews
This is an excellent book for self-exploration and self-development. It provides a thorough explanation of the concept of the shadow in Jungian theory and introduces us to various... Read morePublished on May 19 2004
While I admire the author's sincerity, I found the writing to be bogged down with righteousness and preachiness. His writing relies more on quotes than speaking from the heart. Read morePublished on Aug. 6 2001
This book was very easy to understand and very clear. . Very helpful in helping understand what we are scared to admit or what we have denied, or just what we don't like about... Read morePublished on May 8 2001
Shadow Dance shines light on our darkest edges and gives us a way to accept and love ourselves and others to the nth degree. Read morePublished on Nov. 6 1999
This is without a doubt the best synthesis of major pathways to wholeness which I have yet to read. Dr. Read morePublished on Aug. 15 1999