THE SECOND UNIVERSAL TRUTH: Your life is a mirror

by Michael Brown

 In this article Michael Brown explores
the second of the five universal truths in his novel
Finding the Field: an adventure of body, mind and spirit.
Source website is www.findingthefield.com  

 Imagine. You’re standing in front of the bathroom mirror, studying your image.

Suddenly, the reflection of you and the room vanishes, and instead you see a movie of your entire life: every memory and present moment is there—even today’s little drama when a drunk kicked your car. And as you watch, a voice speaks in your head. It says, “Now you’re looking at who you are.”

“No way,” you might object, “What life does to me is not the same thing as who I am.”

Yes it is. Here’s the second universal truth. Your life, including all memories, is a high precision mirror. It shows you, literally and metaphorically, who you really are. Nothing in your life is not a reflection of who you are. This is the secret language of perceived memories, events and things. It shows you to you.

“Nonsense,” you might argue. “What about that guy who kicked my car? That’s supposed to be a reflection of who I am?”

Yes, even that. You are a fragment of the singular giant being known as Consciousness. Through you, Consciousness simultaneously asks and answers the question, What am I? Through your adventures, it creates itself and knows itself. But you have forgotten and don’t recognise your own creations, though they flaunt themselves in front of you. Even your body is part of the life-mirror generated by your inner being.

For humans, the question What am I? becomes Who am I?

But you won’t find the answer in your life mirror if you focus only on material objects, because they—including your body—are the shallowest reflection of who you are. Instead, look at your relationships, your desires, your beliefs, your dramas and recurring events.

If you don’t like what you see, here’s the good news. None of it is real of its own accord. No thing, thought or event has any fixed reality independent of you—not even the tallest mountains and deadliest storms. Your perception is the only reality there is. We’ve all heard this ancient riddle: if a tree falls in the forest and no-one is around to listen, does it make a sound? The answer is that with no observer, there is no tree and no falling.

In the Bible, the second truth is contained in a short phrase: And God said, I AM THAT I AM: It’s a five word description of the mirror we call life.

Anais Nin said it like this: “You do not see the world as it is. You see it as you are.”

And modern physics is shocked to find itself on the brink of agreeing. Scientists have discovered the mirror of their own minds inside the atom, where the existence and the behaviour of the particles depend on the intent of the scientist. Einstein saw the stunning implications back in the fifties and he was not pleased. He grumbled, “I like to think the moon is there even if I’m not looking at it.” And that is really the only question left: does sub-atomic reality apply to everyday, macroscopic reality? When science makes that leap, it will redefine itself and mankind will tell a new story about what it means to be human.

When science is done with atom smashers, it will know that the fundamental building block of the universe is thought. Thought is a thing, leaving a physical signature we don’t normally recognize as our own.

Imagine that you throw a boomerang, but then forget that you threw it. When it comes back, you look around and wonder whose hand was responsible. So you keep throwing boomerangs, some returning to bring you pleasure, others to bring you pain. Historically, religion has been stuck in this groove of forgetting, shrugging its shoulders with the words, “His ways are mysterious.”

Until we recognize the potent causal power of our thoughts (the first truth) we remain at their mercy when they come back in our life mirror (the second). Try this parable from the wisdom of the Sufis:

     A stranger enters a village, and immediately looks for the Sufi master to ask advice. He says, ‘I’m thinking of moving to live in this village. What can you tell me about the people who live here?’
     And the Sufi master replies, ‘What can you tell me about the people who live where you come from?’
     ‘Ah,’ says the visitor angrily. ‘They are terrible people. They are robbers, cheats and liars. They stab each other in the back.’
     ‘Well now,’ says the Sufi master. ‘Isn’t that a coincidence? That’s exactly what they’re like here.’
     So the man departs the village and is never seen there again.
     Soon, another stranger enters the village, and he too seeks out the Sufi master for advice. He says, ‘I’m thinking of moving to live in this village. What can you tell me about the people who live here?’
     And the Sufi master replies, ‘What can you tell me about the people who live where you come from?’
     ‘Ah,’ says the visitor in fond remembrance, ‘They are wonderful people. They’re kind, gentle and compassionate. They look after each other.’
     ‘Well now,’ says the Sufi master, ‘Isn’t that a coincidence? That’s exactly what they’re like here.’

We take our inner selves with us wherever we go. Changing external circumstances is like changing the wallpaper in one room of a mansion. Our world can only be changed from within, because that’s where it comes from. To change it, we must become the gatekeeper of our own thoughts; welcoming those that create what we want and dismissing those that create what we don’t want.

It’s like watering the garden. Do you water the vegetables or the weeds?

Thoughts are really desiccated feelings, and feelings are more potent. They too can be controlled—nothing to do with denial and everything to do with where you choose to direct the hose. A fertile garden of feelings waits for the nourishment of your attention: among them courage, compassion, strength, love, and happiness.

Yes, even happiness is a choice.

Then there are the weeds in your garden. How often are you angry? Bitter? Cynical? Resentful? Jealous? Do you thirst for revenge? If you allow such feelings to take root, they become noxious weeds—and it is you they poison. The Buddha likened harbouring such feelings to holding a hot coal in your hands. Your life is not about what has been done to you, it’s about your response. Take a thousand people through the same event and a thousand different paths will come out the other side. Mirror, mirror on the wall of life, who is the fairest of them all? The mirror always answers the question, but we must realize that by our thought patterns we are telling it what to say.

Deliberately and consciously work the magic of the life-mirror to your advantage.

What do you want? Do you want to be loved? Then love.

Do you want to be trusted? Trust.

Do you want to neutralise your enemies? Forgive them.

To be heard, listen. To be understood, seek to understand. To receive, be grateful. To make beauty flourish, actively seek beauty in your life, regardless of your circumstances. When we bridge life’s exquisite polarities, we become enlightened.

But here’s a question many ask. If you and I look at the same cherry tree, who created it?

We both did, by subconscious agreement. But it is not the same tree. No two people ever see the same object or event. (Ask any policeman interviewing witnesses.) We literally create our own universes. And yet, because we have forgotten these powers, each of us thinks that the universe we perceive is the universe, the only one, the true one. Traditional science made the same mistake. Most major religions still make that mistake, describing other world views as false or heretical.

Here’s an ancient story:

     Three blind men find themselves in the presence of the Great Elephant. Each, trembling with fear and awe, stumble forward and reach out their hands to discover its nature  for themselves. One takes hold of the tail, one a leg, one a tusk. And each is overcome with joy at having directly discovered the nature of the Great Elephant.
     The blind man holding the tail announces, ‘The Great Elephant is a broom that cleanses and sweeps all before it.’
     The blind man holding the leg is surprised, and protests, ‘No, the Great Elephant is a magnificent pillar towering above us, guarding us and keeping us safe.’
     The blind man holding the tusk is astonished and shouts, ‘No, you’re both wrong. The Great Elephant is a plough that furrows the earth that we may grow crops and have plenty.’
     And they fell to fighting and there was no peace in the land.

The great field of Consciousness is made of all things that were and are and will be. There is nothing that is not Consciousness. When you and I and a hundred others gather together, there is only one Being in the room. And each fragment of that being is unique, on his or her own voyage of invention. You are both creator and created. And you forgot that you are the creator so that your adventures could be real.

When you next look into that marvellous mirror we call life, know that what appears there speaks most intimately of you as creator. And then, if you desire change, take control of your thoughts, your feelings, and ultimately your beliefs. Come out of the cave and become the master of your life. Develop presence without isolation.

Connect with Consciousness.

What if you could find
the nature of reality in a work of fiction?
Finding the Field: an adventure of body, mind and spirit

 

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