Johnston is a Jungian psychologist who has written a book about being human, yet feeling a duality. Owning your own shadow jumps off from Jungian philosophy. It operates from the notion that as part of our assimilation into society we are forced to leave large parts of ourselves behind, in the shadow.
It is not really a self-help book and not quite a philosophical treatise, it is more a loosely formed essay detailing the process of forming the shadow, the need for expression of the shadow to remain healthy.
“If you can touch your shadow—within form—and do something out of your ordinary pattern, a great deal of energy will flow from it.”
It’s a short book and the main message is that it is not dirt that hides in our shadow, there is greatness there too. This is a book that is very comfortable with religion. It is not preachy, but nevertheless it treats religion as an important part of life and mental health. If this does not sit with you, this book is not for you.
“The message is unmistakable; our own healing proceeds from that overlap of what we call good and evil, light and dark. It is not that the light element alone does the healing; the place where light and dark begin to touch is where miracles arise. This middle place is a mandorla.
It was inspiring enough, but ultimately, for me, a rehash of ideas I already found elsewhere.