Vedic rishis said that projection is the mechanism by which consciousness created reality. We are all familiar with this because the movie business depends entirely on projection. A star is an actor who has crossed the dividing line between reality and projection.
Our entire culture has been built upon projection, and at this moment you and I are continuing the process. Projection creates meaning. By themselves, events are meaningless until we give them value.
While we are creating in the material world, we are affecting every level of consciousness and therefore every level of creation. Meaning is never isolated. For instance, angels exist because they have been projected in consciousness.
Projection can get complicated. A society that feels endangered can project wild fantasies. Muslim fundamentalists project a West that is corrupt, unholy, and decadent, while Christian fundamentalists project an Islam that is barbaric, fanatical, and godless in return.
Projection is “successful” when we no longer can see reality but have created a false version based on fear, hostility, anxiety, or insecurity–any negative emotion for which we refuse to take responsibility. Projection can also be positive, as it is when a smitten lover sees perfection in the object of his love, although to friends and family the beloved remains an ordinary creature of flesh and blood.
Adapted from Life After Death: The Burden of Proof, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2006).