Imagine that you have a boss who is really annoying; the way he goes through the office, how he moves his hands, the tone of his voice, the way how he wants to persuade everybody that he is right. Every time you talk to him you become upset and feel tense. You even get irritated when you just spot his laptop on the desk, because it means that he is around and going to pick on you and give a lecture about how things should be.
He is really annoying. But is he truly?
Does he annoy me or have I become annoyed of him? Does his tone of voice have a power over my feelings and bodily sensations or do I get upset when I hear his voice? What does really irritate me, his voice or ‘my’ interpretation about his voice? He or my story about him?
So when he starts to criticise me, it is not his words that hurt me; the ‘hurtful feelings’ come because his words have been interpreted through these beliefs. ‘I’ project my fragile self-image onto his words, and if it hurts, it just means that there is a belief in action, a belief in a deficient, not-good-enough self.
The ‘annoying boss’ is just a reflection in the mirror.
And as long as there is a belief that my opinions, beliefs and thoughts are true and actual facts, there is also a belief in the seeming others’ opinions. But others’ opinions do not exist independently from ‘my’ interpretation. Both ‘my’ and others’ opinions are nothing more than concepts and they are not referring to anything real.
My boss’ opinions seem to ‘originate’ from him, but actually, his words are just the reflections of the belief in the deficient self.
Projection ‘fills’ the words by meaning.
When this apparent not-good-enough self is activated, “I feel little and inferior”. In order to compensate these feelings, the need for criticism arises. Every time I judge somebody, I feel better and superior because the fragile self-image is strengthened a bit, believing to be better than the apparent other. But all judgement comes from judging ‘myself’.
So, as long as the belief in the separate self is intact, there is a need for a constant reinforcement. “I need to feel superior, otherwise I am inferior”. But this reinforcement works only in comparison to something or somebody else, with an illusory separation, a division between ‘me’ and the rest of the world.