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About Yueya

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    月牙 yuèyá (Crescent Moon)

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  1. Something I wrote many years ago: Closeness In stillness I sit refining emptiness I have no face I'm empty passivity The breath comes and goes Sometimes she comes and sits with me An occasional visitor My ephemeral friend, just watching She comes and goes at will Time and space don't restrain her She expresses no judgement One day she enters silently Like putting on her clothes She steps into my body She feels her way through Legs, hips, genitals, voice, consciousness Her energies throughout mine She embodies herself She flexes a little What does she feel? She expresses no judgement She changes me reveals the female from the inside With me, always there, day and night My whole being revealed My body shared No she's not a goddess Just a friend who knows How to travel outside her body Then spirit guides spoke And said she cannot stay She must leave to find herself The same for me, not easy I asked why she seems so sad They said she's a long way from home She comes from another realm Here on earth her path different from mine We cannot help each other more Her presence fades I feel a gentle longing I hope she gained as much as me In the days we walked around feeling complete, in bliss, like lovers we showed each other everything
  2. Other people's alarm bells are ringing. For instance I'm currenting reading Peter Kingsley, Catafalque. Even if you're not familiar with Jung's work, I think you'd relate to the general message of this book: ".....But this book also tells a different story—a story of repeated manipulation and exploitation, of devastation of the sacred, of catastrophic losses caused by egotism and the indiscriminate use of ‘rationality’, which is a story that started long ago in ancient Athens and now is approaching its tragic conclusion. The lament over the death of western culture isn’t Jung’s lament, or Kingsley’s. It’s the howling of nature itself, reminding us of our sacred roots and of our ultimate responsibility as human beings.” I'd strongly suggest you take action yourself on what you feel. To do nothing is bound to adversely affect your mental, physical and spiritual health. Honour that inner voice or suffer a slow death of your soul! It's of little use just getting agreement on social media and leaving it at that. However I can offer no suggestions as to what you should do. That's for you to find. For me, it's a total lifestyle thing that I've felt my way into over a number of decades. It encompasses both my inner an outer life, underpinned by my ongoing personal journey of reconnection with the sacred.
  3. INFERNO !

    Here’s a news article about how my neighbourhood of Nymboida is faring post the horrendous November 2019 fires: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-08/bushfire-affected-nymboida-isnt-ready-for-tourists-yet/12326924
  4. Forum member "spotless". Missing messages.

    A couple of quotations from Jung. I know these insights will annoy all parties involved in heated disputation on this forum, but I’m hoping they will be potentially helpful because most people here value inner growth. “But anyone who can stand the animosity of his fellows without being infected by it, and is capable at the same time of examining it critically, cannot help discovering that they are possessed. It is, however, more advantageous and more to the point to subject to the most rigorous scrutiny one’s own moods and their changing influence on one’s personality. To know where the other person makes a mistake is of little value. It only becomes interesting when you know where you make the mistake, for then you can do something about it. What we can improve in others is of doubtful utility as a rule, if, indeed, it has any effect at all.” “Today humanity, as never before, is split into two apparently irreconcilable halves. The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate. That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposing halves.” Jung does not offer any quick fixes for this. I know from personal experience recognising some of these opposites within me (aspects of my shadow self) is hugely confronting. The last major revelation that life forced me to acknowledge about myself took me over a decade to work through. It tore me apart. I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. Yet working through it has proved enormously enriching for me. What Jung does say is that ‘wholeness’ means recognising these warring forces within oneself and voluntarily taking on the burden. Otherwise, if one is destined to descend into his deep pit of inner knowing, it will catch one unawares. He says it’s better to go about it with precautions, rather than falling backwards into a hole. I definitely fell backward into this hole. I’ll give a very simple example of what I mean by projecting one’s shadow: In the current ‘China’ discussion, a couple of people speaking out the loudest against the totalitarianism of the CCP because of its liquidating of dissent are adamant that two Dao Bum members who oppose them should be banned. Although they abhor the liquidating of dissent when others do it, they are seemingly unconscious of their own similar totalitarian desires. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with developing and voicing moral judgement, just be aware that all we humans have the same underlying psyche. These problems don’t only exist out there in others, they originate with our own inner makeup. We are all like this. Jung made the observation that our human psyche is energised by a complex array of opposing forces. He sees our psyche as a system of energy flows (qi flows), and energies can only flow where there’s polar difference. (In writing this post I'm aware that I'm taking on some of the burden of Dao Bums disputation and possibly the animosity of certain members. It's something I do willingly, though not without reluctance, because I value this site. Also I'm interested to see how my perspective is received. That way I potentially gain new insight into myself.)
  5. Mahayana vs Theravada

    Yeah, me too. I only referenced it to give some overview of the topic as contemporarily understood.
  6. Mahayana vs Theravada

    I very much agree with all you've written except the part I've highlighted in bold. While that might be a valid observation for much of contemporary psychology, it’s only a small aspect of insight into the great mystery of our human psyche. It certainly doesn’t apply to Jung. He calls psychology that deals with adjustment to the outer world external psychology, whereas his focus was on inner psychology. Hence, anyone who practises introspection in any form is involved in inner psychology. However, insight into Jung’s far reaching perspective is outside the intent of this topic. It’s something for anyone interested in Jung to pursue. BTW. There’s an entry on Wikipedia that explores Buddhism and psychology. Edit to add some information on Jung's meaning of the word 'psyche' : “The psyche is the greatest of all cosmic wonders and the “sin qua non” [indispensable ingredient] of the world as an object. It is in the highest degree odd that Western man, with but very few - and ever fewer - exceptions, apparently pays so little regard to this fact. Swamped by the knowledge of external objects, the subject of all knowledge [the psyche] has been temporarily eclipsed to the point of seeming nonexistence.” -- Carl Jung Jung understands psyche as the totality of all psychic processes, conscious as well as unconscious. He uses the term ‘psyche’ rather than ‘mind’, since mind is used in common parlance to refer to the aspects of mental functioning which are conscious. Jung maintained that the psyche is a self-regulating system (like the body). For Jung, the psyche strives to maintain a balance between opposing qualities while at the same time actively seeking its own development or as he called it, individuation.
  7. Mahayana vs Theravada

    A side note to your otherwise insightful commentary: You’re making a straw man of Jung. At the heart of Jung’s project is his attempt to reconnect our religious traditions with the direct experiences of the numinous that shaped them. His personal experiential connection goes right back to ancient Western shamanism. From my reading of your posts, I would think there’s much commonality between Jung’s insights and your own evolving perspective. (Or am I completely misinterpreting you?) Here’s Peter Kingsley, a classics scholar whose special interest is in the mystery and magic of ancient Greek culture, talking with Jungian analyst, Murray Stein:
  8. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 1

    I like Dawei's previously expressed insight that Laozi's message is all here in seed form in verse one. Here’s an account by a Daoist forest hermit who lived on Mount Heng (Hengshan) Hunan Province in the 1930’s, as told by John Blofeld in his book, My Journey in Mystic China. I was thinking of adding it to my recent topic on Self-realisation because of basic similarities to Jung’s message. (Furthermore, it echoes ancient teachings found amongst all the major mystical traditions of the world.) But as it references lines from the first chapter of the Daodejing, I think it’s very relevant to this discussion. And it gives an excellent overview of actual Daoist practice from this particular lineage...... I often noticed that among the Taoist adepts one encountered in the big cities of China, there were very few who actually cultivated their practice to a high degree of refinement. Some were just charlatans in robes who made a living cheating gullible men and women. But the Taoists one met in the mountain forests were mostly pure and diligent practitioners of the Way. That their hair tied up in topknots, their long beards, their ancient style robes, and their extremely courteous manners were matters of external appearance all goes without saying. But as genuine adepts who cultivated the deepest practices, their bright eyes sparkling with laughter, their spirit of self-presence and immutable sense of calm, their healthy and supple bodies, and their exemplary behavior, all provided ample proof of the efficacy of their "internal arts." The goals of cultivating the internal arts were to prolong life, promote health, preserve youth, nurture vitality, and enhance awareness. Attaining all of these goals is not easy, but diligent practitioners are able to achieve most of them. Cultivating the internal arts has nothing to do with superstition, but rather involves yoga [qigong, neigong and neidan], meditation, and inner focus. Whenever I visited the famous mountains, I didn't like to stay at the well-known monasteries, but preferred instead to lodge at the most remotely isolated places. That's because Taoist adepts and Buddhist monks who are truly devoted to self-cultivation always avoid places frequented by crowds of visitors. The day I climbed up to the Southern Peak of the mountain, I found a small hermitage located far from the mountain trail to spend the night. Among the three or four hermits living there, only one came out to greet me. The others were secluded in retreat for a few days, sitting in silent meditation from morning till night. The one who greeted me was a friendly middle-aged adept, and the two of us stayed up talking till dawn for two nights in a row. I asked him to explain the basic foundation of Taoist teachings, and he wrote down for me a few lines from the Tao Teh Ching [Daodejing]: “‘Nonexistence' is the origin of Heaven and Earth, `Existence' is the mother of all phenomena. These two have the same source but different names." After writing this down, he explained the meaning with great clarity. To this day I still recall the joyful expresses expression on his face as he spoke, and the gaze of deep compassion in his eyes. As I recall it, this is the basic meaning of what he said: `Nonexistence’ refers to the intrinsically formless essence of the nature of Tao. `Existence’ refers to the form of the myriad phenomena in the manifest universe. Heaven and Earth arise from the formless essence of Tao nature, which has no beginning and no end. Although all forms are impermanent, the basic essence is nevertheless indestructible. Superficially, these two aspects seem to be opposites, but fundamentally there is not the slightest difference between them. Therefore, all forms are essentially inseparable from the formless nature of Tao, human beings are inseparable from Tao, and Tao is inseparable from human beings. The great Tao is infinite, and nothing obstructs or limits it. All living things share the essential nature of Tao, so how could they have any limitations? Adepts who have realized the Tao understand this truth and have no fear when death approaches. Taoist adepts clearly know that the essential nature of Self is identical with the essential nature of Tao, that they are one and the same, and that the real Self is thus immortal. The only thing that dies is the physical form of this body. In reality, the physical body is just like a little ripple rising on the surface of a lake, appearing for a brief moment then disappeared again. Why should anyone wish to cling to such an ephemeral phenomenon? While we are still alive in this world, we should spend our time and energy cultivating Self-Presence. As death approaches, we should maintain our Self-Presence, and remain fully conscious of the fact that the physical body is not worth clinging to and that we should therefore let it go. Our Self nature is inseparable from Tao nature and can therefore never be destroyed. All men and women who have attained this realization may be regarded as enlightened sages. Whenever they encounter pleasurable things, although they clearly understand that they are only ephemeral illusions, they may still enjoy them fully in the moment, then let them pass. Similarly, when they encounter calamities, they recognise them as no different from dreams, and therefore face them without concern. The ability to maintain stable peace of mind on the basis of this viewpoint may be regarded as the attainment of the first stage of Taoist self-cultivation. Many years ago, when I was together with elder brother Yuan-ruo, I heard him explain the Buddhist teaching that “all sentient beings are of a single Mind" (or "one basic nature"), and the meaning of this idea is exactly the same as the Taoist precept.
  9. “Self-realization is a word that is being used today by various psychological schools, for the most part in a way based loosely on Jung's concept of individuation. Looking closely, we see, however, that they are using it in a different sense from Jung's, namely, in the sense of discovering a certain ego1 identity. Such an identity, as we know, arises through the ego's becoming more continuous and stable. The ego then knows something more about itself. Jung, by contrast, meant something entirely different, namely, consciously discovering and entering into relationship with another psychic content, which, drawing upon the Upanishads, she calls the Self 2. In this case also, a more continuous and stable ego identity develops, but of a rather different sort. It is less egocentric and has more human kindness. Here the ego does not so much realize itself, but rather helps the Self toward realization.” Notes: 1. Jung uses the term ‘ego’ purely to refer to our individual centre of consciousness. His usage has no pejorative inference such as the more popular use of the word to mean an inflated feeling of pride and superiority to others. 2. For an analysis of the parallels between Jung’s concept of “Self” with atman of the Gita and anatta of the Dhammapada see: http://www.madhubazazwangu.com/2010/08/jungs-self-hindu-atman-and-buddhist-anatta/ The Jungian school emphasises that the ego must be strong enough to withstand an encounter with Self. Hence, for some, strengthening the ego is a very necessary part of the work. For others who habitually and aggressively defend their ego a different approach is needed. Such an aggressive/defensive attitude is most often not indicative of a strong ego but rather a symptom of a weak ego. That's very much how I was when I was younger, hence my path to better psychological health has been long and slow. But now I'm at the stage where my focus is very much on allowing Self-development in the Jungian sense. This attitude means I'm increasingly aware of the many opposing forces I have to contend with within myself. Hence I tend to stay clear of battles with other people, or else, at least, use them as reflections to gain insight into otherwise hidden aspects of my own psyche. “The main process of inner development takes place between the ego and the Self—or, in old-fashioned language, the image of God within one. Others and their opinions have no business there. It even comes to a point where even the analyst as one's partner is too much. Ultimately, as Jung points out, a person has to "be alone if he is to find out what it is that bears him when he cannot bear himself anymore. Only this experience can give him an indestructible foundation."" Such an attitude has nothing at all to do with narcissism or with egoistic individualism. These are no more than a preoccupation on the part of the ego with "the dear ego, not the Self, which is ultimately an inner mystery of the individual. The relationship between a person and the Self is not egoistic, far from it—a person can never really relate properly to other people until they have found themselves, that is, his or her Self. All the same, Jung admitted that his position was one-sided. In reality, the extraverted path of social adaptation and the introverted path of relationship to the Self constitute a pair of complementary opposites, both justified and yet at the same time exclusive of each other. But under the pressure of overpopulation and increasing urbanization, and with the influence of materialism and of the extraverted orientation of most psychological schools, we are in great danger of focusing on just the one pole and thus of crushing the individual in his uniqueness. Failing to take account of this could bring an unconscious counterreaction marked by unrestrained egoism and, in the extreme case, even asocial criminality. For this reason, according to Jung's view, the time has come to pay more heed to the inner path of the individual on the way to the Self. For only she who is anchored in the Self can truly act ethically. Only such a person will no longer uncritically follow the currents of fashions and fads and political "isms." She can then also perceive the hand of God amid all the slime and muck of life—but only if she takes a closer look.” (The sections within quotation marks are adapted from Marie-Louise von Franz’s essay, Self-realization in the individual therapy of C G Jung.)
  10. What counts as Idolatry to you?

    My comment is a little tangential to this excellent discussion, but is meant with total seriousness: In our contemporary society, few people actually believe in these religious idols and the gods they represent. Genuine awe in the presence of the numinous is a very much a minority experience. Instead, I would suggest that the idolisation of one’s own ego is now pervasive. This religion has a massive lay following and many prominent priests from all walks of public life. But the undisputed high priest is surely none other than your American president.
  11. Everyone post some favorite quotes!

    “But anyone who can stand the animosity of his fellows without being infected by it, and is capable at the same time of examining it critically, cannot help discovering that they are possessed. It is, however, more advantageous and more to the point to subject to the most rigorous scrutiny one’s own moods and their changing influence on one’s personality. To know where the other person makes a mistake is of little value. It only becomes interesting when you know where you make the mistake, for then you can do something about it. What we can improve in others is of doubtful utility as a rule, if, indeed, it has any effect at all.” (C.G.Jung CW9)
  12. Dust on the mirror

    On the alchemical path the mud and dust are the primary materials for the inner work. For me, it's not about removing mental and emotional obstructions, or at least it's not about viewing them solely as obstructions. Rather, they have a dual nature. Viewed with acceptance they are my personal gateways into the Self. Within me their nature has slowly transmuted over time with a combination of xing and ming cultivation......Decades of inner work....Of always failing when operating with my ego in charge....Trial and error....Patience and humility.....A slow surrender to the wisdom of Spirit, of mind of Dao, of God. (I write as someone who's very much a work in progress. I relate to this motto from Western alchemy: "A warring peace, a sweet wound, a mild evil.")
  13. INFERNO !

    Although that road is nearby. I haven't needed to go that way so I can only relay what I've heard. It was closed for a couple of months after the fire because some of the small bridges were burnt out. They made temporary bypasses and got the road open again in January. Then the flooding caused by the massive February rains knocked out those temporary bypasses. (In Nymboida we had well over 600mm of rain in Feb, more than 100mm greater than the previous Feb record set in 1928. Total so far this year is about 850mm. By way of comparison in 2019 the year's total rainfall was 450mm, the driest year since 1915.) I've been flooded in on a few occasions for several days at a time this last month with Oakey Creek down the road a raging torrent across the causeway. A neighbour who lost his house in the November fire managed to get his expensive and uninsured Jeep swept away trying to cross it in full flood a few weeks ago. Fortunately he and his wife got out OK but the car is a write-off from water damage. The forest is looking very green here too but in that strange way you describe. Plenty of ground cover and growth down low but little up top. Some tree species have proved very fire resilient, not os others. I have hundreds of dead trees on my place, including some of my favourites. Much learning for me about detachment and letting nature take its own course from experiencing these extreme events.
  14. Projection

    Much in that essay of interest to anyone on a spiritual path. I like the Jungian perspective because, as Jung wrote, "The main interest of my work is not concerned with the treatment of neuroses but rather with the approach to the numinous. But the fact is that the approach to the numinous is the real therapy and inasmuch as you attain to the numinous experiences, you are released from the curse of pathology." Here's a passage relevant to some of the more heated exchanges on this forum: The most blatant manifestation of projections is in self-righteous political convictions—"isms"—and in passionately advocated theories, such as scientific preconceptions. As soon as tolerance and humour disappear, we can presume that projections have entered the picture. When we notice that someone is reacting with disproportionate affectivity in a discussion and begins to give in to the temptation to discredit his opponent, there are grounds for suspecting that he is projecting something on the opponent or his theory. If we have the useful habit of paying attention to our dreams, we will see that we often dream about such opponents. This gives us the signal: "Something about this opponent lies within myself." Even if only others are projecting, it is difficult not to be drawn in ourselves. Since affects and emotions are extremely contagious, it requires tremendous courage not to lose our level-headedness in group situations, as every group moderator or discussion-group leader knows.
  15. Projection

    On the topic "Anger as Power" @steve wrote: "It's fascinating to see just how much we tend to project of ourselves, imaging it's coming from outside. Endlessly entertaining, whether I observe myself doing it or others. Clearly some do it more obviously than others but when we are sensitive enough we can see just how pervasive it really is." Very true. Gaining insight into projection is an ongoing core aspect of my personal cultivation. And your observation of how pervasive it really is reminded me of this essay by Marie-Louise von Franz: PROJECTION and its Relationship to Illness and Psychic Maturation DEFINITION OF PROJECTION The depth psychologies of Sigmund Freud and of C. G. Jung have in common the use of the expression projection, on, but each uses it with a different meaning. In Freud's view, projection is a matter of a neurotic person's ridding himself of an emotional conflict by shifting it onto something else as the intended object. For example, a daughter transfers her incestuous desire to sleep with her father onto a father figure like a doctor or minister. In Jung's view, however, this is only one of many possibilities. According to Jung, all psychic contents of which we are not yet conscious appear in projected form as the supposed properties of outer objects. Projection, from this point of view, is a displacement, occurring unintentionally and unconsciously, that is, without being noticed, of a subjective psychic content onto an outer object.' In this process, the unconscious of the projector does not as a rule pick just any object at all but rather one that has some or even a great deal of the character of the projected property. Jung speaks of a "hook" in the object on which the projector hangs his projection like a coat. Quite often—here Freud and Jung are in agreement—projections contain unprocessed false characterizations stemming from early childhood. Sons or daughters who have experienced their father as authoritarian (whether he really was or not) exhibit the tendency to project on all fatherly authorities—such as a teacher, a minister, a doctor, a boss, the state, and indeed even the God image—the negative property "authoritarian" and to react to them in a correspondingly defensive fashion. That which is projected, however, when examined more closely, is not at all merely a memory image of the father but represents the authoritarian tendency of the son himself or the daughter herself. They themselves unconsciously behave tyrannically without noticing it, but are self-righteously convinced that they are constantly encountering tyrants in the outer world; someone they are relating with has only to provide them with a trace of self-assertiveness or of a domineering quality to use as a hook. Such projections, which are based on the first childhood experiences of father and mother, are particularly stubborn. Male doctors, for example, always have to reckon with a negative or positive father complex in their patients. Female doctors, on the other hand, have to deal with projections of the mother image. Social workers, teachers, and psychotherapists experience this play of projections every day. It is not only one's own negative properties that are projected (although this occurs more frequently, since one is less likely to acknowledge one's negative properties than one's good ones); the positive in us that remains unconscious can also be projected. This brings about love in the form of unrealistic, intoxicated fascination that completely overlooks the reality of the partner. PROJECTION AS AN ADJUSTMENTAL DISTURBANCE It is essentially impossible to determine what, of everything we feel, sense, think, and perceive concerning outer objects and people, is "objectively" there and what is not. From the Eastern point of view, the whole of the external world is ultimately maya, a world of projections manufactured by our unconscious vital energy (shakti). Western science is beginning to realize more and more that it is unable to grasp reality "in itself" at all, but can only develop mental models of it. In this sense, the whole world is actually a projection. But on the practical level of everyday life, it is best to speak of projections only after a person's mentally represented image or judgment regarding an object of the external world clearly and obtrusively disturbs his adjustment. This is a signal that the person in question should reflect and perceive that that which so confusingly fascinates him on the outside, either in a positive or a negative fashion, is within himself. In everyday life the disturbance generally expresses itself as an excessively strong affect or an exaggerated emotion (love, hate, rapture, fanaticism, etc.) or as an illusion or false assertion regularly noticed by other people that is not susceptible to simply being corrected like an ordinary mistake. But what is an "excessively strong" affect? Italians, for example, intentionally cultivate dramatic emotions. The English and Buddhists suppress even the affectivity that seems normal to others. Who is to decide what is exaggerated and what is not? In our case what usually decides in practice is so-called good common sense. However, ultimately it is a problem of evaluation, for which until now there have been no objective scientific criteria. For this reason, one should be very careful in one's application of the concept of projection. THE ARCHAIC IDENTIFICATION In reality we are just beginning today to wake up in relation to this problem. From the historical point of view, the original condition was one in which the inner and outer worlds were not sharply distinguished, that is, subject and object were to a great extent identified with each other. Jung calls this the archaic identity. The primitive consciousness, like that of children, initially lives in a stream of events in which events in the environment and the inner world are not distinguished, or only unclearly distinguished.' This is also our normal state, which is interrupted only from time to time when our conscious ego reflects. In our case as well, the continuity of ego consciousness is quite relative. Who, for example, goes so far as to reflect over whether the image that he or she has of a spouse is accurate, unless he or she is forced to by some disturbance in the relationship? Basically we are still bound to our environment by a whole system of projections; in fact, the projections even serve as the actual bridge between the individual and the external world and other people. The projections bring about the play of unconscious sympathy and antipathy, participation or rejection, through which our whole life is shaped. Only when our psychic energy for some reason withdraws from these projections, for example, when our love changes to rejection or our hate begins to seem ludicrous even to ourselves —only at that point is the time ripe, and the opportunity for reflection given, for us to acknowledge the hitherto unconscious projection. Here it is of crucial importance not merely to think that we have deceived ourselves but in addition to search until we have found in ourselves, very concretely and in terms of its actual practical effects, the element that has hitherto fascinated us in the outer world. For example, we hate someone because of his lying. It is not enough to think, "I myself lie sometimes"; rather we have to note that "on such and such occasions, I have lied in exactly the same style as the detested Mr. X!" When we acknowledge something like this, not only "academically" but in a real way, it generally causes a shock that brings in its wake a positive change in our personality, a movement toward maturation. Acknowledgement of negative projections as in the above example brings moral differentiation, for now the person in question must come to terms with his lying problem. Acknowledgment of positive projections usually means further responsibility for us: instead of boundlessly admiring Mr. X for his intelligence, I will now have to work my own brain a bit harder! Or instead of always vainly expecting warmth from other people outside me, I will have to learn to express more emotional warmth to myself. It is understandable that most people do not willingly acknowledge their projections. The most blatant manifestation of projections is in self-righteous political convictions—"isms"—and in passionately advocated theories, such as scientific preconceptions. As soon as tolerance and humour disappear, we can presume that projections have entered the picture. When we notice that someone is reacting with disproportionate affectivity in a discussion and begins to give in to the temptation to discredit his opponent, there are grounds for suspecting that he is projecting something on the opponent or his theory. If we have the useful habit of paying attention to our dreams, we will see that we often dream about such opponents. This gives us the signal: "Something about this opponent lies within myself." Even if only others are projecting, it is difficult not to be drawn in ourselves. Since affects and emotions are extremely contagious, it requires tremendous courage not to lose our level-headedness in group situations, as every group moderator or discussion-group leader knows. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PROJECTION AND ILLNESS The Sender In every process of projection, there is a sender, that is, the one who projects something onto someone else, and a receiver, the one on whom something is projected. Interestingly enough, these two show up as two highly important factors in the history of medicine. Sending is found in the conception widespread among native peoples of sickness projectiles, a magic arrow or some other, usually pointed missile that makes the person it hits sick.' A god, demon, or an evil person shoots such magic "points" at people. Extracting the projectile causes the victim to be healed. In the Old Testament, God himself shoots such arrows (Job 6:4): "For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me." Or there are invisible demonic powers (Psalm 9 1): "Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday." Among ordinary people, it is usually venomous slander that is experienced as such arrows. (Cf. Jeremiah 9:3,8; Psalm 64:4.) We might also note the relationship of the German word Krankheit, meaning "illness," and kranken, meaning "to wound emotionally." We still speak today of "barbs" and "pointed remarks." In India the word salya means "arrowhead," "thorn," or "splinter," and of the doctor who removes such arrows from the bodies of sick people, it is said that he functions "like a judge who removes the thorn of injustice from a trial." The thorn is obviously something like a bad affect that has created a legal uncertainty. Psychiatrists and psychologists know that pointed or sharp forms in patients' drawings and paintings represent destructive impulses. The positive projection, too, is a kind of arrow, which is why, for example, the god Amor and the Hindu god of love, Kama, carry bows and arrows. Buddha described the desire of love as "an arrow that digs savagely into the flesh." That it is more rarely evil people and more often gods or demons who send these arrows of illness is in agreement with the observations of modern psychologists that projections are not enacted by us, but happen unconsciously; that is, that they emanate from complexes or archetypes of the unconscious. (Demons = complexes; gods = archetypal images.) The Greek philosopher Democritus believed that the whole atmosphere was full of eidolo (images) or dionoetikai phantasiai (imagined ideas), which hover about us in dreams but also affect us during the day. "Only a subtle mind can distinguish them; ordinary people confuse them with objects of the external world."' Projection of one's own not consciously realized psychic contents brings about in the sender a "loss of soul," one of the most feared illnesses among native peoples. This makes one apathetic, depressive, or susceptible to the compulsive thrall of people outside one. The Receiver The person onto whom someone else projects something is also affected—in the primitive view, he is hit by an arrow. If the receiver has a weak ego consciousness (as children do, for example), he will be easily influenced to act out what has been projected onto him. In the primitive view, this means that he is possessed. We feel compelled to relate to someone else's infatuation toward us, or we involuntarily do the evil thing to the enemy that he is expecting from us on the basis of his projection. Children often act out the unconscious shadow side of their parents—that which is hidden in them but is not consciously realized. That explains the known phenomenon that children of especially well-behaved parents often do particularly devilish things. "Preacher's children and miller's cow, seldom flourish anyhow," as the proverb says. WITHDRAWAL OF THE PROJECTION C. G. Jung distinguished five stages in the withdrawal of a projection: 1. The initial situation is the archaic identification. An inner psychic content is experienced completely as the behavior of an outer object; for example, one might believe one has been bewitched by a stone. 2. The stone itself is distinguished from the bewitching element, and the latter is described as an evil "spirit" in the stone. 3. A judgement is made as to whether this spirit is good or evil. 4. The spirit is declared to be an illusion. S. One asks the question "What could have led to this illusion?" and recognizes it, not as something outwardly real, yet as an inner psychic reality, and one attempts to integrate this. Many problems in the comparative history of religions and in the formation of academic hypotheses can be cleared up through seeing things as ordered in these stages: archaic identification, animism, moral evaluation of a culture's own gods (as in the case of the ancient Greeks), enlightenment, recognition of a psychic reality. People seem to experience strong resistance against any and all progress within these five stages, but especially against progress in the last, the fifth stage. This is based on the fact that any withdrawal of a projection lays a burden on the reflecting person. He becomes responsible for a piece of his psyche that he has hitherto regarded in an unburdened fashion as not being part of him. A psychotherapist must therefore painstakingly weigh how much he can ask a patient or partner to acknowledge. The ego consciousness is like a fisherman in a small or large boat; it can only accommodate as many fish (unconscious contents) on its boat as will not make it sink. Sometimes one is compelled to permit the analysand to continue to believe in evil spirits or people who are persecuting him, because the acknowledgment that he has this devil within himself would literally kill him. But even people with the greatest capacity for acknowledgment have their limits. So-called archetypal complexes (pictured as God or gods) cannot be integrated at all, because otherwise they would overexpand the personality in a way tantamount to an inflation (conceit, delusions of grandeur). It is wiser to understand such archetypal contents as psychically real collective powers with which one cannot identify oneself, but which one should attempt to render favorable through relating with them carefully (acts of respect, offering, speech = prayer). From this point of view, the various religions of the world were and are all psychotherapeutic systems that make it possible for people to relate with these archetypal psychic powers in projected form more or less with impunity. This is the ultimate basis of the connection between religion and medicine. THE CONSEQUENCES In spite of the resistance mentioned above, a tendency toward the development in man of an ever broader state of consciousness seems to emerge, which at the same time means an expansion of his psychic realm through the withdrawal of projections. The significance and positive consequences of this are easy to perceive. The more a person knows of himself and the less, therefore, of himself he projects onto others, the more objectively, illusionlessly, and genuinely he can relate to himself and to truly other people. Here ultimately lies the distinction between sympathy or infatuation and real love, or between hate and objective rejection and detachment. All progress in mutual understanding and improvement in relations between people depends on the withdrawal of projections. For such progress, however, a price must be paid: the cozy "stall warmth" in which we can let ourselves go ceases to be possible; gossip and the pleasure of a temper tantrum with the triumphant "I told you so!" cease to be possible. For this reason, in my view it would even be sad if all people were suddenly to become "wise" and acknowledge their projections. The game of divine folly must after all continue. But wherever projections lead to death and murder or to severe hardship, it is advisable to reflect. This, however, is such an unpopular act that generally it is only done in circumstances of utmost emergency. Today, however, the overpopulation problem and the crowding of people that it has brought about has actually created an acute state of need, which in my view makes it absolutely necessary for us to consciously realize more of our true nature instead of continuing to burden others with our projections in an infantile manner.