Summer Reading Recommendation: Robert A. Johnson’s “Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche”

Robert A. Johnson’s slim book, “Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche” is packed with insight into human nature. This non-fiction book takes a look at the dark side of our personalities. Johnson argues that human beings only display the most socialized, average parts of themselves. Everything else, both the best and worst parts of ourselves, are often kept in the dark.

Johnson urges his reader to tend to their shadow material, pieces of themselves that sit in the dark. He reasons that an untended shadow (material that has been allowed to fester) with tend to its owner. Anxiety, anger, stress, and depression, according to Johnson, are in part, caused by an untended shadow. He suggests everything from therapy to yoga as a way to tend to ones shadow, and thus understand one’s whole nature. This book is an interesting and quick read. It will make you think about the way you deal with (or don’t deal with) your shadow material.


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