“We don’t see people as they are, we see them as we are.” If we think ourselves as “up here,” there will always be more issues with everyone else who resides “down there” than there are within ourselves.
This interesting behavioral phenomenon rose to scrutiny during the 1980’s TV preacher scandals when low-living tv personality preachers lived “opposite” in private than what they proclaimed in the pulpit. Surprised? You shouldn’t be and here’s why…
This is known as “Personal Negative Projection.” This is when the human brain projects its own negative state of mind onto those they see around them or under them. Here is an explanation of this phenomenon:
You “are one.”
You don’t “have” one.
Because of the development of the “New” brain (pre-frontal cortex or the rational mind), we humans are now able to emotionally “step away” from the old brain (limbic region) and the older “brain stem” and evaluate independently from them while still within them. This is done in the part of the brain that solves math problems.
This creates an illusion of two separate entities. For example, “I have to stop doing this to myself.” Or “I’m going to drink myself to death.” The “I” and the “self” become two separate entities within the same brain. I write more about this in my book, “The Freedom of Being,” a book about people grouping, religion, and comparative judgment. While nothing in the brain is actually separate, it can still distinguish so it “feels” like separate people.
We see this projection more profoundly in people with position power. CEO’s, clergy, politicians, lawyers, surgeons, judges, and police officers are good examples. But why is this? It is because position power creates an elevated perspective within the brain–especially if they wear a uniform.
This is why “God” is always viewed as “up there” and devils are viewed as “down there.” Fortunately, there is no up and down within the universe. Because the brain is on top of the body, up becomes “good” and down is viewed as “bad.” Good food is taken in by the mouth (up in the head) and later excreted as feces from “down there.”
This is why people in societal power positions perceive themselves as “up here” while others are seen as “down there.” This is why politicians, judges, and preachers all stand or sit on platforms and look “down” upon the people. It’s why early church leaders created the ideas of clergy vs. laity. It’s why we have us and them. It’s why we have upper, middle, and lower class citizens.
It’s why when people feel shamed they look down. It’s why bears stand “up” when threatening you. It’s why we are said to “look up to” certain people. And it’s why we “look down” on others.
When political “leaders” (everyone else must be a follower by default) see “them,” or the “others,” like power preachers, any negative baggage is projected upon them where it belongs. The negative orientations within their own brain are thus forced upon “them,” the lower entities, because negative things belong “down there.”
Always remember, by nature, people who choose politics as a career actually believe they are “up there” as a rule. The career is chosen in an effort to ease the brain tension that comes as a result of not being in control of other people’s lives “down there.” This is called “tension reduction.”
These people will actually believe they are “better” than you as opposed to “serving” you. Servants are seen as lower than masters. They believe they are “higher” than you. This is why ministers claim a “higher” calling than other people. How else does one become wealthy by “serving the people?” Presidents, congress people, and ministers are some of the wealthiest people in America and it’s not because they are servants. They are masters.
When this model runs its course within our country as it has in others, “you” will be subject to “them” in the end. Then it starts all over again. This cannot be avoided, only delayed. Never forget it.