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Romancing the Shadow: Illuminating the Dark Side of the Soul Hardcover – Sep 1997


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (P); 1 edition (Sep 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345417399
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345417398
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 17.1 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 461,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Author

THE groundbreaking work on the soul's hidden face-the shadow
The shadow, like an invisible twin, acts out in our rage, lies, addiction, & depression. Meeting the shadow is a first step; romancing it, or learning to live with it, is a lifelong challenge. With shadow-work we gain consciousness & substance.In fact, shadow-work is soul-work. It connects us to the depths of our imaginations.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sun Tui on 12 Jan 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A really in depth examination of all the little ways we fool ourselves into to not living a full and authentic life. Interesting, accesablible and though provoking. Sun Tui [...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Reiki Pillows on 12 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was very interesting and certainly made me think quite differently about my own thought processes and others, wether they are close family or not.The kind of book you want to pass on to those you love. I Would recomend it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Found it too hard going for my brain, didn't get to the end. perhaps in a year or two i might try it again
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 29 reviews
70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
Useful for midlife reflection 9 Jun 2000
By Peter A. Kindle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Imagine yourself at a crowded conference table in a dark room. There are many present, but no role call. Each person is known only when he or she speaks, but you cannot speak. In fact, you sometimes cannot even hear. On the rare occassion that a light briefly shines, your eyes are usually closed. Every decision, reaction, thought and feeling in your life is determined by the voices at this conference. Usually the loudest and shrillest voice dominates. To the authors, this is a picture of your inner life.
The authors attempt to enlighten the reader so that he begins to bring the shadow people into the light. In essence the book is a call for conscious, intentional life. Instead of a mute observer and victim, the authors hope to strengthen the innermost Self so that the voices can be heard, not denied; heeded without dominating.
Like much written from a Jungian perspective, I found this book both frustrating and helpful. References to Greek myths multiply at an alarming rate, but I found that prior knowledge of the pregnant meaning of each myth name was not essential to benefit from this book.
The authors explore family of origin shadows, relationship shadows, shadows in the workplace and the midlife experience of shadow. Four primary defenses against self-awareness of the shadow occur as running themes: money, power, sex and addiction.
It is interesting that there is little or no reference to mortality, aging and legacy shadow issues. Perhaps the ages of the authors (at most 51 years?) has resulted in a less comprehensive view of shadow work. If so, I hope they will update this work in 20 years.
I recommend this work to others, like myself, who are consciously working through midlife questions. This book may open new vistas for these seekers. For those looking for a "how to" prspective, this book will be a disappointment, only nine pages provide practical advice.
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
A "must read" for deep thinking people 3 Sep 1999
By kstrom@tso.tso.org - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Life often seems to consist of coping with one crisis after another in almost every arena of our lives. This is not a bad thing; matter of fact, life without conflict, drama and challenges would be quite boring. However, when the crises in our lives come to resemble a recurring nightmare, or the repetitive refrain on a broken record, we are at risk of moving into a place of hopeless despair and abject depression, to say nothing about high anxiety. At times like this, boredom might
look like an idyllic yet unattainable alternative. Advisedly, most of us seek help when such patterns begin to govern our lives and psyches. Unfortunately, many self-help programs, therapies and spiritual paths, while temporarily easing our angst, ultimately do not assist us in our need to move in a different direction. In writing
Romancing the Shadow: Illuminating The Dark Side Of The Soul,
Jungian psychotherapist Connie Zweig and clinical psychologist Steve Wolf have filled this deep void by providing insights, approaches and self-exploratory orientations that to date have not been accessible to the general public. Hailed by such people as Deepak Chopra and Larry Dossey as an important breakthrough, this book delivers what is promised in the first chapter which is called "Introduction to Shadow-Work".
In the past, shadow work has primarily consisted of meeting and confronting the dark side of ourselves and society. Zweig and Dossey take this effective technique one step further by showing us how to learn "to live with it" by realizing that "romancing the shadow", as opposed to fighting or attempting to eradicate it, "is a lifelong challenge". "Romancing the shadow means reading the messages encoded in the events of our daily lives in such a way that we gain consciousness, substance, soul. Romancing the shadow means meeting the shadow for a private rendezvous; eventually it means taking it seriously enough to
learn to embrace it in a long-term relationship."
This work is far too rich and deep for me to adequately review in this column, nor is it a light and breezy read: on the contrary, the authors suggest exploring the book by beginning with the segments that speak to you and to take time in absorbing and pondering the material at your own pace. I, for one, am glad I followed their advice! I highly recommend Romancing The Shadow as a perfect read during this season as we shift our focus from the external to the internal aspects of our lives.
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This review originally appeared in the Journal "silent messages".
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Interesting topic, ineffective writing 27 April 2003
By a seeker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Having just started to read about Jungian psychology, and taken an interest in the concept of the shadow, I approached this book in anticipation after reading Robert A Johnson's 'Owning your shadow'.While Johnson's book was concise and to the point,and very enjoyable to read, this book has been a boring read after the first couple of chapters. The ideas presented are sometimes repetitive and at other times just do not gel. You feel that you've read a profusion of sentences with a sprinkling of punctuations in between but with very little new information or insight as you go from page to page. I don't think I've learnt much, in theory or in practice. Will go to Debbie Ford's "The Dark side of the Light Chasers" now and hopefully find a more satisfying read.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A deeply soulful guide on accepting all parts of yourself 30 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The authors of this book have done a wonderful job of demonstrating and guiding one on how to go about working with our shadow side, that side of us that we don't like, don't want to confront because we have been told that it's bad. They have made a distinction in that the idea is not to "integrate" the shadow as we're used to hearing, but to romance these things--feelings, characters--in the shadow, to give them their place. They have given many exercises to do and demonstrations on how to use the ideas. They have done a particularly good job of using sophisticated, scholarly ideas, while describing them in language that anyone interested in soul work can understand. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to understand themselves and their own actions, sometimes self-defeating actions, more fully.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Not usually into psychology/self-help 21 Jun 2002
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I went through a phase of that when I was teen and never really recovered, but this book is different. I don't know if the term depth psychology applies, but it certainly brings the concept to mind. The author works in Jungian concepts of archetype and shadow and seems to assume familiarity with them. Like many books it has a number of examples, but I found them more detailed and better related to one another. By reading this book one spends some time with the concept that a relationship, with oneself, or a significant other, is continuously evolving and never fixed, but that it can be stable. Zweig gives us the idea of a the third person in a relationship who can be a threatening other or the unity created by the couple, but usually both. This combines with the artistic, rather than scientific, analysis of the Shadow, to create a useful tool which encourages the reader to pinpoint what it is they really want from a relationship, as opposed to what they think they want. It's very easy to be confused on that subject, especially in our society where there's no such thing as an emotional education. You have to do your own work though.
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