[Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell]

Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche

“Those who know, not only that the Everlasting lives in them, but that what they, and all things, really are IS the Everlasting, dwell in the groves of the wish-fulfilling trees, drink the brew of immortality, and listen everywhere to the unheard music of eternal concord. These are the immortals.” –Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces

“Just as we tend to assume that the world is as we see it, we naively suppose that people are as we imagine them to be.

In this latter case, unfortunately, there is no scientific test that would prove the discrepancy between perception and reality.

Although the possibility for gross deception is infinitely greater here than in our perception of the physical world, we still go on naively projecting our own psychology into our fellow human beings.

In this way everyone creates for himself a series of more or less imaginary relationships based essentially on projection.

Among neurotics there are even cases where fantasy projections provide the sole means of human relationship.

A person whom I perceive mainly through my projections is an imago or, alternately, a carrier of imagos or symbols.

All the contents of our unconscious are constantly being projected into our surroundings, and it is only by recognizing certain properties of the objects as projections or imagos that we are able to distinguish them from the real properties of the objects.

But if we are not aware that a property of the object is a projection, we cannot do anything else but be naively convinced that it really does belong to the object.

All human relationships swarm with these projections; anyone who cannot see this in his personal life need only have his attention drawn to the psychology of the press in wartime.

Cum grano salis [Latin for with a grain of salt], we always see our own unavowed mistakes in our opponent.

Excellent examples of this are to be found in all personal quarrels.

Unless we are possessed of an unusual degree of self-awareness we shall never see through our projections but must always succumb to them, because the mind in its natural state presupposes the existence of such projections.

It is the natural and given thing for unconscious contents to be projected. In a comparatively primitive person this creates that characteristic relationship to the object, which Levy-Bruhl has fittingly called ‘mystic identity’ or ‘participation mystique.’

Thus every normal person of our time, who is not reflective beyond the average, is bound to his environment by a whole system of projections.”

~ Jung, C. G., Collected Works, “The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche,” Volume 8, par. 507.