Book: ‘Meeting The Shadow’

Book: ‘Meeting The Shadow’

Jun 07

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Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature
From Tarcher

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COMMENT:

An Extraordinary And Diverse Anthology About The “Dark Side”
By Dr. Stephen Diamond
October 2, 1998

Original Link

Editors Connie Zweig and Jeremiah Abrams deserve congratulations for constructing this remarkable collection of illuminating looks at the hitherto inscrutable human “shadow.” This substantial volume brings together extremely diverse perspectives on this eternally timely topic, citing brief but pithy passages from luminaries like Carl Jung, James Hillman, M.L. von Franz, John Sanford; Harville Hendrix, Marsha Sinetar, Larry Dossey, W.Brugh Joy; M.Scott Peck, Rollo May, Ernest Becker, Sam Keen, Robert Jay Lifton; Ken Wilber, Robert Bly, Joseph Campbell and John Bradshaw. There is much distilled wisdom in these pages, organized in a meaningful, coherent, even entertaining fashion — with intelligent commentary by the editors, who scatter lovely little nuggets from Rilke, Nietzsche, Rumi, Shakespeare, Lao-Tzu, Blake, Dante and others throughout. Some reviewers have called this highly readable book the “I Ching” of the shadow, and for good reason: readers, even those new to the notion of the “shadow,” can pick it up, open to practically any page, and discover something valuable and essential to understanding themselves and others more deeply and more compassionately. In short, this compendium is a terrific introduction to Jung’s archetypal concept of the Shadow, and I, for one, was honored to contribute to it.

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EXCERPT:

Part 6
Meeting Darkness on the Path: The Hidden Sides of Religion and Spirituality

Encountering the Shadow in Buddhist America
By Katy Butler

Original Link

Jack Kornfield, a psychologist and co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society, informally surveyed 54 Buddhist, Hindu and lay teachers in the United States as well as their students. In a 1985 Yoga Journal article, “Sex Lives of the Gurus,” he reported that 15 of 54 were celibate. Thirty-four of the remaining 39 — including Tibetan lamas, Zen roshis, vipassana medita­tion teachers and Indian swamis — had had sexual relationships with their students, ranging from one-night stands to committed relationships ending in marriage. Half of the students told Kornfield that the relationships “undermined their practice, their relationship with their teacher, and their feelings of self-worth,” he wrote.

Kornfield, a former Theravadan monk said the teachers’ motivation was not always a misuse of power, but a lack of training in the psychological dynamics of transference and counter-transference and “a longing for contact and intimacy, a longing to step out of the isolating role of teacher.” Not all the relationships were disastrous, Kornfield added.

Many teachers, from all traditions, including Kornfield, have married students or staff members they met during retreats.

The late Marine Stuart-roshi, a Zen teacher based in Cambridge, Mas­sachusetts, distinguished between sexuality and sexual abuse when she broke off contact with Eido Shimao­roshi of New York. “I wasn’t judgmental about sex, or about a teacher having sex with a student, but in this situation it was an unloving act,” she told author Helen Tworkov, who profiled Stuart in Zen in America. “It was the misuse of sex — and of women and the manipulations that were so devastating.”

While the distinction between sexuality and sexual abuse is a valuable one, others argue that such relationships almost always turn out badly because of enormous differences in power, experience and hope between the people involved Peter Rutter, M D., a San Francisco Jungian analyst, believes women are drawn into such relationships by psychological wounds: a background of incest, the desire to be deeply seen or the hope of spiritual and psychological healing.

But the promise of healing almost always goes unfulfilled, explained Rutter, author of Sex in the Forbidden Zone: When Therapists, Doctors, Clergy, Teachers and Other Men in Power Betray Women’s Trust. “The number of healthy relationships that emerge are minuscule,” he said in a recent interview “The damage is almost universal, and it is absolutely identical, whether the relationships take place within imported Eastern disciplines or Western psychotherapy.” Rutter says the relationships bear the hallmarks, and cause the damage, of incest relationships. “There’s the same difference in power, the built-in admiration for the symbolic father, and the inability to displease him or see that he is damaging her.”

“These relationships are mostly temporary, and the women are usually discarded,” Rutter said. “They break the student’s connection to his or her own spiritual source, and that connection can be forever lost.”

Scandals & Improprieties: A list from 1990

Abuses of power and silent collusion in sexual exploitation occur not only in Buddhist communities, but also in Western psychiatric settings and other religious communities as well. Here is a sampling:

The Zen Studies Society of New York

In 1975, 1979 and 1982, the married Japanese abbot, Eido Tai Shimano-roshi, was accused of seducing emotionally vulnerable women students — accusations he has repeatedly denied.

San Francisco Zen Center

In 1983, American abbot Richard Baker, successor to Shunryu Suzuki-roshi, resigned under pressure after affairs with women student — including his best friend’s wife — were acknowledged.

Zen Center of Los Angeles

In 1983 Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi-roshi, a married Japanese abbot, entered an alcoholism treatment program and openly apologized to his students for affairs with several women students. including a teen-aged girl.

Kwan Um Zen School (Rhode Island)

In April 1987, it was revealed that the widely respected and supposedly celibate Korean ten teacher, Soen Sa Nim, had had secret, long-tern sexual relationships with two women students.

Insight Meditation Society (Barre, Massachusetts)

In the early 1980s, this American meditation community confronted sexual boundary violations before they became unmanageable.

Richard Ingrasci, M.D. (Watertown, Massachusetts)

In 1989, The Boston Globe reported that three women patients accused lngrasci of fondling them during therapy sessions. Two of the women said they were molested while under the influence of psychotropic drugs, including MDMA, which Ingrasci, the former medical editor of New Age Journal and a holistic physician had earlier lobbied Congress to legalize. Ingrasci surrendered his medical license, ending state disciplinary proceedings.

The Catholic Church in America

By the end of 1988, the Church had reportedly paid $19 million to families who had accused priests of sexually molesting alter boys and other children. At issue was not the small number of pedophile priests, but the church’s failure to protect children once problems were known. In several archdioceses, priests accused of molesting were quietly transferred to other parishes, where more children reported sexual abuse.

SYDA Foundation, Oakland, California

Shortly before his death in 1982, Swami Muktananda was accused by close disciples of repeatedly molesting young female devotees, some of them in their early teens.

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RELATED LINKS:

Wikipedia on the Shadow
Pulse on the Dark Side
The Dark Side of Buddhism
Integral NHNE on Shadows & Shadow Work
The Pathwork Lectures on Shadows & Shadow Work

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