Living energies that contain ideas and information are called archetypes. They are specific patterns of instinctual behavior and thought, the forces that make up the collective unconscious - the impersonal part of humanity's psyche that all of us share. These archetypes automatically project themselves outwardly from within us onto whatever "screens" are available.
The man we dislike instantly, "love-at-first-sigh", a fondness or antipathy for dogs or cats, a peace-inducing picture of Buddha or some favorite landscape or poster, the Playboy centerfold, the bag lady, the frocked priest - each of these images acts as a screen for forces that live in us; and each draws the energies to itself which fit.
Powered by the Light (life-force/energy) within us, these energies are living, intelligent forces which have particular life function and which weave the fabric that we regard as our personal realities. They attach themselves, without our conscious awareness, to everything we meet in the world we call real.
Attaching themselves to inanimate objects, the archetypal energies infuse these objects with positive or negative "meaning" creating what we identify as our "lucky" coins or the "personalities" of our cars.
Attaching or projecting themselves onto living entities, they both influence the behavior of those entities are draw back onto themselves a corresponding projection, always functioning as a two-way street - therefore, "If I'm projecting on you, then you're projecting on me."
These archetypes are the life energies that pour out of us unceasingly night and day, asleep and awake, influencing everyone in our lives and causing us to be influenced in return. They mold and change our behaviors. They shape the very structure of our lives, but remain invisible to normal consciousness, almost always functioning beneath the level of conscious awareness.
Once archetypes have been projected out onto the screen of an object, situation or person, they resist removal from the screen until their needs have been satisfied.
As an extreme example, if the alcoholic can resist that first drink, he or she may be able to control the archetypal forces; if not, the unleashed power of the unconscious archetype projected onto the alcohol is in control.
If the first action in any compulsive behavior chain can be avoided, the acting out of the compulsion may be inhibited, giving more time for the development of new habit patterns that can transform the compulsion into behavior more useful to the individual.
Hence the archetypes are those energies which create and sustain our personal realities - aspects of God, if you will, that are experientially available to each and all of us.
The following is a lovely example of transforming outer experiences by working with inner archetypes. The process engages "active imagination" and its purpose is to transform one's negative unconscious projections.
The example involves the assistance of an Inner Guide (you may as well just ask the unconscious/superconscious to bring up the appropriate image or just let it surface into your awareness).
Say, for instance, that your neighbor is trying to poison your dog. Ask your Guide to take you to or bring you the image of that neighbor as you know him to be in the outer world. Then give that image permission to take its true form as it lives in you. Say that it turns into Dracula. The Dracula image is a picture of the energy in your that projects out from you onto your neighbor and gets him to try to poison your dog.
Call on the Transformational Energies(these may be energies represented just as Light and Love, or angels, planetary forces, Tarot cards, etc.). If you are familiar with the Tarot cards, you can pick the images/energies of Sun, Fool and High Priestess.
Ask them to send their love into the figure (Dracula) to heal and transform it so that it reaches its highest possible form in you at this time. After they do this, say that the Dracula figure has turned into a King. Dracula and the King are the same energy, the King being its higher, more conscious form.
Ask the King what you have to do new in thought, action or behavior (having nothing to do with your neighbor), so that the energy the King represents in you will remain constant and not sink back into unconsciousness and its Dracula form.
When you have received this information, give the King energy form permission to enter your body. Feel what part of your body this energy lives in and where it radiates from. If the transformation is successful and you have really changed this part of yourself, the neighbor will either change dramatically or go out of your life immediately. Because you have changed your role needs and no longer need a dog poisoner in your reality, the neighbor's choices are to change as a role player for you or leave your reality.
Never work with images of known people from the outer world in the inner world. It tends to sustain rather than release negative unconscious projections. Always ask the image of the known outer world person that your Inner Guided brings you to take its true form AS IT LIVES AS AN ENERGY WITHIN YOU. This insures that you are, in fact, working on an aspect of yourself.
You can go to images of everyone you know and ask each of these outer world figures to take its true form as it lives in you. Here you will get the images of what you are projecting on each of them. It's both fascinating and revealing to do this and to discover just what we are projecting on those people we love best or least.
- adapted from the Inner Guide Meditation