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Fear no Evil (the necessity of shadow work...)
Fear no Evil (the necessity of shadow work...)

Human nature is capable of an infinite amount of evil. ... Today as never before it is important that human beings should not overlook the danger  of the evil lurking  within  them.  It is unfortunately all too real, which is why psychology  must insist  on the reality  of evil and must reject any definition that regards it as insignificant or actually nonexistent. C. G. Jung

This Jung quote came at perfect timing as the FTX debacle keeps unfolding… I found it reading Fear No Evil: The Pathwork Method of Transforming the Lower Self by Eva Broch Pierrakos.

It is a good book (even though it talks too much about “God” for me, I filtered that from the below notes and comments…)

We’re all evil

“You are not an evil person. I am not an evil person. Yet evil exists in the world. Where does it come from? Who is evil, and how did they get that way. The evil things that are done on earth are done by human beings. We can’t blame the existence of evil on the plants or animals.”

When I started meditating I encountered some of my dark side. I also did my first deep “shadow work” when I did the Hoffman Institute about 6 years ago. The rule of Hoffman is to not disclose the process so I won’t, but it involves spending days revealing our own darkness. Working with plants in the forest is really good for removing the masks at least temporarily and seeing ourselves in a totally different way.

What is “doing evil”?

“The word “evil” can describe a continuum  of behavior  that goes all the way from simple “bad” things (getting upset at your neighbor) and egocentricity on one end to the genocidal sadism of Nazism on the other.”

In other words, we all have a dark side and all do “some evil” to ourselves or others, it is in all of us.

Don’t do to others…

We can all agree in principle on the religion moral of “not doing to others what you would not want them to do to you”.

Yet, we’re no Jesus or Buddha and we regularly find ourselves hopefully in small “sins” as it was still called 30-40 years ago. We also hurt ourselves by drinking or eating unhealthy stuff either by lack of knowledge or ignoring the very fact that we hurt ourselves. By simply getting angry we hurt ourselves.

Religions teaches idealistic beliefs or conduct that people know in their hearts they can never live up to… So what’s the solution?

What happens is mostly subconscious.

It’s coming from traumas and childhood, some say even from life in our mothers womb (was she drinking or smoking, getting upset all the time etc?).

It is often tragic to see how blatantly a man bungles his own life and the lives of others yet remains totally incapable of seeing how much the whole tragedy originates in himself, and how he continually  feeds it and keeps it going.  Not consciously,  of course—for consciously he is engaged in bewailing a faithless world that recedes further and further into the distance. Rather, it is an unconscious  factor which spins the illusions that veil his world. C. G. Jung

“The first key to happiness is self-knowledge. “

“Why is it so difficult to attain? Perhaps because no one likes to hear unpleasant or unflattering truths about oneself, and yet these are the most important ones to know.”

Happiness isn’t about outside fulfillment, but inside. We are the only ones responsible of our happiness or unhappiness.

“This path demands from an individual that which most people are least willing to give: truthfulness with the self, exposure of what exists now, elimination of masks and pretenses, and the experience of one’s naked vulnerability.  It is a tall order, and yet it is the only way that leads to genuine peace and wholeness.”

Understanding our shadow would be the ONLY WAY to happiness.

If we look inside, we find our “shadow”, all the things that we hope would not exist and we push them in the darkness hoping to forget them.

Meet your lower self

The lower self consists not only of the common faults and the individual weaknesses that var y with each person, but also of ignorance and laziness. It hates  to change and conquer itself; it has a very strong will that may not always manifest itself outside, and wants its way without  paying the price.  It  is very proud and selfish, and always has a  great deal of  personal vanity.   All these characteristics are generally part of the lower self, regardless of other individual faults. We can determine very well which thought-forms come from the higher self and which come from the lower self.

In order to “Conquer yourself” you have to “face the lower self” and “tear down the mask self”.

How do you conquer yourself?

“Daily self-observation and self-testing, observing again how far your inner currents still deviate from what you wish them to be".

I have been journaling for about ten years (I wrote about the benefits on the Miracle of Morning pages).

Fear no evil recommends journaling every day what went wrong, accepting the fact of many negative trends existing in ourselves and recognizing and accepting -no matter how unpleasant it is- our imperfections.

It’s also hard because “the lower self is lazy and never wants to work”.

It’s easier to see imperfections in others and blame them instead.

You can reach perfection only by going through your imperfections, not by going around them.

Got it.

Step one, pay constantly attention to your shadow, imperfections and lower-self and then write the shadows in myself daily.

Easy to say, let’s see where this goes… I will report back.


  • The Information says quitting drinking is a trend and quoted me following my note on Why I quit drinking in “Tech Goes Cold Turkey: Inside Silicon Valley’s New Temperance Society” sadly the angle is “replacing alcohol with substances” which seems untrue to me. The plants helped me see it was poison and did not replace the poison… I left a comment there (subscription required)

  • A reader, Herbert, emailed me saying he doesn’t stop drinking because he likes the state of being a bit drunk once in a while. My answer is the benefits of sleeping great with lucid dreaming every night is a much bigger benefit than any state of feeling great a bit drunk sometimes, among so many other benefits…

  • Our next community call is next Tuesday at 18h CET, it happens every Tuesday, you’re welcome to join if you want to get a taste of the community. We’re exploring this week the Huni Kuin people with a member of the community, Celine Godeux who spent some time studying in the Amazon jungle too. We will also have a representative of the Jiboiana association helping the indigenous, Leo. Zoom link.


Loic's letter - Exploring the Mysterious

Loic Le Meur's Podcast

After launching startups and conferences all his life Loic spent a year in the Amazon forest with indigenous and came back exploring consciousness but staying grounded in business. See also Loic's newsletter at http://loiclemeur.com