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Why Privacy is So Important to Social Harmony

parallel shadowsAll of us, even the best, have what is known as a “shadow” part of our personality. The Shadow is our “dark” side, the one that wants to cuss and do what society deems as “bad things” and which in some manifestations really are bad things. Normally we are not even conscious of it, our Ego isn’t conscious of it, and when those times the shadow asserts itself to the point that it breaks through the Ego guardian, perhaps even the Super Ego guardian, i.e. “Society,” we become unconscious and don’t even acknowledge it.

But the trick to making your life happier is to acknowledge it.

If one can learn to acknowledge, release, pay homage to the shadow in a ceremonial, private way, it won’t come out in a public embarrassing way.

In fact respecting the shadow in private ceremonially is the key to releasing the enormous amount of positive, creative energy that’s stored inside all of us in public. In other words to be successful and happy. Manners are the oil on which societal interactions run. Forced manners are painful and take up a lot of energy. In a person who has released his shadow energy, manners flow naturally and exuberantly.

How can one deal with their shadow personality privately? Well, since the shadow is a part of the subconscious, it responds very well the ceremony and ritual. Subconscious energies believe, for example, that something said or written in private is the same as saying, writing, or doing it in public. If you are angry at someone who is close to you, for example, you may write your shadow feelings in a diary or scream and cuss at them when you are alone and no one can hear you.

This may seem absurd to some people or even “weird,” but what it does is prevent you from sending a nasty note or getting into a real argument that could have lasting scaring effects.

It’s important to understand that dealing with your shadow in private doesn’t mean that you won’t deal with conflicts that really do need to be dealt with in public or at least between two people. It’s just the opposite. Releasing your shadow in private, enables you to deal and resolve conflict more effectively and in a socially acceptable way. This is because the shadow, your dark side is also about shame and fear. You know what causes avoidance behavior? It’s not for lack of “thrashing out.” It’s from repressing your shadow, so that your shame and guilt control your consciousness, blocking out your objectivity.

This is why privacy is so important. One must have the private space to express every ounce of shadow energy, privately. Bad or “dirty” thoughts and feelings are not something to feel guilty about. But acting these “bad” or “dirty” thoughts in public is something that will cause society and yourself much harm. Still they’re going to get out one way or another, so the best way of dealing with them effectively is to pay them respect, privately, ceremonially, in a socially acceptable way.

The best book I have ever read on this subject is one called Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche by Robert A. Johnson. It’s a slim, simple book to read whose deep ideas are expressed in such easily understood language, you’ll go “Wow, this really makes total sense.” He really gets to the heart of the matter without all the extra literary “fluff.” It’s highly interesting and engaging, and something that you can put to work right away. Definitely not some University textbook tome that tries to dissect the life out of life. I highly recommend it.

Dealing with your shadow is actually a lot of fun and will enable you to release hidden, positive parts of your personality that you never knew you had before.

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5 responses to “Why Privacy is So Important to Social Harmony”

  1. Stephen Pickering Avatar

    Hey, Thank you Laura for the comment. Yes, this book has been a little treasure for me. I think I heard of this guy, Robert Johnson from Robert Bly, the famous poet.

    I love Deepak too, although I haven’t read his Shadow Effect Book.

    This practice of acknowledging the shadow privately, in a ceremonial, ritualistic way was really enlightening when I read it in this book. And then when I actually experienced it in practice and saw and felt the benefits, I was simply amazed.

    You are exactly right about the health factor. If you suppress the Shadow you are exerting a constant, unconscious tension, which not only exhausts you at first mentally, then physically, then spiritually, but also releases, I’m sure, the negative hormones of stress. I believe in Dr. Chopra’s work he refers to these as Cortison and maybe some others. They weaken the body’s natural immune system and lead to all kinds of maladies.

    Plus, releasing the Shadow energies, while the ritual itself may be difficult at first, does the opposite and releases positive, health supporting hormones. In other words you feel happy! All from harnassing the energies that were making you feel so bad. Very interesting, therapeutic stuff. 🙂

  2. Laura Havlick Avatar

    I decided that I did want to leave my website. Thanks.

  3. Laura Havlick Avatar
    Laura Havlick

    Thank you for saying about expressing your feelings in private to help you when in public. There’s also the health factor, which is that you are healthier when you can acknowledge and express your negative feelings rather than suppress or repress them.
    I have been reading about the shadow and the book I’ve been reading most recently, The Shadow Effect, by D. Chopra, et al., doesn’t mention anything about this. So I appreciate coming across this when I was searching for how to love yourself when dealing with the shadow. Thanks again.

  4. Stephen Pickering Avatar
    Stephen Pickering

    Heeeey, yes, the important point is I think a lot of violent action and other terrible things in society can come from people suppressing their “shadow” and then it always comes out one way or another. So if people would honor their shadow privately, safely, in a socially acceptable way, theirs less chance they will be violent or other bad things in public.
    It’s funny, I’ve read this book several times over the last many years, and I practice it in many ways, but you know its easy to forget. It’s seems everything in society preaches you to be ashamed of your thoughts and feelings when they are bad so I can easily fall back into that kind of thinking and get into arguments and such.
    There’s different ways of dealing with it. For instance, if you have negative emotions, or are mad at someone, you can say these things out loud in the privacy of your own home. Don’t hold back! Cuss them out, whatever you feel. Express yourself, get your body into it, and then it like releases it, and you feel good, and then the next time you talk to them you might actually find you are happy and whatever it is that bothered you has gone away. It’s really an exhilarating experience. Try it sometime! heheheheheheheheheh. But make sure you’re alone!!!! hehehehehehhe
    Btw, we never talked. How was your trip to Vienna?

  5. Sweet Sunshine Avatar
    Sweet Sunshine

    Very interesting this subject I couldnt agree more with your words, would be great if most of the human beings realize and control them dark side (Shadow). I believe the world would be a place more pleasent to live. By the way how are you dealing with your dark side?? is it in control???

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