The World is a Mirror

It is amazing how when we look about us, what we see reflects back our inner state, our anxieties and our fears. I guess most of us grew with parents and media warning that all this ‘free sex’ (What free sex?!) and drugs were taking us to hell in a hand cart. I’m now my parents’ age when they made these pronouncements and I can understand their fears, but I’m not sure that the world is so very different today. The state of the world is a bit like the fashion, in as much as the way it looks keeps changing but the elements keep on being recycled.

I think that what we notice going on around us tells us a lot about our inner world. If we see many things that scare us, I think this not only makes us afraid but arises from feeling scared in the first place. If we see struggle and competition everywhere, this is probably because we feel that we are struggling. It is a simplistic statement, but I think that there is evidence in the way the brain works that tells us that we notice things that are of importance to us1. It is at once an old idea, and at the cutting edge of physics to say that the microcosm reflects the macrocosm and that quantum physics must square with Einsteinian scale concepts.

So perhaps rather than trying to fix the World, maybe there is value in reflecting a little, and asking what is going on in our inner world. This may help take us forward a step or two on our journeys.

“If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.” Chinese Proverb.


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3 Responses to “The World is a Mirror”

  1. carys says:

    I think that there is huge value in not ‘trying to fix it’ whatever it may be, and ackowledging that one doesn’t have an answer or need to have one for that matter. My experience is that there is great power and magic that comes from simply affirming ‘I don’t know’. It seems to open doors and potentials that can lead to deep healing and change.

  2. Alexander_M says:

    Gareth Morgan in ‘Metaphor in Organisations’, wrote that metaphors simultaneously liberate our thinking and constrain it. They help us look at things in new ways, and can also trap us into not seeing important things that are going on. Metaphors can turn things on their heads, and turn our heads on things; our heads can turn things into metaphors. As Richard points out, we see what we choose to see.

    Or do we? How, as infants (a kind of tabula rasa) do we manage to see the first things we see?

    And if we truly can choose how we see – and choice itself cannot be avoided – then what would each of us want to use as our personal filter? What are the most useful way of looking? Is there a grand all-purpose starting point for looking that could apply to situations?


    Alexander Massey

  3. Some big points and good questions!

    I suspect even as kids we see things in relation to other things so we ‘say’ “This is like that…”

    I’m not sure most of us choose what we see, though we could make a choice to look at things differently given the right stimulus, motivation and support. I do think that we automatically filter out things we place low value on and positively discriminate in favour of things we value. I suspect artists, photographers and (say) anthropologists all develop the ways they observe and see things.

    If I had to suggest a general strategy, I guess I would say that trying to invert your view on a regular basis would be useful. By which I mean asking yourself “How would the other person see this?”

    What do you think?

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