A Course in Miracles deals at length with “projection,” which is the way we (or our egoic minds) perceive the world. It is quite a difficult metaphysical concept to understand but it is extremely important to do so because it is a cornerstone of the ego’s thought system. It means that what is going on in our lives and all around us has actually been created by our own minds. In order to understand that, we have to remember that everything in this world consists of images; it is, after all, a dream world. As Lesson 32 reminds us: “I have invented the world I see.”
The following passage in the Text explains the process of projection very clearly: “Projection makes perception. The world you see is what you gave it, nothing more than that. But though it is no more than that, it is not less. Therefore, to you it is important. It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition. As a man thinketh, so does he perceive.” T445
This means we project feelings such as anger and guilt out onto other people or things so that we don’t become aware of these feelings within us. We then become vulnerable and fearful of being attacked because we come across witnesses to this anger and guilt, and we think that the source is outside our own minds, when, in fact, it isn’t.
As an example, if I come across an angry driver who swears at me, he most probably represents some anger or guilt within my own mind, which I projected out onto him. It would appear that I am now on the receiving end of his anger when actually I created it in the first place by projecting it out of my mind. On the other hand, if we have a peaceful mind, we will experience a peaceful world; people will show up in our lives as witnesses to peace.
Forgiveness is the solution to problems created by projection. We forgive the other person because we know they didn’t really do anything wrong as they are just witnesses to our state of mind. That’s why Jesus tells us that in forgiving others we are actually forgiving ourselves.
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