The Psychological Responses to Political Elections

Every election cycle stirs up the same set of emotional responses in us. We feel fear and hope, outrage and comfort. Yet we understand so little about the real origins of our politically triggered emotional responses. I would like to clear that rather stale air left to hover like a ghost in our consciousness after this most recent election. I would like to unveil the wonderful psychological underpinnings of our emotional reaction to politics, and in so doing, render you more empowered, and less anxious during the coming political seasons.

There are two main psychological reactions to political circumstances, projection and transference. Both of these two reactions attend our political lives, and typically they arise together. And both of these reactions have an unconscious agenda played out in their existence. Let me explain this.

PROJECTION

The first unconsciously generated reaction we will look at is that of projection. If you have lived out your life with even a minor psychological education you likely know that our species does this thing psychologists call projection. We project onto others what we cannot face is true about ourselves. And some of us have identified projection taking place in the intense emotional reactions people feel toward particular political figures.

But allow me to say something about the phenomena of projection that is not always understood. Projection is not a bad thing. It is a means to an end. It is the unconscious mind’s way of overcoming our cognitive mind’s inherent subjectivity about ourselves, as it relates to our behavior and attitudes.
Our unconscious mind selects some other person or creature that has just enough superficial resemblance to some behavior or attitude in us that we cannot yet face that enables us to perceive in them what we cannot see in ourselves. And often this resemblance is not based on a visual or a literal experience of the projected upon person, but on an unconsciously held association tied to a symbol that we connect with that person.

All humans do a great deal of projecting. We do far more projecting, in fact, than almost anyone realizes. What renders this projection thing so destructive is that we do not know that our perceptions of some other person are not really a case of us perceiving them, but of us looking at a projected image of our un-faced selves. Obviously, if you think you are interacting with someone else and you are really interacting with some part of your own self that you are unaware of, there can be some significant misunderstandings unfolding, both in you and in the person you have been projecting on.

In a political circumstance we humans project onto the other candidate (or other political program) what we cannot face is in operation in our own lives. So, for example, I (a person who identifies more with liberal politics) look at George Bush Jr. and see a person who is not intelligent enough to fill the position of president, but who was selected by his party just because he is limited enough in intelligence to not cause the part leaders any trouble.

Another feature of my view of G Bush was that he only came to be sought out to fill, first, the governorship of Texas and then the presidency because he had a father who was well connected politically, and who was far more capable than he.
This is an obvious projection. There was not nearly enough information available to me to warrant such a conclusion, and the emotion with which this conclusion was held by me indicates with certainty that it was a classic projection on my part. So, what was I projecting?

Well, whatever it was I was projecting via this perception of G Bush, it had to be something I was terribly resistant to seeing in myself. Let’s analyze this together, shall we? Have I ever been in a situation in which I have been selected by someone (or some group of people) to do something I was intellectually unable to do? Such a circumstance would be a classic circumstance one would resist facing (because of the humiliating or embarrassing nature of it).

There is a major area of my life in which I feel just like the imbecile that I viewed G Bush as being; that is the area of making money (operating a business). And Like G Bush, my election to this post of making money/making a livelihood for my family was inherited from my much more capable father. I have never had the drive necessary to focus on making a livelihood. I have always been intensely focused on helping people understand and resolve their psychological issues. {My wife did the livelihood thing.} Thus, whenever I have felt it necessary to pitch in and help my wife with our financial needs, I have always felt exactly like I perceived G Bush Jr. as being, incompetent.
And, of course, I have never been too eager to look at this very painful limitation in me, assuming that there might well be nothing I could do to remedy this limitation. So I suppressed cognitive awareness of it.

Now, you, might well be thinking, a lot of people viewed G Bush Jr as an imbecile and they were not all in your situation with regard to your inability to make a livelihood. And of course this is true. Yet it is not a stretch to assume that those who viewed G Bush as an imbecile did so because of some un-faced imbecile in them. They likely did not have their imbecile in the area that I have my imbecile, but they do have an area of life they are so bad at living out that they feel like an imbecile in that area of life.

When we stand before some person who we place in the “other” camp, a person we do not, for whatever reason, identify with, we project onto them either those necessary aspects of our own life that we have not developed and need to embrace or those destructive aspects of us we are resistant to see in ourselves. This is automatic. There is never a time that we simply react to such a circumstance with simple confusion. There is always some degree of projection taking place.
And when we are in a political situation, facing someone coming from another political perspective than our own, we always will be projecting onto them. Now, the projection may not rise to a level of a strong enough emotional feeling that we notice it, but it is there. And if what I am saying is true, you can begin to see just how significant these unconsciously generated projections might be to a person wanting to understand the inner unresolved issues they are carrying.

TRANSFERENCE

Alright, now let’s look at the other psychological reaction to political circumstances we humans experience.

Transference, like projection, is generated by our unconscious mind for the purpose of helping our cognitive mind see what it is too subjective to see. And actually, transference is a kind of projection. When we experience transference we are projecting onto someone else some necessary function we see ourselves as being incapable of doing, yet actually are, and need to do.

Transference is classically associated with the therapist/patient relationship. In this setting, the purpose for which the unconscious mind generates the transference is that the patient has transferred to the therapist a role they must see themselves as being able to live out, but cannot. They have transferred to their therapist their responsibility to seek and find insight into the human condition, a role they will need if they are going to thrive. And specifically, within the therapy setting, if they are going to get full value from their therapy work they will need to see themselves as being collaborators with their therapist, rather than as an adult child whom their therapist must carry through the process of therapy.

In a political setting transference involves the transference of some pretty interesting aspects of our social life to the candidate we favor. For example, in the first Barack Obama presidential election, I viewed Obama as being the first African American person who the Nation would be willing to elect as president. This idea about Obama, apart from any of his political positions, rendered him a very attractive candidate for president to me (on an emotional level). Of course, I had a more developed intellectual view of B Obama, but it was this emotional view of him that generated the most emotional reaction in me as the election process unfolded.

So, what was I transferring to B Obama? I was transferring to him my own responsibility to offer those aspects of my person that are African American -like. This is an example of a projection having a strong symbolic meaning for us. An African American carries a historical association of a culture that has been unjustly exploited, suppressed, abused and considered socially inferior.

All of us have an African American aspect of our person, symbolically speaking. I transferred to B Obama my responsibility to offer those aspects of myself that I know society does not treat or value as it should. This implies that there is an unconscious acceptance in me of the subjective and erroneous notion that I cannot offer those aspects of me to the world around me.

I likely have defaulted to this notion out of fear of rejection of those African American aspects of me, and this has effectively cut me off from my very necessary social responsibilities. And the fact that I do not see that I have done this, necessitated the formation of this transference.

I can fixate upon how much good feeling B Obama generates in me, or I can look for the B Obama in myself, and embrace my unconsciously abandoned responsibility to the world around me. If I fixate upon the feeling B Obama’s candidacy generates in me, I can easily believe that this feeling is actually about B Obama, though in reality is is actually about a significant issue in me.

{Aside from this kind of transference, I have experienced other kinds of moments of projection related to b Obama. I have watched the other party do what I viewed as malicious things to B Obama (and no doubt, given the nature of unrecognized projection in operation in all humans, there have been many such things). Yet it is not out of a concern about them doing those malicious things to Obama that generated my emotional response. This is a very significant point, so please pay attention to this.

If I were actually emotionally responding to concern for Obama my emotions would be a very different kind of emotion. If I am honest with myself, I can see that my emotions relative to Obama’s mistreatment by others are the sort of feelings I have when I am concerned, not about someone else, but about myself.

This means that Obama is become a symbolic representation of some aspect of myself. Again, with this sort of projection, what I tend to think I am feeling with respect to B Obama I am actually feeling about myself (about the B Obama-like aspect of me).
Thus the commonplace misjudgments I have run into, of B Obama being secretly a Muslim who will work covertly to establish Sharia law in our nation, and render us more vulnerable to a take-over by Muslims, is not simply an example of the all too obvious projection of my conservative friends onto B Obama, but an example of me projecting the unresolved fears of judgment I have, fears of being unjustly judged as an outsider intent upon causing damage to the the society around me.

I am wide open to such fears, in as much as I work as a counselor, who has to regularly introduce unwelcome, foreign-sounding ideas and principles into the lives of those people related to those people I work with. I have experienced a number of occasions in which family members of my patients viewed me as B Obama; as a covert threat to the peace and security of their home.}

TRANSFERENCE AND TRUMP
Among my Conservative friends, the number one thing I see being transferred to D Trump is their responsibility to forgo their own tendency to conform to their social group’s values by suppressing what they really believe, and feel, and want. They see Donald as being a paragon of this virtue of speaking openly and honestly about what he feels and wants and believes and values. And they have transferred to him their responsibility to do the same thing. Their transference onto D Trump implies a need in them to see that they can, and should be willing to, stand up to, and be heard by their friends and loved ones, and even complete strangers, and not simply conform to group mores and expectations.

Considering the force and effect of projections one may begin to see just how emotionally potent a political election process can become for a human being. It is meant to be potently emotional. It needs to be in order for us to see what we are so resistant to seeing in our self.
I see my fellow liberals projecting all sorts of interesting things upon D Trump in this recent election. Here are some of the things I have noted being projected.

Trump, the Sociopath
1. Trump is a sociopath (incapable of empathy). This projection (regardless of whether or not Trump is actually a sociopath) implies that there are un-faced callous behaviors by those projecting, that there moments in which there is no ability to empathize (and to the great wounding of others) in them.

This is an obvious thing for a person to project. No one wants to see themselves as being incapable of empathy, and wounding others as a result. Yet this is exactly what those moments of fear we all experience leave us with. Fear renders us unfeeling people, prone to emotionally hurting those around us.

So, are we like D Trump? We are actually precisely like we see D Trump being, and until and unless we can see our projection, we will continue to be, unabated.
You will argue that you are not projecting upon D Trump. You are simply well informed, and that you are basing your views of him on research you have done. Yet the emotions you feel when pondering your “research” is a tell tale sign of projection. You are not primarily concerned for the well-being of the world. You are primarily concerned for your own well-being. The emotions you feel when the subject of D Trump arises are those emotions one feels for oneself, not the world, and this means you are projecting. Yes, this distinction is often too subtle for us to notice, but as you read what I am saying about those emotions, you can probably see that what I am saying is true.

Trump the Misogynist
2. Trump is misogynistic and a selfish exploiter of women. I find this projection very interesting, because it takes on a symbolic meaning. I do not believe most people are projecting a literal hatred of females onto Trump. I do see that there is a great deal of projecting of our fear-driven anger for and reaction to the values of others.
Females symbolically represent the aspects of our psyche we associated with the feminine principle (emotions, the conscience/our values, and our intuition). Males represent the aspects of our psyche that are associated with the masculine principle (the instinctual drives/desires, the Will/our sense of what we need, and our reasoning mind).

Just as there may be conflicts arising between a male’s and a female’s point of view, so too can there arise conflicts between our Will and our conscience, our instincts and our emotions, our reason and our intuition). And these conflicts, going on in each of us, become externalized as the conflicts between us and the emotions or instinctual desires, the Will or the values, the reasoning or the intuition of other people.

So, can we ever smugly, condescendingly, even hatefully despise or exploit the values, the emotions, the intuition of other people? Yes, and when we do, we do not see ourselves being any kind of malefactor. We are proud of our resistance to their stupid, irrational, emotional, ideological nonsense. We are, in effect, the very Donald Trump we have projected onto D Trump.

Trump the Narcissist
3. Donald Trump is Narcissistic. This one is kind of obvious. We all have been emotionally wounded by the selfish need for attention and love in others, so none of us wants to see ourselves as being such a person. Yet, in as much as narcissism is a human way to ope with the fear of terrible abandonment, all of us are narcissistic to some extent. All of us have been left holding the bag, have been painfully ignored or marginalized, or kept at arms length, or even brutally cast aside. So, all of us will tend to cope with the fear of this happening again by adopting the coping mechanism of narcissistic self-centered-ness.

And when we do, we will not see that we are being narcissistic. No, we will view our actions as us simply loving ourselves. Hence the need to project.

Trump the Racist
4. Donald Trump is a racist. This one is very likely a projection of both a literal racism and a projection of what racism is a symbolic representation of. All humans have what is sometimes referred to as the herd instinct, the instinctual desire to fit comfortably, safely and productively within a closed group of humans.

When this instinctual need to be protected by our social herd is threatened, the fear of losing this protection can induce a person to over identify with our social group. It looks like us making too much of our membership in our group/culture/nation/city/etc. and our emotional inability to identify with people outside of our group.

This coping mechanism is the very essence of racism. And we all have done, and are doing this sort of coping. And, again, because racism has such an enormously ugly track record in our species history, few people want to see themselves as being racist.
Trump’s alleged racist views of African Americans and Mexicans, like his alleged bigotry against Muslims, is mostly an expression of our projection of what those groups of people symbolically represent for us. African American’s have a long association in US history with a people who have been unjustly put upon and judged as inferior and selfishly exploited.
So, in projecting this particular kind of racism onto Trump, it implies that we are unjustly holding negative views of wonderful and necessary aspects of our own humanity that have historically been unjustly condemned by our society.

Each of us are way too busy suppressing necessary and wonderful aspects of our humanity. This is a byproduct of the force of civilization on our species; we suppress what is essential in human existence in order to fit within our society, which is collectively suppressing necessary aspects of their humanity.

Humans have learned from unresolved painful experience with their humanity, not only that our humanity can be destructive at times, but to fear this destructiveness. And this fear causes us to react to our potentially destructive humanity by suppressing it (instead of learning to use it in a more productive way).

We are all, symbolically speaking, intensely racist, malevolently suppressing, and then covertly exploiting (indulging in) those disrespected aspects of our civilized selves we have unjustly judged as being inferior.

Projecting on B Obama

I should post some of the detailed projections conservatives level at Liberal candidates (such as Barack Obama), but I identify more with the liberal side of politics, and so I do not have the depth of familiarity with conservative projections that someone who is politically conservative would.

This paper really should have been co-authored by a conservatively focused psychologist, so that the projections conservative people generate could be more accurately represented in this essay than I will be able to offer. Nevertheless, I will attempt (undoubtedly badly) to represent the conservative side of this equation. Please forgive whatever inadequacies I possess with respect to the specifics of conservative projections and look for the general idea I am hoping to present to you.

Okay, here is what I remember my conservative friends being emotionally disturbed by, with respect to Barack Obama. I cannot speak with as much definition about Conservative projections as I can Liberal projections because I am only personally aware of and extensively experienced with Liberal ones. So I will not be able to fully account for Conservative projections. This will perhaps be unfair to liberals, but I can’t help that.

Barack is Secretly a Muslim
1. He is secretly a Muslim, who will covertly inject policies favorable to Muslims into US politics. The more extreme versions of this projection involve things Americans project upon Muslims, and not just Barack Obama, so I will take a moment to cover what we Westerners project upon Muslims.

Muslims represent something very important to Western (Christian) peoples. Eastern Civilization in general is far more comfortable identifying with the collective identity (and correspondingly less comfortable identifying with the individual identity) in us than is Western civilization.

Family connections are far more extensive and developed and invested in by members of Eastern societies than by members of Western societies.Thus, to fix our attention on the idea that Obama is a secret Muslim is to also suggest he is secretly holding Eastern values and beliefs.

Also, Muslims, and members of Eastern societies in general, typically have a greater respect for the idea of authority than do members of Western societies. This is an extension of the greater place a collective/family identity has in Eastern civilization. Authority is about the practical force holding together a group of people/a family. We humans collectively authorize someone to take responsibility for the well-being of the collective, so that the herd may survive and thrive.

This authority principle is an instinctual drive in our species. It is an extension of our instinctual dependency upon caregivers/parents, and the support we offer to their control of our lives (submission) for the purpose of accommodating their efforts to care for our well-being. If they have to take care of us, they will need a certain amount of control over our lives to do so. And Eastern societies typically have a lot more regard for this principle than do Western societies.

When our instinctual need to support the authority principle (and by extension, the well-being of our group) is being driven by a fear of that authority being jeopardized or diminished, we tend to compensate by overvaluing the authority principle and devaluing the instinctual drive for independence. And this set of circumstances manifests as suppression of the individual, and the proliferation of toxic group-think in a society.

All humans have been the victim of such fear-driven deification of the authority principle. And social settings in which the establishment equates uniformity with unity/harmony, or willing support with conformity, and the suppression of an individual identity with the promotion of a group identity, you have this kind of toxic version of the authority principle.

And this toxic version is something the highly individual-Identity-driven Western societies fear the most. And they do because their collective valuing of their individual Identity feels threatened by this strange Eastern valuing of one’s collective identity, and especially the fear-driven toxic versions of it.

Eastern societies, in their turn, come to fear the toxic versions of an individualistic identity lived out in the West, that is, our compulsive individuality, which we assert even at the expense of the collective well-being of our community.
We humans need to have our individual identity and our collective (family) identity working together in us in a state of harmony. WE NEED BOTH! But because of unresolved emotional wounding we have come to embrace one, and fear and suppress the other.

So, we fear the extreme, fear-driven versions of each others' values. And fear looking as though we are not like others in our own favored society. This renders the issue of individual and collective identity, and the sub-issues connected with those issues, such as authority and independence, a field ripe for human projection.

In the West, we see Easterners, and perhaps Muslims most of all, as people who live without any regard for their individual identity, without any respect for the independence of the individual. This simplistic view of other humans is a classic indication projection is taking place. One oversimplifies ones' judgments of the object of our projections. No groups of humans will ever be that one-sided. Both individualistic and collectivist people will exist in every society.

But projection will skew our perception to monstrous lengths until we only see Muslims as collectivist zombies intent upon absorbing all humanity, or see Americans as totally self-centered, and brutally selfish hypocrites hell-bent upon sucking the spiritual and cultural and economic life out of every culture not their own.

And here is where we come back to what it is we are projecting upon Barack Obama. In seeing him as secretly being a Muslim we are projecting our own covert authoritarian values and beliefs onto B Obama. And we truly do have covert authoritarian, fear-driven collectivist beliefs and values. Conservatives frequently hold up to view their emotional attachment to their American identity. They are the most patriotic political point of view. And although pretty much any politician must officially espouse patriotism if they want to gain office, it is clearly the conservative political parties that feel the most emotionally about being patriotic.

In contrast to this kind of patriotism, I, as a person with liberal politics, tend to identify myself as a member of the human species world wide. This does not mean that I do not have any identification as an American. Just let me visit another nation for any length of time and this American identity comes flooding back into my mind with a longing for things American. Yet, I do have more of a collective human identity than do most conservatives I know.

Thus, in projecting onto Barack Obama that he is a secret Muslim, with a covert Muslim agenda, what is being projected (and thus is not being faced) is the Muslim-like valuing of a collective identity (as expressed in ideas such as patriotism), and in espousing authoritarian measures to ensure the viability of patriotism in our nation. This espousing of authoritarianism would likely not be something that is openly consciously embraced (because American are so leery of any form of authority), but it would be embedded in the feelings we have toward those we see being too individualistic, too independent.

Barack is a secret Communist/Socialist
2. I think the other thing I have noted being projected upon Barack Obama is that he is a secret communist/socialist. Often, my conservative friends view these two as being essentially the same. The nature of communism and socialism is a valuing of one’s collective identity at the expense of ones’ individual identity (and for conservatives, that means, one’s individual rights, such as the tight to bear arms).

This is clearly just another form of the Muslim projection. Just as Islamic cultures tend to value a collective identity more than we do in America, so to did Communistic societies, such as those in the Bolshevik USSR. And so too do Conservatives in the US, with respect to issues such as patriotism. And this valuation of patriotism has at times become as toxic in our nation as it ever was in Bolshevik Russia. In fact, it was at its most toxic when we as a nation were most afraid of Russian domination (during what came to be known as the Red Scare).

In other words, when we Americans were most afraid of Russian communism, we were most like Russian communists (with reference to the more toxic versions of group-think and hyper collectivist values and beliefs, and completely unable to see how this was so.
The emotions triggered by that dreadful and terrifying group-think we used to project upon Russians, we now project onto Muslims. Where we once spoke with passion about the Russian secret police rounding up all political opposition and “re-educating them” , we now whisper in our close circle of friends, about Muslim Sharia law.

And some American version of Sharia law is exactly what we would secretly (unconsciously) impose on our fellow Americans, who we viewed as being too individualistic, too unpatriotic.

The Big Picture

In political elections, something very psychologically significant is taking place. We are attempting to be heard. The callous suppression of our voice, of what we feel and what we believe, and what we desire, and want and think and see as valuable, has been a lifelong source of emotional pain and wounding in us. So, when we are officially asked to express ourselves, in an election of a national president, it should not surprise us that this situation turns out to be loaded with all kinds of emotions.

During such a public communication of our personal voice, every moment we have ever experienced being silenced or ignored or marginalized or kept at arms length (whether by someone else or by our self) is present in our hearts in this process of being politically heard.

And thus the most significant thing about political elections has nothing to do with who we elect, but what this election process tells us about ourselves, about what we need to say, about what we have been suppressing in ourselves. We do not know it, but in a political election, at least on a psychological level, we are being told by our unconscious mind to elect our selves, that self who has been ignored and suppressed, devalued and wrongly feared for way too long.

In observing me discussing these forms that projection takes in our American society, you will either feel too threatened to do anything but react defensively, or you will respond with a kind of joy over the insight you now are getting into the human condition. The joy is what I hope to find in you as you read through this.

I hope you will see what I am showing you, and be giddy at finding out why you have felt the intense emotions you have been feeling every time the presidential elections come around, and why you have tended to become less of the person you want to be in response to those emotions. I want to you to be invigorated at finding that the human condition actually can be deciphered, and in such a way that we can feel freer to make proactive choices than we were before. I want you to draw comfort in finding out that the other people in that other party, or other society/nation/culture are not the monsters you were beginning to be afraid they were.

Projection can be one of the greatest aids to resolving our fears, and resolving our unnatural suppression of our necessary humanity, than anything else we will ever encounter. That is its real purpose. If we pay attention to what it is we are projecting, we may become far more emotionally whole and psychologically developed people. Or we can simply ignore and deny the existence of our projections and become the monsters we fear.

We will project, and far more than any of us know. The only issue is whether we will benefit from our projections or be destroyed by them.

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John

I appreciate your insights into the underlying emotional dynamic inspiring the exercise of our political prerogative. I would like to add another important emotionally charged determinant of our voting preference to your own. I suspect the majority vote for the candidate that is rightly or wrongly 'perceived' to best serve their own material interest. Material interest incorporates more than one's access to personal prosperity. It also includes 'political control' over others. Political correctness so to speak.

Yes, Klemens, there are a host of good political reasons for choosing one candidate over another. Those political reasons represent the issues we are aware of, and mostly involve moral issues (like the one you mentioned) or problems related to how we should govern the world around us. The thrust of this paper is to show that there are issues we are unaware of, issues that pertain to how we can work to resolve our own for the most part un-faced psychological issues.

I'm pleased you brought up your point, because it serves to put this paper in the larger context of how we get the information needed to work through our psychological issues. The unconscious mind may take on an issue that is social or external, even physiological in nature; it is not limited to discussing internal personal issues. Yet, it is nevertheless focused on how those external issues impact and must be dealt with by us psychologically. For example, people have had dreams dealing with their soon to occur death, helping them deal with this event in the best way possible.

I would guess that because we are beings that are far more integrated into the rest of our species than we aware, our unconscious mind will not be unaware of our political needs. Yet, again, for us to be able to cognitively choose the best political path we need to become aware of our own psychological projection and transference. Otherwise we will be bringing our unresolved past emotional wounds (our emotional baggage, as we like to call it) into our present political circumstances without realizing it. In other words, we wont even actually be voting for what we cognitively think we are voting for, but for something that really has to do with unresolved past emotional issues.

And if there is ever a political issue that our unconscious mind needs us to be aware of, let's say, for the sake of our very survival, I have no doubt it would (and I have know of cases where it did) let us know. There is the case of the Christian community in Armenia that was alerted by a vision of a twelve year old boy that they needed to leave Armenia or they would all die. And those who left did in fact avoid the Armenian holocaust that killed so many in that very year.

The more conversant one becomes with their unconscious mind, the more kinds of issues they see being addressed. I have had entire conversations with my unconscious mind in those semi-dream states one is in just before waking, about the psychological issues I was studying at the time. It is a well know and thoroughly documented fact that many of the greatest scientific discoveries came to their inventors in a dream.

But our species biggest problem is not with the world out there, but the world in here. And our unconscious mind knows this and moves to deal with this problem that we are, that our cognitive mind and its fear-driven subjectivity is to our well-being.

John
Agreed for the most part. Even though the focus of my interest lies elsewhere, I very much appreciated your very sensible and personal approach to the application of these particular psychological concepts. You have a very refreshing, original and informative expository technique. Let’s put it this way. You haven’t as yet been infected with the sometimes self serving propensity to sell the sizzle/mystery while all but ignoring the steak. Who knows. Maybe an analysis of my own projections onto your work might help me to recapture the idealism and truth seeking phase of my youth. As to your closing sentence, our religious heritage also informs us that the Kingdom of Heaven lies within us….

Thank you Klemens, for your encouraging words. I think the reference at the end of your post is most interesting, in light of the original topic (politics and projection). Politics is concerned with the question of how we can effectively govern our humanity. The kingdom of Heaven/of God is a reference to a central idea of the ancient Hebrew and the Christian faith, that only God can govern our problematic human impulses.

I see this kingdom-within idea as being about the notion that our ego can only perpetuate the very issues that already exist, in as much as it is the subjectivity of our fear-driven ego that produces our psychological issues. The idea that God must govern us from within, implies that theunconscious mind holds the keys to our life.

I see this kingdom (governence) from within as the most significant idea our species has ever arrived at. Much of our various religions point to this very idea, and it is only the resistence of the ego (to giving up its control over our life) that serves to reformat it to the sort of dogmatic brittle excersize religion can often be.

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