Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Mirror

Lately I have been thinking about the imagery of mirrors, in part, because the symbolism of mirrors are so prevalent within fairy tales, especially some current movies. Everyone knows the tale of the wicked beautiful and sexy queen, who requires daily consultation with a magical mirror and ends up nearly killing a young innocent sweet girl out of jealousy, rage and narcissism. In the end, she ends up dying herself.

The Evil Queen in Snow White and the Huntsman

What do mirrors reveal to us? When we wake in the morning, what do we see? We see in all truth how we feel about ourselves, which is most clear in the morning when we wake from the dreamworld and are at our point of greatest, yet most profound vulnerability.

Evil Queen in the Mirror

What do we see in the mirror when we are getting dressed for a hot date? We see those things that need improvement or the better features of ourselves. But really, the image we paint of ourselves in the mirror may not be the most attractive. We have to be ever-mindful that that the image is only a facade and in all reality, the image is a "mirror image" of who we really are and sometimes only a superficial one at best. It shows us only what we want to see, or not see, and the image becomes a mask not only to other people but for ourselves too.

Dracula getting ready for a hot date.
I guess I began really to think about the imagery of mirrors when I began to really understand a power within myself, which I call "The Mirror". The power is both a blessing and a curse, and particularly within the context of a relationship. In my previous relationship, my ex would get angry at me and start to verbalize his annoyances about me. These expressions were actually within himself. I began to wonder,

"Am I a mirror to my loved ones? Do I provoke something that causes them to face something within themselves that they hate?"

It is both painful and empowering when you realize that you have to power to provoke that type of perception, especially to loved ones, the people in your Life that you have no desire to hurt. I had to accept this part of myself before I could love again. Since I feel the desire to be loved, I want my beloved to love... and accept... all of who I am and can become. It started with loving myself.

When you drop your mask, you invite others to do the same. Some people will accept the invitation, others may run away--because they start to feel acutely aware of their own coverings. They may walk away and you may endure even more loneliness. But remember, if you want love and friendship, if you want to know beauty, you must walk the path undisguised.
-Charlotte Kasl, Ph. D. If the Buddha Dated.

The other type of mirror within fairy tales is a mirror that I like to call a "Gate", much like the gates that are used within rituals. A gate a doorway to another world, whereas when one is given the key and steps beyond that threshold, the journeyman enters a world of knowledge or a world of fantasy, or in the case of the magician, BOTH.

Atreyu and Bastian see each other in the Neverending Story.
Finally, when I began to reconcile the idea of the mirror, I realized it is a another symbol of duality, a pair of opposites that can provide great insight and growth but only when the two remain in balance and we acknowledge both sides.

The true secret of natural goodness lies in the recognition of the contending rights of the Pairs of Opposites; there is no such antimony as between Good and Evil, but only balance between two extremes, each of which is evil when carried to excess, both of which give rise to evil if insufficient for equipoise. -Dion Fortune

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