Monday, December 09, 2002

Jung, writing on the mechanism of projection:

"As events in wartime have clearly shown, our mentality is distinguished by the shameless naivete' with which we judge our enemy, and in the judgment we pronounce upon him we unwittingly reveal our own defects; we simply accuse our enemy of our own unadmitted faults. We see everything in the other, we criticize and condemn the other, we even want to improve and educate the other. There is no need for me to adduce case material to prove this proposition; the most convincing proof can be found in every newspaper. . . . . But as everyone knows, our self-awareness is still a long way behind our actual knowledge. When we allow ourselves to be irritated out of our wits by something, let us not assume that the cause of our irritation lies simply and solely outside us, in the irritating thing or person. In that way we endow them with the power to put us into the state of irritation, and possibly even one of insomnia or indigestion. We then turn round and unhestatingly condemn the object of offence, while all the time we are raging against an unconscious part of ourselves which is projected into the exasperating object." [C.G. Jung, THE STRUCTURE AND DYNAMICS OF THE PSYCHIC, Vol. 8, Para 516]