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Projections and Shadows by PowderCat

Projections and Shadows


Tao Te Ching

“A great nation is like a great man:
When he makes a mistake, he realizes it.

Having realized it, he admits it.
Having admitted it, he corrects it.
He considers those who point out his faults
as his most benevolent teachers.

He thinks of his enemy
as the shadow that he himself casts.”


Chapter 10
88 Children perceive terrifying ghosts and monsters and dragons, and they are
terrified. Yet if they ask someone they trust for the real meaning of what they
perceive and are willing to let their interpretations go in favor of reality, their fear
goes with them. When a child is helped to translate his “ghost” into a curtain, his
“monster” into a shadow, and his “dragon” into a dream, he is no longer afraid
and laughs happily at his own fear. You, my children, are afraid of your brothers
and of your Father and of yourselves. But you are merely deceived in them.

Chapter 12
35 It is through these strange and shadowy figures that the insane relate to their
insane world. For they see only those who remind them of these images, and it is
to them that they relate. Thus do they communicate with those who are not there,
and it is they who answer them, and no one hears their answer save him who
called upon them, and he alone believes they answered him. Projection makes
perception, and you cannot see beyond it. Again and again have men attacked each
other because they saw in them a shadow figure in their own private world. And
thus it is that you must attack yourself first, for what you attack is not in others.
Its only reality is in your own mind, and by attacking others, you are literally
attacking what is not there.
36 The delusional can be very destructive, for they do not recognize that
they have condemned themselves. They do not wish to die, yet they will not let
condemnation go. And so they separate into their private worlds, where everything
is disordered and where what is within appears to be without. Yet what is within
they do not see, for the reality of their brothers they cannot see.

12:2 Yet consider how strange a solution the ego’s arrangement is. You project
guilt to get rid of it, but you are actually merely concealing it. You do experience
guilt feelings, but you have no idea why. On the contrary, you associate them
with a weird assortment of ego ideals which the ego claims you have failed. Yet
you have no idea that you are failing the Son of God by seeing him as guilty.
Believing you are no longer you, you do not realize that you are failing yourself.