Psychological projection, also known as blame shifting, is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unpleasant impulses by denying their existence while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. (Wikipedia definition).
In the past, I considered psychological projection to be a very negative human defense mechanism. As I become more awakened, I realize that psychological projection serves a great purpose in spiritual growth and emotional recovery. It allows us to see clearly who we truly are within, and the emotional work we still need to do.
“Projecting thoughts or emotions onto others allows the person to consider them and how dysfunctional they are, but without feeling the attendant discomfort of knowing that these thoughts and emotions are their own. We can thus criticize the other person, distancing ourselves from our own dysfunction.”
“One explanation is that the ego perceives dysfunction from ‘somewhere’ and then seeks to locate that somewhere. The super ego warns of punishment if that somewhere is internal, so the ego places it in a more acceptable external place – often in convenient other people. Projection turns neurotic or moral anxiety into reality anxiety, which is easier to deal with.”
“Projection is a common attribute of paranoia, where people project dislike of themselves onto others such that they believe that most other people dislike them. Projection helps justify unacceptable behavior, for example where a person claims that they are sticking up for themselves amongst a group of aggressive other people.”
As we awaken on our spiritual journeys, we become more aware of psychological projections. Through this awareness, we are able to determine what is truly still within us, and what is external to us. Blessings on your spiritual journey forward!