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PARAPPULLY Jose, New Delhi says,
HOLDING UP TO THE LIGHT - 1
By Jose Parappully
forum
360° VIEW
New Delhi, Mar. 31. Thank you, Fr. Ivo Coelho, for your piece [The Human Face of the Congregation describing the dark side of the electoral process in the Congregation, and for your call to bring to light the careful but secretive plannings and plottings (``machinations and manipulations@ to use your own phrase)by the various language and ethnic group members of the Chapter.

What lurkes in the `shadows` (and shadow is a psychological and physical reality; where there is light there is shadow; and it affects our sprituality. Carl Jung used the term `shadow` to describe the part of our personality that we repress because it conflicts with the way we wish to see ourselves; it refers to the disowned, rejected and covered up aspects of individuals, groups and organisations)has an insidious effect on the organism. Reclaiming or ``redeeming`` the shadow, to use Jungian analyst Robert Johnson`s favourite term, has a very salutory effect on the organism. According to Johnson, ``To honor and accept the shadow is a profound spiritual discipline. It is whole-making and thus holy and the most important experience of a lifetime.``

Hence your suggestion to bring into the open and address the dynamics operating as shadow in the Congregation is most welcome.

Some would argue that it is not appropriate to publicise such `shadows,` espeically to post them on the web accessible to the whole world. Better not to wash one`s dirty linen in public, they might argue. In this light, I am reminded of CM Paul writing in an  earlier piece [``Voices from Don Bosco Bar``]that he had been warned about writing on sensitive subjects. I was wondering who defines what is sensitive and why. Shadow figures?

However, anyone who loves transparency in the Congregation should be happy to read what you have written. It requires self and other-awareness and self-confidence, concern and courage to do what you have done, hold up to the light what is in the dark.

At the same time, I do wish that your piece had appeared before the Elections, along with the other pieces that gave us glimpses of the Chapter dynamics. That would have cast light on the congregational and chapter shadows at a more appropriate juncture.

I like to conclude my comment with another quotation from Robert Johnson:``To own one`s shadow is to reach a holy place�an inner center�not attainable in any other way. To fail this is to fail one`s own sainthood and to miss the purpose of life``



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