The Shadow Effect book cover
Photo: Courtesy of HarperOne
Whether you want to believe it or not, you have a dark side. When you start to ignore it or push it aside, it begins to make decisions for you and strips you of your conscious choices. Maybe for you it's the foods you eat or the mean words you speak, but it's there. In The Shadow Effect: Illuminating the Hidden Power of Your True Self, co-authors Debbie Ford, Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson shed light on your shadow issues to help you deal with them with compassion, instead of fear.
In a world so filled with tender magic—from sleeping infants to children playing, to lovers smiling, to friendships that last, to flowers blooming, to the violet hope of sunrise, to the fiery magnificence of sunset, to the brilliance of the body, to the fragile glories of nature, to the wonder of animals, to our capacity to forgive, to the mercy of God, to the kindness of strangers, and a list that could go on and on until it's clear that there really is no end to the manifold expressions of love on earth—there is, as well, something else.

And what is that?

Why—in a world where we can be moved to tears by a work of art—does there also exist molestation, rape, innocents with slit throats, unjustly held prisoners, starving children, torture, genocide, war, slavery, and all manner of horrific and unnecessary suffering that exists for no other reason than that someone is cruel enough to inflict it or someone else doesn't care enough to stop it? What force exists, in our minds and in our world, that proactively and seemingly inexorably moves to cause the suffering and destruction of living things?

Why, if God is love, does evil exist?

Marianne Williamson
We live in a world of constant juxtaposition between joy that's possible and pain that's all too common. We hope for love and success and abundance, but we never quite forget that there is always lurking the possibility of disaster. We know there is good in the world, but we know that there is something else as well. And we are living at a time when a contest between the two is both intense and intensifying. Whatever it is that leads human beings to hate, to destroy, and to kill has taken on a collective force like never before, as technology and globalization now give it the capacity to not just strike, but to strike us all, together, as one. Never has there been such an urgent need to dismantle this force, whatever it is, that is so contemptuous of love and intent on destroying us all. This is not just a force that seeks to inconvenience us. It is a force that wishes to see us dead.

Yet this force is in fact an antiforce. It does not so much do anything, as it gets us to do its bidding. It is a place where we have forgotten who we are, and thus act as we are not. It is a darkness that, like all darkness, is not an actual presence, but is rather the absence of light. It is a black hole in psychic space that exists when light is unseen for even a moment. And the only true light is love.

The problem of what to do with this darkness—called by many names but here termed the "shadow"—is a question that has plagued humanity since its earliest beginnings.

More Excerpts from The Shadow Effect
Introduction by Debbie Ford
The Shadow by Deepak Chopra
Making Peace with Ourselves, Others and the World by Debbie Ford

The Shadow Effect: A 6-Week Breakthrough Plan

Debbie Ford will guide you through a six-week breakthrough plan to help you understand your mysterious shadow, how it affects the key areas of your life and what it has to teach you about yourself so that you can finally create the life you've always wanted.

Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed author and lecturer who has published several books, including New York Times best-sellers A Return to Love and Everyday Grace. A popular guest on numerous television programs such as The Oprah Winfrey Show and ABC's Good Morning America, Marianne has lectured professionally since 1983. For more information, visit her official website.

More from The Shadow Effect

How the shadow can affect your life
Can you identify the shadow working in your life? Take the quiz!
Find out more about the 6-week breakthrough plan

Copyright © 2010 by Deepak Chopra and Rita Chopra Family Trust, Debbie Ford and Marianne Williamson. Reprinted by permission of HarperOne.


Next Story