Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Reflection of Our Unknown Face

Projection makes the whole world a replica of our own unknown face.
C. G. Jung

It is human to unknowingly see ourselves in the actions of others. The degree to which we react can often reflect how unaware we are of the very same trait within us. To deny my likeness in others deposits my sin onto someone else in an exaggerated manner. I will inevitably lack compassion towards them for compassion is in part the awareness of my own broken humanity in regards to that same trait or behavior. How can I offer to someone else that which I will not receive myself? Compassion is always gift

Likewise, I may exalt someone unduly or demonize them without recourse. However, it is in my observance of someone else as a self, separate from me, that allows me to love. Love reveals my own denial about my inclinations towards a particular way of acting. The reasons certain behaviors and actions so bother me are because I am familiar with their outworking on a deeply unconscious level. I intuitively know "the other's" darkness but have difficulty admitting the hold on my own heart. Even retaliatory actions of protection towards injustice can quickly become Gestapo tactics that scapegoat the potential for all to be the fallen one.

For Christian community to continue to thrive we must be mindful that life itself is a projection of sorts. We place on others our understanding of ourselves and them to make sense of life. When making sense becomes too complex, hidden or seemingly undesired, community must do its best to name the shadow within us all that desires to take us over. Some may call these strongholds both personal and corporate. To clearly see these things in ourselves we must offer a much more compelling revelation of what this trait or behavior can and will become when redeemed.

For example.......Addictiveness becomes steadfastness
Compromise becomes Negotiability
Compulsive orderliness becomes organization & efficiency

Let us properly name our own image first so as to not place it upon others. Or at least soften our denial that we are so much alike and are deeply loved by the Father. It is good to admit how in need we are of redemption. It is good to allow ourselves to become weak in front of each other as this allows for our hidden sin and shadow to come into the light and find our true self unencumbered by the impostor with whom we are so familiar. Let us welcome in each other this revelation. This is our gift to one another.

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