Recalling projection means understanding that whatever we see in others, exists in us, otherwise we would not see it. Let me unpack:


We have recently acquired a new 4-legged addition to our little family. His name is Zenta, a borador, with abundant energy! Since our garden is very small, we take him for walks twice a day.

Waiting for the kettle to boil this morning, the thought struck me that if ever he would find himself abandoned, he would probably take himself for these daily walks to cope with the anguish of being lost and unloved. I literally felt his pain as I imagined him desperately trying to feel at home in the world again after being wrenched away from safety, understanding and all that was familiar and comforting. This thought pattern isn’t new to me. As long as I can remember, I have struggled with intense emotions around mistreated or abandoned animals.

I was still swallowing on the lump in my throat when a different voice in me piped up: ‘Animals adapt quickly and with his personality, he will have no trouble finding himself a new loving home.’ I realized that the anguish I was feeling, was actually a displaced sorrow at my own childhood experiences of abandonment too painful to deal with and so I project them out into the world instead. As long as I don’t accept and embrace that bit of darkness within me, I will see it all around me and it will keep ambushing me and I will keep responding with the same undealt-with anguish.

Things are inside out. What is in us, we take to be out there. We believe the world to be objective, while it is entirely a projection of our psyche. Projection makes perception and we cannot see beyond it.

At the most fundamental level, there is no ‘out there’ there. Nisargadatta puts it as follows: ‘The world we made is totally chaotic and meaningless. This is because it is made up of what we do not want, projected from our mind because we are afraid of it.’ What we see around us, is who we are. We can interact but with ourselves.

The only ‘out there’ is a manifestation of what is ‘in here’. This holds true from the world of the quantum right through to the machinations of the universe.

Relationships are mirrors

This means there is no other out there either. Our relationships are mirrors in which we see ourselves. We come together by mutual need to experience certain parts of ourselves. The people we have drawn in are a gift to us. Every situation shows us an aspect of who we are and gives us an opportunity to change what we see. By our reactions to others, we can identify what attachments we still have. These attachments are the roots of our anger. Those who happen to ‘press our buttons’, merely reflect our anger. They are not the cause of it, they’re merely triggers for our own stuff.

Therefore we need not take any interaction personally. We are merely reacting to another’s projection and we are projecting onto the other in return. By attacking others, we are literally attacking what is not there.

If we look closely, we will recognize our enemy behind its many masks. The enemy is actually a part of us, a piece of abandoned, neglected, unfulfilled life within us. How we treat other people is a direct reflection of how we feel about ourselves. For instance: the respect (or lack thereof) we show others is a reflection of our self-respect. If we are at odds with someone, we are actually at odds with ourselves.

Whenever we need the other to change, it means there is something within us we are struggling with. We hear insults when a simple observation is being made if what is being observed is something we don’t want to own. Yet ironically, until we own it, we cannot let it go. We cannot change what we will not accept.

Befriend the mirror

The world is a mirror to show us where we are at. If we don’t like what we see, it makes no sense to trash the mirror, we need to change ourselves. The more uncomfortable the effect of the mirror, the more valuable it is for growth.

Warriors know every aspect of their being most intimately. They use the world around them as mirror in which all stands revealed – Don Juan

On the journey back to Self, we use life to understand, strengthen and perfect ourselves. Having seen ourselves in the mirrors, we embrace all parts of ourselves and all out there as part of ourselves. That is what is meant by recalling  projection.

Once we understand why we are projecting, why a part of ourselves is unacceptable to us, we have located the source of the problem and where it began, it will end.

Get in touch with me at if you feel you could use help with this.

We will have accepted all that we are, when we no longer feel insulted when we hear it described. There are no more buttons to press.

In the greater scheme of things, until we stop projecting Ego and find Self, there will be destruction, suffering and violence on the planet.








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