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Projection

By Kenda-Ruth Stumpf

Projection delegates power to an external source, making that source responsible for success and failure as well as joy and misery. Projection enables a person to both avoid looking internally to resolve problems--as well to avoid self-appreciation.

Idolization is a projection of hero-worship wherein a person projects his divine needs onto another, attempting to make the other into a god. An OW is often the object of idol-projection and the spouse the object of demon-projection. The OW is all good, can do no wrong and will make his life happy; his wife is to blame for everything that is going wrong, and has and will continue to make his life miserable, she is angry, manipulative and unstable--all qualities he is refusing to acknowledge in himself. Refusal of projection is not possible if the object of projection also denies and refuses her own Shadow, thus it is of utmost importance that an MLCer's spouse (Standing or not) work through her own Shadow journey, integrating her Shadow by way of self-focus. To yield to physical intimacy is to unite--becoming one flesh, and to become one, the two must be of balanced matter. To yield is thus an admission that the other is either not divine or that both are divine. The latter is hubris and the former results in a disappointing crash for the man who placed a burden of divinity on his partner.

A man rescued his wife in the I Do and yet he failed for she remained, or rather she became mere flesh and blood. He thus remains a questing knight--for the projections of a true king do not fail but instead disintegrate, falling away to reveal the woman beneath. Years of Accommodation follow the initial in-fatuation, causing a reinterpretation of marital and relational history, which without the filter of Accommodation is not an untruth but a changed perspective. Since he surrendered responsibility for completeness to his wife, she is thus to blame when he realizes he is incomplete; everything is her fault.

In MLC, after years of marriage, when the in-fatuation hormones have long since waned and are no longer in possession, a man recognizes his wife as a flesh woman rather than a divine goddess. But without an integrated anima he searches for divinity in another woman in whom he can surrender responsibility of his completeness--continuing the cycle of projection. An OW is new, not having failed him she is seemingly without flaws, thus he can project his expectations for feminine divinity onto her, while simultaneously projecting his demons onto his wife--the woman who failed him because she lost her divinity when like Lucifer, she fell. If his abandoned wife does not bother to look beyond his surface actions into the projection and symbolism, the two cannot reconcile later. For reconciliation and understanding of the journey she must not take his actions and projections personally, but look beyond to what is being projected and why.

A person must explore and discover his limitations before he can experience the crush of failure that will break open the skies to apotheosis, the attainment realized from the bursting development and energy released from breaking through limitations. Projection can be a bridge connecting us to the world. It is often first through projection that we meet our Shadow and take our first steps toward awareness, for it is by acknowledging something outside of ourselves that we come to acknowledge it within. The error is when we use projection as a barrier to maintain separateness and are thus destructive to both the projector and the object of projection.

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Peter Pan cut away his shadow, he thus had no dark side, no repressions, nothing hidden or in his depths. He was thus chronologically stunted; without his shadow there was no possibility for maturation. Peter Pan was a puer aeternus--eternal boy, for a man this is a person who is physically mature and yet remains emotionally in adolescence. Like an animated photograph, Peter Pan was frozen in time. If a moment frozen in time is worth a thousand words, imagine the value of a lifetime of moments. Projection and the splitting of the psyche into conscious and unconscious and are necessary elements toward objectively viewing Self, learning about Self and from that experience reintegrating. Though it is not possible to go back, making as Jung says a regressive restoration of the persona, the Shadow remains undeveloped as though in Eden. Re-entrance requires an integration of simple innocence and wizened experience.

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