I am sitting here in my cozy San Diego home as it rains outside. I am writing this as a blog but also as a primer for future reference. I have been developing informational tools to help anyone seeking transformation to find a way to benefit from the Mirror Effect as I have. I call it the Mirror Effect because it is literal and figurative at the same time. So, take this as my gift to you. Everything I share in some way links back to this very simple but transformative truth that everything we perceive is literally a reflection of our inner world.
Simple – everything you perceive is a reflection of you. It bears repeating, again and again, because the mind/maya/illusion is tricky and we forget as soon as a belief takes hold.
This is a very deep topic to explore and I am only scratching the surface here to provide a launching point for using this information to your advantage beginning now. Below are some basic points for the purposes of understanding and an agreed upon common language. It’s not rocket science or proprietary information but it is the foundation for a transformative mindful practice I call the Mirror Effect.
- Everything we know we learned. We are taught the meaning of everything through language and experience.
- We are primarily taught by the adults and people around us as we are children.
- One of the first things we are taught is a name to be identified with and that is what becomes the central focus of our identification with being human.
- Our name and identification as being a person, or personhood, is a learned belief. While it shapes our reality, our personhood is a belief that only exists in the level of the mind.
- Through the process of childhood, we develop core beliefs that we associate with our identity as a person.
- Once the state of personhood is firmly established in the mind, the story of our life begins to reflect the beliefs that are now primarily hiding in the background like the operating system of a computer.
- As the core beliefs are developed to support the primary belief that we are persons, we develop the need to defend and justify that personhood and the beliefs surrounding it. This is the veil of illusion or maya shrouding the truth that you are the source of all and one with all.
- Everything you think is actually being reflected back to you in the events of your life, your day, each moment. Events happened in your life like a special order to show you what you are creating with your conscious and largely subconscious beliefs.
Now we can move forward.
Mirror work and using reflection is found in many traditions going back in time. The mirror clouded by the mind is illusion or Maya. Just like Alice falling through the looking glass, what awaits on the other side is the opposite of what is being reflected. There is great power available to you in using everything in your world as a mirror for your innermost self. We know that the brain is the computer center of the body. The brain takes all the information perceived by the senses and pulls it together to form the movie of your life. Even though there are billions of pieces of information bombarding our senses at any given moment, the brain discriminates and only pulls together the clips that it decides are relevant to you and your survival. There are many gaps in this information. The mind fills the gaps by inserting explanations and giving you the illusion of a seamless storyline to the movie of your life.
That means no matter what you perceive, you are only getting the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot more beneath the surface of consciousness. This also explains why multiple witnesses to an event will recount it differently. Because there are gaps in the brain’s video stream of your life, as soon as the images are formed by your brain, the mind is there like a sports announcer giving you a play-by-play. That is your reality. And because it appears seamless to our conscious awareness, we look around and see everything and think we know everything and that what we know is truth so we believe it. We then feel compelled to defend it and this results in the seeds of discord between human beings. We all have different versions of the truth and are so attached to the story of our own interpretation of life we have to be right and get others to agree.
The mind fills in the gaps of awareness thus creating the illusion of a seamless storyline to the movie of your personhood, which is itself a belief in the level of the mind.
The insertion of belief into the landscape of your perception is so fast, so subtle, it’s hardly recognized by you. We digest it whole as the truth because it feels so real and it is all we can see before us. The opportunity here is to take everything with perceive and use it as information that may or may not be true. If you can make a decision to question everything, judge nothing and be open to the possibility that nothing you believe is necessarily true, then everything becomes an opportunity to learn and go deeper into your own subconscious beliefs.
It can be unnerving to rattle the tree of knowledge in our minds. That might be putting it lightly. It can rock your world in the best possible way.
Even if we want to get to our core beliefs and transform them, and work so hard for personal growth, the mind will feel like it is at risk of dying so it will come up with every excuse in the book why not to accept the Mirror Effect as real. How can it be when so and so just called me a jerk and is making my life miserable?
Try this on for size. The next time you find yourself in a conflict with someone else, take a look at whatever it is that you feel about them. “Susie is so rude and thoughtless and really is out to get me!” Take this and use it as an I statement. “I am rude, thoughtless and I am out to get me!” How does this resonate? Can you see the parallels? Does that voice sound like the inner tyrant that is judging your every move? The Mirror Effect reflects back to you everything that is being said in your inner dialogue. That is why we all draw to us those people who will “push your buttons”, whether it be your significant other, co-worker, friend or a teacher. This is the best gift to receive in your life, someone who reveals you to you. Even if it hurts. It hurts anyway because you are treating yourself that way inside. It hurts because you identify with the belief that you are a person with something to defend.
This is where the gold lies. You can mine the depths by just using the reflection of your inner dialogue as it comes back to you in your interactions with the world. I have created a worksheet process to help guide you when dealing with any reflection so you can hone in on what it is that you are saying to yourself.
Everything beautiful you perceive is also a reflection of you. So, while there are a lot of beliefs that keep us in a circle of judgement that can be unhappy or difficult, everything that you believe is lovely is also information for you to learn from. When you hear that voice say “Nobody’s perfect” take a look at what you are judging as imperfect. Who said?
When you practice taking complete responsibility for your reflection, you begin to see that everything in your mind is just a projection of that voice in your head. It is just a voice and not truth. Complete freedom from this literal mind game is not only possible, but your natural state.
In my shamanic training, I experienced “popping” out of the mind many times. For me it was a wobbly feeling like suddenly living inside of a bowl of wiggly Jell-O. When you are not bound by the belief system then nothing is true or solid anymore. Everything is up for interpretation.
Getting out is only a part of the equation though. Staying out is the next step. What I didn’t realize was that the illusions will always be there, we will always perceive the oceanic waves of the mind moving. I had a belief that it would completely disappear and when it didn’t a belief inserted itself in my mind that I failed, I believed it and boom I was back in the game. When I began applying the Mirror Effect to everything in my life, and I mean everything, the ability to see the reflection accurately as something I was doing to myself grew within me. Eventually I was able to recognize the belief that I failed as just another reflection I was projecting. It passed like any other cloud in the sky passes. Just as transient and impermanent. If I can witness the clouds in the sky without judgement, I can witness the thoughts in the mind with the same dispassionate acceptance.
When you marry this with mindful practices to simultaneously free the emotional body and gratitude for all experiences you have a comprehensive approach to clearing that which keeps you from the peace of mind and contented life you deserve. A natural thing happens. You get to be you, exactly how you are without the need to judge the experience. The result is freedom to be yourself and enjoy living your life.
Copyright © 2016 Catherine Chase. All Rights Reserved.