GAMES OF THE MIND: PROJECTION, TRANSFERENCE, DISCERNMENT AND DELUSION ON THE SPIRITUAL PATH – AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
Blessings to All. This post considers the role of the Mind in the creation and navigation of thought-forms, conceptual systems and paradigms that make us ´see´ the world the way we do. And what to do to avoid the pitfalls that can come with such constructs.
The Mind is a great tool, but even the best of tools used incorrectly, can become a liability.
It is the source of the lens of perception, the rose/gray tinted glasses, the mirror of reflection through which recognize ourselves, either as part of an internal process or one that involves other people.
The Mind in other words, helps us – See.
But ultimately, without a process of conscious engagement, purification or simply a focus of awareness, we end up being run by the Mind and its organizing impulses, without understanding why we think the way we do. We interpret what our Mind sees and perceives as Unquestioned Truth.
And that is where psychologists, therapists and spiritual facilitators tend to step in. They, ideally speaking, hold up mirrors that allow you to see how your mind is organized, what it chooses to see (or not) and why. It´s certainly the focus of some of the deeper work I do in my sessions (especially the Bubble Burster).
The Mind is not purely a creation of what we consciously identify with or process at an intellectual level. It is created as a composite of layers, beginning with the deepest parts of the self / psyche. Some might attribute this to sub-concious impressions, impulses and memories from infancy – and others would take it a level farther – to the Soul as the origin point and include past life-impressions, and so on.
The point is, the way we see the world arises from factors that go beyond our conscious thoughts. Different paradigms will locate the origins of our mental architecture in different ways.
Now with the advent of the Self-Help and New-Age movement, more and more conceptual tools that arise from spiritual and psychological domains have begun to enter the mainstream. Words like : trauma, emotional baggage, wounding, abandonment, trust issues, betrayal, projection, transference, passive-aggression, co-dependency, narcissistic personality disorder – and related terms are words and concepts that more and more are being encouraged to use as part of their journey of self-understanding.
And very often, these words are taken in ways by well-meaning individuals and turned into hollow echoes of themselves, sometimes causing further damage and trauma to individuals who are already vulnerable. Sometimes, irrespective of what the facilitator says, the listener responds to what he/she believes is being said, often feeding into fears and scripts deeply entrenched in the sub-conscious. There´s not much you can do about the latter scenario except to be wary of the former.
This is going to be a longer piece, even by my standards as I´m copy pasting and integrating some other posts I´ve been working on for the past week, since the Aries Full Moon. You can think of it as 3-4 posts in one or the kernel of one of the many books I will eventually get round to writing.
They all dance around the same question, in different ways. So – grab a cup of whatever you like drinking and dig in! 😀 😀 😀
Mirroring and Discernment
True. We are all mirroring one another.
True. Not all mirrors cast honest reflections.
Some mirrors come from funhouses.
And others are flat out broken.
Or covered with layers and layers of debris.
And other mirrors glamour you with swirls of colour
Pretty things that take you away from any sense of reality
Fun to look at, a beautiful entrapment at best
Distortion, either way.
The lesson is …
Don´t internalize what you see in the reflection.
Unless it´s in a mirror worth looking into.
Whilst mirroring is a useful concept, it needs to come with the understanding that what we see in ourselves and other people is not necessarily what we/they are. It puts way too much focus on the mind as the dominant means through which we experience and participate in ´reality´. As, at the end of the day, perceptions can be shifted – they aren´t absolutes.
One way in which mirroring is expressed as an energetic principle comes through the premise of the Law of Attraction. Simply put, it is the idea that you attract all your life´s experiences to yourself by way of what you energetically transmit to the Universe.
Whilst this is a valid and useful truth, when wielded without compassion, sensitivity and nuance it becomes an instrument of furthering the blame-shame-game and narratives of victimization.
When the Law of Attraction becomes a Instrument of Blunt Force Trauma
There are many spiritual sayings that hold merit, but are not particularly helpful in getting someone through a difficult time.
´You manifested it. It´s your fault.´
´It´s just your negativity coming back at you. You are to blame´
´The suffering was necessary / sacred´
´It´s just your karma. You sinned in a past life´
Being on top of the list.
In my experience with the Universe …
I would call this a very human response to a very … vast, vast experience of Spirit.
Whilst I believe that we do live in a Holographic Universe, I don´t think all of it operates in a way human beings necessarily Understand. Yes, we might be a part of the Universe looking at itself, but that doesn´t mean that the wider Universe operates through a human form / construct / paradigm.
And whilst I believe in a co-creative partnership with the Universe, there´s just a lot more going on than most of us are led to believe.
The Law of Attraction is a good starting point, but take it too far and it becomes a blunt tool where a sharper, more precise one may be needed.
We do our best though and sometimes it leads to belief systems that do not honor that complexity or the sensitivity needed in navigating a difficult situation.
It doesn´t mean it´s wrong, however. But it might not be helpful.
Telling a person who is drowning that
– hey – it´s just water, you´re made of water! or
– hey – you shouldn´t have stepped in! … or
– hey – try swimming!
Isn´t really going to cut it.
Sometimes you will find people who have ingrained these beliefs so deeply into their psyche – that no matter what you say, that´s all they´ll hear back. You can´t do much about that either.
In astrology, when working with clients – I find individuals who have taken on too much of their fair share because of the prevalence of such sayings. And freedom comes when they realize that some things that happen to them are really – not in their control.
Internalizing shame, blame and more guilt is not the goal of the spiritual path, at least I hope not.
There is of course the question of a person in denial, but that´s a different kettle of fish.
But as always,
When we limit our experiences to the principles contained in the Law of Attraction, we close certain doors of perception and explanation.
We limits our exposure to other, weirder, non-human / non-anthropomorphized experiences of Reality-Spirit in the wider cosmos. We end up internalizing the illusion of total control or the belief that the Universe somehow thinks and feels the way we do. Or that God/Goddess is somehow human.
That, and it ends up blaming someone for things that they cannot humanly control. The name of the game is Surrender. Trying to take on board things that are simply put – larger than you can imagine – is a different form of spiritual hubris.
It´s an extension of the ethos of control that humanity has progressively sought over nature, other members of the species, and the planet as a whole. This is very much a textbook case of projection and/or transference (depending on context).
Projection and Transference: When What You See May Or May Not Truly Be
Projection happens when you see aspects of yourself that you wish to deny in another person (who may not actually be doing anything of the sort).
Transference occurs when you apply a particular set of assumptions, experiences, or expectations you have about one person to another. It´s a form of projection, in some ways.
Knowing what´s going on can help you detach from the drama that may be headed your way. You don´t need to internalize or take on the projections / transferences of others.
However – be sure to check in and see if you´re not using these terms to run away from unappealing insights about one´s self.
Consider both sides of the story.
I see these terms used quite liberally in spiritual communities and forms, and very often they are used as shorthand to say: What that person is seeing in you isn´t true about you, it´s about them. And sometimes that is a very, very valid argument. But the same argument can be used to re-inforce a pattern of denial and a non-willingness to see what´s actually going on. Being able to tell the two apart is tricky work.
And on a more controversial note – We essentially use these methods to imbue objects, symbols and rituals with energetic significance. That does not invalidate them, it simply means that so much of the power of what we conceptualize as the Sacred gains power from the fact we conceptualize them as such. It is our Beliefs that give the Belief Systems we invest in with any kind of Power.
As you move farther to an understanding of the Sacred that has neither Form nor Concept – should you choose to – recognizing these dynamics in your ritual or spiritual practice will be the next step forwards.
A Word To The Wise
The use of words, objects, symbols, concepts and icons to depict the Sacred and/or the inner processes that facilitate its discovery is – to a great extent – inevitable. Whilst external descriptions and markers are useful, they pose their own challenges. Often, these signifiers become substitutes for direct experience as one invests more and more of their mental and emotional energy into them. More often than not as a means of finding one´s own identity or conceptual framework in the vastness of All-that-Is.
And at other times, these constructs / representations truly provide a bridge between the seeker and the experience of spirit that is sought. The construct reveals its limitations and you begin to see a glimpse of what lies beyond it.
And sometimes the difference between the two is impossible to tell.
Coming back to the question of the Mind and some of the less helpful ways in which it shapes our perceptions of life, ourselves and The Sacred … What can we then do? What are our options?
What Do You Do About The Games Of The Mind? And the ways they Distort the Spiritual Experience?
I know distort is a strong word and there are those who believe that every path is as valid as the other. And this is true. But there are many roads up the mountain. One is gentle and will leave a few aches here and there, and there other is harsh, dangerous climb and will result in the breaking or removal of a limb.
Equally valid choices, both of them, but it´s about what you´re comfortable working with.
In the same way, multiple Truths have equal validity. Even in the ones that condone things which others will find inhuman and unethical. At a detached level, without projecting our human needs onto a concept – every Truth is Valid. Even the most horrifying ones, at least to the person who believes in them.
So yes – what do you do to make sure your version of Mind-Truth isn´t taking you, or others up a path that is necessarily destructive? And how would you know if it was?
The Answer Is Discernment
In my own journey, I started with the upper chakras, and then moved to the lower ones. I see academics and intellectuals often following the same pattern, so too with those who identify with the New-Age movement. I speak from years of experience in understanding myself and in the work I do with others, though I do not make the claim that this is A Truth For All. Though I have to say that I find the 7-chakra model an outdated one – it´s a lot more sophisticated than we are led to believe, though useful for heuristic purposes.
The Mind´s Center is associated with the Third Eye. Though it will have linkages with other energy centers in the body.
The Mind can create the illusion that ´IT KNOWS´ at the conscious and the subconscious level. So how do you know you´re not being trapped in what it has to say?
By looking to the other Voices or Knowing-s from the rest of your Being.
and so on.
It´s sounds a very obvious solution and it is, but it´s not that easy to achieve in practice, especially when one has focused the bulk of their interpretive and experiential processing at the mental level.
You would need to learn to listen to your body. Women have an edge here as we have the menstrual cycle. Whether we want to hear it or not, our body speaks in powerful ways through that experience. I am unsure what men or those born in different ways feel so I cannot speak to their processes. There are women who choose not to engage with their cycles as well.
Either way, listening to your body is paramount. Notice how it feels when you read about a concept, meet a person, enter a room. Note which muscles are tightened or relaxed. Note the sensations that arise when you look at certain things, eat certain foods, do certain energetic practices. Notice which signals are responses that indicate danger or fear, safety or peace, and so on.
Things like dance, yoga, meditation, rolling around in the mud, sitting under a tree, deep breathing, pottery – will also help 🙂
Listening to the heart often happens through the emotional channels. Again, notice what moves you to tears, anger, joy, happiness, gratitude and rage. Do not identify with the mental thought-processes that tell you the why behind them, but let the emotion in itself do the movement for you. This was a part of myself that I was unconscious of till I found a homeopath skilled in parapsychological work. And that transformed me completely.
What I find in spiritualists who over-identify with the mind-center is that they simply do not let themselves feel, judging the twists and turns in their internal process, often to detrimental effects. Or they simply ignore it entirely. Or to become aggressive, hostile or overly defensive to those who do manage to see the other sides of them.
There are times where you simply have to tell the Mind to Shut The Hell Up. Sometimes in a gentle way, sometimes in a – right – uhm – now – you – LISTEN, kind of way.
Just so you can process with the other parts of your energy-body and being.
This is very much in tune with the experience of a spiritual path that involves the feminine, in her nurturing and her fiercer forms. An experience for all beings on the planet, not only those born with a womb.
I would recommend the following gemstones: aqua aura quartz and blue lace agate (in tandem), worn around the neck/heart at all times. Remember to cleanse the stones under running water if they feel heavy and to recharge them under the Moon.
Listening to your Soul´s wisdom is probably the hardest thing to put into words. It arises as an inner knowing that doesn´t quite have a location in your physical or emotional body. Knowing what your Soul has to say is, at least, in the spiritual world, the name of the Game.
And to know it, you have to give space for it to speak. What we do not wish to hear, or have not been able to engage with overlaps greatly with the category of ´descent´ or ´shadow´ work.
Stones to recommend: labradorite, nuummite and angel aura quartz.
So, in response to the original question –
What Do You Do When The Mind Dictates Your Experience?
Focus and allow the different parts of you to answer in turn. Start doing things that shift your conscious focus and awareness to different parts of you. Not as a means of denial or avoidance, but to see if what your mind´s eye is seeing, in fact, aligned with the rest of you.
The fact that so much of our collective focus is placed on opening the 3rd eye chakra and the activation of the upper chakras in spiritual discourse – we have seen a converse downplaying, or downright disassociation from the other energetic centers / sources of knowing with the Self. Which is why you see so many facilitators who have excellent, well-developed upper-chakras but find it very difficult to draw boundaries, live in the material world or even acknowledge their own emotions and material needs. Or those who over-identify with the wisdom their Mind-Centers have taken a very long time to learn and understand.
(I would also critique the construct of ´I´m an Empath. I feel so much and hurt so much and that´s a good thing´ as part of the larger phenomenon)
And then comes the next question:
When Will It Stop? My Mind Needs a Tool, NOW! How Do I Fix This?
Sometimes the worst thing you can do in your journey is to try and figure it out too soon. The head gets in the way and starts throwing around the weight of its conceptual baggage and it interferes with the direct experience of … whatever you´re experiencing.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is just to take it a day at a time, step by step. In faith. You don´t need to know exactly where you´re going in advance, as – very often –
taking a leap of faith
into uncharted territory
is part and parcel of what makes your path.
Uncertainty and not knowing are gifts to be embraced.
Astrologers and guides can be useful wayshowers – they can point you in the right direction, tell you where to look or how to see – but the process of exploration and discovery is a gift in itself.
When you´ve worked with the mind for so long, listening to the other parts of you is going to involve a process of un-learning and re-learning. It´s going to take humility, baby steps, and simply not knowing how it´ll look for some time. Travelling without a map or a definitive timeline.
It´s challenging, but a rewarding path to take. And my life has been all the better for it.
In Conclusion …
It´s Your Journey, Dear Friends. Bring All of You into It.
Blessings and Love to All,
Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
Post & Image ´Rainbow Eye Sees You` © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016. All rights reserved.