Telana diving with Andy, to face her fears and coming close to bass and sharks
Being prepared to look at and face our inner activity and then to come to terms with it and integrate that activity, is all part of the process. Yet we find it so uncomfortable to do.
We as humans have been designed in a way that means that we avoid pain and use projection as a self defence mechanism. Projection is a natural yet unconscious process where, as Jung explains, we perceive our qualities, characteristics or talents as an outward characteristic of some other person or thing.
As a catch-22 of being human, we don’t know ourselves very well. We are not sure of, don’t like or are fearful of our potentials and capabilities- good or bad- and we thus project these qualities onto the outside world in order to relate to them.
The world – and the people in our lives – reflect back to us like a mirror, that which we have not owned or become aware of, and rather projected. What we are not consciously aware of, we can learn about to gain more self awareness because we can see it reflected in our thoughts, words and actions, the way we treat people, and the things we do which the world mirrors back at us.
Experience leads to Awareness
Through projecting, we prevent ourselves from seeing our inner activity or content, but this doesn’t prevent it from existing. Our psychological content needs to be related to, otherwise we become fragmented and unaware.
So we are continually having experiences to gain more awareness about ourselves.
Yet everything we experience is influenced by our perceptions of those experiences. We are never really in touch with reality itself, only with our view of that reality. Working passed our perceptions to work with reality itself requires effort.
Facing the truth of ourselves and our actual existence is perceived as a very difficult process. So we tend to go for the more comfortable, easy option. We would rather look at the duller, softer light than the brilliant bright light that we think will strain our eyes if we look at it, because of it’s brilliance.
Easy way out
When life then presents us with a difficult situation where we have to face reality (taking effort), or an easy way out, we tend to take the easy option. Because this is our tendency, we become accustomed to the easy way out, and tend to look for only those options.
However, this lack of facing difficult situations leads to a steady degeneration of the brightness and sharpness of our personalities. When we choose to not be honest and face what the world is mirroring back to us – our projections – we miss the opportunity of truth. We miss the opportunity to learn more about our inner processes and about ourselves, and thus we experience less of our potential.
And we do this just because we don’t want to be uncomfortable. By missing the sharper reality that we find uncomfortable, we are less likely to learn.
Comfortable vs. Uncomfortable
Rob Nairn says that:
“Fundamentally as humans we are addicted to being comfortable, so we will always go for the comfortable option”.
If we were to face the truth, which we find uncomfortable, we might have to change. We would much rather stick with what we know rather than go for the unknown, even though what we know may not be working for us.
“So we habitually slow down our growth, because every time we take the easy option, instead of becoming open and stronger, we become more closed, lazier and weaker. So we kind of run down.”
This addiction to being comfortable tends to feed our projection process. Any aspect of ourselves that we are not comfortable with, that is not “OK” to us, we tend to project. And by doing so we dis-empower ourselves.