In a moment of self-mastery, Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Now we can add a postscript to this: The UNexamined life is lived from the Outside in. The examined life is lived from the Inside out.
Which way are you living your life?
If what you do works for you, no problem.
Personally, on my Heroes Journey, I often think about how my Child archetype has ability to project what’s inside me onto external environment where it can be “hi-jacked.”
The three areas I’m most aware of where our collective Child capacity for projection gets hijacked are:
– movies and all screens,
Kings, Queens and movie stars
If our Child within is not lead to accept, affirm and practice Kingly and Queenly positive qualities and behaviors, our Child Within, who has imitative capacity begins looking for these qualities in external figures. When it sees Kingly and Queenly positive qualities-behaviors in other people instead of in our self, this is called projection. Instead of seeing the qualities in ourself, we see them in other people, we see them coming towards us from outside; instead of, coming from inside us towards other people and the world.
Instead of seeing, accepting and honoring our own inner greatness, in projection, we see others as King-like and Queen-like—not us.
If this is easier to say, perhaps even in another language, I hope some reader will share with me in the comments.
Children prior to puberty project onto others automatically. This is normal and natural, part of the healthy role model process every child learns from. They see others demonstrating truly human values worthy of imitation and as role models.
If children after puberty and after age 21 do not internalize the examples, they may become stuck in forever seeing positive qualities they admire external to their own Child Within. “It’s okay for X to be Kingly or Queenly but not me.”
The above is part of “arrested development.”
When an individual remains stuck at only seeing Kingly and Queenly behavior outside, in others; then perhaps, it’s time to go on your own Heroes Journey to uncover and acknowledge more of what’s inside you. Underneath all the habits and behaviors you dislike in yourself is a geom. great price, the Inner Child who is trainable, thru baby steps, to behave in more Kingly and Queenly ways—your inner magnificence.
In both Western and Eastern history, Kings and Heads of State have withstood; perhaps occasionally enjoyed, adults around them projecting their own inner greatness onto them. This unfortunately psychological capacity has a long history. Cults of personality even encourage it.
In modern times, since WW I, mass media has taken hold of and exaggerated the capacity of our imagination to project inner qualities onto others. Since WW II we are encouraged to idolize movie stars (positive projection) and hate Muslims (project negatives within our selves onto others, especially foreigners).
The same Unconscious Pattern of projection is at work in both, one of the intelligences of our Child Within. If he or she is not monitored and schooled in some version of “the Kingdom of Heaven is within” this is what happens.
Phones, electronics and computers evolve—but not me
Recently I realize our Child Within is also capable of projecting outwards our capacity for healthy change and transformation.
Onto what in our external environment do you guess our Child projects our desire and enthusiasm for evolution and transformation?
Consumer electronics. For every 100 people enthusiastically cheer-leading the evolution of computers, phones and gaming consoles, we might find one person actively practicing a method of self-connection and self-growth.
Waldorf-methods teachers, perhaps starting with Margaret Meyercourt, talk about “reining in the modern horses,” our unconscious rush into modernity, into technology, into screens. Some of our healthy impulse towards change and growth is needed for inner work and self-growth.
I was not immune to the “modern horses.” As a young nerd, my relationship with pop culture was more rewarding and satisfying than many of my real world face-to-face encounters. I can hardly think of even one contemporary NOT suffering from some degree of “arrested development.” Can you?
I hope some of you reading this, will be attracted to “living the examined life” a little more, in gentle baby step experiments.
Can you comment below?
The UNexamined life is lived from the Outside in. The examined life is lived from the Inside out.
– – –
Reviewer Bruce Dickson is a Health Intuitive and writes on Best Practices in Energy Medicine and holistic Brain Balance topics.