Define: projection

Interestingly this one word generated some profound definitions:

Definitions of projection on the Web:

(psychiatry) a defense mechanism by which your
own traits and emotions are attributed to someone else

a kind of unconscious identification with the
object (participation mystique). All projections cause
counter-projections; that and being spellbound into living out the
projection are very close to M. Klein’s “projective identification.”
There are personal and collective projections. National or global
crises feed collective projections.

the fundamental law of mind: projection makes
perception — what we see inwardly determines what we see outside our
minds. w-m: reinforces guilt by displacing it onto someone else,
attacking it there and denying its presence in ourselves; an attempt to
shift responsibility for separation from ourselves to others. r-m: the
principle of extension, undoing guilt by allowing the forgiveness of
the Holy Spirit to be extended (projected) through us.

a defense mechanism, operating unconsciously, in
which what is emotionally unacceptable in the self is unconsciously
rejected and attributed (projected) to others projective tests
diagnostic tests in which the test taker “projects” some aspect of his
or her personality in response to the presentation of ambiguous test

In Psychoanalytic Theory, the defense mechanism
whereby we transfer or project our feelings about one person onto
another. Projective Techniques A generic term for the psychological
procedures used to measure personality which rely on ambiguous stimuli.

Popular Mechanics

That link did not work on ddd

An interesting item full of stuff about Moreno, but hardly full sociometry. Where is the criteria of “maximum voluntary participation” of these guests that Moreno used to disdinguish his sociometry from pseudo sociometry? This focus of looking at the group mechanistically has led to the title. Sociometry is not a mechanistic approach, but that will be hard for anyone to grasp after the last couple of decades. Still it is interesting that Moreno is still on the agenda somewhere – especially at Harvard.


Later: Link did not work on Thursday, 14 January, 2010 try (saved Walter)

Archetypes, teleology and what is real

Archetypes of Cyberspace is the title of an essay I am writing (still!). The research notes are on this weblog, they are this weblog. I will be doing a more research in the next few weeks if I get the time.

What *is* an archetype? It means chief type as I understand it, in other words the BOSS. But not the boss of the other types so much as the boss of the phenomena. Thus Venus and Eros are archetypes of love, Mars is the archetype of war. The question I put then is – who is the architect of cyberspace, the force that governs it, is behind it, whose domain is it? WHO is building cyberspace? It is interesting think if there is an outcome we are being pulled towards. Is there a plan.

That question might look to Terence McKenna as if I am thinking of the pioneers of Cyberspace as human receivers of instructions from the spiritual realm – the mushrooms or the aliens telling them what to do. Terence postulates that we are TV sets who receive our thoughts from angels etc. I don't think like that.

Even less am I thinking of teleology as used in the Catholic proof for the existence of God by design – though that might have some mileage in it for me.

In a way I do think in both those ways, but not literally, not ontologically. The world is *as if* there were these daemons running the show. It is best to behave as if there are. This is because there are objective unknowable structures in their depth and detail, that we can participate in only by allowing our own psyche to mesh with those structures. To do that we need to live, to allow our own unknown depths to mesh. We are not as machines, but living participants in the world. In other words to live as full humans who are not just systems and wo see not just systems. Is fathering the same as being the male in a family system? No, but sadly many people talk like that. Seeing through the mechaniocal world to the living energy might be hallucination but it is the way to fully participate in life.

The paragraphs so far are prelude to an I dea i am dwelling on. Teleology. That we can relate to a living world by knowing the archetypes is the essence of psychology. But to what extent are the archetypes also out there with definite plans – with an end-point in mind?

Thinking that there is a plan, a pre-conceived end point, is teleology. The idea is much maligned in science as nonsense hanging over from God as the literal architect of everything. Let us be struck for a moment with the word tele here. There is something archetypal in this word. Look how it recurrs in various devices we use: television, telescope, telephone etc.. Distance – space in other words – is what it refers to. J.L. Moreno used the word on its own to refer to the feelings and thoughts directed by a person into space – distance – to an entity, imagined or real, I am not sure about how that hangs together… space=tele, if we substitute space with tele we get cybertele. If steering is what the cyber is about we are able in cyberspace to steer our tele in the morenian sense.

This following passage is interesting from Teleology item on Principia Cybernetica. In this item they manage, quite appropriatly for a 20th century science, to take the supernatural out of teleology while still allowing it to have a meaning within the legitimacy of a fairly positivist model.

Originally, the study of ends, goals and purposes. In cybernetics, the STRUCTURal and organizational conditions for systems to exhibit purposeful behavior, reach goals (see goal oriented), maintain steady states (see homeostasis), survive threats from their environments (see evolution, adaptation), etc. (Krippendorff)

Along with the supernatural they take the metaphor out, and thus the psychology out. They see the world as a machine – which is one way. Which is fine – it makes them biologists or physicists of large systems. Someone has to do that, but it is not psychology. So can we think of a metaphorical teleology? Can we rescue teleology from religion, not for the physical sciences but for psychology? It is the *as if* which cyberneticists leave out that is important.

One reason is role reversal, we can learn about the world from the inside by being the world, or the spitit of a 'system' in the world. Role reversal is the ability we have to step into another's shoes. But we can do this with things and imaginal entities as well as people. As Moreno put it, [1975, p22]

Instead of coming down from the skies, he comes in by way of the stage door. God is not dead, he is alive in psychodrama!

Archetypes are dramatic, imaginal, that is where their power lies, by fully entertaining them we get to know them. But is there some sort of destiny, some sort of pull into the distand future?

I have a sense there is, and that this is not some "transcendental other" hovering out there in any literal sense. More along the lines of a fractal, that a bit of coastline will let us know the shape of the whole coastline, even when that coastline is still in formation.

Psychological truth

Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Scientist or storyteller?

Philosophies that capture the imagination never wholly fade. From Animism to Zoarastrianism, every view known to man retains at least a few devotees. There might always be Freudians, and there will always be admirers of Freud’s great imaginative and literary powers; these two, as the foregoing remarks suggest, are intimately linked. But as to Freud’s claims upon truth, the judgment of time seems to be running against him.

Nah! Truth is not as simple as it looks in this review. Psychological truth is hard won… vampires do not exist so how do we examine them and even more importantly slay them? This is bread and butter stuff for a psychotherapist.

Ritual, virtual, sacred space

Ancient Strategies in Contemporary Art by Deni DeBon ©

Dominique Mazeaud began a project called “The Great Cleansing of the Rio Grande,” in 1987. Once a month, on the same day each month, like clockwork she went to the Rio Grande river, near her home, and removed garbage out of the river. Part of her work involved keeping a diary. Sometimes the diary was documentation of the day’s events and other times she wrote “prayers” or poems about her ritual.12 Though Mazeaud is not making a grand ecological impact, her art reaches out through compassion, for one day a month she coexists with the river. Her ritual is personal and usually involves herself, and the people who pass by. Personal rituals work to reclaim one’s own identity, which cannot be found in today’s industrial culture. There is a longing to obtain an intrinsic sense of identity within the individual. Artists are turning to interactive processes which often seem simple and down to earth, working towards finding a sense of function within the world which also heightens the sense of self. Within the current traditions, there is little understanding of ritual art forms. In Mazeaud’s piece, her diary is the only commodity available. The function of the work is the interaction between artist and subject, the ending result is only known to the artist

I am adding this as it follows up on the Suzi Gablik item below. There are some important elements here.


These are the things that move us into the virtual, and that is where the gods are.

Virtual and ritual – connected?

Stuff that dreams are made of

2.03: The Economy of Ideas

Last line from the JPB item linked before:

And finally, in the years to come, most human exchange will be virtual rather than physical, consisting not of stuff but the stuff of which dreams are made. Our future business will be conducted in a world made more of verbs than nouns.

Stuff that dreams are made of… there is the clue… to psyberspace.

BUT… Information is as much a real product as material goods – it arises not only out of dreams but hard work. I think it un-psychological to not see the real thing and then to see into it imaginatively. It is particularly skewed to selectively imagine.

That is central to my whole way of doing therapy. It goes back to the “seduction theory”. Must dig up an article I wrote on that. To put it simply: just because it really happened does not mean we should neglect our dreams.

One thing I loved about this article is the opening quote from Jefferson. JPB certainly found the right bit to quote.