A YOGI CHA BLOG
Hey there, Hector Projector
Hi, I’m Charlotte (Yogi Cha). I’m a yoga teacher with a degree in clinical psychology. I’ve always had a deep curiosity toward eastern and western approaches to understanding the mind, and the ming/body union. You’ll find me in the lovely Canggu Bali, nestled amongst coconuts, palm trees and sunshine 🥥🌴🌞
“Everything that is unconscious in ourselves is discovered in our neighbour and so we treat him accordingly” Jung
Our minds are incredible tools. We learn so fast and we adapt extremely efficiently to our environment.
That which we call in psychology a defence mechanism is a strategy we developed early on in life in order to adapt to our environment.
Like many quirks and ticks, we developed them so early that we have no idea that we have them and we can’t imagine what we would be without them. They are 100% integrated in our self image.
Our original wounding happens when we realise that we cannot belong while we are just the authentic person that we are. So we spilt ourselves. There’s the parts that we want to acknowledge because it’s being praised and there’s the part that we don’t want to own, the “darker” side. That would be any trait that makes other people feel uncomfortable. This means that in order to see them, we need be able to see clearly the realm of our direct environment of our first years. What we can see later on in life is that the more violent the splitting of the wholeness was, the harder the separation will be. The more traumatic the original experience of splitting was, the more we reject, suppress and deny later in life.
We must keep in mind when we continue this lecture, like any other on the ways of our minds; that everything we do is for our own best. For survival. For oneness. For coming home again.
Projection in this context means, just like in cinematography, the presentation of an image on a surface. When it’s humans and not films, this means an image in your head that is projected onto something outside of yourself, like another person for instance. Because we adapt so fast and our mind works with things that are familiar to it, we become very good at detecting people who have similar traits to what we already know, i.e. information already stored in our minds. We will then project things onto these people from the information we have associated with such traits.
It is a search for wholeness that drives us to this. There is a trace in the psyche of the original oneness experienced at birth. That memory is what keeps us moving, it is the root of our desire and it is why we recognise the feeling of coming home when it happens. This is why we are drawn to similarity in other people.
For instance in love, I will be drawn to traits in someone that I recognise from my father/mother and I will project all the qualities that I love onto this person. This is how we end up so in love with someone, even if we have never actually met them. We can then call this a positive projection. It’s the case of teenage love for pop idols. It’s the projection of beauty, power and success that has not been appropriated by the Ego.
So projection means: what I have in me that I don’t want to acknowledge, I will see very easily in you. The translation of this, we see every day in all kinds of relationships. However, we mainly see the negative projections.
Projection is not done consciously. It is therefore part of what Jung named the “shadow”. What happens is that something that really belongs to us, comes to the surface in a triggered situation. Since most people are not aware of such a part of themselves, they will brush this off as something external to them and that’s where the projection happens.
As I mentioned, the more violent the split, the harder we reject it.
This mean that the more we try to be good/perfect/without flaws… the bigger our shadow is.
The more we disown our shadow, the more we project.
The more we project, the more we see projection in others…
Viscous cycle of self help junkies and spiritual communities.
For instance, we love labelling personality traits, talking of empaths and narcissists to shortcut relationships. However, doing so means that we separate US from THEM. This in itself is a strategy of survival because it’s saying “this is not me”, “I would not be like this”. When the truth of the matter is, we all have quite a few personality traits within. People don’t come into our lives by hazard.
You cannot consciously see someone clearly until you are completely conscious of yourself. As long as you aren’t fully aware of yourself, you keep seeing others through the filters of our subconscious mind: I.e. according to our self image. Because that image is how we POSITION ourselves in relation to everyone and everything else. We need to learn to see the dance that projection has going between two people. It’s not a question of good or bad, we can’t really get away from projection because it’s a wonderful tool of our mind (using already stored knowledge to anticipate an event, learn from previous experiences and adapt our reaction accordingly)but we should instead tend towards a clearer awareness of ourselves.
So projection is a wonderful tool in your work of bringing the subconscious into the conscious mind. It’s a step on the pathway towards self realisation and it is a big part of your self image.
Projection of uncomfortable feelings is accompanied by anger. When we are triggered to get angry, especially when it seems “short tempered”, it means that there is a feeling of powerlessness behind it. So instead of focusing on what the other person did, what would really serve us would be to ask why we feel powerless. In what way are we not letting ourselves express what they are expressing (or what we make their expression mean to us), in what way does their action make us feel powerless? What is the hidden intention?
I would say that the beginning of this work is the acknowledgement that people are in your life because you chose for them to be there. The tendencies to distinct good and bad belongs to our Ego and is a way to push our shadow further and further into the darkness.
If you want to feel better you need to bring what is unconscious into the conscious. That is your work.
Start with looking around you. Who is in your life and what traits do you see in them?
What bothers you and what are you drawn to?
Remember the need of your psyche to find it’s way home. In what way are these traits in other people your way home?
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