Projection 101

By Don McCauley ICM PC CH Published 03/17/2007 | Religion
Projection 101

Our judgments judge us; and nothing reveals us (or) exposes our weaknesses more ingeniously than the attitude of pronouncing upon our fellows.

Paul Valery

On the very first day of any psychology class, in lesson one in book one, sentence one in every psychology textbook in any university on the planet, students learn about projection. If you have not been exposed to this concept, you will be now, for it is directly responsible for a great number of the problems you now seem to experience.

Projection is not just a theory. It is an absolute law of mind.

We project our own attributes onto everything we see. We first find something within ourselves and project this onto all the objects we encounter in the world. We do this with each other, with our mother, with our dog and with our Creator.

We pet ol Rover on the head. Rover starts to slobber. We take this response to mean that Rover is happy. Can Rover BE happy? We dont really know. Yet, we believe he is, for he has something on his face that, were it on our face, would be a smile. Perhaps the look on Rovers face means, hey I really gotta go! When Rover does finally go, we say he must have done it accidentally, as he is so excited and happy. We do this with all the animals on the earth. We believe them to be capable of our emotions and believe they are capable of the same feelings as ourselves. We do this with ALL the objects of perception we encounter.

It is a psychological given that all outward appearances begin as an inward condition. We ascribe what is inside us to everything outside of us.

We scold a child for some infraction of a rule. The child turns and says, Well, its your fault I did it!

This is projection in one of its simplest forms.

In one of its innocent forms, we see our own attributes in all things. In a more serious form, we use projection to keep ourselves safe.

For instance, we may be a cruel parent and we know it, way down deep inside, though we would be loathe to admit it. As we are walking through the mall, we spot another parent, berating and threatening to strike a child. We immediately notice, point it out, and begin to rant and rave about what an S.O.B. that guy is. We have found this within ourselves, but in the interest of feeling better, we SUBCONSCIOUSLY project it outside ourselves and attack another for it. This has the effect of making someone other than ourselves guilty. Thus, we are safe, as IT is out there and we have attacked it, thereby proving our own innocence.

In yet other forms, we seek inward happiness by looking outside. We watch TV commercials that present a lithe, sexy vixen smearing some new color, just invented, all over her recently injected lips. We just know if we can get that new color on our face, we would be far happier. After all, this would show everyone what type of person we are inside. So we pull out the checkbook and start dialing.

This is why makeup companies make so much money. They pretend to invent new colors. They really just find an existing color and give it a new name.

Or we watch the guy on the exercise machine telling us that we can have this body in less than 20 minutes per week. The man does NOT tell us that he just left the gym after spending 4 1/2 hours pumping huge amounts of free weights. But we want that body, so we believe it. We just know that, if we could look like that outside, other people would see just how beautiful we are inside. So we pull out the credit card and start dialing. This is why exercise machine manufacturers make so much money.

Cars. Boats. Houses. All are the same.

Good or bad can be projected outward. We shall not endeavor to cover this subject in detail now, as this would be beyond the scope of this tiny book. It will suffice to say that everyone necessarily does it, as it IS a law of mind. You would do well to study this a bit further if you wish to take the quicker road to happiness.

For now, though, we will apply the law of projection to how it creates problems.

Think of the mind as a movie projector. The mind decides what type of movie it will watch. It then projects that movie onto the blank screen that is the world. The mind then watches the movie and swears to goodness that, by golly, things are just the way the mind knew that they would be. Small wonder.

This is circular reasoning that borders squarely on insanity. But there is simply no getting around it. You WILL see what you WANT to see. But, for our purposes here, you must understand clearly that DECIDING WHAT YOU WILL SEE COMES FIRST, not the other way around.

Projection is responsible for everything you perceive. Without exception.

Please circle what you feel to be the correct answer to the following:

Example A:

Man A pulls out a gun and shoots Man B for no reason, killing him instantly.

This is:

a. a crime            b. justifiable            c. commendable            d. sad               e. Unknown

Example B:

Man A pulls out a gun and shoots Man B, killing him instantly. This time, though, Man B had a knife and was attempting to rob Man A.

This is:

a. a crime            b. justifiable            c. commendable            d. sad               e. Unknown

Example C:

Man A pulls out a gun and shoots Man B, killing him instantly. Man B was an invader from another country and Man A was a member of the US Armed Forces. 

This is:

a. a crime            b. justifiable            c. commendable            d. sad               e. Unknown

Example D:

Man A pulls out a gun and shoots Man B, killing him instantly. Man A was a hunter and believed that Man B was a white-tailed deer. 

This is:

a. a crime            b. justifiable            c. commendable            d. sad               e. Unknown

Example E:

Man A pulls out a gun and shoots Man B, killing him instantly. Man A was a hunter and believed that Man B was a white-tailed deer. So he says. Everyone knows the two have been feuding for years.

This is:

a. a crime            b. justifiable            c. commendable            d. sad               e. Unknown

Yes, yes I know. These are extreme examples, but sometimes, extreme examples are the best of teaching aids. In every case, the purely physical act was the same. But that same act could be a crime, justifiable, commendable, sad or just plain unknown. Nowhere is this insanity more evident than when we, in the name of justice, punish the killer by killing the killer. This we call justice.

Accept now the fact that you write your own meaning upon everything you experience.

Not only do you do it in these types of extreme situations, you do this with everything you experience WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

Here is truth.

If you look for sadness, grief and despair in the world, you will find it everywhere. If you look for happiness, joy and contentment in the world, you will also find those everywhere. So, which is the world? It is both. And it is neither. Joy and sadness are both found everywhere. Which would you see?

You decide IN ADVANCE what you will find and you always find it. This is because YOU have projected it onto the blank screen that is the world. And now, be it happiness or horror, you watch your own movie. 

You create a great many of your own problems. This seems a little disheartening at first, until you accept the fact that the problems you have created are the problems most easily solved. You control them. They do not control you. You can change the movie, if you really wish to do so.

Ask any psychologist. They understand this about you. To the psychologist, this is elementary. This is why THEY make so much money. This is why they give you those little inkblot tests. What you see on the paper is what you believe you have inside you. This is also why, when you tell them about a problem, they immediately change the subject and ask you about something that does not seem to be related to your problem at all.

You believe that something out there can fix your in here.  The answer is not out there. The answer is in here. This is why the proverbial Kingdom of Heaven is within you. (Do not ask the psychologist about this one).

No object, whether person, place or thing, has any intrinsic meaning. It is only the meaning you project upon the object that holds true for you.

Certainly you have heard the old Is the glass half-empty or half-full? example. Lets do this quickly. I have a half a glass of wine in my hand.

The positive minded person says the glass is half-full.

The negative minded person says the glass is half empty.

But, there is a collector of fine glassware here. He has seen this type of glass before. It is priceless. He sees the wine not at all.

There is also a wine connoisseur here. He knows that this wine is about a 2 on a scale of 10. Terrible stuff.

Just then a man who has crossed the desert without a drop to drink for days enters the room. He does not care what is in the glass, nor does he care how full or empty it might be. He intends to drink it.

An alcoholic comes in next. His doctor has told him that he will die should he but take the tiniest sip of alcohol. He backs out the door.

End result? The glass of wine is:





Life giving.

Life ending.

In reality, it is all of these. And it is none of these. It is simply a glass with some liquid in it.

One object can also mean completely different things to one person or to groups of people in a shared projection. Man will kill to write his meanings on certain objects. Others will die to defend their own projections upon an object. Pick up any newspaper and behold the truth in this.

To repeat, you decide, in advance, what you will see in any object. Subconsciously, you first look inside, see what is there, and then project this onto the world outside.

Look out now upon the world and see what you have created!

This is how you really see yourself.