Michael Jackson

 

michael-jackson-london-concerts

Some people and situations are especially good projection objects. They express qualities we are not in touch with in ourselves, characteristics outside of our conscious identity. So when we see it in others, it fascinates us. We may even be caught up in blind attractions and aversions to just those qualities, expressed in these people and situations.

Michael Jackson is a good example. His genius for music, dance, image and marketing gave him attention, and in itself made him a good project. Add eccentricity and scandals that never were resolved, and you have an irresistible and explosive mix.

There are two flavors of projections. One is simply to recognize something in others and the wider world because we are familiar with it here. (How could we otherwise recognize it?) This is a helpful and useful form of projection. The other is a blind projection, where we are blindly caught up in attractions or aversions, and this one can trip us up.

In the first case, we may recognize the qualities equally in here and in the wider world, although how they are expressed may be quite different.

In the second case, we see qualities only or mostly out there, and get caught up in aversion or attraction towards it since these qualities are excluded from our conscious identity and self-image. We have a story telling us we don’t possess those qualities, stories telling us those qualities are desirable or undesirable, and so get caught up in attraction or aversion when we see those qualities in others, and are reminded of those qualities.

Then there is the receiving and giving ends of projections. I project onto others and situations, and others project onto me. They may seem quite different, but in both cases, it is my own projections that may get me into trouble.

Projections of the second type are all about neediness. I see a quality I don’t have, it is either desirable or undesirable, so I need it or need it to go and stay away.

So when someone project qualities onto me, whether I like them or not, I may get caught up in my own projections. And to the extent I am blind to these projections, and unfamiliar with those qualities in myself, it can mean trouble.

This is easy to see for people who find themselves in roles that makes them into good projection objects, such as music or movie stars, politicians, insane folks, geniuses, criminals and spiritual teachers.

Some of these are more sane and mature, comfortable with more of the fullness of who they are, and less caught up in neediness. These tends to deal with being a projection object in a good way. They recognize that it is not really about them, and that they are not dependent on the approval and love from their fans to be OK. If they are especially savvy about these things, they may use the projections as pointers to find just those qualities in themselves, become more familiar with these qualities, and include it in their embrace of the richness of who they are. And they may also encourage their fans to find in themselves the very qualities they are projecting, including or maybe especially the desirable qualities.

Others are more caught up in neediness, so tend to deal with it less well. The whole situation may feel overwhelming. They may take advantage of their fans being caught up in projections, and do so in unethical ways. They may live in fear of losing the approval and love from their fans. They may take the projections far too seriously and get caught up in a struggle with them, whether what is projected is desirable or not.

Although it is easy to see this in famous people, the same happens right here in our own life. We may not be in a position that tends to attract massive projections, and the projections may be less dramatic, but we are still projection objects for others.

Recognizing that, I can ask myself some questions: How do I deal with being a projection object? What happens when people project qualities I like onto me? What happens when I don’t like the qualities they project on me? Do I try to defend a certain image? Can I find those qualities in myself? What happens if I embrace them, with kindness, as part of who I am and my conscious self-image? What are the gifts in those qualities? How do they make me more human? How can I live from them in a more sane, mature, healthy and kind way?

When people see certain qualities in me, in what way does neediness come up for me? Do I need them to see those qualities in me? Do I need them to not see it? Can I find those qualities here? What happens when I get more familiar with them and include them in my self-image, with kindness? What happens to the neediness around them when they are recognized in that way? Is there anything wrong with neediness? What happens when I am caught up in neediness and act from it? What happens when I recognize neediness and are more free to not act on it?

When it comes to Michael Jackson, I don’t know how well he dealt with what people projected onto him. He was – and is – one of the great projection magnets of our time, attracting massive amounts of adoration and revile, so would have to be exceptionally mature to digest it well.

Maybe more important is to notice in myself whatever I see in him. I see a genius, can I find an element of that here and in everyone? I see a somewhat lost and troubled man, can I find it here? (That one is easy.) I see one who was loved by his friends, can I find that? I see one despised by certain people, can I find that? (And can I find how I sometimes despise myself?) I see one who got himself into trouble, can I find that in my own life?

Finally, can I take this advice from Michal Jackson himself?

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change
lyrics from The Man in the Mirror (video)

………………
………………

Some people and situations are especially good projection objects. They express qualities we are often not in touch with in ourselves, characteristics outside of our conscious identity, so when we see them in others, it fascinates us. We are may even be caught up in blind attractions and aversion to just those qualities, expressed in these people and situations.

Michal Jackson is a good example. His musical genius gave him attention and in itself made him a good projection object, and his eccentricity made him an excellent projection object for even more qualities and characteristics.

This can be difficult for the projection object as well, especially if they are not well prepared to handle it, to relate to it in a healthy and sane way. If they recognize deeply that this is about the fans and not themselves, it is OK. And if they take the opportunity to find the grain of truth in the projections, they may even benefit from it. But that is not always the case.

Michael Jackson gave a good show through his music and life. Can I also find in myself what I see in him, and what is projected onto him by others and myself? (Can I find how I am a projection object for others, even if it is in small ways? How do I relate to it? Can I find in myself what is projected onto me?)

………….

outline….

  • michael jackson, a good projection object
    • musical genuious, attract attention for that alone
    • then add on other things, such as projections
      • see in him what we desire and what we have aversion towards
        • blindly caught up in attraction and aversion, both pointers to projections
        • (can have attraction and aversion w/out being caught up in it, as an expression of personalit and its history)
      • can be difficult for the projection object as well, if not healthy/mature enough to relate to it in a sane and mature way
        • recognize, deeply, that this is about the fans, not oneself
        • and the same time find the grain of truth in the projections (in what is projected, b/c is here too)
        • if whole in oneself, then less impact (don’t look to the fans for approval, appreciation, love b/c can give it to oneself + find it in personal relationships)
      • gave a good show, appreciate his music, and find in myself what I see in him + what is projected onto him by others and myself

adoration or disgust, some so caught up in it that they – in their mind – have convicted him for something a court found him innocent of (and we are all innocent until proven guilty)

admiration and appreciation for people who take on such as role in spite of all that comes with it (and that includes spiritual teachers as well, a role that gives an opportunity to guide but also makes you into a projection magnet and all that comes with it)

if found ones own wholeness, at the human level, then able to find the approval, appreciation and love right here, in oneself, and also in our personal relationships, not dependent on it from others, and also not so easily thrown out of balance when things are projected onto us (if secretly fascinated by it, b/c of our own projections, and that can throw us off balance)

Can I take the advice from Michal Jackson himself?

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change
lyrics from The Man in the Mirror (video)

……………….

Some people and situations are especially good projection objects. They express qualities we are often not in touch with in ourselves, that are outside of our conscious identity, so when we see them in others, it fascinates us. We are may even be caught up in blind attractions and aversion to just those qualities, expressed in these projection objects.

Michal Jackson is a good example of this. His musical geninous gave him attention and in itself made him a good projection object, and his eccentricity made him an excellent projection object for even more qualities and characteristics.

This can be difficult for the projection object as well, especially if they are not well prepared to handle it, to relate to it in a healthy and sane way. If they recognize deeply that this is about the fans and not themselves, it is OK. And if they take the opportunity to find the grain of truth in the projections, they may even benefit from it. But that is not always the case.

Michael Jackson gave a good show through his music and life. Can I also find in myself what I see in him, and what is projected onto him by others and myself? (Can I find how I am a projection object for others, even if it is in small ways? How do I relate to it? Can I find in myself what is projected onto me?)

………..

fulfillment and sacrifice

  • fulfillment, satisfaction – use one’s abilities, recognition etc.
  • sacrifice – projection object

as teacher, additional sacrifice (responsibility, being available to students etc.)
– also, help students recognize + find in themselves projections, honest about own flaws/shortcomings, refer to others when seems helpful, etc.

no matter what we think about him, one thing is certain: as an artist and in his private life, he gave a good show.

……….

not so different to project or receive projections, same dynamics at play (our own projections, neediness etc.) neediness sets us up for a fall

It is good to notice these projections and know how to work with them, whether we project or receive projections. And it is not so different whether we appear to project or receive projections, since in both cases our own projections come into play and those are the ones that can trip us up

….

projections – see in others what know from here (helpful), blind projections = blindly caught up in aversion/attraction from it (less helpful)

…..

The second form of projection is an expression of neediness. I need a quality I don’t have, since it is good, or I need it to stay or go away, since it is not good. (And all of this – the quality, having it or not having it, desirable or not – is according to my stories about it.)

………

Then there is the receiving and giving ends of projections. I project onto others and situations, and others project onto me. Those seem quite different, but the same dynamics are at play in terms of what really matters with projections.

And what really matters is whether I recognize the projection, and how I deal with it.

Projections of the second type are neediness. I see a quality I don’t have, it is desirable, so I need it. I see a quality I don’t have, it is undesirable, so I need to to go and stay away.

So whether I project or receive projections, if I am caught up in neediness around it, I may be in for some rough weather.

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