Through a Jungian Lens

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Projections and Hooks – Being Caught in a Spider’s Web

with 3 comments

I found this huge spider’s web at the south end of the beach.  I thought that it would serve a good purpose here in terms of talking about projections.  After all, most projections that get us into trouble are those that get caught in hooks.  That said, it is impossible to exist and not become both.  As I found in one good story I am reading during my holiday here in Costa Rica,

we have to do a thing in order to find out the reason for it.  Sometimes our actions are questions, not answers. (John le Carré, A Perfect Spy, 1986, p. 37)

There is something critical to acknowledge here, that in living and experiencing, we need to follow up the experiences with questions in an attempt to understand ourselves through our actions, especially when our actions don’t seem to be fully logical.

For example, love at first sight.  I know that this is fully about projection.  I experienced this at the age of fifteen when I was travelling with my family.  We stopped at a restaurant and gas station in the northern wilds of Ontario heading towards Ottawa.  At that time, near the supper hour, we were the only customers.  Behind the counter was a young girl about my age.  I looked at her and immediately fell in love.  I didn’t know a thing about her.  I could see in her eyes that she was as taken as I was in that moment.  An hour later, the car moved on to continue going east.  And that moment was forever seared into my brain.  A part of me was left there like some fly being caught on a web.

Continuing on with Sharp’s book, in chapter four, Sharp talks about projections:

I think projection is everything, the alpha and omega of relationship.  There is hardly a man or a woman in the world, from the halt, the lame and the blind to the most beautiful, who cannot spark someone’s love or hate through the psychological phenomenon of projection – often to the later bewilderment of one or both.  This is neither good or bad; it is simply life as we know it, and behind it stand all our complexes, the triggers that cuase us to be attracted to, or repulsed by, another person . (Sharp, Jung Uncorked:  Book One, 2008, p. 36-7)

We definitely are caught in these projections.  yet, like the spider, we are actively spinning the webs, unconsciously creating the triggers for projection.  And in doing all of this, we open ourselves up to become hooks to be caught ourselves, in the webs of others.


3 Responses

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  1. I had the unfortunate experience on my recent trip to Germany of sparking instant, unqualified dislike in someone I had to work with for three days. I couldn’t understand why she was instantly so negative towards me, literally withi ten seconds of being introduced. I got through by reminding myself it certainly wasn’t anything truly personal(she didn’t know me before she disliked me) and was surely a matter of projection: I suspect my voice alone was the key as I think it reminded her of her mother-in-law’s voice….


    January 11, 2010 at 6:57 am

    • I had a similar experience with someone at work. From the moment that I met him, I disliked him. It took me a long while to figure out why. It was because he had certain mannerisms and speech patterns that reminded me of my father. After I discovered that, I was OK with him. Still a little uneasy at times, but at least I understood why. Projections and complexes are powerful things.


      January 11, 2010 at 5:43 pm

      • Yes, indeed, Paul. Projections are powerful things.

        Robert G. Longpré

        January 12, 2010 at 11:01 am

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