Improvisational Comedy, a Different View of Projection

Improv Group
My awesome fellow students of improvisational comedy at the National Comedy Theater, San Diego, California, July 2014

By Cathy Eck 


Improvisational Comedy

This is my 100th post on Gateway To Gold….Wahoo!  I decided that this post should be an all encompassing post.  I wanted to write about something that I love and enjoy; and as always, I wanted to use that experience to poke at some old topics in a different way and expose some beliefs.  Of course, this is another long post; so make yourself comfortable.

A few months ago, I published an article about comedy and Steve Kaplan.  Steve’s message is that good comedy isn’t really made up funny shit — it’s honesty within the confinement of a situation.  Steve suggested that we study improv to really get at the meat of comedy.  I’d been thinking about taking up improvisational comedy for a long time.  I thought it might be a way that I could bring up the beliefs I needed to let go so that I could return to the mindset that I had as a child when I laughed at everything all the time.  So I enrolled in a class.  If nothing else, being around other funny people is fucking awesome.  I love just about all of my life, but Saturdays at the National Comedy Theater is truly a highlight of my week.  We just had our first live performance, and I must say we “killed” it.

Learning improvisational comedy (improv) has not disappointed.  I’ve found a lot to let go.  Life is really just one big improv show.  This post actually applies to improv anything.

Improvisation is natural; we’re improvising when we get into the flow of life.  Our True Self doesn’t want to plan because we love surprise and spontaneity, and we know we’ll like whatever happens.  Comedy — laughter — is the worst thing that can happen to a bunch of True Selves playing together.  Imagine if laughter was the worst thing in your life.  In the illusion, we get moments where we break free and laugh; but we consider those the exception, not the rule.  Getting free means that improv and flowing in life becoming normal.

It;s said that when people make plans, God laughs.  And I can assure you, they’re talking about the Creator God (Genesis I dude).  S/he’s rolling on the floor about now because everybody is trying to control their life and figure out “his” plan.  The Creative view of life is that we’re a bunch of interesting characters tossed into situations; and there’s nothing to do but improvise.  Improv always has a way out because improv doesn’t have belief systems, authority to worship, and morals.  Rules can be broken.  When we make our life stories serious and true, we lose touch with the Creator within because we forget that we’re improvisers.


Improvisational Lessons 

0)  Great improv is about being ourself and being in the moment within a situation, which was predefined by the audience or referee.  Now don’t go pulling out your “getting into the present exercises” just yet.  That’s not what I’m saying.  We don’t learn techniques to be ourself or to become present in improv training.  It’s assumed that we can do that on our own.  Only spiritual teachers assume we can’t get present or be ourselves.  In improv, we warm up with silly, childlike gibberish games, not meditation or chanting.  The teachers leave it to us to be ourselves or not — some do and some don’t.  But we could all see that being ourselves and being present was a benefit.  So we chose it most of the time.  Getting our false mind out of the way was rewarded with better scenes and more laughter.  You learn that reward creates change faster than suffering.

Improv gives our True Self a place to play.  It has a reason to come out, and it does.  Most of us spend far too much time with people in situations that depend on our True Self remaining in hiding, and so it does.  Eventually, we start to think we don’t have a True Self.  We wonder who we are and what we’re supposed to do with our life.


1)  Improv is about saying “Yes and” to any situation.  We can say “Yes and” in improv because improv is done at the level of first-cause creation.  We all have a creative True Self that can take on beliefs (false self).  Those beliefs were expected to be temporary, creatively driven, and first-cause in nature, meaning that they didn’t have a judgmental win-lose, good-evil, dominance-submission, or right-wrong aspect.  A good example of first-cause creating is giving and receiving as long as we don’t decide who the receiver should be with our will.  The original notion of male-female in the Garden of Eden would be first cause; they were equal in power.  Second cause adds judgment and competition, and that’s where the illusion went horribly wrong.  In second-cause creation, we compete, manipulate, and trick others so we can win, be the good one, or be right.

This is such an important distinction and where understanding level confusion is key.  One in first-cause creation loves to say “Yes.”  Why not?  It’s an adventure that can’t go wrong.  But enter into someone’s story that’s a second-cause drama, and we must say “No,” or we’ll most certainly add to our false self.  We must discriminate in second cause situations.  If we say, “Yes and” in second-cause stories, we get in trouble (like the movie, “Yes Man”).  Or worse, we’ll get sick or killed.  When someone says, “You’ve got Stage IV Poopoo Disease,” we should say, “Noooooooooooooo way, asshole!  You’re in an illusion.”  But we pay them money and die on command.  When someone says, “You need to accept my beliefs, or you’ll go to hell,” we should say, “Nooooooooooooooo way, stupid.  Those beliefs are false.  You don’t deserve to call yourself Bishop or Pope.”  We get stuck in their illusion when we say “Yes and” to these authority figures’ illusions and “No and” to our True Self.  We get out by reversing the pattern.

As an aside, I was just watching the reality TV show, “Preachers of LA.”  Good show to watch if you still have any remaining respect for people of the clergy.  It’s a great show to see complete psychological reversal and level confusion.  The preachers are sure that their point of view is right and they prove it with their lame, self-serving interpretation of the Bible.  They can’t see that they’re judging everyone except themselves.  They want to be right about their illusion and have followers that worship them.  On the show I watched, they were talking about how they get donations.  They said, “They ask the people how much money they set aside for God.”  Holy Fuck; now that’s funny.  They are no more men of God than Godzilla is Miss America.  But sadly, people believe their self-proclaimed holiness, and they blindly obey them instead of saying, “NO.”

Saying “NO” isn’t easy for anyone.  It’s not natural.  We’re hard wired to say “Yes and.”  If we let go of the beliefs that get us into situations that require saying “NO,” we don’t have to.  Life improves dramatically.


2)  Roles create interesting scenes — not pain and suffering.  During the eighteen weeks of improv practice, we had three different teachers.  One of the teachers was a masculine A-hole.  He projected his beliefs on us like he was a human movie projector.  People would do something right, and he’d tell them they did it wrong.  He couldn’t see us.  He was looking for places where he could be the “expert,”  when he wasn’t texting on his iPhone.  We appeared stupid and incompetent from his point of view so that he could SHINE like the noon sun and be the expert.  But let me tell you, most of us knew we weren’t as stupid and incompetent as he made us out to be.  We started to see through him.  If we did something that worked, he’d change the rules.  Sometimes he’d stop us mid-thought to say how we should do it.  He provided advice that we didn’t need or want.  And we laughed at him; he became our comedy instead of us becoming his comedy.  He was a knowledgable expert on improv; he had learned the rules of what improv should be.  But he didn’t understand or get improv.  He’d memorized an answer for every situation, and he looked good at improv when he did it.  But something was missing.  He wasn’t free to improvise; he was trained to always have the right answer.  He never once questioned himself because most people can’t feel the difference between a True Self and a perfected, superior false self (clone self).  He was a boiler-plate false masculine, otherwise known as an A-hole.  This is what we’re getting rid of when we let go.  The A-hole was not his True Self.  It was a very refined false self.

During this teacher’s six weeks, attendance was poor.  Some people didn’t go on to the next session because he ruined their love for the art form.  This is what life looks like for most people.  I had my secret letting go tool; and my challenge was to not let him destroy my fun.  Often I could explain what was going on to the other, and then they laughed too.  When I let go, he would look like a cartoon — actually he looked just like Ryan Seacrest.  Thankfully, the next teacher was more authentic.  Our love for improv returned.

On the day of the performance, it seemed something magical happened to our group.  But it wasn’t magic at all.  You see, we moved from students (feminine role) to performers (masculine role) in one day.  And suddenly, we lost our fear, lost our flaws, lost our inability to think on the spot because we were no longer acting out the projections of our teachers.  We were just being ourselves, being in the moment, and saying “Yes, and” to whatever came our way.  It seemed that we were there — enlightened improv comedians.  But we weren’t.  We just had the right role in that moment.  We were still within the illusion.  The real proof of our freedom was during those moment when A-hole tried to bring us down.  Those were the moments that our discrimination was taxed.

Now let’s take this situation a step further.  Imagine that someone in the class becomes a professional improv artist; and they start to teach.  Will they remember how it was to be in A-hole’s class?  Probably not.  They might become that same A-hole unless they understand that when we step into a masculine role and are given authority over others that we’ve not earned, we often project what we have not let go onto those in the feminine role.  We do unto others what was done to us.  When the masculine role lets go of what they see in their feminine projection, everyone has the ability to move closer to freedom.  That’s really the point of getting into the masculine role — to free ourselves and others.  (By A-hole I mean false self, but that term gets boring.)


3)  Improv is about trust.  If we don’t trust our team members in improv, then we’re screwed.  Our scene will fall flat quickly.  We won’t feel like we can be ourselves.  We’ll be guarded.  Sounds like most relationships, huh?

In the illusion, we don’t trust the people we live or engage with; and life becomes about being on the defensive.  We waste our time strategizing.  And then we either fight for the top-dog masculine role, we run away (flight), or we submit and live under their rules and their beliefs in a powerless feminine role (play dead).  None of these choices are acceptable.  NONE!  In fact, the entire fight-or-flight  response slowly disappears as we move toward freedom — toward an improvisational life.  We don’t need the fight-or-flight response.  Our emotions keep us out of trouble because they help us discriminate moment to moment.  So to perform improv, I had to look at all of these different people on my team and notice if I trusted them or not.  If I didn’t, I had to ask myself, “Why?”  I wasn’t going to change them; therefore, I had to let go of the reasons for not trusting them in my mind because those reasons weren’t who they really were.

Improv is like team sports.  It is about the team shining, not individuals.  It’s win-win oriented.  The illusion is about individuals shining at the expense of others.  So it tends to bring up our beliefs about the illusion, competition, and even wanting to be a lone wolf.  It reminds us of all the times when we either did shine too brightly or got lost in the forest completely and became invisible.   We have to let the beliefs that caused those false, uncomfortable memories go.

There was one woman that none of us trusted.  We didn’t like performing with her, and our scenes with her were awful.  It seemed natural to blame it on her, but I couldn’t do that and feel good about it.  Finally, before the performance, I saw her alone.  I asked her how she felt about improv.  She said, “It terrifies me.”  She was trying to hide that fear, and we felt it.  We tried to come up with reasons for what we felt instead of just asking her what was going on.  This is what happens in life when people hide their emotions.  They don’t feel good to us, but we don’t know why.  Often, they’re not as up front as this woman was to me.

We should NOT trust others who don’t let go, to lead us.  Their fear can get us hurt or killed.  We want the most open-minded people with the least beliefs to always take the lead in any situation.  I didn’t have to perform with this woman, but I wanted to know that I could.  Once she was honest with me, and I understood her fear, I realized that if I was paired with her, I’d have to lead and allow her to follow.  Then our scene would work.


4)  Technically speaking, there are no mistakes in improv.  Likewise, there are no mistakes when we live from first-cause.  In our final rehearsal, one of the players got her games confused.  She started to speak gibberish instead of real words because we had played a gibberish game before this one.  We couldn’t start over in a live performance.  We’d have to deal with her error and say, “Oh, so you’ve been drinking again?”  To the audience, her error had to look like it belonged in the scene.  There was no baggage surrounding her error because it wasn’t a mistake.  In fact, we all cracked up.  It made for a much funnier scene.  She didn’t have to become the deadly mistake.  She became the funniest one of all.

You might say, “Is that sort of like of forgiving?”  Yes and no.  You see there was nothing to forgive.  She caused people to laugh, and that’s what first-cause creating looks like.  There’s nothing to forgive because nothing was harmed.  But in real life, we’d call her a mistake.  We’d have her diagnosed, labeled, and even institutionalized.  We’d maybe forgive her on the surface, but we’d never forget.  She’d be an AA member or a mental patient for life in our false minds.

So the key to mistakes isn’t to cover the elephant in the room with nicey-nice.  The key is to let go until you realize that it wasn’t a mistake.  If you can see it as comedy, you’ve let go.  Nothing to forgive.  You can’t get to this place with reasoning, therapy, or faking it.  You can only get there by letting the beliefs go that caused you to be in that situation.

Recognizing this took me back to my first days of marriage.  My new family would say something religiously ridiculous, and I’d laugh.  I couldn’t imagine they believed that shit.  But they did.  Of course, they labeled me rude for laughing.  I couldn’t help it; they were funny.  I didn’t really understand second-cause beliefs.  I certainly didn’t believe them.  They thought I was judging them because they were in second-cause creation.  Those beliefs were the truth to them.  They looked like self-created misery to me.  When we label anything true that’s really false, we get painfully serious.  We take everything personally.  I had to learn that the hard way.  But the person laughing isn’t the problem.  The serious one is the problem.

In their world, I had to figure out how to not laugh at something funny; and in time, I lost my funny.  I started to think they had power; after all, they got me to quit laughing.  They clearly thought they’d won.  I was now a decent human being in their eyes.  I was now a disaster in my eyes.  In truth, we all lost when I agreed with them.  That was the lesson that I had to learn.  I wasn’t rude, I was their ticket to freedom.  Instead of them welcoming the ticket, they convinced me to apathetically accept their miserable illusion as true.  Well, as the initiate Jesus says, “The last shall be the first and the first shall be the last.”  I was the first to remember that they still sounded funny, and I was the first to say “Fuck them.  So what if they think I’m rude.”  Living in their cesspool of misery made that choice easy.  I did eventually say “No” to their illusion so I could say “Yes and” to life.  When we get serious, we feel serious or grave.  When we feel grave, we slowly make our way to a grave.  We all die of gravity.  In the picture above, the ages range from about twenty to probably about sixty or more.  It’s hard to tell that much of a difference.  No one in that group was very grave.


5)  We avoid questions in improv.  Don’t get me wrong.  Questioning ourselves is necessary to move out of the illusion.  We have to ask our mind what belief it’s holding as cause.  But those who want to sustain the illusion often ask questions of us to get us into confusion or to show their power.  We call this intimidation or interrogation.  These are the questions that go nowhere and aren’t allowed in improv.  Try answering a question like, “Why are you so stupid?”  Doesn’t work.  The question that would take it to first-cause is asking ourself, “Why am I playing the role of their stupid projection?”  We weren’t born stupid; our True Self isn’t stupid.  So WE aren’t stupid.  If we can’t learn illusory, worthless knowledge and information, we’re really smart.  We’re listening to our True Self.  Their question is like asking a rat, “Why are you an elephant?”  There is no answer, but when we try to give one, we’re screwed.  We enter their lose-lose world.

We’ve got to realize that if someone believes in an apocalypse, they see a world headed that way.  If we ignore them and let go of any belief we share with them, we won’t see their world.  That’s okay.  We have free will to believe and create whatever we want on earth.  We don’t have the right to impose our illusion on even one other person, not even our own children.  Sadly, those who don’t let go get the big lesson when they find that the only people who experience the apocalypse are the ones who believed in it.  Jokes on them, and it’s a sick joke.  They thought they were being good.  This is why I talk so much about projection.  The projection will come back to the projector (which is often called fate or karma) when their false masculine role expires; and it will.  In feminine roles we aren’t reaping karma, we’re living the projections of the people we still believe who hold false masculine roles.  Living out karma doesn’t accomplish anything; letting go gets rid of the notion of karma all together.  

My ex would often ask me, “Why did you do that?”  I had no answer if I was in the feminine role.  If I was in the masculine role, I knew exactly why I did it.  He didn’t ask me then.  But, when I was feminine to him, I was completely verklempt and so confused until one glorious, magnificent, stupendous day.  It was like the best day ever.  Suddenly, I realized that I was behaving as his feminine projection.  I was mirroring him, and that’s why I didn’t understand why I did what I did.  I now understood masculine and feminine roles in the illusion.  Everything in our relationship made sense.  He obviously didn’t share my enthusiasm regarding my insight.

I realized that I never did any of the things he asked about before I married him.  What he was trying to figure out was why did he do or believe the things he saw in me?  He needed to answer the question.  He imposed his self-judgments on me making us alike.  But we weren’t alike.  In the illusion, we assume that others do think like us or should think like us.  The false self is sure it’s right.

I’d gotten the lesson of initiation, go back to who you were initially to see if you really are who people say you are.  Let go of whatever you believed that took you away from who you were.  I was showing him what he needed to let go as his mirror so he could get free too.  He was thinking I was what I did.  I was certain he was doing to me what was done to him (that old false golden rule), and I did have compassion for that.  But enough is enough.  I’ll mirror something once or twice, but decades?   I could now understand why his mind was like a giant brick wall.  I understood why no matter what I did — therapy, self-help, healers, regression to remove my karma, years of meditation, positive thinking — it didn’t make even a little difference.  I wasn’t the cause of what he saw in me.  I finally answered, “I have no idea, but you do.  I’m just your mirror.”  I was honest because I understood the roles.  I didn’t care if he thought I was crazy.  His opinion didn’t count because his question wasn’t a legitimate question.  I share what I learned because my ex wasn’t weird or crazy.  He wasn’t bad; he was normal and considered a moral, upstanding member of society.

Holy Fuck!  I could see that I had allowed him to become my false God.  He pulled me all the way into the illusion, the realm of the false God.  He imagined that I would do something from his past, and I did it (often thinking it was my fucking idea); and then he justified why I did it.  I was just a scripted character in his story; this is why I felt like dead meat all the time.  There was no room for improv.   He was trying to understand and make peace with his past and this kept his beliefs alive by replaying old scenes again and again and pushing me to do what his false said I should do.  I didn’t need to figure him out.  I just needed to let go of playing these roles or thinking I needed to be his mirror.  He didn’t honor the mirror; therefore, I would no longer give him that privilege.  That was the best choice I ever made.  I learned that you help those who want freedom with all you’ve got.  If people don’t want it, you let them stew in their misery until they’ve had enough.

Don’t get me wrong; letting all his beliefs go from my mind took a long time.  I had to pry myself out of his world.  But I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I knew that once I was FREE from his story (history), I could start to write my OWN.


6)  Improv views any experience as a win-win game.  Everything is referred to as a game in improv.  I borrowed that concept; and in my mentorship program, we have games we play.  It lightens the mood.  However, people who are winning at your expense in the illusion will also call life a game.  They have level confusion.  Their idea of a game is sick.  They show no compassion for others when they lose their home or life because in their mind, you’re a bad player; and that’s your problem.  They think that if you can’t figure out the rules of the game, tough shit.  We elect these people to office and buy their shit routinely.  We think they are enlightened or successful; and we should follow them.  We should ignore them.

The True Self only plays win-win games.  The false self plays win-lose games.  In win-win games everyone knows the rules.  In improv, the ref clearly goes over the rules before we start; the players and the audience all know them.  There are no secrets.  Everything is fair.

Improv teaches us that we’re very comfortable not knowing our future, even one second in advance, if we know we’re playing a win-win game.  We’re only uncomfortable with the future when we’re stuck in fear; and we’re stuck in fear because we’re stuck in someone else’s win-lose game without a rule book.  As we let go of the components of the illusion, we see what those in the masculine roles are doing before they do it to us.  We don’t play with them at all.  And when they finally get lonely, they’ll stop being false-self jerks.  They’ll stop forcing people to play their win-lose games.  Their games will lose their appeal when they lose.  Not until!

There is something I want you to know and understand.  When I saw through all of this many years ago, I realized I had a choice.  I could become a billionaire.  I could use people’s naiveté to my advantage.  It wouldn’t be that hard.  Exposing this and telling the truth, that would be very hard and terrifying.  Whether you know it or not, you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t make the same choice I did.  Billionaires don’t read my blog.

If you stand in power; and you see that people believe you’re more than you are, you know what you are doing.  You do have a choice.  This could be said about politicians, big business leaders, movie, sports, and rock stars, healers, judges, and clergy — anyone who appears to be larger than life.   They appear to be good and special; but they are living off of our power.   The illusion makes some people special and some worthless.  We keep this bullshit in our mind hoping to one day be a winner, a special one.  Letting that go feels like cutting our life line and becoming nobody.  But it opens the door really wide to freedom.


7)  We are ALL natural story writers.  Improv teaches us that we bring our beliefs and talents to the set.  Someone defines the game we will play in any moment, and the rest is improv.  We live improv all the time, but we mostly live it from second-cause creation in a win-lose, good-evil, right-wrong world — the illusion.  As we let go, we have more choices because beliefs limit us from seeing choices.  We can find our way out of any situation we’re given when we know how to let go.  When we get stuck in second-cause, our stories aren’t comedies; they are dramas, tragedies, or even horror stories.  Interesting to watch on the big screen; disgusting to live.  When we get back to first cause, we become the writer of our win-win story; we become the creator of our life.


8)  We’re all naturally telepathic.  In improv comedy, a group mind starts to form as the players work together more and more.  But we aren’t sharing beliefs like religious or spiritual groups, families, cultures, nations, or big businesses; we’re sharing the moment, the environment, the experience.  We’re all vested in whatever is happening now.  We have a common temporary vision.  Our connection lasts until the scene ends.  Then we drop it.  We aren’t trying to right the past or fix each other.  We don’t fear our future.  We aren’t trying to nurse dad’s emotions.  We aren’t trying to compliment mom to bring up her self-esteem.  If we do add any of those things to a scene, we get a real good laugh.  The audience laughs at manipulation or trickery because they can see the instigator clearly, and his or her ulterior motive creates comedy because it makes him look bad, not the other players.

In the illusion, we create ulterior motives to win or look good at the expense of others.  We use comparison to our advantage instead of letting it go.  That isn’t comedy; it’s drama.


9)  The seemingly mystical aspect of improv isn’t mystical or New Age at all.   All the magic and fun on the improv stage comes from within our minds.  We’re creating our future in each moment.  We can see that clearly because there’s no veil over our eyes.  We’re not in someone else’s story.  We’re writing as we go along as a team.  That’s normal, not mystical.

What’s wild about improv comedy is that we use no props, yet as soon as the actor sees a cup on the stage, the audience sees it too.  And I assure you that most of the audience is not New Age, nor do they think they’re psychic.  That’s simply how life and relationship works.  If fact, if we sit on that imaginary cup by mistake, the audience will laugh.  In improv, we learn not to make things mystical that aren’t mystical.

Making something that’s normal for every True Self into something special or mystical is what religion and the New Age have done so well.  It’s level confusion at it’s best.  If we’re all telepathic, and we make that special and only reserved for a few, then things get weird.  Most of us don’t know where our thoughts come from.  We think we have to go to psychics to tell us who we are and what we should do.  The same is true for healers.  We’re all healers.  If we’re all spiritual, and we make that special, things get insane.  When we normal people do something that only telepathy explains, we either think it’s our new found special gift or we think it’s a miracle or an angel did it.

On the contrary, making something abnormal, like a man with a six-pack or a body on steroids, or a woman with an anorexic body or hair filled with extensions, into something normal is the realm of marketing.  They cause us to feel bad about our lack of normalcy when they have incorrectly defined normal.  We get very confused.  As we move into our True Self, we find that anything that has been marketed becomes unappealing.  Marketing generates excitement, and you know what that means.  Run the other way fast.


10)  It’s not at all about what we’re doing.  In improv, what we’re doing doesn’t matter.  After all, there are no props.  Sounds like quantum physics where nothing is real; and it kind of is.  Something becomes real when we decide it becomes part of the scene.  If we take it out of the scene, it’s not real anymore.  We mutually agree that the material item exists, and it does.  But material items are props; they don’t make the scene.   They don’t change the characters.  The focus is on who each character is being within an environment.  This is also the natural way to write a story.  You create interesting characters with unique perspectives and talents, and then you put them in an environment.  The story writes itself.  In the illusion, everything is about what we’re doing; that’s why it’s all false.


11)  Be fearless.  If we’re afraid to say something in improv, it’s our problem.  If we’re afraid of being judged, it’s clearly our problem.  If we’re embarrassed, it’s our problem.  We feel these emotions, which all say the same thing.  Our belief is limiting our experience on this stage in this moment.  We’re not giving all we can give to our fellow players.  That’s not nice or fair to them!

Now translate that to life, and you see quickly through the illusion.  Religious clergy aren’t nice; they impose their limitations on the scenes we live so we can’t fix our problems or errors.  They make everyone afraid of an imaginary cup, known as hell or Judgment Day.  Government isn’t protecting us; it imposes limitations or rules we don’t need to fix their illusion.  Police don’t protect us; they hold on to beliefs in crime and evil people so they have a job.  Doctors don’t heal us, they reinforce disease.  Military people don’t protect us, nor are they heroes.  They fight imaginary wars over imaginary beliefs about imaginary stuff.  The fact that people do these jobs is their problem.  They are creating harder scenes to improvise, and that’s their prerogative.  But we don’t have to play with them.  What happens to others can only happen to us if we share the same beliefs.  

Why fix an illusion with a rule or a hero?  Can you see the comedy in this?  That’s why people use these themes in COMIC books.


In the end, what changes any improv experience into drama or turns a joyful Eden-like life into pure unending hell is thinking that something that’s just an imaginary scene is real.  When my son was little, I heard that video games were harmful from my self-help addicted friends.  Oy vey.  So I asked him if he was getting bad thoughts because of his love for gaming.  He said, “No mom.  I know the difference between fantasy and reality.  It’s grownups that don’t get that.”  He was right.  I got served that day.


How Do I Know If Am I Projecting?

This overview of improv gives us a different angle for viewing projection.  Projection is a topic laced with confusion.  What we see in the world, ourself, or others is projected out of the contents of our OWN mind.  If we are our True Selves or in first cause, we’ll find projection isn’t harmful to anyone.  It is how we create.  But like everything else, the illusion hijacked projection and made it a tool that it could use to sustain itself.

In second-cause creation, we judge and compare; that’s what causes projection.  Owning up to the fact that we’re projecting is not fun; so when we’re in the masculine role, we might pretend we didn’t cause problems when we did.  We try to hide our emotions so that others feel them and think they’re the problem.  If we hold the masculine role and see problems in ourselves, the world, or others, we’ve contributed to that problem.  We didn’t necessarily cause it entirely.  But if we let go of the unwanted thing we see, it will disappear for us.  We’re no longer hooked into that aspect of the illusion.

The illusion is dual; every thought has two opposing aspects so we can’t help but project the unwanted aspect out.  We can’t hold two thoughts in our mind at the same time.  We can’t identify with both pretty and ugly.  So we project one side of the dual concept out.  This is life at the bottom of the triangle.  No use being ashamed of our past projections; just clean them up.  They go away very quickly if we’re in the masculine role.  It’s only our lack of compassion, our desire to be more special than others, and our love of holding others on the hook that causes us not to let go once we realize that we can.

In the feminine role, it is harder because we don’t believe we have power.  But we also hold the same dual principles.  If we see ourselves as ugly, we do accept the projections of those who live pretty.  We feel stuck in their world.  But we can get out if we let go of the belief we share with them.

We didn’t get a manual for life on earth.  That’s why I’m writing one!  Then, we can be responsible leaders when we’re given the masculine role.

Warning:  The false self thinks it’s a therapist even if we’ve never had a psychology course or therapy session.  Many real therapists and self-help gurus don’t understand that we only project in the masculine role.  They don’t realize that projection is only a problem when we have second-cause, judgmental thoughts.  Most therapists and teachers totally believe the illusion is true.  At best, they can give a little comfort in the illusion.  They can’t get anyone free because they aren’t free.  Most don’t realize freedom exists at all.

False mind experts and our own false mind will tell us that we’re projecting when we aren’t and vice versa.  This is very confusing.  It’s especially common if we’ve been swimming in the sea of self-help for a while.  When we’re projecting and making a mess of other people’s lives, our false self won’t say a damn word.  It thinks it’s right; and the other is wrong.  It will deny responsibility.  It will tell us that we’re helping them or saving them.  The false self loves to fix others.  Projecting in this way is a common habit that’s been labeled normal or natural.

If we hear a voice inside of us that says, “You’re projecting.”  It’s almost certain, our false self is pulling a fast one on us.  This one tripped me up for years.  It causes us to endlessly look for the cause of things that we didn’t cause.  There is nothing worse than feeling responsible for something that has nothing to do with you.  This often happens to children — like when the child thinks they caused the parent’s divorce.

Eventually, we just let the whole concept of projection go.  But first we have to see it and understand it.  We won’t be able to do this unless we understand level confusion, roles, emotions, beliefs, psychological reversals, and first and second-cause creating.  Those are the keys to the illusion’s continuation.



Being voyeurs into other people’s lives complicates the illusory game (but also makes life fun and entertaining).  If another wants to live a particular false, second-cause experience, we won’t feel any emotion if we give them freedom to do that without judgment or fear of them.  It’s so easy in improv to not get stuck in other people’s games.  If we aren’t on the stage, we aren’t part of their world.  It’s their show.  But if we feel like we want to run on that stage and fix the players, we’re projecting on their scene from the audience.  People who like to rescue often jump into other people’s scenes and try to fix things; and they really don’t belong there.  They try to create a purpose for themselves when they don’t have one in this situation.  If they slow down and watch their mind, they’ll see the causal thought.  They usually don’t trust people to fix their own lives.  They don’t believe others have a True Self that can handle anything.  They usually want respect or applause for pushing their way into other people’s lives.

If someone doesn’t like what they’re living, then they can ask us for help or not.  We won’t feel emotions about their saga as we help them because it isn’t true in our mind.  We’re helping them let go of their illusion.  If we’re feeling sympathy or pity, we still share their belief, we can’t help them get free.  We can only give comfort in the illusion.  That doesn’t make us bad; but it keeps us stuck in the illusion.  We’ll see that situation again and again.

When someone asks for help, they don’t get to hand us a script.  They don’t get to tell us how we will help them.  Our most responsible activity is to simply not believe anything false — to stay out of other people’s minds unless asked.  We must work to disconnect from EVERYONE at the false self level.  We aren’t meant to complete anyone.  We will always be connected to everyone, even those we think we hate, at the True Self level.   True compassion is refusing to believe that anyone could be less than their whole True Self.   Thus romantic love of two halves or soul mates isn’t true.  Sorry!  Compassion and unconditional love don’t have an emotional component, but they feel wonderfully calm and freeing.  They’re the best we can give to others.

Compassion is a strange way to be when we still have one foot stuck in the illusion.  We’re usually judged as selfish because most people live as human doings, not human beings.  They wonder why we aren’t doing anything; letting go is doing a lot.  Compassion means that we care about someone and want their highest good — freedom, health, joy, love.


How to Stop Projecting Quickly

Projection is normal and necessary, BUT we were only given the ability to project to create the material world or first-cause co-creative experiences.  In first-cause creation, we project our material creations outside of our mind.  We are in the masculine role to the material world, not to other people.  The Bible says that we were given dominion over everything.  That didn’t mean that we get to destroy it or boss it around.  It meant that we get to create whatever we want physically and don’t have to fear what is already here.  We won’t create anything harmful to others if we are in first-cause creation.

We get to combine different foods and make a magnificent meal.  We get to invent a rocket.  However, my baking a cake doesn’t mess with your building a rocket, and vice versa, because our false minds are individual containers designed for creating.  We can live in complete harmony even if our beliefs are ridiculously incongruent because we hold no concepts of judgment, evil, or losing.  I don’t put your rocket beliefs in my cake beliefs because that would be stupid.  And the same is true with putting your Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, or Jewish beliefs in my mind.  We don’t need to share false self thoughts of any kind.  We were designed to hold them until our creation was done.  Then we could start over again.  We can do this forever.  There’s no shortage of ideas out there.

The best place to work on our beliefs so that we aren’t projecting on others is to do something we want to do full out, and treat the outcome of that project at every level as our feedback system.  This was the key to alchemy.  As they cleared their own mind, they went through stages; and eventually, they ended up with metaphorical gold.  They lived their perfect life; and they could easily acquire whatever they wanted or needed.  But acquisition wasn’t forced or willed; it was the organic effect of purifying their own mind.   That’s how we get to abundance.

I use this in whatever I do, but especially in my writing.  I treat whatever I produce as my reflection.  I don’t think much about the reader other than I want to be clear within myself so I don’t harm them.  If I don’t feel good when I read something I wrote, I let go of what I’m projecting into it, edit it, and it improves.  I often repeat this many times before I turn an article loose.  On the average, I edit about ten times per article, which is why I’m slow at turning them out.

I can’t stop others from projecting their false self on to what they read.  Readers often write to me to say that they have noticed their progress because they went back and read an old article for the second or third time, and they realized their point of view has radically changed.  They did that, not me.  The writing itself was my reward.  The improved discrimination and release of projecting their false mind on to the page was the reader’s reward.  We all won.

It takes time to turn my initial leaden rough draft into something that gets a bit closer to gold.  In this way, I get closer to the person and the writer I aspire to be; and I get freer.  Most important, I live life improvisationally.  I write when inspired.  I talk about what comes to mind.  The environment or situations I’m in causes my inspiration.  Or a reader asks a question that prompts the inspiration.  It’s no different from an audience suggestion in improv.  My task is to stay authentic, in the moment, and fearless and to say, “YES And.”


Cathy Eck is a true pioneer always pushing the boundaries of thought and beliefs. Cathy is courageous about exposing the status quo. While her ideas might not be popular, they are effective, practical, and true. They create unity where division once existed. They create love where hate had reigned. They create joy where pain and sorrow were once normal. They are ideas worth considering and hopefully embracing.

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