Since I am watching the world championships in rapid and blitz chess right now, I am reminded of how chess – and especially the elite chess world – has built up an image for itself.
THE IMAGE-BUILDING OF CHESS
The elite chess world intentionally built up this image by, for instance, having a dress code, organizing relatively glamorous chess world championships, finding sponsors that make large money prices possible, and so on.
And the chess world and the general culture have presented chess skills as a sign of general intelligence, presenting chess as a mysterious game with an exciting history, and so on.
Some of this image-building has been intentional, and I assume much of it has happened more organically.
PROJECTION OBJECTS AND PROJECTING MIND
There are always two sides to this.
One is the projection object, which in this case is chess. This may be a person, an organization, an activity, a religion, or anything else. It can be something existing in the world or something imaginary. Someone may set out to intentionally build up an image for it or it happens more organically. And we all do it, to some extent, with ourselves. We build up an image about ourselves and for ourselves and others. (AKA persona.)
The other is the projecting mind. We all project. We all put a mental map overlay on the world. That’s how we orient and function in the world. (Mental field overlay.) And we all, sometimes and in some areas of life, see characteristics out there in the world that we are not so aware of in ourselves, or the reverse. (Blind projections.) The first one helps us function, and the second one is an invitation to find in ourselves what we see out there in the world (or see more in the world what we are familiar with in ourselves).
HAPPENS A LOT
This image-building happens a lot.
We see it in many sports, perhaps especially sports like formula one, football, chess, alpine skiing, and so on. These are sports we tend to see as somewhat glamorous, and that’s no accident. It’s often because someone has built up that particular image of the sport.
We see it in Hollywood. They intentionally build up a certain image around fictional characters, stars, movies, and movie production.
We obviously see it in brands – clothing, watches, alcohol, cars, and so on.
We see it in religions. A big part of religion is image-building. They create an image for themselves to attract and maintain followers. (We can save you. We have the answers. We are your ticket to eternal salvation.)
We see it in spirituality more in general. Certain spiritual traditions have built up an image around enlightenment, awakening, and so on. Often for the same purpose as religions.
And as mentioned above, we all do it. We all build up, maintain, and present certain images of ourselves. We do it for our own sake so we know who we are in the world, and often so we can feel better (or worse) about ourselves. We do it to fit in with our culture and certain subcultures. We do it to get something from others. And mainly, we do it to find a sense of safety. If we know, more or less, who we are and have built up an identity, then we can rely on it even if we don’t always like everything that’s there.
This is relatively well-known in society, at least to some level. For instance, we see it when people talk about branding in a general sense. We all have our own brand. Religions have their brand. And so on.
GOOD TO BE AWARE OF
As usual, there is nothing inherently wrong with any of this. Much of it is inevitable, and having our own identity and brand helps us function in the world.
And it’s good to be aware of. It’s good to be aware of how people, organizations, businesses, religions, and so on build up a certain brand, and often do it so they can be good projections objects for you and others. They make a brand that it’s easy for us to project wishes, dreams, and sometimes fears onto.
Why? Because those types of projections act as a kind of glue. They glue our attention to the projection object. We often want to get something out of it.
And what we really want is to get to know those sides of ourselves. We want to become familiar with what we see out there – the characteristics – in ourselves.
It’s also helpful to explore the brand we have built up for ourselves. What identities and stories are there? Are they peaceful? Stressful? What do I find when I explore them in more detail?
And it’s especially helpful to see all of this for what it is. These are images. They are created. Often, people want us to buy into these images so we can project wishes and fears onto them, and so our attention gets glued to them.
And none of these images are really true. At most, they have a limited validity. What they are put on top of is different from and more than these images. Reality is different from and more than these images.Read More