Tuesday, September 3, 2013

People Are Mirrors

Pythagorean students hailing the sun
These students of Pythagoras hailing the rising sun really have nothing to do with mirrors--except that I like the painting, and, well, the Pythagorean school did really swipe a lot from the Egyptians. And the Essenes swiped from the Egyptians. And the Gnostics swiped from the Essenes. And so on. Really, all these ancient mystery schools were teaching pretty much the same things, only adding to them or putting the same ideas in a different way.

So, I've been studying some Essene texts lately, along with the Gnostic Gospel of the Holy Twelve, and H. Spenser Lewis' The Mystical Life of Jesus. Jesus, of course, was likely an Essene--specifically a Nazarean Essene, since the city of Nazareth didn't actually even exist (as far we know) during his lifetime. Anyway. All this is prelude to the idea of the Essenian Mirrors, the idea that the people in our lives serve as mirrors for us in seven different ways.

The first several mirrors are pretty easy to understand: One is the mirror of the moment. Look around yourself and consider the types of people who are your friends. What do they have in common? What they have in common reflects back on you. You are who they are. (That's more or less the same idea as that old saying, "A person can be known by the company they keep.") This is a powerful mirror, because if you suddenly realize your friends are NOT people you want to be like, it's time for you to make a change.

The second mirror is the mirror of that which you judge. When people push your buttons or little things they do drive you off the deep end or gnaw at you, is there any pattern to those things? Say you have many dear friends, but a handful of them drive you bonkers because they have a tendency to tell fibs on occasion. That pattern says that you are judging their dishonesty. WHY is that so bothersome to you? Are they reflecting back to you a tendency to dishonesty that you haven't acknowledged? (As Carl Jung said, we hate most in others those very things we hate most in ourselves.) Or are they reflecting back to you a moral value that is highly charged to you for some other reason?

The third mirror--and this is as far as I've gotten--is the mirror of that which is lost, has been taken away, or has been given away. These persons often fill a hole or a gap in us, representing our yearning for an element of us that is gone. We often get minute crushes on these people until we figure out what's truly going on. For example, say you meet this awesome person whom you feel incredibly drawn to and you think you may be falling head over heels--what's that all about? Is there something in them that you miss about yourself? Maybe you have fallen for a younger person for the simple reason that you miss your own youth, or your own innocence. Maybe you have fallen for an older person because you have lost your own financial stability or the conviction that you have control over your own life. Maybe you have fallen so hard for that athlete because she reminds you so much of how intense you used to be in the gym--until you ruined your shoulders and wrists and tore some tendons and now can't do that and wake up every morning crunching and cracking. If the mirror of loss is in play, seeing it for what it is and acknowledging it can dissolve those feelings of infatuation and you can pursue a more genuine relationship based on things shared, not on things lost.

Anyway, I find all this stuff interesting and wish I'd had it at my fingertips when I was working on my 4th Step. It would've helped me figure out why I'd gotten involved with some of the people I did. If this speaks to you in any way, stay tuned. I'll be posting again once I get a handle on the other four mirrors.


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