I’m a walking projector. As far as I am concerned there is only darkness until I turn on the lights. From MY PERSPECTIVE, the entire world is void and dark until I make it otherwise.
In other words, the world may exist only as a phantom of my imagination of it. Even when considering just the physical level, the universe exists as electrochemical signals flying around within my brain.
Maybe there are people “out there” – outside my head – and maybe not… It certainly SEEMS like there is a world “out there” with which I interact. And yet, what if…
The entire universe could be a projection of MY image of it derived from my own imagination presented onto the surface of my psyche as reality. From my perspective, I accept and defend this projection as reality.
Projection – “the presentation of an image on a surface, especially a movie screen” (Google definition). Hey, I experience that every night when I dream. During those times I’m not receiving input from my senses – yet I sense things anyway. I’m not “interacting” with real others – yet it seems to me that I am. My dreams are a projection of my imagination onto the “surface” of my consciousness. Not “real” in the sense of physicality you and I agree is reality, yet it SEEMS that way.
How do I know for sure, for example, that I’m not dreaming this right now? Problem is – I must use senses based in the same reality that I’m measuring. It’s the quantum measurement problem: at the quantum level, that which is measured is affected by the measurement device(s) – AND the intentions of the one doing the measuring.
I could be literally creating, through imagination, the world in which I live. I may be creating every person, place, thing, process, action, sensation – for me and for “others” as well.
How can that be?
Through imagination, I create MY observation of what others sense, do, and feel. I RARELY if EVER observe – because I can only observe what I imagine. I am literally the observed AND the observer.
Consider – as far as I am concerned and from my perspective – the universe exhibits ONLY my image of it that I project from within me upon the “screen” of my psyche. Perhaps I’m not actually feeling the heat of the sun upon my face on this sunny afternoon – instead, I could be feeling radiant heat because of electrochemical signals generated inside my brain by my imagination – projecting the “reality” of the experience of heat upon the screen of my psyche. Some part of me interprets this data as a warm sunny day, thus justifying my sensation of heat and light. Another part puts meaning to it – judging it a nice day. And yet another aspect of me assigns some behavior like walking or sunbathing to that image. ALL generated and projected from within ME. This level of imagination is the goal of hypnotic induction.
So, what about other people?
What “other people?” “They” could be aspects of me – projected from my imagination onto the same canvass as the sunny day.
Although it appears to ME that I’m interacting with an external environment – and I’m not saying that I’m not – FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, it could be just ME interacting with ME.
What does all this have to do with fear, then?
Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against unpleasant impulses by denying their existence in themselves, while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. (Wikipedia)
In an earlier post in this blog, we discussed how fear entwines itself into the fabric of who I think I am. From that perspective, then, fear MUST infuse maybe all my projections and make them appear “out there” where they appear safer to me.
Yet, there is nothing “out there” – so maybe nothing for me to fear. I have ONLY my imagination of what is “out there.” At even the very most basic of physicality, my fears are simply electrochemical signals traveling through my nervous system. Those signals appear as [maybe the result of] figments of my imagination, though the signals themselves are not the objects of the fear (in the same way that a map is not the territory depicted on the map).
Considering the realization that I project my fears from within me –
Why do I do that? What purpose could imaginary fears possibly serve?
Ever noticed the blood circulating through your body? Probably not until something happens that draws your attention to it – like an injury. Ever noticed the sound of air? Of course not – it’s quiet UNTIL you notice when it is loud enough to exceed your conscious awareness threshold. Basically, my conscious awareness is set to ignore sameness and notice difference.
My fears represent that which is DIFFERENT from my mundane, same-o, same-o, day-to-day existence. Like war, in which “…long periods of boredom [are] punctuated by short moments of excitement” (John H. Arnold), maybe encounters with fear serves me by giving me a jolt of aliveness as compared to succumbing to whatever it is I fear (usually something that might kill me – like a predator).
Fear may serve to AWAKEN ME!!!
My theory? – To keep my real self from boredom, aspects of ME create and project fears onto the surface of my psyche to entertain and engage me – giving me a sense of purpose in a universe devoid of it. As far as I know I’m in a full-sensory, 3-D “movie” – enjoying an immersive entertainment experience – just for the fun and excitement of it. If this is the case, I’ve NOT been disappointed.
How might you feel about your fears when, rather than real, you were to consider them figments of imagination intended by you to entertain you?
The next time you feel afraid, remind yourself that the sensations you’re feeling – and the justifications you’re placing upon those sensations (ex: “I’ve always been afraid of heights”) – are simply electrochemical signals in your brain projected onto your psyche to provide you with “entertainment.”
Notice – are you entertained – has the fear-projection of your understanding captured your imagination and attention, broken your mundane state, and motivated you to engage with your life by taking action? Cheers! Your fear-projection system is working properly.