How does the tendency to crave pleasure and reject pain shape our lives? How does it affect the way we perceive reality, and how is it related to the emergence of suffering and the way it is experienced and transmitted? Can we live free of this tendency, beyond the pleasure principle? This book approaches these questions through an examination of the psychoanalytic concepts of projection and projective identification in the light of early Buddhist thought. It looks at the personal and the interpersonal, at theory, meta-theory, and everyday life. It observes how the mind's habits mould the human condition, and investigates its ability to free itself from their domination. It examines the potential of this liberation: to be in touch with reality as it is and live a less reactive, more ethical life.