There's a lot of New Age absurdities that irritate me. One of them is the ridiculous notion that if I dislike something about someone else, it's because I actually dislike that something in myself.
Oh, really? That's absurd. Sure, perhaps it is true in a few cases, but almost always we have a good reason for our dislikes.
I dislike Donald Trump because he lies incessantly, has a monstrous ego, lacks any genuine sense of morality, and exhibits an almost total lack of self-awareness and self-criticism.
(Those are the dislikes that come most readily to mind. I could come up with more after a bit of additional thought.)
What I dislike about Trump isn't a reflection of my own mind, as a couple of annoying web pages I found say: "What You Dislike in Others is What You Dislike in Yourself" and "Introspection: Why You Hate in Others What You Hate in Yourself."
That makes no sense. Are we to believe that everybody who dislikes Trump, mostly liberals, share the qualities that they believe Trump possesses, while everybody who likes Trump, mostly conservatives, have none of those qualities?
It's a fact that what I dislike about Trump is part of Trump's personality. No doubt about it. Fact checkers have proven that he lies all the time. Most of us lie occasionally, but we feel bad when we're caught in a lie. Trump revels in lying, and he never admits he was wrong.
I'm not saying there's no such thing as projection. Sometimes people do indeed project their own disliked qualities onto others. There's been some notable instances of Republican politicians who were vehemently anti-LGBTQ, then were discovered to have engaged in homosexual behavior themselves.
In general, though, I agree with the thrust of what Jeff Foster says below in his book, "The Joy of True Meditation." His emphasis is a bit different from what I've been speaking about, but the theme of Foster's short chapter is in line with it.
The Path of the Broken Heart
"Clear up our vibration and you'll stop attracting bad things to yourself."
"If you have fears, if you have resistance, if you have anger, doubts and shame, then you must be in your ego, and totally unenlightened."
"If you think there's a problem with someone's words or actions, you are always the one who's confused."
"Everything is just your projection. Everything is in your mind. Everything is unreal."
"You attracted your pain because you desired and deserved it."
"You are too attached to the body. Go beyond the body. It's not who you are."
"The past is an illusion. Let it go immediately."
No, it's not always your projection. Sometimes you are seeing very clearly indeed.
No, everything isn't always "only in your mind." Sometimes you need to trust your gut instinct more, not less.
No, your doubts and fears are not a sign of your lack of spiritual evolution.
No, you do not attract abuse through a faulty "vibrational frequency."
No, you do not deserve to be violated in any way, in the name of truth, in the name of God, in the name of love, or in any other name. Your boundaries deserve to be respected, your "yes" and your "no" equally.
No, it's not okay for spiritual teachers to shame people "for their own good" (to shock them into awakening, to enlighten them, to help them drop their "ego").
I cannot support any spirituality that dismisses our tender, vulnerable, fragile humanity, that shames us for our precious human thoughts and feelings, that divides self from no self, sacred from human, holy from profane, absolute from relative, heaven from earth, duality from nonduality.
I once saw a popular spiritual teacher addressing a recently bereaved woman. He said, "Your heartbreak is totally unreal and only the activity of the separate self. You are pure Awareness, and nothing more. Your son, and his death, are just a convincing illusion of mind. One day the separate self will vanish, along with all suffering."
And in that moment, I saw a deep sickness and inhumanity at the heart of contemporary spirituality. The invalidation of trauma, the false promises, the power games, the suppression of the divine feminine.
And I vowed to bow to that broken heart as if it were God Herself.
Until the end of time.
Hi Brian Ji
Everything has two sides. And there is a worthy theme to these sorts of reflections.
"if I dislike something about someone else, it's because I actually dislike that something in myself."
Freud. Projection. It happens. We often are drawn to attend to things that resonate within ourselves. Our hatred of all forms of violence in part reflects our own fears and concerns about our own anger and the harm we may have caused others. Or it may just reflect the lack of peace and happiness within ourselves, and so, subconsciously we are drawn to blame something.
The reason we are drawn to the faults of others is often due to the sensitivity about our own faults, which can be subconscious.
That doesn't mean we should not call out not injustice loudly. But if we have no intention to actually do anything about it, then it is appropriate to question what and why we are choosing to point the finger of blame. And that is because in most situations placing blame is not the answer. It may just be another Freud, avoidance of our own issues.
Or Freud again: displacement. Boss yells at man. Man yells at wife. Wife yells at son. Son kicks dog.
As to this one...
"He said, "Your heartbreak is totally unreal and only the activity of the separate self. You are pure Awareness, and nothing more. Your son, and his death, are just a convincing illusion of mind. One day the separate self will vanish, along with all suffering.""
Whether this is appropriate or not is an individual matter. At some point we must get over grief and continue on with our lives. At that point we awaken to the fact that our loved one is no longer here.
Or that whatever was real of them is in us and still there for us to turn to.
Whether the best way for a person is to go through the grief and observe and accept its course, or to be very hard on ourselves, kicking ourselves in the ass to get back up and gave life like a warrior, all depends on what we need. Grief is a process and like any process people can get stuck in it. Hence the need for each of us to help each other along.
Betty Davis once said "Old age is not for the faint of heart."
Life is tough. Compassion is also difficult. And most difficult for those we don't like. But as to actually solving problems and moving forward together, when there is no other way to move forward, when we must find a way to work together, that is where real compassion is so important. Not the fake compassion for others who are beautiful and noble victims and whom everyone already sympathizes with. That's not real compassion. It takes no effort at all to understand them.
Real Compassion for those who are the victims of their own mental enslavement and who are, inadvertently, enslaving others.
It is the sick who require the physician most, and much less so the healthy.
Posted by: Spence Tepper | May 05, 2022 at 02:32 AM
> There's a lot of New Age absurdities that irritate me.<
There's a lot of New Age absurdities to which I react irritated.
The [outside] allergens is not causing the [the mental] allergy.
The allergy is caused by the [mind] body.
Yes Um, You are right [ in what you communicated about the abserdities in society] but WHY do they upset you?
It doesn't upset me why should they upset you?
That is how I came to understand it.
Posted by: um | May 05, 2022 at 03:51 AM
When morality is imposed it inhibits the development of conscience.
Freedom is a state of mind that develops conscience as its own authority.
The greatest freedom one can have is the responsibility for the quality of one’s own mind state in now-ness. If one is free to live on the basis of doing the least amount of harm to oneself, others and the world around you, then there is no need for imposed morality or enforced laws.
The development of conscience is therefore a lived expression of equanimity and inter-relatedness.
There is no greater punishment than experiencing directly the consequences of one’s thoughts, speech and actions that cause harm to yourself, others and the world around you.
Authority, in the form of imposed morality or enforced laws, will always be necessary within a society where humans remain attached to the confusion created by the conditioned self-referential mind.
Posted by: Roger | May 05, 2022 at 01:27 PM
Yeah, I used to be an extreme left wing liberal. Now I’m somewhere in the middle. I used to love all the New Age philosophies and rituals but now it mostly annoys. Superstition really annoys me.
I do believe the projection makes perception, HOWEVER, perception is a complex subject so it’s impossible to judge another’s behavior since we can NEVER truly know how another person perceives the world.
Judgement in any form is bad. Using discrimination is good. I can only answer for myself and certainly don’t want to make the error of judging another person.
I guess ultimately it’s self-righteousness that turns my stomach, although for the most part I try to ignore it.
NO ONE has the right to judge you. NO ONE. We each answer to our own conscience and that’s all that matters.
Posted by: Sonya | May 05, 2022 at 06:07 PM
I agree 100%, this new age stuff is dangerous and needs to pass through the filter of common sense.
You mentioned Trump, Brian, and I want to bring up the character of the circus clown Baba Gurinder Singh Dhillon. He's a narcissist, a hypocrite, a liar, a womaniser, doesn't care about his nephews (who are locked up because of him); he's greedy, has an inflated ego and has an insatiable appetite to be liked. This is based purely on fact and observations based on his actions, and in no way reflect parts of my character. I would never do that, and infact I have the opposite desire which is to expose this fraudster and raise awareness and truth. Just doing 10 mins of research googling Gurinder Singh Dhillon news is all that is needed to be truly enlightened.
Posted by: Uchit | May 06, 2022 at 03:04 PM