One, two, three-surface mirrors are symbols of the physical, astral and mental mirror-worlds; a crystal globe, of the spiritual mirror.

The spiritual mirror is the world of creation. The mental world, the world of emanation from creation; the psychic world mirrors reflections of emanations and of reflections of itself; the physical world is the reflection of reflection.

—The Zodiac.

THE

WORD

Vol. 9 MAY, 1909. No. 2

Copyright, 1909, by H. W. PERCIVAL.

MIRRORS.

EVERY time we look into a mirror we see something which is marvelous, wonderful and mysterious. The mystery lies not only in the image and its reflection, but in the mirror itself, the thing which it reflects, the purpose which it serves, and that which it symbolizes.

What is it that we call a reflection, is it a shadow? no? but even if it is a shadow, what is a shadow? The immediate purpose which a mirror serves and that for which it is mostly used is in the arrangement of our dress and to see how we appear to others. A mirror is the symbol of illusion, the unreal as distinguished from the real. Mirrors are symbols of the physical, astral, mental, and spiritual worlds.

Like most things which are necessary to civilization, we accept mirrors as simple and useful contrivances and regard them as common pieces of furniture. Mirrors have always been held in high esteem by the ancients and considered to be magical, mysterious and sacred. Prior to the thirteenth century the art of the manufacture of mirrors was unknown in Europe, and for centuries the secret of the manufacture was guarded jealously by those in possession of it. Copper, silver and steel were at first used as mirrors by being brought to a high polish. Later it was discovered that glass would serve the same purpose when backed by amalgams of such metals as tin, lead, zinc and silver. At first mirrors manufactured in Europe were small in size and expensive, the largest being twelve inches in diameter. To-day mirrors are inexpensive and are made in any size desired.

A mirror is that body of matter from, on, in, by or through, which light and the forms in light may be reflected.

A mirror is that which reflects. Anything which reflects may properly be called a mirror. The most perfect mirror is that which reflects most perfectly. It bends or turns back light, or things which are in the light reflected. A mirror bends, turns, or throws off, the reflection of the image or light which is thrown on it according to the position or angle at which it is placed from the image or light.

A mirror, though one thing, is composed of several parts or constituents, all of which are necessary to make the mirror. The parts essential to a mirror are the glass and the metal or amalgam of metals.

When the glass has a background fixed to it, it is a mirror. It is a mirror ready to reflect. But a mirror cannot reflect objects in darkness. Light is necessary for a mirror to reflect anything.

There are perfect and imperfect mirrors. To be a perfect mirror, the glass must be without flaw, quite transparent, and both surfaces must be exactly even and of equal thickness throughout. The particles of the amalgam must be of the same color and quality and lie together in one connected mass which is spread evenly and without blemish on the glass. The solution or ingredient which fixes the background to the glass must be colorless. Then the light must be clear and steady. When all of these conditions are present we have a perfect mirror.

The purpose of a mirror is to reflect a thing as it actually is. An imperfect mirror magnifies, diminishes, distorts, that which it reflects. A perfect mirror reflects a thing as it is.

Although it appears to be simple enough in itself, a mirror is a mysterious and magical thing and performs one of the most necessary and important functions in this physical world or in either of the four manifested worlds. Without mirrors it would be impossible for the Ego to be conscious of any of the manifested worlds, or for the worlds to become manifested. It is by creation, emanation, refraction and reflection that the unmanifested becomes manifested. Mirrors are not restricted to use in the physical world. Mirrors are used in all of the worlds. Mirrors are constructed of the material of the world in which they are used. The material and principle on which they operate are necessarily different in each of the worlds.

There are four kinds of mirrors: physical mirrors, psychic mirrors, mental mirrors and spiritual mirrors. There are many varieties of each of these four kinds of mirrors. Each kind of mirror has its particular world with its variants, and all four kinds of mirrors have their physical representatives in the physical world by which they are symbolized.

The physical world is symbolized by a mirror of one surface; the astral world by a mirror with two surfaces; the mental by one with three surfaces, while the spiritual world is symbolized by an all-surface mirror. The one-surfaced mirror resembles the physical world, which can be seen from one side only—the present, physical side. The two-surfaced mirror suggests the astral world, which can be viewed from two sides only: that which is past and that which is present. The three-surfaced mirror represents the mental world which may be looked at and comprehended from three sides: past, present and future. The all-surfaced mirror stands for the spiritual world which is approached and known from any and every side and in which past, present and future merge into eternal being.

The one surface is a plane; two surfaces are an angle; three surfaces form a prism; the all-surface, a crystal sphere. These are the physical symbols for mirrors of the physical, psychic or astral, mental and spiritual worlds.

The physical is the world of the reflections of reflections; the astral, the world of reflections; the mental, the world of emanation, transmission, refraction; the spiritual, the world of ideas, being, beginning, creation.

The physical world is the mirror of all other worlds. All of the worlds are reflected by the physical world. In the order of manifestation, the physical world is the lowest point reached in the involutionary process and the beginning of the evolutionary process. In the manifestation of light, when the light reaches downward to the lowest point, it bends back and returns toward the height from which it descended. This law is important. It represents the idea of involution and of evolution. No thing can be evolved that is not involved. No light can be reflected by a mirror that is not thrown on the mirror. The line of light as it strikes a mirror will be reflected at the same angle or curve at which it strikes the mirror. If a line of light is thrown on the mirror at an angle of 45 degrees it will be reflected at that angle and we have only to know the angle at which light is thrown on the surface of the mirror to be able to tell the angle at which it will be reflected. According to the line of manifestation by which spirit is involved into matter, will matter be evolved into spirit.

The physical world stops the process of involution and turns that which is involving back on the line of evolution, in the same way that a mirror turns back by reflection the light which is thrown on it. Some physical mirrors reflect physical objects only, as objects seen in a looking-glass. Other physical mirrors reflect the light from the desire, mental or spiritual worlds.

Among physical mirrors may be mentioned stones, such as the onyx, diamond and crystal; metals, such as iron, tin, silver, mercury, gold and amalgams; woods, such as oak, mahogany and ebony. Among animal bodies or organs the eye particularly reflects light thrown on it. Then there is the water, air, and sky, all of which reflect the light, and objects made visible by the light.

Physical mirrors have various forms. There are many-sided and beveled mirrors. There are concave and convex, long, broad and narrow mirrors. There are mirrors which produce hideous effects, distorting the features of the one who faces them. These different kinds of mirrors represent aspects of the physical world which is the mirror of the other worlds.

What one sees in the world is the reflection of what he does in the world. The world reflects what he thinks and does. If he grins and shakes his fist at it, it will do the same to him. If he laughs, the reflection laughs too. If he wonders at it, he will see wonder depicted on every line. If he feels sorrow, anger, greed, craft, innocence, cunning, inanity, guile, selfishness, generosity, love, he will see these enacted in, and turned back at him, by the world. Every change of the emotions, the horror, joy, fear, pleasantry, kindliness, envy, vanity, is reflected.

All that comes to us in the world is but the reflection of what we have done to or in the world. This might seem strange and untrue in view of the many occurrences and events which befall an individual during the span of his life and which do not seem to be merited by or connected with any of his thoughts and actions. Like some thoughts which are new, it is strange, but not untrue. A mirror will illustrate how it may be true; one must become acquainted with the law before its strangeness disappears.

By experimenting with mirrors one may learn of strange phenomena. Let two large mirrors be placed so that they face each other and let some one look into one of the mirrors. He will see the reflection of himself in the one which he faces. Let him look at the reflection of his reflection which he will see in the mirror behind him. Let him look again into the mirror before him and he will see himself as the reflection of the reflection of the first reflection of himself. This will show him two reflections of the front view and two of the back view of himself. Let him not be satisfied with this, but look still farther and he will see another reflection and another and another. As often as he looks for others he will see them, if the size of the mirrors permits, until he will see reflections of himself stretching out in the distance as far as the eye can reach, and his reflections will look like a line of men stretching down a long road until they are no longer discernible because the eye is not able to see farther. We may carry the physical illustration further by increasing the number of mirrors so that there will be four, eight, sixteen, thirty-two, in pairs and opposite each other. Then the number of reflections will be increased and the experimenter will have not only a front and rear view, but will see his figure from the right and left side and from different intermediate angles. The illustration might be carried still further by having an entire room composed of mirrors, the floor, ceiling and four walls of which are mirrors and in the corners of which are set up mirrors. This may be continued indefinitely. Then the experimenter will be in a maze, will see himself from above and from below and from front and back, from right and left; from all angles and in a multiplication of reflections.

Something that happens to or is reflected at us by the action of some other person, may seem to be the reverse of what we are reflecting or doing in the world to-day, and, while we consider it from the viewpoint of the present, we shall not see the connection. To see the connection we may need another mirror, one that reflects the past. Then we shall see that that which is thrown before us to-day, is the reflection of that which is behind us. Happenings that cannot be traced to their causes or sources, are the reflections thrown into the present, of actions long since past, actions which were performed by the actor, the mind, if not in this body in this life, then in another body in a previous life.

To see the reflection of the reflections, it is for the ordinary person necessary to have more than one mirror. The essential feature for the experiment is to have the light which will allow his form and its actions to be reflected. In the same way it is essential for one who would see the connection between his present form and its actions with other forms and their actions in the past, and also with other forms in the world to-day, to have the form of to-day and hold it in the light of the mind. As soon as the form is seen reflected in the light of the mind, this reflection in the light of the mind, when this light is turned on itself, will reflect again and again. Each reflection is a continuation of a previous reflection, each a form of a previous form. Then all forms and reflections which come within the light of an individual mind, through its series of incarnations, will be seen clearly and with a power and understanding proportioned to the strength of the mind to view, distinguish, and discriminate between the present, the past and their connections.

It is not necessary for one to have the mirrors to see his reflections if he can experiment by reflecting his mind in its own light. As many mirrors as he might set up and in which he would see his reflections reflected, doubled and increasing indefinitely in number, so many he might see without mirrors, if he is able to reflect on them in his mind. He would not only be able to see the reflections of his body in his mind, but he may be able to connect and see the relation of all things which occur to him, with his present life, and he will know then that no thing does occur but that which is related in some way to his present life, as a reflection from the actions of past lives, or those of other days in this life.

Everything in the world, animate or inanimate so-called, is but the reflection or the reflection of a reflection of man in his different aspects. Stones, earth, fishes, birds, and animals in their various species and forms, are the imaging forth and the reflection into physical forms of the thoughts and desires of man. Other human beings, in all their racial differences and characteristics and the innumerable individual variations and likenesses, are so many reflections of the other sides of man. This statement may seem untrue to one who does not happen to see the connection between himself and other beings and things. It might be said that a mirror gives reflections only, which reflections are not the objects reflected, and, that the objects are distinct from their reflections, and that in the world the objects exist in themselves as independent creations. That the objects in the world have dimensions, called length, breadth and thickness, whereas the objects seen in mirrors are surface reflections, having length and breadth, but not thickness. Further, that the reflection in a mirror disappears as soon as the object before it is removed, whereas living beings continue to move as distinct entities in the world. To these objections it might be answered that an illustration of a thing is not the thing which it illustrates, though it has a likeness to it.

Gaze into a looking-glass. Is the glass seen? or the background? or that which holds the background and glass together? If so then the reflection is not seen clearly, but in an indistinct way only. On the other hand, is the face and outline of figure seen clearly? If so then neither the glass, its background, nor that which holds the two together is seen. The reflection is seen. How is the reflection connected with what it reflects? No connection can be seen between the reflection and its object. It, as a reflection, is as distinct in itself as the object which it reflects.

Again, the looking-glass shows the number of sides of a thing which are exposed to it. All that can be seen of the figure by others may be seen by reflection in the looking-glass. We see the surface only of a thing in a looking-glass; but no more is seen of anybody in the world. Only that which appears on the surface is seen, and only when the interior comes to the surface, then it is seen in the world. Then it will also be seen in the looking-glass. The idea of depth or thickness is as definitely and distinctly perceptible in the looking-glass as in any object apart from it. Distance is seen in the looking-glass as well as it may be perceived without it. Yet the looking-glass is a surface only. So is the world. We live and move on the surface of the earth as do the objects in a looking-glass.

The figures and forms which move about in the world, are said to exist in themselves and to be different from their reflections in a looking-glass. But this is so only in length of time and not in reality. The forms which move over the surface of the earth are reflections only, as in a looking-glass. The image which they reflect is the astral body. That is not seen; only the reflection is seen. These reflected forms in the world keep moving about as long as the image which they reflect is with them. When the image leaves, the form, too, disappears, as in a looking-glass. The difference is in time only, but not in principle.

Each person differs from every other person in complexion, figure and features, but in degree only. The human likeness is reflected by all. A nose is a nose whether it is stubbed or pointed, flat or round, swollen or thin, long or short, blotched or smooth, ruddy or pale; an eye is an eye whether it is brown, blue or black, almond or ball shaped. It may be dull, liquid, fiery, watery, still it is an eye. An ear may be elephantine or diminutive in its proportions, with tracings and colorings as delicate as an ocean shell or as gross and heavy as a piece of pale liver, yet it is an ear. The lips may be shown by strong, gentle or sharp curves and lines; a mouth might appear as a rough or coarse cut in the face; it is a mouth nevertheless, and may emit sounds to delight the fabled gods or even terrify their brothers, the devils. The features are human and represent so many variants and reflections of the many-sided human nature of man.

Human beings are so many types or phases of the nature of man which is mirrored forth in the multitude of the reflections of the sides or different aspects of humanity. Humanity is a man, male-female, who is not seen, who does not see itself except by its two-sided reflections, called man and woman.

We have looked at physical mirrors and seen some of the objects which they reflect. Let us now consider psychic mirrors.

To be concluded.