Projection, Part 1: Summary of a Class Presentation

I”ve been thinking about the class a lot since Thursday. I know it’s been a few days since, but I hope we can still have some discussion about it. Here’s a quick summary

We all carry some version of the following perception of self and world:

We are a good self, well-intentioned, doing our best, trying hard to be good.

We look out on a world that is:

· separate from us.
· different from us
· worse than us
· guilty
· antagonistic to us
· causing our loss
· causing the lovelessness within us
· causing us to attack in self-defense

Overall, then, there is a split between good self and bad world, in which the bad world is against us, hurting us, and constantly chipping away at our goodness, until it forces us to feel and behave like it.

The point of the class was that this entire perception of the relationship between self and world is exactly what would be expected if we were employing the defense mechanism of projection.

The idea is that we have within us what I called an “evil will” (or “evil” will), a will that is driven to do harm for its own pleasure.

This massively conflicts with our true nature as pure, holy, even divine.

So we are impelled to deny the evil will and then we project it outward, seeing it outside of us in an effort to convince ourselves it is outside of us. This explains everything I just reviewed:

· We now seem good because our evil will appears to be not in us.
· Others seem separate because we have placed on them that which we want to seem external to us.
· Others seem different because they apparently possess the evil will, while we do not.
· Others seem worse than us for this same reason.
· Others seem guilty for this same reason.
· Others seem against us because we see that evil will wanting to do to us what we wanted it to do to them.
· Others seem to be taking things from us because we see in them the internal will that actually threw away those things.
· Others seem to cause the lovelessness in us because that was really caused internally by our own evil will, the will that we have projected onto them.
· Others seem to cause us to attack in self-defense for the same reason—we see in them the internal will that is the real cause of our attacks.

The point is that our entire perception of self and world is exactly what would be expected if it was the product of projection.

If we combine this with the fact that that entire perception is already highly suspect—what are the odds of us being the real good guy in a bad world?—then we are left with the very real possibility that projection has generated our entire perception of self and world.

We’ll finish this topic this coming Thursday.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like Part 2!
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