An interesting story on NPR’s All Things Considered yesterday reminded me of a quote by Carl Jung, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” A study designed to look at anger issues and treatment was really a look at projection of the ego. In this story, when people who were diagnosed as having anger issues viewed photographs of people’s faces, they would often project their feelings of anger—saying that these people were angry (In actuality, the facial images exhibited a neutral appearance.) Freud cited projection (personal thoughts and feelings projected onto others) as a defense mechanism, used by the ego to decrease pain and increase pleasure. He was right! It happens all the time. It’s no secret that indeed, people often project their thoughts, feelings, attitudes and perceptions on to others, often unknowingly. In essence, all other people offer you a mirror image, reinforcing these thoughts and attitudes. When the ego and soul are in balance, you begin to see people for who they really are, not filtered through the lens of your own ego.
• Stress Tip For The Day:
Take time today (and perhaps every day) to note the faces of others you meet and see if they reflect to you a mirror image of your inner thoughts. To see this reflection, you first have to know your inner thoughts, and own them. There comes a time when you see people for who they really are, their expressions, their thoughts, their emotions, etc. but this can only happen when you have taken the time to go inside and domesticate your own ego. This process happens with a regular meditation program…
• Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:
I am a big fan of the works of Carl Jung and for this reason I highly recommend any of his books, including his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections.
• Quotes for the Day:
“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” — Carl G. Jung
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; Who looks inside, awakens.” — Carl G. Jung
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” — Carl G. Jung
• Photo of the Day:
This is one of my favorite photos taken of the Tetons in Jackson Hole, WY. I was here a few years ago filming Earth Songs and was spellbound by the beauty of these mountains freshly covered in snow… Nice reflection, too. Enjoy
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 14 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart, A Beautiful World and Managing Stress (7E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.