(Posted on: March 6, 2016 by David McMillin)
[NOTE: While serving as mentor for an online version of “A Search For God” a participant was perplexed by the Mirror of Life exercise and particularly how “what you dislike or do not agree with in another” can be a reflection of something within one’s own self. She also posed this interesting hypothetical situation: “… if I confront a neighbor for wrongfully accusing another neighbor for an act without just cause, then [must I] stop, look, and say to myself that I am like the meddling and antagonistic neighbor?” Here is my reply. – Dave]
Great questions. Here are some thoughts.
The reading excerpts cited in the exercise portray strong emotional states – “love” and “revulsion” (288-36) and “hate” (288-37). Strong emotions are usually easier to recognize than simply “what you dislike or do not agree with in another.” So in applying this exercise it will be easier for most of us to start with people or situations that elicit strong emotions. But the same principle does apply to more subtle manifestations as well.
The Cayce life readings tend to associate innate mental attitudes with planetary sojourns (past lives in other spheres of consciousness) and emotional tendencies with past earthly lives. Like begets like – cause and effect – psychological programming writ large.
Keep in mind that what the mirror of life is reflecting back to us may be more of an identification with the victim than perpetrator (as may be the case in your example of the hypothetical innocent neighbor that you defended). But either way, you can learn something about yourself. Many people simply ignore such interpersonal disputes. But you reacted. Why did you react in that way? Childhood upbringing? Past life influences? Beliefs or ideals? You resonated to something in that situation. Know Thyself.
With regard to faultfinding in others, if you notice yourself indulging in finding fault in others, you might want to simply become quiet, say a simple prayer and ask within why you are doing that – and whether there is any of what you are condemning in another within yourself. It's a very common pattern (as noted in the scripture cited, but also even in children's sayings about name calling, such as “what you say is what you are”). That's the point of the shadow – we don't immediately recognize it as being us. So if your immediate reaction is that “but I'm not like that that!” Well maybe … and maybe not. It may take some pretty deep inner reflection to sort it out.
In many situations, the image of ourselves reflected in the mirror of life may not pertain to deep ethical, moral, or psychological issues, but simply be innate inner patterns of preference and likes or dislikes; or perhaps latent tendencies or abilities. In such cases, the readings sometimes use the phrase “constantly meeting self” to indicate the mirror of life:
For the entity (as all) is constantly meeting self. That which has had to do with detailed work – as accounting, bookkeeping or the like – has been innate, and partially manifested, in the experiences in the present. (1378-1)
As we apply this exercise in real-life situations, it is essential that we keep in mind that life is purposeful and not simply random or meaningless:
And each soul is, in the experiences of consciousness on the material plane, constantly meeting self and that self HAS DONE to others in the relationships to that which IS spiritual, which is creative, which is real, which is everlasting. (1232-1)
For the self is constantly meeting self. And as ye may learn to stand aside and watch self pass, there may come more and more the knowledge and the comprehension that it is earnest, it is real; and that the real is rather the unseen than that which is so material as to cause disappointments, fears, and those things that make the mind of man afraid. (1771-2)
For, each soul enters not purposeless but purposefully … These become radical thoughts to the entity at times; yet know that one is constantly meeting self. Then, analyze self. (2185-1)
Yes, these are "radical thoughts" and yet worthy of consideration and discussion in this group setting. Thanks for asking. Blessings, Dave
[The participant’s follow-up reply noted that “I do strongly debate and argue over things.” Here is my follow-up comment. – Dave]
Your self-observation (“I do strongly debate and argue over things”) reminds me of a life reading that was part of recent project (The Reincarnational History of Britain). It includes a case involving a 4 year old boy whose reading described a past life during the reign of Alfred the Great:
The entity then was among the first who acted in the capacity of one to argue cases before those of the periods of that day, in the name then Chatchamm…. And in the present there may be seen, even in the younger years and formative years, the ability to argue anything that may be presented to the body …
(Q) Was his English incarnation during Henry the II, or earlier?
(A) Alfred, was when they began the trial by jury; and the entity was among those who first argued a case (as may be termed); and he's still a good arguer! (415-1)
Here is a link to a video on Alfred the Great and the soul group that incarnated with him in medieval Britain, should anyone have an interest in this aspect of Know Thyself:
Interestingly, the reading for the boy also included a past life as John Smith (in Jamestown – my current project on reincarnation in America).
I point this out because of the strong sense that I have that you are experiencing a reincarnational pattern in your innate tendency to defend the innocent. So this may be part of this Know Thyself lesson for you. You may have a dream about it (I have had some dreams of past lives that have been very helpful for me in my self-analysis). Of course, some people go so far as to get psychic readings or hypnotic regressions. Others have images or feelings during meditation, or even during regular waking consciousness.
So feel free to share if you should have any such insights that are relevant to this lesson. Blessings, Dave