Saturday, May 20, 2017

A house of mirrors


It’s dark and you can’t see anything. Suddenly the lights are switched on. You’ve never seen light before so the glare hurts your eyes. Days go by but gradually your eyes adjust and what do you see? Everywhere you look you see people with smiling faces who seem to adore you and these people are exuding love and tenderness all directed at you. They tickle you. They feed you. They comfort you when you’re sad and play with you, and little by little you come to believe that you’re very, very, special. These people are your parents and friends and they are your mirrors.

That time is very special but it doesn’t last. Soon you move on and come in contact with other people. You and they relate to each other in the same way—as mirrors. You reflect them and they reflect you, and little by little each and everyone learns how to manipulate their own environment to glean the best outcome, the ego dance begins and our identity takes shape.

So long as anyone stays in that house of mirrors there is no alternative but to experience themselves as a reflection. But this manipulation game is complex and often times frustrating, fraught with anxiety, fear, and tension. The players don’t cooperate. They want their way instead of our way. Why are these people not adoring us but instead demanding that we adore them? Where are those adoring parents when we need them? Why can’t everyone just get along? Why can’t everyone see things as we do, think as we do, construct the world, as we want? 

And the ego dance begins to come unglued and we are lost, but what nobody realizes at that moment of loss; that identity crisis, is this is a blessing in disguise. Once that moment of disaster arrives we are ready for the mirrors to fall away and find our true natures. And then, at last, we become the wholly complete person we’ve always been: The one looking into the mirrors; not the one reflected,
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