Everyone projects, it’s almost as reflexive as blinking. This is a habit people develop early on in life. When it comes to simple things like the rules of the road, it’s fine. The problem with projection is when people predict situations or scenarios that have too much going on. Like assuming someone has foul or pure intents for example. People have a tendency to assume their thoughts of the world are reality. Whatever they think the world is like, is merely a projection of themselves.
Those who are overly competitive, for example, think that they have to make others “lose” in order for themselves to “win”. They assume, others are out to get them as well. This projection is based on their personality. In other words, they see the world as they are, not as it is. There are instances where predictability and projection is important.
Poker, for example makes a game out of this. People try their hardest to predict intent. This is important because the player who has the best predictability has the highest chance of success. Poker is a game though, but real life isn’t. The fact of the matter is, whatever is happening is real, whatever we think should happen is an illusion.
- The world is real. Individual morals and beliefs are not
- Projection can only show you who you are, not how the world is
- Our own expectations can create illusions for us about how the world really is
- Trying to make the world fit your ideals is a big mistake
Making the Mistake of Projecting Our Values
“Whatever happens in the world is real, what one thinks should have happened is projection. We suffer more from our fictitious illusion and expectations of reality.” -Jacque Fresco
This happens with parents and children a lot. How many times does a child fall, not get hurt, but the parent over reacts? Anyone who’s watched children play in the school yard can see that children don’t give a crap about getting hurt. They’ll be playing, fall flat on their face, stand right back up and run like nothing happened. When parents or guardians are around, it’s a whole different story. The child falls, the parents drop everything, run over all like “oh my GOD!!!! You have to be more careful!! Come here, let me take a look! Are you okay?!”. They scare the child to death because they take a small situation out of context and assume the reality of it is severe.
This causes the child to believe so as well. People tend to do the same with animals. People look at animal behavior and come to conclusions by projecting human characteristics onto the animals. Ants for example have been known to “store food for the winter”. Ants don’t know what the winter is. Even in tropical environments, ants still store food in their little mounds. Are they saving it for the winter there too? Ants store food without a logical reason. They don’t think, they just do it out of imprint.
Now you have smart asses that come out and say that ants are storing food for the winter so they can survive during time of famine. NO! It just so happens that ants store food. When the winter comes, that trait comes in handy and this is why ants aren’t extinct in multi seasoned environments. THIS is reality.
War and Religion
Many people say God created man in his image, but there are some who say man created religion in his image. The funny thing is, humans are the only animals who hold grudges and do irrational shi’t out of spite. Naturally, they’ll portray everything else the same way, even God. Let’s look at other mammals. Animals don’t hold grudges.
If you kill a lions cubs, it won’t slash your tires when you’re asleep. Animals move on, they don’t dwell on anything moral. Some people argue that God floods the world to rid it of evil and tests people to see where they truly stand. To me, that sounds like a psychopath, not God. People tend to project God in their image, as a spiteful tyrant who destroys all that disobey his moral code. In fact, every dictator that we despise in history has had the traits that we associate with God. War is another area people like to project in. Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys in war? Everyone thinks they’re on the good side and the other people are the bad guys.
Each side is CONVINCED that the enemy is the one who is doing wrong, not us. The reality is everyone is a bad guy when it comes to war. Human behavior is as simple as a response to an environmental stimulus. Until we learn to address the world for how it really is and stop predicting intent, we won’t solve anything.