Everything reflects everything else. Mirrors are especially good at this. Our awareness is essentially a mirror. Our awareness reflects all of the activity of the mind. Our senses sense the light, sounds, feelings, scents and tastes of the external environment and transforms them into thoughts for our mirror to reflect. In transforming these sensory experiences into thoughts we distort them. That distortion has a consistent quality that we come to think of as ourselves. The distortion of experience comes in the form of knowledge. As we acquire language we distort the pure sounds of voice into words that have meaning other than the sound that produces them. As gain knowledge, our sense of self becomes more and more solid. Our experience becomes our point of view. We feel as though we are separate from the things that we reflect. What we reflect matters to us.
A mirror does not care what it reflects. Whatever passes the mirror is reflected. If you hit a mirror with a stone, the mirror will reflect the stone all the way up until the stone shatters the mirror and then each piece will continue to reflect the stone. No fear, no regret.
As we experience the events of our lives, we don’t usually just reflect. We project. We have opinions, we grasp. We think, this is beautiful, that is ugly, I want this, I don’t want that. We project a bit of ourselves into everything we observe. We feel like we are separate from what we observe, and so, we put ourselves into what we perceive.
When we see a mirror, it is different. We look in a mirror and we think we see ourselves. We feel a deep connection with our reflection. Our reflection is no more us than the mirror is, but when we see our reflection we think we are seeing ourselves. We still add all kinds of opinions about what we see, but we think we are seeing ourselves.
If we look at the world like we look at a mirror, understanding that we are seeing ourselves, we can learn to reflect like a mirror. We will no longer need to project ourselves onto things because we are already there. When we see beauty, we know it is us, we won’t need to possess it. When we see ugliness we will not need to turn away because it is a part of us. We just reflect. We feel connected.