Yueya

Projection

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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.

 

 

 

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I don’t have the time to read this post right now but will come back to it as soon as I’m able. Thanks for alerting me. I’m looking forward to reading it carefully.

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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.

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40 minutes ago, Yueya said:

"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."

 

Hi Yueya,

 

Hope it is fine with you that I respond to steve here...

 

I feel that such projection is a reaction from inside oneself to something coming from outside.

 

Some threads bring out the best of me from inside ~ I can feel it.

 

Other threads...

 

- Anand

 

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55 minutes ago, Yueya said:

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.

 

🥰

 

As I read this most wonderful essay, I copied a section I found particularly relevant. Upon completing the essay, I felt perhaps best not to post it but instead urge all to read the entire thing. I then scrolled down to see your next post above and so I am obligated to post my original excerpt which still resides in RAM...

 

“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.“

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35 minutes ago, Limahong said:

 

Hi Yueya,

 

Hope it is fine with you that I respond to steve here...

 

I feel that such projection is a reaction from inside oneself to something coming from outside.

 

Some threads bring out the best of me from inside ~ I can feel it.

 

Other threads...

 

- Anand

 

 

Hi Anand,

It most certainly does feel that way.

Our path and progress seem to determine, however, to what degree the stimulus is perceived as “outside.” At risk of derailing this wonderful thread, I’ll simply suggest - outside of what? Not really looking for a finite answer. It’s a question best left as it is. The answer changes with time...

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47 minutes ago, Yueya said:

Here's a passage relevant to some of the more heated exchanges on this forum:

 

Hi Yueya

 

Since the exchanges are heated, I will not read them... otherwise I will project something I will regret... when they are re-projected back at/to me.

 

- Anand.

 

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4 minutes ago, steve said:

It’s a question best left as it is. The answer changes with time...

 

Hi steve,

 

With added age

You'll be a sage

 

I am feeling it... and it will not changes with time.

 

Excuse me ~ I am going for breakfast. Good day.

 

- Anand

 

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16 minutes ago, Limahong said:

 

Hi steve,

 

With added age

You'll be a sage

 

I am feeling it... and it will not changes with time.

 

Excuse me ~ I am going for breakfast. Good day.

 

- Anand

 

 

All feelings change, none are permanent...

Have a delicious breakfast

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11 hours ago, Yueya said:

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.

 

Hi Yueya,

 

This is my simplistic attempt to follow these two greats...

 

11 hours ago, Yueya said:

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.

 

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hqdefault.jpg

 

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.

 

11 hours ago, Yueya said:

According to Jung, all psychic contents of which we are not yet conscious appear in projected form as the supposed properties of outer objects.

 

th?id=OIP.hW663jRvbEG2S0GtUr8j3AHaEK&pid=Api&P=0&w=298&h=168 hqdefault.jpg

 

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.

 

11 hours ago, Yueya said:

Quite often—here Freud and Jung are in agreement—projections contain unprocessed false characterizations stemming from early childhood.

 

I will try and digest the above more ~ before I read your post further.

 

Thank you.

 

- Anand

 

Edited by Limahong
Enhancement
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16 hours ago, steve said:

Our path and progress seem to determine, however, to what degree the stimulus is perceived as “outside.”

 

Hi steve,

 

Can a thread (XYZ) initialized at TDB be perceived as an "outside" stimulus to its other Bums?

 

 

"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."

 

If XYZ can be considered an "outside" stimulus at TDB, is a response to it be regarded as a Bum's attempt to project (him)herself?

 

- Anand

 

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3 minutes ago, Limahong said:

 

Hi steve,

 

Can a thread (XYZ) initialized at TDB be perceived as an "outside" stimulus to its other Bums?

 

Of course, that is their perception.

 

3 minutes ago, Limahong said:

 

"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."

 

If XYZ can be considered an "outside" stimulus at TDB, is a response to it be regarded as a Bum's attempt to project (him)herself?

 

- Anand

 

 

I'm not sure I fully understand your question.

Projection is not a conscious attempt to do anything.

If you are asking if it is an intentional act the answer is no.

Projection is a subconscious defense mechanism in which we are unaware of or actively denying a tendency or pattern in ourselves and attributing it (projecting) to someone else.  If someone here is acting like a bully but calling the victim of their abusive behavior a bully, unaware or in denial of their own behavior, that is projection.

Does that answer the question?

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13 minutes ago, steve said:

Does that answer the question?

 

Hi steve,

 

I like to believe that we are on the same page.

 

16 minutes ago, steve said:

Projection is a subconscious defense mechanism in which we are unaware of or actively denying a tendency or pattern in ourselves and attributing it (projecting) to someone else.

 

XYZ may be posted at Timezero  and within a short temporal span ~ a flood of responses (be it relevant or otherwise) may appear.

 

Is this flood ~ a likely flow of projections from the Bums reacting to XYZ?

 

- Anand

 

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7 hours ago, steve said:

Projection is not a conscious attempt to do anything.

If you are asking if it is an intentional act the answer is no.

 

Good morning steve,

 

Can XYZ be an intentional stimulus and the  projections elicited ~ unconsciously/unwittingly become XYZ's desired fixes?

 

- Anand

 

 

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On 3/10/2020 at 9:06 AM, steve said:

At risk of derailing this wonderful thread, I’ll simply suggest - outside of what?

 

Hi steve,

 

Can XYZ derail any thread at TDB whenever/wherever there are unwitting projections that can meet his/her desired fixes?

 

- Anand

 

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Hi Anand,

I suggest you sit with your questions and share your conclusions, if you like.

Best,

Steve

 

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47 minutes ago, steve said:

I suggest you sit with your questions and share your conclusions, if you like.

 

Hi steve,

 

To me Life is a process ~ with milestones and not conclusions...

 

No more questions.

 

- Anand

 

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On 3/10/2020 at 7:24 AM, Yueya said:

"Anger as Power"

 

Hi Yueya,

 

I have not and will not read the thread because of the words ~ "Anger as Power".

 

th?id=OIP.hKGFyBkwir8gLXZ5ZaihXgHaHa&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

 

- Anand

 

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On 3/10/2020 at 1:48 PM, Limahong said:

 

Hi steve,

 

Can a thread (XYZ) initialized at TDB be perceived as an "outside" stimulus to its other Bums?

 

 

"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."

 

If XYZ can be considered an "outside" stimulus at TDB, is a response to it be regarded as a Bum's attempt to project (him)herself?

 

- Anand

 

If I may jump in, and understand the question, the answer is yes. 

The significance of anything lies in the observer. 

'There is no beauty in the stars, it lives in ourselves. '

We project upon ourselves an identity, morality. We project upon things, their use and appeal. 

But colloquially, projection is understood to mean an incorrect assessment, which is due to our own hidden reality... 

However, the wise ones understood slightly more,, that we ourselves are also a projection, upon a stimulus.:)

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53 minutes ago, Stosh said:

'There is no beauty in the stars, it lives in ourselves.'

 

Hi Stosh,

 

Very nice to hear from you.

Thank you for this which is within us...

 

giphy.gif

 

Keep well.

 

- Anand

 

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Does TDB's alert...

 

HOT! XX responses

 

... prompts/fuels/encourages... projections?

 

Who is(are) the PROJECTIONIST(S) behind the alert?

 

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