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All through his life, a person uses two psychological mechanisms. He uses either projection or introjection. He projects desires, attitudes, assumptions and other states of mind onto ‘objects’:..
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by Pieter Heydenrych
All through his life, a person uses two psychological mechanisms. He uses either projection or introjection. He projects desires, attitudes, assumptions and other states of mind onto ‘objects’: his social situations, personal relationships, and understanding of reality. He introjects the same states of mind from the same objects.
These two psychological mechanisms link together into a loop, which I call the loop of projection and introjection, and represent the two ways of handling power. The way that projection channels power I call the desire for power, and the way that introjection channels power I call the will to power.
The reason why there are two ways of handling power is because there are two ways of handling will, or will power. The loop of projection and introjection has two parts : the use of the will (projection) and the control of the will (introjection). Each part has its own emotional dynamics. Each part leads a person along its own particular line of ethical and spiritual development.
I explore the emotional dynamics of each part of the loop.
The use of will.
The person can use his / her desires either to gain power over the environment or to gain power over people and society. The first use is usually within the realm of science and technology, the second within politics and morality. This way of handling willpower is the desire for power and centres on projection.
The emotional dynamics of the desire for power are :
jealousy (in self-pity mode) + pride (in vanity mode).
The control of the will.
In days of old the development of will power was the prime focus within concepts of ethical development. Meditation or psychic development or the performance of duty was the usual practice, and the person conformed to traditional ideas of the moral life. The person lived their idea of tradition. This way of handling willpower is the will to power and centres on introjection.
More generally, this way of handling will is the sphere of intense creativity. The compulsion to create great art is just the will to power in disguise.
The emotional dynamics of the will to power are :
envy + narcissism (in vanity mode).
There are two ways to power that utilise projection and introjection :
1). The person aims at power over themself : this is the will to power.
2). The person aims at power over the external situation : this is the desire for power.
When a person becomes passionate in his pursuit of power, then it becomes a drive. Whilst it is convenient to view will to power and desire for power as being two separate drives, I actually consider them to be alternative ways of utilising a person’s fundamental drive (I believe that there is only a single drive, but it can be channelled in various ways).
The will to power begins the spiritual drive. Without it, a person can turn to the spiritual life, and be involved in it (for example, in New Age activities), but he / she will not be propelled by a consuming drive.
There is a third way of channelling power, and that is through an intense idealism. This is the way that I function. The psychological mechanism that I use is primarily that of absorption rather than projection or introjection. (See article Utopian Idealism).
Why are there three ways of choosing how to work with power ? Power is always associated with vanity. There are three forms, or modes, of vanity and so there are three forms of handling power.
The Internal Drive
Idealism is a drive and so is the will to power and also the desire for power. This does not mean that there are three separate drives in a person ; they are just three forms of one basic drive.
One day I was resting on my bed and feeling listless, with no goal to aim at. Then I clearly felt for the first time my internal drive. It is within the heart (or heart chakra), but it was ticking over in neutral : the drive never stops, but self-pity dis-engages it.
In yoga theory the seat of the soul is on the right side of the body, adjacent to the heart chakra on the left. In my view the soul originates the drive but it first manifests from the heart chakra. There is only one drive in the person and normally this is controlled by the ego. To facilitate control by the ego is the reason, I presume, that the drive comes, indirectly, from the heart chakra and not directly from the seat of the soul. The drive turns into idealism, or desire for power, or will to power whenever the ego adds passion to it. This arrangement between the soul and the ego allows for the expression of free will.
The three forms of the drive have a common denominator of vanity, in one of its modes. Vanity is the source of projection and introjection, and it is also the source of idealism. Idealism becomes the way to use vanity (which is egoistic) in a less egoistic way. In actuality, idealism is the sublimation of vanity. The other two forms of the drive are more egoistic.
The three ways that the drive can be channelled are :
It can operate through vanity to generate idealism.
It can operate through the vanity mode of pride to generate the desire for power.
It can operate through the vanity mode of narcissism to generate the will to power.
Influence of Anxiety
What governs the choice of channel, and hence the way to experience power ? – anxiety and the degree of evolution of the person.
Anxiety usually arises in greatest intensity in the sensitive person when he / she is in social situations ; then anxiety is the sense of uneasiness in one’s relationships.
When the person is alone, anxiety arises from the repetitive generation of the abreactions of guilt and pride, in feeling mode – now anxiety is felt over the relationship to one’s sense of ethical idealism (which can also include one’s ideas of fate and of karma).
The person’s degree of evolution determines how he / she seeks to neutralise that anxiety, determines what goal arises as a compensation to that anxiety. Which channel is chosen arises from the interpretations of social situations and relationships in which anxiety is felt. The chosen channel enables the person to pursue some form of power. Even the relationship to one’s sense of ethical idealism governs one’s approach to power. These interpretations have a subconscious yearning for power. These interpretations govern the use of free will. Free will is little more than a subconscious dance of power.
Whether any channel is a spiritual one depends on the concepts of spirituality that the person adheres to. Concepts of spirituality change over time and over the course of the person"s evolution. What a person considers to be spiritual at one point in time may cease to be considered spiritual at a later time.
Most traditional ideas about spirituality have been derived within forms of spirituality centred on either the desire for power or the will to power. The influences of anxiety, projection and introjection have not been noticed. Whereas in the development of my ideas, I have learnt to be aware of the influence of projection and introjection. However, like all seekers, I have not escaped the pervading fog of anxiety.
Handling power and handling spirituality are aspects of consciousness that have to be learned – only in this way can the good be separated from the bad. And for modern times, this learning has to take place within social situations.
Evolution and relationships link together within social situations. And social situations are governed by the ways that power can be expressed in each historical period.
Hence evolution is always shaped by
the person’s social and historical setting.
Author Bio :
Copyright © 2002 Ian Heath, owner of a map of psychological spirituality suitable for modern times.
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