Gifts of projections

There are many gifts in projections.

The most obvious is that projections allows us to orient and navigate in the world. Our world of images create a sense of space and time, places whatever happens in the sense fields in space. connects images of past, present, and future events, places boundaries to create the appearance of objects, filters, interprets, and makes sense of it all. This can most easily be noticed through simple sense field explorations. Without our world of images, we wouldn’t function.

This world of images also creates an infinitely rich world. We can place boundaries anywhere. Find connections anywhere. Look at any (imagined) object from any number of perspectives. Create any number of contexts which dramatically changes how we see something. We quite literally create our own worlds through the images we place on top of the sense fields.

Our own world of images is also a mirror for us. It may appear that we see qualities and dynamics “out there” in the wider world or in the past of future. Our own world of images can place a boundary between me and the wider world, and then make it appear that something is “out there”. We get to see it out there. Elaborate on it. Explore it in others. Interact with it. And there is then an invitation to recognize that it is (also) right here, in ourselves. What I see out there in the wider world, is also right here, in me. What is outside of the (imagined) boundary, is also inside of the boundary.

These appearances created by my own world of images can be taken as real, true, and somehow inherent in the world. This adds to the richness of experience as well. I get to perceive, feel, and act as if these images are real and true. And I get to experience all the consequences, including stress, unease, discomfort, mental and physical tension, reactive emotions, reactive actions, and so on.

These appearances can also be recognized as images with limited validity, and useful in a practical sense in some situations but not other. This also adds to the richness of experience. I get to play with my world of images in a more free way, without limiting myself by taking it as true.

And, of course, whether I take my own world of images as real, depends on the image and changes over time. Sometimes, and with some images, it is relatively easy to recognize them as just images and interpretations. Other times, they seem and feel very real. And that goes for the image we are most easily identified with as well, the image of an “I”, the doer and observer, located in space, having and operating a “me”.

There is another way projections adds richness to experience, and that is in the dynamics and process of getting more familiar with projections. Taking my own world of images as real and “out there” adds richness, even if it is not always comfortable. Recognizing what I see out there as also in here adds richness. And the process of recognizing and working with it adds richness. My own world of images is a vast terrain, so there is always something new showing up, something more to notice and work with. Finally, there is also a richness in the pragmatic approach of exploring images as tools. Which images (angles, pointers) seem most helpful and appropriate in this situation? What happens when I use them as guides for choices and actions? What can I learn from it?

How do I work with all of this? I can get more familiar with my own world of images through basic Buddhist sense field explorations. I can investigate my beliefs through The Work. I can work with shadow projections through Tong Len. I can visualize the other in front of me, and the visualize myself as that person – with all the qualities I see in him or her. These are some of the few I am familiar with, and there are many other very useful tools out there.


  • gifts of projections
    • in general
      • helps us orient, navigate
      • richer experience, filter
      • the world as a mirror – first see out there, then invited to notice it here
      • and can be believed, taken as real, or not
        • believed – richer experience in yet another way
        • recognized – used as tools only

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