Presented by Jhampa Shaneman
These lectures were transcribed by T Vd Broek. Heartfelt gratitude is offered for all the hours of work spent on this Dharma activity. These talks are offered free of charge. They have been slightly edited.
July 9 1991
The process we are dealing with is conscious awareness focused on one's self. If we have the desire to be more fulfilled, less loose ends, and have more personal control and in touch with oneself, this is the process we are involved with. And though I am working within the principle of Jungian psychology, it ties in strongly with meditation. If one meditates, one has to deal with the fact one has problems in regards to relationships, in regards to one's self, to one's ambitions one might have spiritually, and then the inability to attain those, or troubles which keep getting in the way. We would like to be more consciously aware, and yet we lapse into forgetfulness and completely out of touch with ourselves or how we are working with ourselves.
The approach of Jungian or archetype psychology is to first become consciously aware or what is termed individuation, meaning that one learns how to detach oneself from the relationships and the things around oneself. Not in an aloof manner, but to realize how one sets oneself up in relationships. The initial process is to recognize one's shadow, which is negative projections on people around. If we have strong emotional response to particular negative entities or situations, it is said that we are seeing our own shadow. This means it is an area of our own inner psyche which we have poor relationship with. It is demonstrated by a disregard, or being picky about something. This is bad, this is horrible. These types of things. There is a sense of this relationship with particular things manifested. So the recognition of one's shadow is to recognize, maybe people who we find negative, rapists, murderers, for example, if we are unrelated to our own inner emotions, we might look upon them as terribly negative. Or one deals with something close to ourselves, our sexuality. Maybe we see lesbians or homosexuals and we have incredible distaste for that. Why? If we have security about our own sexuality, we wouldn't have any negativity about them. But if we have a lot of insecurity, we would have that strong negative response about what we would consider inappropriate sexual behavior.
An unaware person projects their negativity, their shadow. In the individualization process, the important thing is to start to recognize one's shadow. And you recognize it in projection. And that is the simplistic way to look at the individuation process. A more developed way which is harmonious with meditation is, for example. We want to be a more realized person. We want to be happy. Yet there are things which come up to prevent us. We get emotional. We get too picky. We get too caught up in our own expectations on others. So we say we have been meditating and yet something is wrong. In Buddhism, meditation on death and impermanence would be a good way to generate that detachment that withdraws the projection.
From a psychology point of view, the process is done by being consciously aware of what is being generated from within oneself. For example, if you have a mother or father complex, when you enter into relationship, such as a man entering into a relationship with a woman, they have a poorly developed inner feminine. They have an attachment to the mother, which of course means being mothered. Attachment to the mother means I want to be mothered. So this person would get into relationships and always destroys the relationship with a woman. It ends up he has demands on her or somehow always has that situation he sets up which makes the relationship go sour. He can't understand.
So there is a deficit on the personality side. Personality doesn't have much maturity or the ability to stand on it's own two feet, so when it comes around a woman, in projection it has a deficit in I am not secure, I need to be mothered. So when woman arises, this projection says this woman might mother me! It goes into relationship. It might start on a physical basis such as attraction, but as time passes, the person because of their projection of I need a person to mother me because I feel insecure, starts setting up that thing. You can see, it is in projection. It is really low, subtle, not very blatant, but after a certain amount of time, the woman more and more has to assume a mothering position to have that man respond happily. As soon as he gets a little mothering, he gets happy. So he's feeding into projection, and she to keep him happy, has to feed into it. And then the relationship goes sour because the woman finally says, I am not going to wash your diapers any more! Grow up! And the guy says what are you talking about! And they have an argument and the relationship sours. That is one example.
And you could do it in the opposite form. A woman with a man. In that sense it would be authority. The man would take over all responsibilities like her father used to. He had control over everything, knew how to do everything, so I want this man to father me, to support me in that way. Same thing as before. Initially there might be response on the physical basis. Maybe there might be projection in there. The man might match some attribute of the father. Then they get into relationship. And at a certain point, the woman has the man controlling her. Maybe she recognizes that she doesn't want that and then she dumps on the husband, saying you control me too much! You are a jerk and so on. She has never been able to gain her own authority, her own control, she unconsciously dumps it on the father because of wanting fathering. But when the man is controlling her, she realizes she doesn't want it and so she fights and destroys the relationship, and then wonders why she is always broken hearted, that relationships don't work.
I am moving us into a more profound level of this approach of projection. If you are a meditator and are looking at yourself and thinking you would like to be more integrated and together and yet keep blowing it, why? You have to look at what you are doing when you move into the various relationships. It requires terrific conscious awareness. You have to be your own analyst. And one way to do that is through working with your dreams. I do not want to get too much into that because it is going to come up as we approach it, but you can see as a meditator you are definitely focused on conscious awareness. I want to be more consciously aware.
A person who has not have a lot of consciousness about what enlightenment might really mean, they think enlightenment means love and compassion, let's be wonderful, and do everything terrific for everyone. And as they try to do that they find their anger gets in the way, the judgmental dogmatic, sectarian things get in the way. All sorts of garbage come up. Obviously enlightenment isn't happening here because the person is all wrong. What they have done is that they have not realized that enlightenment is really inner realization. They have assumed a religion and on the basis of this then they project out into the world how things should be. Everyone should have love and compassion, they should be this way or that. You see, it is all in projection. So they feel very holy or wonderful because they are involved with something which is very meaningful, but in reality they have missed the mark where real enlightenment takes place which is inner realization. Therefore they get into anger, arguments, and all of those problems because the practice is not really focused where it should be. Rather, it is that they have assumed the trappings, and have not realized the meat of the practice.
The point is, if one is having trouble with one's practice, one has to move to a more profound level. With conscious awareness, you have to start to become more conscious of how do I set up relationships with people? If you have good meditation ability, you can start to become more conscious of how you are setting up the vibes with people you are around. You have a spouse. How do you set up the vibes with your spouse? Is is mother me, father me? Or is it, we are in a relationship of caring, and I have the responsibility, I have power and authority and you do too. I respect you and you respect me. This is a very enlightened relationship. An not enlightened relationship is, don't push me around and tell me what I need to do. Or you don't love me any more, you do not do the things you used to do! Which is sort of wining that I want you to wash my clothes more regularly, things like that.
With conscious awareness be aware of the vibration you are setting up. What energy are you generating when you are around your spouse? Around people of equals? Or people of authority? Your teachers? Whatever it may be. Look at how you set it up and you might start getting insights into where you have a projection.
That does not mean you kill the object. You do not kill your spouse. You don't divorce your spouse. Stupid things like that. Realize that you have created a situation for myself right now which is very strongly based on me having a lot of insecurities in this particular area. And so I really project strongly on this person is my salvation, this woman will be my mother, this man will answer all my problems and support me totally in everything possible.
So you start to become more conscious of how you set them up, realizing there is an inner lacking of security, stability, lack of maturity. With that, conscious awareness is focused internally realizing this is why one is not very enlightened. Why life is a bummer for me. Why I keep blowing it. So with the inner development, you don't kill your spouse, you do not destroy those around you, you start to say, I am going to be more in control, more focused on not buying into the old habit patterns, the old projections I used to have.
For example in the relationship with a man to a woman, you realize you have wanted this woman to mother you. Maybe you have a mother complex kicking around in there. So you have to realize that when you get into the relationship with the woman, and it happens when you start to relax, then the way you would like it to be starts to come out of you. Like I want this woman to mother me. I want her to bring me a cup of coffee, I want her to wash my clothes, this and that for me. When you relax those energies start to come out. When you are right there, it doesn't happen. But when you relax, projection comes quite easily. So you have to recognize that energy, and when there is clothes to be picked up, you pick up your own clothes. That is taking responsibility for yourself. When there is coffee to be made or the bed to be made, you make the bed. You make the coffee versus having the spouse do it.
All you do is start to change that habit pattern or the way the projection used to work. And your spouse will notice. My husband is suddenly a more mature man, and not waiting for me to clean up whatever. So all that happens is you do not buy into the old habit pattern saying this person is going to do all these things for me. You start to be more responsible which is more integrated. It means you are more aware of yourself and what sort of existence you are setting up for yourself.
And in the case where the husband makes all the decisions, the woman is not very mature. It is lousy for the husband. I mean it is wonderful until the husband realizes that his wife is so apathetic that nothing is happening. That basically he can do anything he wants and sit is no fun. So the husband gets pissed off and the relationship doesn't work out. Or maybe the woman doesn't like suddenly being bossed around, and yet she keeps buying into the father authority. It could go both ways. It depends on the individual. And the point is, the woman has to make decisions for herself. But again, you do not kill the spouse. Or you don't go out and make big decisions, but it means in your own self you become more in control. So you make personal decisions which are important for you.
We are talking about basic relating. But if you come back to the process of wanting to become an enlightened person, you have to be integrated. You have to be in a wonderful situation. And I do not mean to become this incredible power trip. But you become a very wonderful responsible person. To do that you have to deal with inner lacking, inner insecurities, inner inabilities. If you don't, enlightenment is a non existent possibility. It won't happen. Because inner realization is not happening. You might be very spiritual, do millions of prostrations, do meditation, recite mantras, tantric visualizations. But if you are not gaining the things where you are becoming more independent, more realized consciously, I don't think enlightenment is happening. To whatever extent you are developed, you might be fairly interesting or spiritual. But reality is inside there is still incredible voids of realization and you are stuck at that level until you look within yourself and find those lackings and start healing them or improving them. Being more consciously integrated.
That is the theory behind the philosophy of Jungian psychology they call the self. The self isn't like self existent. I like to use the holistically integrated. Meaning, all the areas of your self are holistically being integrated, consciously integrated. That I am consciously aware and participating in relationship to them. And it only happens with consciousness because it is an internal thing. Not external as if you could tie strings to everything like networking, inner consciousness is saying I am responsible in my relationships. How do I set up my relationships? How am I to my boss? To spouse?
Consciousness is then starting to question how are things. And this is where dream images come in. That is where you will start to have images arise. There is actually an evolution of male and female imagery in dreams in Jungian psychology. So if you are not enlightened about yourself, just living in projections and such, then recurring dreams can become a very common thing because there is an area which is not being resolved very well because we are unconsciously reverting into a particular habit pattern. And because it is unconscious, therefore we are subjected time and time again into the same old vision. We are not very aware of what we are doing to ourselves so we are repetitively going to meet the same similar imagery because we are not going beyond them.
So if there recurring dreams, as a meditator you can resolve to find out what is happening. What is that thing? Sometimes it is difficult, it is a very unconscious thing which is very familiar to us and yet not easy to understand what the image is embodying. But as time progresses, the lackings within oneself can be discovered and the images can disappear. And becoming involved in the process, life becomes a whole new realm and much more interesting for the practitioner because every time something recurs which is powerful for your inner psyche, you can delve into what is happening.
So we are moving more towards holistic integration of the self. It is not only the personality which is being integrated, but also all the surrounding complexes. Jung came up with the idea as integration develops, the archetypes will develop. And in particularly you will have a manifestation of both male and female characters which will embody your integration process. He identified four levels of these beings.
For a very unconscious person the images appear as monsters or unknowns. Or beasts which are very unpredictable or very low on the evolution chain. It means you are dealing with something very fearful for yourself, very unconscious. And, it is not articulated at all!
When you start to be a better meditator, the image will become more human. That means that you are getting to a level where you can communicate with your own complex. The more you can understand your complex, the more intelligent you become and the response to the complex is to become something which can articulate itself back to you. Maybe your father will appear in your dreams more often if that is the image. Or, whatever. Maybe it is just a woman. They say as you become more conscious, the image will personify itself into one of four levels.
For the male side the four levels are Tarzan, Kevin Costner, the Dalai Lama, and then someone who is like the Dalai Lama but in sexual union. For a woman, when she starts to gain an appreciation of her own power, it may come as Tarzan, a powerful sexual male. There will be a strong physical male there. The woman will have strong sexual energy there. With more integration, the heavy physical side of it dies down, and a father image comes into place. A woman gaining that level becomes a terrific housewife. She is very fulfilled in being the housewife. A terrific inner energy she draws on. Kevin Costner level integration means a powerful housewife, a powerful woman. Although the first would be a good sexual partner, the next level would be moving into family, becoming a mother who is very good at mothering.
She would be a very powerful woman, Kevin Costner archetype working within her. And if she didn't, chances are she would find a Kevin Costner character to dump all this projection onto to make her feel fulfilled. And until she found this type of make, she would be very dissatisfied. She would have a big reliance on this man though. If she were more intelligent, she would realize that she had Kevin Costner level projection and should try to disassociate from the man so she gains personal power. If she pulled off the projection and found that it was her inner psyche, she would have freedom.
Dalai Lama level is spiritual. It has gone through the phase of being a sexual woman, to a mother, to a spiritual evolution. Mother Theresa sort of thing. She goes beyond the family to work for the community. Does things for others. Has a very wonderful energy and finds fulfillment in that. She might project on the Dalai Lama as her spiritual mentor and does all these tasks. If she is more intelligent, she realizes she has a place in her mind for Dalai Lama, has inner psychic archetype Dalai Lama and gains inner freedom. In that way she does not reject Dalai Lama. She recognizes Dalai Lama personified, but she has more inner freedom for herself. She becomes a more integrated powerful woman. She becomes a Dalai Lama sort of consort. And she has inner power.
Final one, I don't know a person around who would qualify for that. Sort of like the ultimate entity who is not only highly spiritual but still has a physical sexual side. Maybe like the modern rendition of Jesus Christ. A highly spiritual entity who has gone beyond even the moral restrictions of celibacy to be a spiritual person. He has full confidence in spirituality and has a sexual side which is acceptable and active.
The point is at that point spirituality does not have to be identified and clung to. More than that, life is acceptable in what ever form it comes. A woman that had that level of realization would be unbelievable.
On the man's side, same process. First level man is the Amazon woman. Means very sexual, powerful character. A man with that level archetype realized is himself very sexually active. If he is unrealized, he would look around for the Sophia Loren or some sexual woman who would turn him on and he would have a very powerful sexual relation with that person. Until he realizes that is the level of projection that he is living on, he would be very clinging to that woman. He needs a seductive woman at his side to feel powerful. If she leaves or is taken away, he feels very insecure. He has got to find another one real quick.
For the person with more awareness, they would realize that they have inner Sophia Loren within themselves. They would not be clinging to the woman. If she is there or not, he would still be a powerful male.
The next level would be the perfect mother, perfect lover. Doris Day would work. She is together as a housewife, and yet still has a powerful relationship with her husband. If a man gains that level of realization, he moves beyond being a sexual entity only, into having a family, wanting a woman who has that power within her so he can feel he has a good family and such. He becomes a powerful father, with a powerful wife. If it is in projection he would look for a woman who qualifies. If he is more integrated, he would withdraw the projection on women around him and realize his own power as the father and nurturer. There would be more freedom for him.
The next level would be the nun. Burnadette. With that archetype, the man becomes a very spirituality. He has moved beyond sexual, family. Into the spiritual. For him it would be celibate, pure, wonderful reflection of the purity and such things. In projections, it might be Mother Theresa who embodies purity and such. A man would be devoted to mother Theresa and take spiritual advice from her and do good deeds in the community or such.
In that level you have an inner archetype on the level of Mother Theresa or Burnadette and the person responds with the appropriate level activity.
The next one is listed in the books as Sophia, the embodiment of wisdom. It is a woman, the archetype is identified as feminine but which is highly spiritual but has gone beyond the restrictions of morality and chastity and such things. It is fully wisdom embodied in a feminine form. For a man who gains that level of realization, that would be that the man has deep inner spiritual ability and does not have to cling or worry about morality. Where all life is spiritual. It is not as if it has to be in a church, and all experience becomes the reflection of Sophia for that person.
This is the theory behind it. For you as a meditator, what you do is if you start to gain that integration process I spoke of, or the process of individuation where you are learning how to disassociate your projections on others, and your inner psyche becomes more whole. The images arising within a more whole psyche are indicators of what is going on. And as you develop yourself inwardly with your meditation, you will find that you will go through these different levels of projections. And you will find that sometimes they manifest. Maybe when you are feeling very spiritual you will have the Dalai Lama appear and he will bless you on the head. Definitely there is some spirituality within you. If you only have very sexual dreams all the time it indicates that you are on a very physical level. That sexuality is a very integral part of yourself. but if you move over and find you have a person in your dreams which appears more in a family role, the good provider, the good lover, then your psyche has moved to a higher level of integration, a little bigger than just a sexual relationship and has broader ramifications. With more integration you might have spiritual entities arise in your dreams such as the Dalai Lama, or those like that. Maybe people who have no real face in this world but they are spiritual. Like the great father of spirituality, or the mother of wisdom! Something very powerfully spiritual. At that point I would think one is having some relationship to the world in a more holistic manner, a greater way of social consciousness.
Finally, the highest level would be where one goes beyond the strictness of religion as all life as spiritual.
That was the talk for tonight. The most important thing for ourselves as meditators, is to try to become more conscious. The whole point of all of this is consciousness. How conscious am I of my projections. How do I feel about you? How do I set up my vibes with you? What do I want? Do I want a sexual relationship from this person? Do I want this person to be my wife? Or do I want to look upon this person as a pure person, a yogini? So therefore when I sit beside them I have great spiritual feelings or something like that?
Then to realize this is my projection on these people. Am I conscious of my projection or unconscious and give away responsibility for them for that projection I am having. The ability to individualize is also the ability to be responsible for your projections. There is nothing wrong with projections as long as you are conscious of them. Because then you have ownership of it still. If you are unconscious, then you flip into the unconscious this is the guru, and this is my husband, and this is my wife, and the real relationship totally ceases. All you have is your relationship to your projection. And the real entity of that person can disappear so they no longer are there at all. All you have is your projection about that person. The real person has faded away and it can get very boring that way.
For the meditation come back to the three basics, a mind which is open, a mind that is clear, and a mind that is deep with stability. These are standard Buddhist meditation. Pure concentrated mind in clarity and openness. Now to bring it into a way of integrating ourselves, be conscious of your projections. And in being conscious of them, don't destroy the object that you are projecting on, recognize that object embodies some of the projection. And therefore you can say thank you very much. I recognize my projection in you. And by doing that, you can say, I am responsible for my projection. That doesn't mean you are that way, it means that is what you invoke in me. And so there is a more conscious grasp or hold on one's own personal reality. Versus projecting it all out and saying, hey, there is an attractive person, I want to make love with them! There is a person who might be a wonderful husband or wife. And there is a person who is totally spiritual and I want to get their advice because they might send me to enlightenment. Interesting isn't it? And that is the meditation for this evening.
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