The ego’s distorted use of extension, which seems to reverse cause and effect. The main defense of the separation, what keeps it going (see T-6.II.1:5). In extension, an idea goes forth from our mind without leaving it, thus linking our mind to the minds we extend to. In projection, we try to throw an idea out of our mind onto a supposedly external world. This makes the idea appear to be outside us, rather than inside. Being outside, the idea now appears to be objectively real; not our own effect, but an independent cause with power over us. In this way, the pain we gave ourselves now seems given to us by others (see T-7.VII.8-9). Projection thus masks the very law it applies: that it is our own thoughts that cause our perceptions and experience (see projection makes perception).
- In the separation, we projected our belief in separateness outward, thus making the world. A world of separation now appeared to be an objective, real cause with power over us, rather than our own illusory projection (see T-18.I.5-6).
- We now use projection to try to throw outside of us our feelings of guilt. This takes the form of blaming others. Yet this simply causes more guilt, and produces a perception in which the world seems poised to take vengeance on us for our attack on it (see W-pI.22.1). In other words, we fear that our projections will return to our mind (see T-7.VIII.2-3). Projection, then, is an ego device not to rid us of guilt, but to compound guilt and increase fear.
- The figures we see in the world, which the Course calls dream figures, seem to be acting independently of us and often against our interests. However, they are really animated by our own disowned thoughts, which we don’t want to admit are inside of us, but prefer to see as outside of us and acting on us.
- Projection produces our fear of God (along with such related beliefs as the traditional interpretation of the crucifixion; see T-3.I.3:8). We project onto God our belief that we are guilty, making it appear that He believes in our guilt, too, and wants to punish us for it. We think He accomplishes this through the attacks and calamities visited on us by the world (see W-pI.153.7:3).