Projection and Rejection as Intrinsically Connected

Our simple seeker was meditating on the concept
of projection and rejection as being one and
the same.

One and the same what?

Perhaps not exactly one and the same, but ..

But, what?

Perhaps they are the same whatever, from
a different perspective.

What different perspective?

You’re asking me?

Yes. If you have an idea then you owe it
to yourself to at least attempt
to express it, if only to yourself.

But, isn’t just toying with an idea
the same as expressing it?

Not as long as it is too vague
to take any recognizable shape.

Then, rejection as a form of projection.

Yes?

With photography we necessarily
reject what we do not plan
to project our focus on.

Yes, but that wasn’t ..

I may have forgotten …

I don’t think so.

Then, what?

You were stepping into thoughts
too deep for your comfort zone.

About rejection being
a twisted form of projection?

I think it goes the other way,
and not twisted.

Then?

An unhealthy mental attitude.
When we project our shadow,
to use Jungian symbolism
in referring to aspects
of our personality that we
would prefer to deny
ownership to, we are tempted
to project them onto
someone else. We then think,
or pretend to, that we are
free of our rejected emotions
or thoughts.

Self-delusion?

Yes.

Then, photography does express
the concept of both projecting
and rejecting our focus on
some aspect of the same background?

Yes.

Advertisements

There Is no Self to Focus On

Our simple seeker was struggling with the concept
of lack of faith, which didn’t seem to make sense
to her.

What seems to be the problem?

Lack suggests not enough.

Yes.

That would suggest that it would also be possible
to have too much faith, or more than enough.

More than enough faith in what, or whom?

More than enough faith in You, for instance.

Before you could have more than enough,
you would first have to have some.

Yes.

Do you?

I don’t know.

Perhaps you have more than you feel comfortable
acknowledging, even to yourself.

Then, lack of faith in myself would, or could
be my problem.

Why would it be a problem?

I want to develop more confidence in myself.

More suggests that you do do have some.

Yes, I do, I guess. But, I want more.

Why?

Why would I not want as much confidence
in myself as possible?

Too much might be as self-destructive
as too little.

How?

It tends to focus on self.

At the expense of others?

No.

Then, what?

It distorts your focus from the reality
that there is no self to focus on.

Are Bad Guys Necessary?

Our simple seeker was recalling a confusing dream
of being lost in traffic and intensive construction
on her way to Church to celebrate a festival of
harvest.

She could hear the service begin. A loudspeaker
was being used, and yet it didn’t seem to cause
her to wonder why, even though it had never
been part of any previous experience.

Perhaps, during a dream, we are unaware of
any previous experience.

Then why was I aware of where I was trying
to go, to a church that I once attended?

Yes. There is always a blend of the reality
we are familiar with and that we are not.

Anyway, I was lost.

Where you alone?

No. I was lost, together with a friend.
But, I was not totally lost. I was aware
of being close to our destination.

But something was different with the
landscape?

Yes. Traffic was incredibly intensive,
as was the density of new buildings
under construction all about.

What happened next?

I was almost hit by an expensive-
looking car attempting to make a
left turn at an intersection, in
it’s chase of another car that had
now sped away. I must have crossed
the street before the car shrieked
to a stop, close to me.

What did it mean?

What did what mean?

My dream.

What makes you think it meant anything?

I know it meant something.

How?

I experienced it.

What did you experience.

The possibly bad guys were very polite.

Would they have been polite to whomever
they were chasing?

No. He’d be dead.

But, you were impressed with their
behaviour toward you?

Yes. They were very well-mannered
and seemed sincere.

And yet they might be killers?

Perhaps whomever they were hunting
was the bad guy.

Are bad guys necessary?

It’s easier to think of conflicting
sides as having opposite values.

Yes.

Unconditional Love has no Direct Object

Our simple seeker was contemplating or
meditating on unconditional compassion
when a thought dropped, or was dropped,
into her mind.

However, she lost track of the thought
when she stopped to wonder how it was
possible for it to just pop in
without being invited.

One doesn’t invite thoughts.

Or feelings?

Or feelings.

Then, where do they come from?

Not, how do they get into your mind?

That, too.

What were you thinking about?

Unconditional compassion.

It doesn’t exist

Why?

Why doesn’t it exist or why is it
impossible for it to exist?

If it doesn’t exist…

And it doesn’t.

Then, why is it impossible to feel
unconditional compassion?

Why would you want to?

I’m developing a capacity to feel
unconditional love …

I’m impressed with your progress
in that area of spiritual development.

So, why can’t I feel unconditional
compassion?

Toward what or whom? And, would it be
in addition to or instead of feeling
unconditional love?

Can I feel both?

As an out to choosing which?

No.

Then, the answer is no.

Can I feel unconditional love
and compassion?

Yes.

What is the relationship between
love and compassion?

Unconditional love and compassion?

Yes.

Unconditional love has no direct
object. It is a quality of the soul.

And, compassion requires someone
or something to feel concern for?

Yes.

Deep Breathing as a Delicious Indulgence

Our simple seeker was enjoying, or might have
been enjoying a glorious summer afternoon on
her precious patio.

A late bluish-purple clematis blossom was
stretching as open as she could go –
determined to absorb the gently moving air
It seemed to sense, as did the lavender,
which also was blooming later than usual,
that their time was running out, at least
for this season.

A second blooming, or was it a third, of
pink and yellow – a name – how could she
have forgotten? But, of course, she had not.
It had merely slipped away, for now.
However, the beautiful blossoms had not
slipped away, yet.

Fuchsias and geraniums seemed also to know
that these lazy days of summer were coming
quickly to an end.

The light-filtered green canopy above her
would soon dry to glorious reds and golds
and the leaves would flutter down, or
be torn loose and blown down or away.

It was inevitable. Nothing could change
what destiny had planned and what fate
seemed only too willing to help bring about.

Aren’t we getting a bit morbid?

But, it is going to happen and nothing
can prevent it.

Why would you want to prevent Nature doing
what Nature does every year at this time?

The slow dance of light and shadow
is as silent music that the eyes alone
can hear; and the perfume of
the gently moving air feels so good
to inhale that deep breathing is
more as a delicious indulgence than
a required meditation practice.
It seems to connect me to and within
this precious setting.

Then, why are you sad?

It isn’t enough to have it now.
I want and need to experience it
tomorrow, next week, …

And you have no control over the deadline.

It’s a helpless feeling.

Do your loved plants share your sorrow?

No. They seem to have accepted whatever
will be, and are happy to be enjoying
what now is, a glorious afternoon.

What lesson could they teach you,
if you were willing to learn it?

To enjoy what we have, while we have it,
even while accepting that it isn’t ours,
forever.

Yes. Not only is it not ours forever,
as far as this pleasant weather
is concerned, it may be gone tomorrow.

Are you predicting stormy weather?

There will always be stormy weather,
somewhere.

There is More than Feeling Involved

Our simple seeker was meditating on the duality
and yet the necessary connectedness of all
relationships.

How is it possible not to be attached to
what one is connected with?

Be specific.

Relationships in general and you in particular.

There are at least two separate issues involved
within your problem.

Issues of what?

Issues of discussion.

Okay, then, relationships in general.

What about them?

If each is as all the others, which,
of course they are not, except in essence …

No. You were and are vague in your vision.
I was and am, clear in mine.

I’m not going there.

Where?

Into one of your intellectual traps.

You will.

How can we be in a relationship
to anyone or anything without
attachment?

It is not possible.

And, how can we not be interconnected
with who or what we relate to?

It is not possible.

Then, why do the wise teachers since
ancient times encourage us to detach.
Have they missed something?

No. You have.

Then, please explain.

Explain what?

How can I not be attached to anyone
or anything that I feel connected to?

There is more than feeling involved.

What more?

Being.

We Each Have Our Own Style

Our simple seeker was meditating on the lesson
Krishna gave to Arjuna on Karma Yoga.

Can you accept that all output of time and
energy is an investment in some future event?

Yes. I’ve recently been there and done that.

Was it worth it?

Very much so, looking back from a safe
distance from the disastrous outcome.

Krishna spoke of sacrificing the results.
Was that part of your experience.

Krishna would have meant in advance.
I didn’t do that. I’m not that noble.
Besides, I think in today’s world,
the very concept of sacrifice is
considered sanctimonious and exhibiting
a holier than thou attitude.

Or, in simple terms, an ego trip?

Yes.

Then, in today’s language, how would you
describe the final outcome?

I was able to let go.

Of the outcome?

Much more than that.

Then, what?

Are we reversing roles?

We have no iron-clad roles.

That realization was part of
the unexpected outcome.

After your recovery?

Perhaps I was never very graceful in
situations of emotional crisis. But,
it was as if a time bomb blew up
in my mind. It was a wake-up call
such as I have rarely experienced.
A cherished illusion had burst.

But, later;?

I’m now able to accept personal
responsibility for setting myself up.

For inevitability?

Yes. My cherished illusion exploded.

And the others?

No big deal. They were pretending to be
in a relationship that didn’t exist.
I was pretending to pretend, while
at some level knowing it wasn’t real.

You needed the relationship more
than they did.

I guess.

They didn’t have a balloon that burst?

That was the tragic comedy part of
the ending that even Shakespeare
didn’t think of. My guests went home with
all the beautiful balloons. I was left
with the exploded illusion.

Do you have regrets?

Not now, now that I have recovered, but,
I suspect that you set me up, in a much less
gentle manner than Krishna would have.

We each have our own style.

The Limits of Existentialism

Our simple seeker was meditating on existentialism.

That is not the usual focus of spiritual meditation.

So what?

As in, who cares?

Yes.

Also, Did you know that your heroes of existentialist
philosophy were French revolutionaries?

Because they were with the underground resistance?

They were more than resisting.

Yes, but in the process of resisting oppression
they were also developing a revolutionary
philosophy of life.

Which came first?

The chicken or the egg?

Yes.

Perhaps they were never separate.

Exactly.

What does that mean?

We hone our skills and our thought and
emotional development, not to mention
spiritual development, in experience.

Then, why were Sartre and Camus
not called experientialists?

Experience is never enough. They
and every deep thinker first must
exist in order to experience
anything.

Were they aware of that?

Of what?

Of the need to exist before …

The name of the school of philosophy
they belonged to speaks for itself.

But, existence before essence …

What about it?

Doesn’t that thought suggest …

Perhaps they chose to stop thinking
deeper than their social condition
required at the time?

Thinking for a purpose other than itself?

Yes.

Choosing to do Nothing is still Choosing

The air was damp but her new patio chair was so very
comfortable that our simple seeker was wandering away
without moving from her closeness to the one thousand
shades of dripping green leaves weighted down
by the soft but steadily falling rain, just beyond
her partially protected patio.

Raindrops seemed to slide from some leaves more
willingly than from some others. Why?

For many more reasons than one, perhaps.

How can that be?

Shapes, textures, angles of incline, location, ..

Yes, some are more exposed to …

A direct hit?

That would suggest that the rain was attacking.

And, a victim mentality?

Where are you going with that?

Cause and effect is simply a sequential order
of events.

My lost tooth?

It wasn’t lost.

Why did you let it fall out?

It was ready to go. No need to blame me.

But, you could have prevented it.

Why would I interfere with Nature?

I do it all the time, in the garden.

You interfere with Nature’s way?

Only when her way differs from mine.

Why?

It’s my garden.

And, it’s your tooth.

But, I couldn’t save it without your help.

And, I have nothing better to do with my energy
than to interfere with Nature in such a
small consequential situation?

It isn’t small for me.

Was it a large tooth?

You know it was small.

And, so was the issue.

What lesson could I learn from your behaviour?

What did I do?

Nothing.

Yes.