Through a Jungian Lens

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Projection – In Search of Happiness

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This is a bakery, one of many “Happiness” bakeries that are found every few blocks in the upscale areas of Changzhou.  The belief or hope that one can buy happiness is universal.  The idea that “things” can be holders of our happiness is another example of projection.  Now, this idea of being able to find happiness somewhere out there is an idea that seems to be the foundational belief of most of the western world.  Needless to say, I was surprised to see this idea becoming so widespread here in China.

Back in America and Canada, I see so many thinking that hey will become happier when they buy a new car or some “toy” or some other non-essential.  But, as invariably happens, once the purchase has been made, it doesn’t take long for the “sheen” to wear off and have the “thing” become “passé” because of the emergence of yet a newer model, a more expensive model, a larger item.  It really isn’t about “keeping up with the Jones’,” it is about the error in thinking that happiness lies in stuff and in the outer world.  Like everyone else, I get caught up in all of this as well.  To be honest, do I really “need” a new lens to make me happy?  Will a newer camera or computer do the trick?  Will a nice shiny sports car just make my level of happiness soar to greater heights?  What about seeing new sites in new places?  Will that fill the emptiness, the lack of self-worth?

I know that I can only, truly find something that might be called happiness by attending to the “self.”  Yet, somehow, I get sidetracked along the way.  Just like anyone else, I look for a quick fix, a special something out there that will somehow, magically, be holding happiness just waiting for me to show up, do it, buy, possess it . . .


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