The Right Brain and the Unconscious: Discovering the Stranger Within

By R. Joseph | Go to book overview

17
Projection and the Modeling of Abuse

There are quantities of human beings, but there are many more faces, for each person has several. There are people who wear the same face for years; naturally it wears out, it gets dirty, it splits at the folds, it stretches, like gloves one has worn on a journey. These are thrifty, simple people; they do not change their face, they never even have it cleaned. It is good enough, they say, and who can prove to them the contrary? The question of course arises, since they have several faces, what do they do with the others? They store them up. Their children will wear them. But sometimes, too, it happens that their dogs go out with them on. And why not? A face is a face.

Other people put their faces on, one after the other, with uncanny rapidity and wear them out. At first it seems to them they are provided for always; but they scarcely reach forty and they have come to their last. This naturally is something quite tragic, as their last is worn through in a week, has holes, and in many places is thin as paper; and then little by little the under layer, the no face, comes through, and they go about with that.

—R. M. RILKE 1


Knowing, Yet Not Knowing

Just as we might avert our eyes if something particularly gruesome were to come into view, sometimes we refuse to consciously scrutinize unpleasant information if it is especially disagreeable. This includes information that we already possess and may be fully aware of. Sometimes, we just don't want to know, particularly if we have a desire or impulse that is not acceptable to our conscious self-image. Thus, the left brain may actively deny harboring certain personality features or feel

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