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  • I'm a semi-retired professional man, living in the Midwestern United States. This blog is a personal blog and is not directly connected with my professional practice (although I may draw upon my professional experiences, as well as my personal experiences, in writing my blog posts). This is a place for personal, not professional, opinions.

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Joe Rose

Thanks again, Kevin, for continuing to post stimulating texts and beautiful music. This idea you present that 'most of us see what we wish to see,' intrigues me. It seems to me, also, that we often see what we expect to see. For example, I know an individual who seems always to be looking for (and seeing) evidence to confirm his worst suspicions about himself, which are that he is not likeable, attractive, or lovable. So, this person, if he comes into a room and sees two people whispering in the corner, will conclude that they are saying something unflattering about himself! Seeing something that isn't there also applies to 'projection' in psychological parlance, which is when an individual attributes to someone else the very thing he fails to recognize in himself! I wonder, can we completely separate the perceiver from the thing perceived in a way to see only what's really or 'objectively' there? Joe

Joe Rose

Had the afterthought that my example of the person who expects to see evidence that he is not lovable is, itself, a form of projection, which in this case is the individual projecting his low self-esteem into his imagined view of how others see him.

This reminds me of what Eric Fromm said in
'The Art Of Loving,' which was that 'Before a person can be properly related to someone else, he must first be properly related to himself.' I think that would include a person having an accurate awareness and knowledge of himself that prevented him from 'projecting.'


I seriously doubt that I am sufficiently related to myself to prevent myself from projecting. I may be sufficiently "hip" to my own BS to call myself on it, after I do it.

Joe Rose

Yes, good point. I think it's so important always to reflect on our behavior and experiences. It is said that experience is the best teacher, but it's really that 'reflecting' on experience to see what we can learn from it is what teaches us. So many times when I have reflected after some sort of incident or encounter with someone, I've wound up apologizing, because upon reflection I decided I had acted unjustly or inappropriately. I suppose there are very few people who are so self-aware that they never project at all.

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