"Our shadow," teaches Robert Augustus Masters, "is our internal storehouse for the parts of us that we’ve disowned or rejected, or are otherwise keeping in the dark."
Everyone has a shadow, but all too many of us are unaware of it. It holds the feelings and beliefs that we are most ashamed of or cannot accept about ourselves. For some, it may contain unacknowledged anger or grief. For others, pain or fear.
Our shadow contains our unfaced conditioning.
And the more unaware we are of our shadow, the more it influences and controls us.
Based upon Masters's four decades as a psychospiritual therapist and guide, Bringing Your Shadow Out of the Dark invites readers to understand and skillfully work with this rich yet neglected dimension of ourselves.
With depth and clarity, he illuminates the process of meeting our shadow in beneficial ways, and how we can embody a more complete and life-giving experience of who we are.
In this book you’ll discover:
• The nature of our shadow and how to optimally work with it—exploring our conditioning and core shadow elements, including in the domains of shame, fear, aggression, resistance, addiction, death, and spirituality
• How to work with the child within, self-sabotage, narcissism, sexuality, dreams, and other matters deeply influenced by our shadow
• Why turning toward our pain is an essential part of shadow work—making wise use of our pain
• Collective shadow domains we share with family, social groups, political party, or nation—bringing them and their associated traumas into the light
When we uncover and work in-depth with our shadow, we free ourselves from its control and gain the opportunity to put its contents to work for us instead of allowing them to work against us.
Bringing Your Shadow Out of the Dark shows us how to navigate the full terrain of our emotions, drives, needs, and depths of who we are.
Foreword by Lissa Rankin, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine, The Fear Cure, and The Anatomy of a Calling.
“Working sincerely and in-depth with our shadow is a powerfully liberating labor, affecting every area of our life, furthering our capacity to become intimate with everything—everything!—that we are. Through this, we enter an increasingly fuller wholeness, no longer stuck in us-versus-them dynamics, finding in ourselves a deepening capacity to serve the greater good of one and all.” —Robert Augustus Masters, PhD, from Bringing Your Shadow Out of the Dark
“Robert has offered us a marvelous hands-on guide, based on decades of exploration, on opening to and transforming the shadow. This is the work of a sage and skilled teacher who knows and names, in very clear and often poetic language, the many regions of the territory and the many details and nuances crucial to working with the shadow. Savvy about the range of emotions, narratives, and difficulties that one encounters in this work, Robert gives us a powerful and comprehensive map that clarifies not only the varieties of the individual shadow, but . . . also the collective shadow, so crucial to face and transform at this time.” —Donald Rothberg, PhD, author of The Engaged Spiritual Life and teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center
“This book is a game-changer, a majestic masterpiece of shadow work. Life-affirming, embracing, and evolutionary, Bringing Your Shadow Out of the Dark shows a true path of empowerment for humanity. Robert Augustus Masters is a ninja shadow guide who helps us to have real access to the most hidden forces compelling us in unconscious ways. Raise the bar of transformation, both personally and collectively, with this impeccable guide to navigating the most challenging aspects of being human.” —Sianna Sherman, internationally renowned yoga teacher
“Whether we like it or not, our unacknowledged and repressed self—our shadow—dictates much of our lives, including our actions, emotions, and reactions. In this succinct and wise guide to self-exploration, Robert Augustus Masters teaches us how to emerge from shadow—individual, generational, and cultural—into the light of awareness and freedom.” —Gabor Maté, MD, author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction
“Robert Augustus Masters makes an impressive contribution to culture through his long-term study and writing on how important deep shadow work is—not only for our well-being and joy in life, but also to confront the bypassing we find so often in spiritual communities. In this book, he engages us in a vital and deep exploration of the composition and potential integration of our shadows into a life of openness, love, and true compassion.” —Thomas Hübl, international teacher of practical mystical competence
“Reading this book is an immersion in the darkness and apprehension of the wilderness and a redemptive return out the other side. Every page carries the authority and compassion of a man who has thoroughly done his own inner work, and who has guided countless others. You will find yourself in trustworthy hands.” —Arjuna Ardagh, author of Radical Brilliance
“Robert Augustus Masters assumes the role of guide, providing commonsense approaches for discovering and integrating those aspects of the psyche that have been ignored, repressed, or disowned. . . . Masters also provides ways in which this expanded view of oneself can improve interactions with friends and family members. Bringing Your Shadow Out of the Dark will change the lives of many readers, and the change will be for the better!” —Stanley Krippner, PhD, coauthor of Personal Mythology
“Robert has once again invited us to mature emotionally and spiritually. Bringing Your Shadow Out of the Dark is a commitment to our wholeness—to overthrowing the naive notions that spiritual practice has to do with being good or that emotional maturity means foregoing feeling. With a surplus of accessible examples, he skillfully guides us through the parts of ourselves we would rather deny, and toward the freedom that comes by including all of who we are.” —Diane Musho Hamilton, author of Everything Is Workable
“To extract the light from the essence of our ever-evolving soul requires embracing the totality of our humanity, including the shadow parts of ourselves—the parts that we don't want anyone to know about or see, yet we all embody. Dr. Masters helps us to understand . . . these shadows . . . I highly recommend this powerful and illuminating book.” —Seane Corn, yoga teacher, cofounder Off the Mat Into the World
“This is a wise, brilliant, extremely clear, and useful exploration of the shadow and will be invaluable for all seekers.” —Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism
“If you feel like something is missing in your life, that you are disconnected and stuck, then this book is here to finally bring you home to yourself. Robert Augustus Masters has quickly become my go-to resource for the dark art of shadow work, which is essential to any authentic spiritual path. It's time for this exploration for all of us, and this guide lights the path.” —Kelly Brogan, MD, holistic psychiatrist and New York Times bestselling author of A Mind of Your Own
“Rarely has a sophisticated contemporary psychotherapist offered such a thorough inventory of the many facets and dynamics of personal and collective shadow, and the many ways we can shine light upon it . . . [A] wise, patient forgiveness and self-acceptance permeate the tone of this sharply intelligent, unflinching look at all the ways we hide what we’d rather not see as individuals, groups, and nations, especially the United States. Highly recommended.” —Terry Patten, author of A New Republic of the Heart
“Robert Augustus Masters is clearly a master of shadow identification and work. In this comprehensive book, he extends shadow identification and shadow work from the personal to the social and cultural, and he offers precise and effective means of freeing the personal and collective from the bonds of the unknown and unexpressed. Anyone who reads this book cannot avoid being confronted with the question of their personal shadow and relieved that there is a way to bring the dark forces of the unknown into the light.” —Harville Hendrix, PhD, author of Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples
“Robert Augustus Masters’s timely and essential book summons us to have the urgent courage to cease our blame; cease our reactions; cease every expression of fear, ignorance, and aggression; and to reclaim our beauty and vulnerability and own our primordial shadow—learn to work with it, grow from it, love it, and resanctify it as freedom itself. I cannot recommend his book enough. . . . This utterly brilliant and stupendously courageous book should be mandatory reading for every politician, spiritual or religious leader, psychologist, and education teacher worldwide.” —Alan Clements, author of Instinct for Freedom and A Future to Believe In
“Robert Augustus Masters has done a monumental job of showing us the self-sabotage and relationship sabotage that gets normalized when we live life without real awareness of why we are feeling or ‘choosing’ whatever seems to be happening. The degree of care, precision, and discernment Masters brings to what we call ‘inner work’ makes a lot of other therapy look not so deep. . . . If you can resonate with his uncompromising embrace of the pain of being human, this book will lead you to the realness that likely put you on the path in the first place.” —Nancy Dreyfus, PsyD, author of Talk to Me Like I’m Someone You Love
“In this brilliantly written offering, Robert Augustus Masters offers us a path to genuine change. Many authors talk about ‘the shadow’ without providing the tools to transform it. Masters gives us those tools, supporting and energizing us in our efforts to heal and transform. . . . Highly recommended!” —Jeff Brown, author of An Uncommon Bond