Are the Beloofs I Have About You, Perhaps the Beloofs I Have About Me?

Buddah picture and quoteI believe we are at crucial moment in our development as a species. I suppose I believe that every moment is a crucial moment in my own personal development as a human being, so of course it follows that I believe every moment is crucial in our development as human inhabitants of the planet. We have been at this moment innumerable times before.

This quote by an unknown author begins with a perfectly reasonable statement, and ends with one that seems confusing and non-sensical. First, “I am not what you think I am.” How many times have I felt misjudged by another. When my father called me “unpatriotic” in my objections to the Vietnam war, I knew I was not what he thought I was. But It still hurt me deeply that he held such a beloof about who I was at my core.

But then, “You are what you think I am.” What? Is that even grammatically correct? Was my father being “unpatriotic’ when he judged me as unpatriotic? Perhaps; at the time, I found his judgment of me to be closed-minded and rigid. And I suppose one might judge being closed-minded and rigid as being unpatriotic. But was I not practicing the same process of “you are what you think I am”  with my father? Were we not projecting onto each other?

I heard one of our candidates who wishes to lead our nation utter the words, “he is a horrible human being” speaking about one of the other candidates. “You are what you think I am.” Hmmm. So the speaker of the phrase is a horrible human being? Or does the speaker unconsciously believe himself to be a horrible human being? Only he knows, and now I am more confused than ever.

The truth about projection cannot be summed up or understood in two simple sentences. Hell, Carl Jung and others have written volumes on the subject. Here are two quotes from Jung that I find helpful in trying to understand our unknown author from the quote in the picture:

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
― C.G. Jung

My father passed away in 1992 at the age of 80. We had been two volatile chemical substances; he a lifelong civilian employee of the Air Force who designed weaponry for three different wars, and me a hippie anti-war protestor and pacifist growing up in a post holocaust era. Before my father died, the chemical reaction between us had transformed us. We stopped defining each other and returned to just loving each other.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
― C.G. Jung

So the politician who said, “he is a horrible human being” is obviously irritated by his rival. If we apply “you are what you think I am” to his judgment, he may or may not a horrible human being himself, or even unconsciously believe himself to be a horrible human being. Jung would say that if the politician were to examine his judgment about his rival at a deeper level, he could reach a deeper understanding about himself. Unfortunately, I believe his intent is to win an election, and not reach a deeper understanding about himself.

So here are my thoughts on the quote: I don’t care what you think I am – as long as I know who I am. That’s the hard part – being who I am and showing my authentic self. What you think of me is none of my business. And furthermore, I don’t know who you are behind your mask of projection unless you take it off and show me your authentic self. When we are being our authentic selves without judgment, the reaction between the two chemical substances is predictable; it is love.

Can you imagine a moment in time when each and every one of us ceases to hold judgments of others, whether spoken or in thought? A time when people stop defining each other and accept each other at face value? Sure, we need to discern when we are unsafe and someone seeks to do us harm. But that’s a process of discernment, not judgment.

Here is the mantra I choose to repeat to my self whenever I feel I am being defined by another, or acting in a way that defines another:

In every moment, and in every encounter, may I release from the judgments I hold towards others so I can release from the judgments I hold towards myself, and in every moment and in every encounter may I hold others and myself in brilliant light and loving grace.

In every moment, and in every encounter, may I release from the judgments I hold towards others so I can release from the judgments I hold towards myself, and in every moment and in every encounter may I hold others and myself in brilliant light and loving grace.

In every moment, and in every encounter, may I release from the judgments I hold towards others so I can release from the judgments I hold towards myself, and in every moment and in every encounter may I hold others and myself in brilliant light and loving grace.

In loving memory of my father, Jacob, who passed from this world on February 21, 1992.

2 thoughts on “Are the Beloofs I Have About You, Perhaps the Beloofs I Have About Me?”

  1. The engine turning this seems to be father. Today, moments ago, I attributed “unfinished business” to the father-son relationship of one of my characters in a new novel. The character who has this problem is modelled on a friend of mine in the Navy, Mike (an echo to the war you mention, and family members taking sides on it).

    Death comes into the picture here, too. Mike died 11 years ago, seemingly at his own hand. Details of that are scarce across time and space, but Mike tracked along behind me in similar life experiences. I took the road he did not.

    Projections? For sure. Like a pinwheel.

    1. Thanks for including your personal story. I’m so sorry for the loss of Mike. We now have twice as many Vietnam related suicides than direct war casualties.

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