The Mirror of Opinions
by Frank M. Wanderer
”Tell me, what you think about me, what is your opinion about me?” we have asked other people this question a number of times. We were, however, not interested in the opinion of just anyone; we only wanted to know the opinion of others who have been close to us: our family members, teachers and friends. All through our life, we have collected these opinions, we have been staring at the mirror. In the view of what we see in the mirror, we make efforts to find an answer to the most important question of our life: Who am I?
Later, when we are older, we continue copying others, since if we follow the ways of those who lead a decent and good life, we cannot be wrong.
Another characteristic feature of our image in the mirror is that it is contradictory by nature. We receive almost as many opinions as many friends and acquaintances we have. Some may consider as clever, whereas others do not find that the most important feature of ours. It generates a permanent state of uncertainty in connection with the image, that is, in connection with ourselves.
It is, however, a gross mistake to believe that we see our real face in the mirror of opinions. No opinion is able to reflect our real self, our real, inner existence, and it is impossible to project our real, inner self onto any mirror.
If we intend to really know our self, we have to be able to turn away from the mirror of opinions. We should no longer deal with what others think about us; instead, we need to concentrate on who we really are. For example, the real issue for us not whether others see us as happy, but whether we are really happy.
The mirror of opinions will not release its victim very easily, though. It has been so deeply incorporated into our personality that it is in fact a real part of our personality. Whenever we attempt to turn away from the mirror of opinions, an inner voice, the voice of our consciousness will, speak to us: what are my parents going to say? What would my wife think about it? This inner voice is very often quite effective, and we are again under the hypnotic spell of the image in the mirror.
For breaking out of the spell, we need to understand that the only way of knowing ourselves is through direct experience, our own experience, and not through the opinion of others. We are only able to receive direct experience if we are alert. So as to be alert, we need to focus our attention to the Here and Now.
If, in an alert state of mind, we submerge into the present moment, we shall experience a miracle. The mirror of opinions blurs, and our wholesome Self, the pleasure of Existence shall be revealed.
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