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Posts Tagged ‘mirror of life’

Reflections

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

Through the Looking Glass

“Through the years, a man peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, tools, stars, horses and people. Shortly before his death, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the image of his own face.”
Jorge Luis Borges

The additional development to the black-hole model (see Holed in One) has got me on a roll and I’ve been reflecting on the nature of mirrors in the last few days. It seemed that the various insights that various provings have been bringing in over the last year or so needed to be brought together in a kind of meta-theory that would be capable of modelling the entire shebang and be consistent with the quest for the popup launcher icon whole elephant. This whole thing is starting to shape up into something approaching a book on the subject, and may yet turn into one. Watch this space …

The critical thing about mirrors is, as His Holiness the Dalai Lama explains in his introduction to the principles of Dzogchen (Dzogchen: Heart Essence of the Great Perfection), “When you see a reflection of a form in a mirror, the reflection appears within the mirror but it is not projected from within.”

So common questions such as “why do mirrors reverse left-to-right but not up-to-down?” are really asking the wrong question. Mirrors don’t actually “do” anything. They just reflect. It’s we who do all the doing in our interpretation of the image we see. Mirrors appear to reverse left-right because we, in standing vertically viewing them, are interpreting the image we see as if it were being projected from within the mirror, in which case the object in the mirror appears to be rotated about the vertical plane and hence reversed left-to-right (and also front-to-back if we interpret the mirror-image as three-dimensional). The fact that the reversal doesn’t appear to be up-to-down is simply because we see the reversal as occuring relative to the vertical plane. If we rotated our imaginary object in the mirror about the horizontal plane, the reversal would appear to be up-to-down.

If we make this elementary interpretive error when confronted with a two-dimensional panel which we know to be reflective, what hope for us correctly interpreting all that comes at us from “out there” in three, even four, dimensions, while being unaware of the reflective nature of it all? It thus becomes highly plausible to countenance the prospect that all our explorations, models and rationalisations about the world outside ourselves are back to front and inside out, most particularly that daft notion that matter is primary and gives rise to consciousness as a secondary phenomenon.

Does this mean we need to deconstruct all our models of existence and start again? Not at all. We merely need to turn them inside out. So, for instance, the extraordinary gravitational forces of a black hole don’t arise from the collapse and implosion of a star, but the collapse of a star occurs when its gravitational forces become too great to sustain its material manifestation. Thus the emperor stands without his clothes, a victim of his own spin, revealing his naked energetic dimensions for us all to reflect upon the nature of our own state.



The proof of the pudding

Monday, January 30th, 2006

“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us ‘universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest…a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in it’s beauty.”
Albert Einstein

Pertinent to mention that most of this month’s blog contributions have been made under the influence of another proving!

This one’s particular focus at the more philosophical end of its spectrum has to do with the way in which the underlying state gives rise to its outward manifestations, and vice versa in how outer manifestations reflect the nature of the underlying state. It highlights the frequently paradoxical nature of the process – or at least paradoxical to western thought – and the way we tend to get things twisted back-to-front and inside-out.

Cosmic Sphere by Camille Flammarion 1842-1925

It was interesting that in response to January 27th’s post, Carol Willis mentioned the Golden Rule (see the Comments to that entry), and it’s right enough that it infuses the moral and ethical standards of most cultures on the planet right down to children’s stories such as Charles Kingsley’s 1863 classic The Water Babies featuring the redoubtable rulers of the water-babies’ kingdom, Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby and Mrs Bedonebyasyoudid. If recognition of the value of such principles is pretty much universal, how is it that we fail so dismally to carry principle through to action?

It lies in the nature of the mirror. The underlying state is not something that can be perceived directly. It’s evident only by the manifestations it gives rise to which are like a mirror to its nature. Since our attention is captured by the reflection, rather than its source, we mistake this for the fundamental “reality” and see things back-to-front and inside-out, often entirely oblivious to the fact that there’s an underlying state generating these manifestations in the first place. The result of this is that we aim for the ultimates, the manifestations of the underlying state, as goals in and of themselves. Because we perceive them as goals, rather than reflections, we attempt to impose them on ourselves and others rather than focusing on the underlying state that naturally and spontaneously gives rise to them (much as Paracelsus highlights in the quote beginning the last post).

“What we are looking for is what is looking.”
St Francis of Assisi

As our self-discipline (or imposed discipline) strengthens and we succeed in acting in ways that are selfless, compassionate, etc, we believe we’ve achieved our aim. Which indeed we have – we’ve succeeded in imposing these qualities on ourselves. But the underlying state remains unchanged. It’s merely been strait-jacketed into a facsimile of the genuine article, but will continue as it always has to make its nature known in acting out, projection onto “other”, or in internal dis-ease, while we, delighted with our successes in overcoming our “base nature” and “doing the right thing”, remain ignorant of the fact.

We’ve made this error with each of the major world religions; the main reason why we’re left now with so much profound fragmentation, conflict and empty ritual. We’re making the same mistake again with the re-emerging spirituality of the “New Age”. Everywhere people are concentrating on the ultimates; trying to be in the eternal now, in universal compassion, etc, etc, learning techniques to impose this discipline or that discipline on themselves in the hopes it will lead to realisation, and ignoring all the reflections in the mirror which tell us what state we’re really in.

“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”
Søren Kierkegaard

This isn’t to say that practicing such techniques can’t help us along the path to the realisation we desire, only that we’re very good at fooling ourselves into thinking we’ve “got it” when we haven’t. We want it so bad we ignore all the signs telling us we’ve still got stuff nailed under the carpet to attend to.

A lot of the stuff under the carpet comes from the basic assumptions we’re conditioned with since childhood, passed down from generation to generation, and which are so universal we can’t see them for what they are. The doctrine of original sin, for instance, has one helluva lot to answer for. The idea that we’re born bad and have to spend the rest of our lives struggling to keep the badness under control accounts for an awful lot of our bad behaviour, not to mention the backlash notion that we’re really full of fundamental goodness and anyone pouring cold water on the unending feel-good fest is just being negative. We’re born neither bad nor good. W’e’re just born: with the potential to destroy or create, to fragment or amalgamate. A potential almost as diverse and limitless as the life-force of which we’re an inseparable part, and equally free of value judgement. How we’re conditioned to see and value ourselves, how we come to terms with that, and the choices we make as a result, are what determine the “reality” of our lives and the quality of our actions.

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity … and I’m not sure about the universe.”
Albert Einstein



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smeddum.net - Blog: Confessions of a Serial Prover. Weblog on homeopathy, health and related subjects by homeopathic practitioner Wendy Howard