Gazing Into The Mirror Of The Self – Projection
We can only see in others what we ourselves are. Alas, rather than living our less pleasant traits out, in a psychological process known as projection we prefer to assign them to others, rather than owning up to them ourselves. The world around us is always a reflection of the good as well as the distasteful behaviour patterns of others, which in truth are also our own. Nobody has any problems when it comes to integrating and owning the good qualities that are on display in this way. But having to deal with the less desirable and endearing ones is another matter entirely. Irrespective of how objectionable any of them are, in the process of becoming more whole it is essential that we own up to them. Even if our psyche tries to hide them from our conscious awareness, they are there nonetheless. This is proved by the fact that we can recognise them in others whilst failing to see in them in us.
Because we all have everything inside, the very best and also the worst, we do well if once in a while we take a deep and utterly honest look into the mirror of the self and ask it the age-old question: ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?’ Exterior appearances can be deceiving, as most people know by now, but what lies behind someone else’s façade is none of our business – much as we would sometimes like to find out. Yet, what lies behind ours that is very much our concern and our task to explore. So, how does one go about it? In truth, it’s simplicity itself, as the Universe in its infinite wisdom and kindness is constantly providing, exactly for this purpose, each and every one of us with the finest and biggest looking-glass imaginable, and that is the whole of the world around us and in particular its people.
Astrology and especially our birthchart can also be a great help when it comes to familiarising ourselves with our hidden character traits and inner motivations, as well as in which direction the predestined pathway through our present lifetime is pointing. The Universe’s highest hopes and aspirations for us are clearly marked by the sign and house position of the planets. The Sun is of special importance as it represents the pull of our spirit forwards and upwards on the evolutionary spiral of life. In contrast to this, the placement of the Moon by sign and house gives us clues about what we were up to in our most recent sojourn on the Earth plane. Thus the Sun and Moon between them reveal where we are coming from and where we are going to.
The Ascendant is the outer mask through which we view the world and those around us sees us. Without a time of birth neither the Ascendant nor the house position of the planets can be assessed. Because of the importance of both these parts, more than half of the information that would otherwise be obtainable from anyone’s birthchart is missing whenever the time of birth is unknown. It is worthwhile any effort to try and find it.
The negative characteristics of every Sun sign are of special significance and interest to us in the context of projection. It is only human that their expressions are likely to be suppressed even by those who are interested in polishing and improving their character makeup. It is useful to always bear in mind that most of the astrological aspects can be quite ambiguous. Everything depends on what kind of learning we have brought with us into our present lifetime and how the consciousness expanding lessons we are here to take part are going to be expressed in our lives. Besides, we can only perceive our world through one pair of eyes: our own. And we all have different karmic encounters behind us, therefore at least slightly dissimilar lessons are in store for all those born into the same sign this time round.
If characteristics are mentioned in your chart or in my interpretation of your Sun sign in which, for the life of you, you cannot recognise yourself, though you do observe them quite clearly in those around you, then projection is rearing its head. In case you do not know anything or only a little about this concept, let’s pick a random example.
If a tendency to gambling or drowning our sorrows in alcohol is mentioned and whilst reading this, we think: ‘Ha, how wrong can anyone get! It can’t possibly me. I have such a strong dislike for gambling, that I have never gambled, throughout my whole life, and I never touch a drop of alcohol!’ So far, so good. There could have been someone around us, during our childhood, who was a compulsive gambler, notorious drinker, liar or a cheat, bringing a lot of misery and pain into our life. If this sounds far fetched, believe me that it is not. As I do not know you personally, apart from what is in your birthchart, how could I pretend to know what and how you have developed what is shown by potential only?
There are character traits we consider to be bad, in ourselves and in others. When we have strong feelings about someone else’s failings, but are unable to recognise that we are that way ourselves, you can be sure that projection is at work. The environment is always a reflection of our inner self and the people in it are the mirror. Whatever is inside us, if we ourselves do not act it out, maybe because we are unaware of it or if we are afraid to acknowledge it, then someone around us will do so. If we make every effort to behave like the nicest, kindest and most peace-loving person on this Earth, but there is someone around us who is really nasty and causes us a great deal of suffering.
Until we become aware of how human relationships work, their purpose and meaning, and spiritual background, there is not an awful lot we can do to stop the pain that person is inflicting upon us. But don’t despair, help is on its way to you because you are now finding out about projection. Like everything in our life, this also serves a good and wise purpose, and is waiting to teach us something. A mirror is being held in front of our eyes, and if we want to get to get rid of the source of our suffering, nothing will do but a good and honest look into the mirror of the self. And even if someone’s behaviour only irritates and annoys us mildly, it can only do so because we have the same within. If that was not the case, we would be able to shrug the other person’s behaviour off as one of their foibles and idiosyncrasies.
For as long as one remains unaware of what the Universe is trying to tell us here, it is the easiest thing in the world to sit in judgement over others and to condemn them and their conduct, blissfully unaware that when looked at in the right light, they are doing us a favour. Although at first their activities are likely to force us to move in an unwanted direction, with an increasing awareness of what is truly at stake, these things can be used as pointers as to where we need to get to work on ourselves.
While we are still unfamiliar with projection, we can be forgiven for smugly and comfortably counting our blessings that someone else’s shortcomings are not ours. None of that, however, will get us anywhere, apart from the soul growth brought by the pain we are experiencing. It is more constructive, by far, to have a close and really honest look at ourselves, bearing in mind that any experience that brings us various degrees of discomfort is invariably a signal from our soul that something within is calling for our attention and the offer of an opportunity for growth and more awareness.
Unpleasantly acting people are only drawn into our orbit to show us how disagreeable our own hidden inner behaviour patterns are. Thus the Angel in disguise brings us its gifts and we are allowed to make up our own minds what to do about it. They are the kind of thing that can only be learnt through first hand experiences and in real life situations. The only reason why such encounters are so painful is to help us become aware, in the fullness of time, that they are due to something we ourselves are carrying within. That is how we frequently observe in others a reflection of one of our own disagreeable character traits. That in truth is the only reason why other people’s behaviour can have the power of touching and upsetting us deeply..
Ah yes, but as earthlings we have been granted the gift of freedom of choice. Therefore, we can and indeed are obliged to decide how we would like to react in any situation. It is up to us to make a conscious decision to no longer react in a certain manner. If someone’s behaviour and attitudes really rubs us up the wrong way or even hurts us deeply, it is a sure sign that the same is sitting in our subconscious, waiting to be looked at and accepted, not to be acted out but to be released and got rid off, once and for all.
The greatest challenge for aspiring healers and lightworkers is to discharge all negative and unpleasant characteristics from our subconscious into the light of our conscious mind, so they can be integrated and added to our character’s wholeness and roundedness. We shall eventually reach the evolutionary vantage point from which, whenever someone behaves in a manner that used to irritate and annoy us no end in the past, we can now stand back and watch them, feeling nothing but a touch of mild amusement. We shall look at them with compassion for the issues they are still struggling with and the negative Karma they are creating for themselves in their ignorance.
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