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Hello, my name is Projective Identification.

You may not know me well, but I play an influential role in human affairs.

Why is understanding this so important now in society and what is projective identification? 

In psychological terms, it’s a defense mechanism whereby people unconsciously project unwanted parts of themselves onto others, then relate to those individuals as if they actually embody those traits. For example, a person struggling with aggression may constantly accuse others of being angry and hostile. Or one may covertly judge others behind their back when the judgement is yet again another inner shadow that desires to be seen. Seeing it externalized seems to be a way to expose our inner most workings in a way that can be accepted initially. But don’t get it wrong, the projections grow, like an egregore, and eventually the projection can be enmeshed in the field and cannot help but make its way back to the accuser. Then the choice is to face it or often continue to deeply suffer causing damage to others and oneself.

When we externalize inner shadows we are blinde to or can't accept, perceiving flaws in others, may temporarily comfort the ego offering a clever way to disguise its own darkness, that actually desires to “be seen.” But don't be fooled - when you judge others harshly, it truly never fills that hole inside. The faults that drive you mad in a friend or public figure often mirror your own disowned weaknesses. The flaws you shout loudest about reveal your secret inner demons. We must learn that this is an opportunity to look within and choose that wise step toward our own growth and evolution.

We all have light and dark within; wholeness comes from embracing both. Don't deny your shadow by casting it onto your neighbor. Reclaim the lost parts of yourself with courage and compassion. It is common when coming into this responsibility that our observations are minimal as we can only take on so much when we start processing our blindspots. I believe the psyche’s way of protecting the individual as we begin on a journey of spiritual awakening and embodying authenticity.

Projective identification crops up not just individually, but culturally as well. When groups collectively project shameful qualities onto marginalized communities, discrimination flourishes. Scapegoating the "other" lets a society feel superior while avoiding its own sickness.

"The real source of victim substitutions is the need to deflect violence, not the victim's guilt. The persecutors end up misunderstanding this process because they think their own violence is justified." -on scapegoating

Healing begins by taking radical responsibility. Next time you're outraged at the flaws of some group, pause - listen to me, Projective Identification. Am I seeing my own unresolved pain and trauma? Progress comes when we extend the empathy we desire. This is a process of self honesty and growing up emotionally and psychically. 

So don't push it away - bring it into the light. It’s here to show you the disowned pieces seeking love and integration. Face it and become whole.

*I am not an expert but rather wish to bring these subject matters into the light in contribution to our collective healing processes.

I highly suggest Sam Vaknin's books, lectures, and youtube channel to learn more about projective identification, its origins, and how mentally unwell parenting dynamics affect the long term potential of our children.

Also I highly recommend the workings of IFS or internal family system work which identifies "parts" of us . For instance the exiled part, the manager, the firefighter, etc..

Check into Richard C. Schwartz

Lastly I recommend the works of Emmanuel Swedenborg and the youtube channel Off the Left Eye as a spiritual framework for healing.

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