ACIM II. The Alternative to Projection P 3. Yet projection will always hurt you.
ACIM Chapter 6. II.The Alternative to Projection P 3.
3 II. The Alternative to Projection, P 3
3 Yet projection will always hurt you. It reinforces your belief in your own split mind, and its only purpose is to keep the separation going. It is solely a device of the ego to make you feel different from your brothers and separated from them. The ego justifies this on the grounds that it makes you seem “better” than they are, thus obscuring your equality with them still further. Projection and attack are inevitably related, because projection is always a means of justifying attack. Anger without projection is impossible. The ego uses projection only to destroy your perception of both yourself and your brothers. The process begins by excluding something that exists in you but which you do not want, and leads directly to excluding you from your brothers.
This is so simple that I am astounded that it took me so long to work it out. For years I have been first learning what projection is, then learning to notice it when I projected. After that I had to understand that I don’t need projection and finally that I don’t want projection. The only reason I ever believed I needed and wanted projection was that I thought it protected me.
At his workplace, someone I know was very angry with another person.
I saw so clearly what was happening. This person was angry because he was fearful. He was afraid of losing what he valued in the world, and because he heavily emphasized these things, he was fearful indeed. He cannot face his fear and is not ready to do anything about fear itself, so he projects.
He sees others at fault and decides they are the reason he is endangered, and this allows him to be angry instead of fearful, which is more comfortable for him. Now, in his mind, there is nothing for him to do. He sees himself as blameless. Sadly, though, he is also now helpless. It is all someone else’s fault, so there is little he can do to fix the problem.
Additionally, he has now made enemies out of his brothers. He makes a habit of this (as do most people), and so everyone becomes his enemy, if not now, then potentially. He has surrounded himself with enemies, so where can he feel safe? Who can he trust? His wife might stray. His children might betray his expectations for them. His employees might be disloyal and, certainly, eventually will disappoint. There is no refuge in his life.
I Understand the cost of projection now.
I cannot imagine returning to projection as my defense against life. Now, when I project, I see it quickly, and I see it for what it is, and I just as quickly withdraw my projections. I am not interested in finding someone to blame but want only to know that my mind is healed and whole right now and everything else is just an illusion of my own making. This is the solution, the protection I had been seeking and not finding through projection.
Is it hard to let go of my projection? It used to be very hard sometimes because I was so afraid to let go of the idea that I needed a scapegoat. I thought someone else to blame would leave me blameless, but I was wrong. In fact, I am blameless regardless of what I do, and I don’t need someplace to put blame because there is no blame to displace.
It was hard at first because I was afraid of my own culpability.
I felt so guilty that I was terrified to stand naked without my projections. I was sure that I would be punished and suffer for my guilt. I was afraid that God would see the darkness in my soul and never forgive me, so I tried to throw it on someone else and make him look guilty instead.
This was my hidden agenda, buried deeply within my mind so that I could pretend I was but an innocent victim of the world. Looking at it now, I can only laugh. That God would create an innocent victim is so ridiculous I had to be insane to have believed it, and really, I didn’t believe it. I refused to look at it, but in my heart, I knew this couldn’t be true, and my subterfuge increased my guilt and fear. What a relief it is to have finally let this go!
One day, several years ago, I had to buy a new car.
This is an activity I don’t look forward to. I feel at a disadvantage in this situation. I am not good at looking at all the aspects of a situation and pinpointing the ones that really matter. I am not good at thinking on my feet. I need time and solitude to sift through the facts and allow the solution to surface. Being a salesperson myself, you would think I would be able to handle the situation with another salesperson better, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
As I was sitting here thinking about how to write about projection, my mind wandered to the dreaded car-buying project. I began to pay attention to my thoughts and saw a lot of projection going on. I was feeling judgmental and resentful of car salesmen. I was thinking of defense strategies.
I see that I feel I lack the skills to do this job well, and this makes me feel vulnerable and weak. I don’t like feeling this way, so I projected onto some unknown salesperson. I made the salesperson the problem and then started planning my defenses against him. I noticed I began feeling angry and resentful of someone I had yet to meet. I start by thinking I have a problem and end up making some man my enemy. Right from the comfort of my home. Jeez.
Looking at this, I see that my first error was losing my sense of purpose.
Is it my purpose to get a good deal on a car? Or is it my purpose to awaken? How can I use this experience to help me and everyone else awaken? Certainly, it will not help my cause to separate myself from my brother through projection. Awakening doesn’t occur through making separate and placing blame.
Not only did my exercise in projection make me feel separate from this person I had not even met, but it made him seem like an enemy and me a helpless victim. Even more importantly, these projections reinforce the belief in separation and that I need projection to defend myself. If I believe this, I will not be interested in letting this device go.
As I have become aware of how important it is to let go of the whole idea of projection, I have become vigilant for projection thoughts in my mind. It seems that projection is pervasive in my thinking. This does not mean, however, that I cannot stop. It has become just as much a habit for me to stop when I notice that I am projecting. I stop and ask that the Holy Spirit heal my mind of this kind of thinking.
At first, I did this because I knew I was hurting myself.
Now, I do it because I really want to experience unconditional and universal love. I want to remember what it feels like to know that I am one with everything and everyone. I want to remember my Father as I knew Him before I dabbled in the separation game.
These desires dwarf the belief I need to feel savvy on the car lot and that I need to leave the winner. In fact, the very thought makes me laugh. I’m through making plans on my own. This morning, I remind myself that it is all an illusion and why would I want to fix an illusion. I return to the truth and the only thing that matters. I surrender the whole process to the Holy Spirit and invite Him to use this body as His channel in this situation as in any other.
To watch a very interesting Buddha at the Gas Pump interview with Cate Grieves, CLICK HERE.