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Rage Against Nothing

Visitng Jungian writer tells folks to just chill.


At today’s Engaging the Personal Shadow program, Swiss-born author James Hollis pinpoints ways to deflate an egomaniac’s self-image and, in turn, calm a raging temper. The process results in happier human beings who are in touch with their “shadow.” “Working with the shadow is not working with evil,” he says. “It’s working toward the possibility of greater wholeness.”

Hollis is a disciple of Carl Jung, whose revolutionary studies of the human psyche turned on generations of analytical psychologists. Hollis even serves as director of the Jung Educational Center of Houston. He penned the Jungian tome Why Good People Do Bad Things: Revisiting the Shadow, which examines this part of the ego and how it turns seemingly nice people into cranky curmudgeons -- without them even knowing it. If folks are aware of their bad tempers, says Hollis, they often blame childhood abuse, workplace crises, or just plain loneliness. But they can take steps to cool it down. All they need to do is recognize the root of their mood swings. “It’s a religious encounter,” says Hollis. “The ego’s fantasy of control or comfort is overthrown by what the self wants.” Victoria Vermes Fazio is a believer. As workshop organizer for the North Olmsted-based Jung Educational Center of Cleveland, she thinks a dose of Hollis’ Jungian wisdom will bring boiling people down a few degrees. “By discovering our unconscious energies, motives, and agendas, we can experience a greater level of self-awareness in our lives,” says Fazio. “We are then better equipped to deal with the challenges, conflicts, and situations we face every day.”
Sat., April 14, 10 a.m.

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