Jean Monbourquette was a Canadian priest who died in 2011. He is much appreciated for the quality of his published works, such as “How to discover your personal mission,” “How to befriend your shadow,” “How to forgive,” “Growth through loss,” and “The men of violence” etc. (available in English through Amazon)
This posthumous book is short and easy to read. It is very instructive on marginal phenomena, which society recognises as destructive projections such as being under the influence of curses, being a scapegoat, being bullied at school, the butt of jokes at work and being the black sheep of the family.
He begins with clear definitions based on Jungian psychology: the persona, this ability to adapt to the outside world, and the shadow, all that we have repressed into the unconscious (white and black shadows and the dark areas arising from family, national and institutional experiences). This leads to an analysis of the phenomenon known as projection, which is very common even among those we consider ‘normal’.
As defined by Jung, projection is an unconscious transfer, not perceived and involuntary on the part of the subject, of subjective psychic elements onto another person or animal or an exterior object. It can be beneficial. It is therefore an essential tool for educators, parents, schoolteachers, and formators. However, it can also be harmful or even evil. The rest of the book is devoted to this last aspect. This part is very concrete and is composed of a number of examples coming from family life (relationships between the couple, between parents and children), the educational system, as well as the workplace.
The author mentions the types of personalities at risk: those who are envious, jealous, those with negative mindsets, those who are self-satisfied (self-important). He then goes on to describe the victims, those who are scapegoats, bullied, the black sheep and the butt of jokes. He also mentions cyber bullying and internet harassment that make many adolescents suffer today. In Canada, 70% of young people between 13 and 15, when asked, replied that they had been bullied on the Internet and 44% admitted that they had intimidated someone else at least once (p.66).
The book finishes by furnishing strategies to get out of this cycle of victimisation and develop respect for self. This is, no doubt the most interesting part of the book. So, here is a new tool to help personal development, which is worth its weight in gold!
Les projections maléfiques. Comment échapper à leur violence,
collection Développement personnel,
Bayard, Montrouge, Novalis, Montréal, août 2015, 118 pages, 14 euros
Guy Theunis, M.Afr.
Petit Echo nr. 1078