Breaking Down Evil

When you have been treated unjustly or personally harmed, the natural emotion is anger. If this anger canít get out, it festers and grows in the shadow. Lashing out when holding it back no longer works; this anger leads to a cycle of violence. Guilt can make you feel like a bad person simply for having an impulse or entertaining a thought.

This is a kind of double blind: If you lash out and return the harm done to you, you have done something evil, but if you keep the anger inside and harbor it, you can feel just as evil.

Yet violence can be tamed by breaking it down into manageable bits. Negative emotions feed off certain aspects of the shadow that are very manageable.

The shadow is dark. Everyone has a shadow because of the natural contrast between darkness and the light.

The shadow is secret. We store impulses and feelings there that we wish to keep private.

The shadow is dangerous. Repressed feelings have the power to convince us that they can kill us or make us go insane.

The shadow is shrouded in myth. For generations, people have seen it as the lair of dragons and monsters.

The shadow is irrational. Its impulses fight against reason; they are explosive and totally willful.

The shadow is primitive. Itís beneath the dignity of a civilized person to explore this domain.

A secret, dark, primitive, irrational, dangerous, mythical evil is much less convincing if you break it down into one quality at a time. But this process of bringing evil down to scale wonít be convincing until you apply it to yourself.

Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).

49 comments

J.L. A.
JL A.4 years ago

good reminders

Patricia H.
Patricia H.4 years ago

thanks for sharing

Abbe A.
Azaima A.4 years ago

thanks

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

Thank you for sharing it!

Abbe A.
Azaima A.4 years ago

thanks

Marie W.
Marie W.4 years ago

Shadows can only exist where there is light.

Sian Rider
Sian R.4 years ago

'The shadow is dangerous'?
Only if we continue to label it as our shadow. Those parts of us that we try to hide, those feelings we are ashamed (for whatever reason) of having. Trying to ignore or eliminate them is usually pointless and sometimes downright dangerous.
Every thought and impulse we have is there for a reason. We don't always have to act on them but we do need to examine them when they rise to the surface.
Being in touch with ourselves 'in the round' is better than assigning to ourselves a dark or hidden side. The former sees a reason for everything, and an appropriate action - the latter just sees things in negative terms.

Lydia W.
Lydia S.4 years ago

I have found a sad parallel with friends & family members that held grudges or have repressed
anger issues in that most of them have battled cancer as they approached middle age .
Clearly not good or healthy .

Jane Barton
Jane Barton4 years ago

"The shadow is primitive. It’s beneath the dignity of a civilized person to explore this domain."

Interestingly this describes the Catholic/Christian agenda in America. The European Christians who settled America were so uncivilized they murdered the Native Americans and instituted slavery. Then they raped their own slaves. This is most undignified for a people who boast of how holy and "brave" they are. In addition these same people were hanging black people for entertainment until the 60s which isn't that long ago. If anybody needs to deal with their festering guilt, it's white males, not women because white women, actually all women, are still treated no better than barnyard animals in America. There is no "deep, dark, mythical" secret about this, it's real history and it really happened. The only "mythical"
thing in this is the fairy "god" that is the basis of the Catholic/Christian "religion" which 70% of Americans "believe in". Their imaginary "god" is no more real than any of the other fairy gods that were invented since the beginning of time. This primitive cult is responsible for the
murder, rape and torture that started when Columbus "discovered" America.


Jane Barton
Jane Barton4 years ago

"The shadow is primitive. It’s beneath the dignity of a civilized person to explore this domain."

Interestingly this describes the Catholic/Christian agenda in America. The European Christians who settled America were so uncivilized they murdered the Native Americans and instituted slavery. Then they raped their own slaves. This is most undignified for a people who boast of how holy and "brave" they are. In addition these same people were hanging black people for entertainment until the 60s which isn't that long ago. If anybody needs to deal with their festering guilt, it's white males, not women because white women, actually all women, are still treated no better than barnyard animals in America. There is no "deep, dark, mythical" secret about this, it's real history and it really happened. The only "mythical"
thing in this is the fairy "god" that is the basis of the Catholic/Christian "religion" which 70% of Americans "believe in". Their imaginary "god" is no more real than any of the other fairy gods that were invented since the beginning of time. This primitive cult is responsible for the
murder, rape and torture that started when Columbus "discovered" America.