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Guilt - Attack Cycle 🏛️

3things jordan myska allen personal growth relatefulness stayinlove Jul 04, 2024


Whatever we repress usually leaks out in less healthy ways. Black markets. Blow-ups. 

A Course in Miracles describes the dynamics of projection around this particularly well—we project what we don’t want to admit in ourselves, then feel righteously better than whoever we projected onto, then feel unconsciously guilty about that righteousness, which then demands to be projected again (because we don’t know how to forgive ourselves, which usually takes the form of love+radical self-responsibility). 

For example:

1. Repression: I repress my anger.

2. Leakage: This anger leaks out as passive aggression.

3. Projection: I judge others for being too angry (e.g., some politician).

4. Self-Righteousness: I see myself as peaceful and evolved.

5. Guilt: Secretly, I feel that’s not true and therefore feel guilty for that bravado.

6. Projection Cycle: This guilt drives me to project more, to keep hiding the truth.


Cycle Continuation:

1. Victimization: The person I projected onto feels righteously victimized.

2. Guilt and Projection: They, too, feel guilty because deep inside they know they wouldn’t be reactive unless your projection touched something they felt was true, so they project/attack back in order to not feel or look at that.

4. Justification: "You started it!" allows them to feel justified in never facing whatever it’s touching in them.*

5. Repetitive Cycle: Now both parties are locked in a repetitive cycle of guilt, projection, and attack.

None of us escape this. We can bring compassionate understanding to it in ourselves and others. This is the essence of forgiveness. Softening around it, we remove the fuel that feeds the cycle.

You can clearly see this cycle beyond the interpersonal—e.g. in violent conflicts between nation-states, but now let’s combine this with developmental psychology to see it intrapersonally…


With love, Jordan


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