Moments of Madness

If you think about the people around you, you’ll have to agree they are quite agreeable most of the time. They try to be pleasant, work with the team, treat themselves, and others quite well. BUT, every now and then, you’ll glimpse acts that seem to contradict their normal decency. It can be an unnecessarily critical, even cruel remark on your work out of nowhere, or they may disappear for some time without any reason. Or you hear from other people of their bad treatment of family members, or they have an affair with the most unlikely man or woman that has a ruining effect on their lives. Or it can be a grave financial or career mistake on their part that you just can’t make sense of, in the context of their normal behaviour.

 You might call these instants ‘moments of madness’, or the dark side of human character. In this three part series of articles, we’ll see how the dark side of human character develops and its causes, how to decode the dark traits of people and ultimately, “how you can harness this great source of dark energy in a positive manner”. Knowledge of the dark side of human character can transform your lives as it gives you the ability to see people for who they are, avoid the toxicity and harm that they might inflict upon you, and using your own dark side to your advantage.


What you witness in the moments of madness is the hidden, repressed and dark side of their character, what the great Swiss psychologist Carl Jung called “THE SHADOW”. The shadow comprises of all the traits and characteristics of people that they are born with, and are biologically programmed to do. However, as they grow up, due to the varied moral and social pressures, they have to suppress these traits as they are not socially acceptable at all. The darker the traits, the deeper and thicker is the shadow. Sometimes the repression of the shadow is so strong that it operates unconsciously so that even the person in question is not aware of it. You’ll notice when people reveal their dark side, their expressions, voice, and body language are so altered that it seems as if we are witnessing a whole new person. If you’re a RIVERDALE fan, you must remember the scene from the first season when Betty and Veronica take revenge on Chuck, who use to harass the girls. Just go back and watch that scene again in the context of Betty’s character. Dressed like a hooker with a black wig on, she was scolding and beating chuck like she was the baddest girl in the world. That was her shadow reining free and even Veronica, her best friend, couldn’t recognize her. That’s the intensity of the shadow when it surfaces.

The shadow normally lies buried but it surfaces in moments of stress, or if you are deeply hurt by someone you love. It also tends to emerge as people get older because it’s been so long that they are hiding their true selves. That’s why older people tend to behave more like children, as childhood is the time when the shadow develops and is most active. The signs of release of the shadow will be explained in detail in the second article.

Knowing about the shadow can transform your lives as it gives you the ability to see people for who they are and avoid the toxicity that they might inflict upon you.


The reasons for the development are quite easy to understand. We all know that human beings are not just sweet angelic creatures who only act nicely and perform good deeds. The world is littered with atrocities and wrongdoings of the human animal from individual to the global scale. These negative traits come from our very genetic makeup and our biology. Their force is extremely hard to control. As we all come into this world with our own baggage of evil genes, we start to express them in our childhood. During childhood we can easily express these ugly traits, as we are not aware of any concept of acceptable and unacceptable behavior, neither are we under any social pressures. Just see how manipulative, aggressive, and jealous a child can be. All he is concerned with is his own gratification, when he gets that, the world may go to hell. Similarly, children want to monopolize the attention of their parents, and in doing so they don’t even hesitate in hurting their siblings. We all have experienced such rivalries in our childhood.

But with all these negative energies inside us, we are unfortunately totally dependent on our parents. We need them for our most basic requirements like food and shelter. Therefore we quickly learn to align our behavior according to their nods. At this moment we are yearning for their approval. Unconsciously, parents are trying to prove themselves decent in front of others, as people see a reflection of them in us. These two conflicting forces, our uncontrollable instincts and the need to secure parents’ approval is the beginning when we start to develop the shadow.

As we grow older, the society with its sundry moral guidelines and social codes jumps in. We feel as pressure to be nice from our peers and teachers. It’s ok to show ambition but not very much of it, lest it appears antisocial. Yes you can be confident, but not authoritative. All these pressures and the need to fit in and be acceptable, forces us to suppress our dark side making the shadow even thicker.

The Price you pay

Thanks to all these pressures we become the perfect nice guys who are applauded for their good nature by parents and teachers alike. But unfortunately, we pay a price for this ultimate sacrifice. We secretly yearn for our childhood when we were free and experienced the full gamut of emotions. The wild energy that we possessed and the creativity that accompanied it. Sometimes our inside screams for that evil heaven. We are so attracted towards what’s forbidden socially and sexually. How else can you explain the collective human fascination with the most criminal and villainous characters created by cinema and literature. Why we mimic figures like The Godfather and why it’s the greatest movie of all time. Why do you think that great directors like Martin Scorsese are so fascinated by gangsters and financial fraudsters and make movies about them? And most importantly, why these movies become blockbusters and people try to mimic and adopt the style of these gangsters? You will find the glorification of these gangster figures in almost all the cinemas of the world.

But concealing this dark side is not easy, it’s a tiring task. It’s draining both physically and emotionally, therefore the shadow finds a way to release every now and then. The most common signs of release will be explained in the next article, which will make you an expert at decoding the dark sides of people.

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