“That’s not what I look like!” our friend objected during a self-help session she was attending. This friend (let’s call her Tara) related to us how each member of the group had been asked to look in a full-length mirror and describe how they saw themselves.
“Fat and unattractive,” was what Tara said as she gazed at her image. In the mirror she saw a lumpy, dull-looking person reflected back to her.
Then someone else was asked how she saw Tara. “Tall, intelligent, and competent,” was her reply. The reflection in the mirror seemed to change to show a tall, commanding person with a take-charge attitude.
Which was Tara’s true reflection: her negative self-image or the positive one offered by the other person? The answer is: neither. Whether we have a self-diminishing or self-aggrandizing conception of ourself, if we think only of such superficial aspects as our body and personality, we’re usually far from the true mark.
Similarly, whether others see us in a positive or negative way, their impressions may be colored by their own values and preferences. Their reactions can also change over time: one day they’re heaping praise on us, and the next, we’re abandoned by the wayside.
Where then can we find a mirror that reflects the truth about ourselves? In her inspiring book, The Flawless Mirror, one of Yoganandaji’s most highly advanced direct disciples, Kamala Silva, describes an experience she had involving the Master:
It began with an afternoon nap that turned into conscious sleep, and then continued after I awakened. I saw a large crowd of people walking up a road; and as I observed them I knew, suddenly, with complete certainty, that Master was about to pass by. At that moment they paused, and there among them was my Guru. He stood looking directly at me with a smile of infinite sweetness. The people near him were not aware of his presence, so seemingly absorbed in reaching some destination. I thought: I can have the blessing of walking beside him if I hurry to reach him. Everyone, including Master, now moved on very rapidly. I called out that I was coming to join him. I reached him, breathless from my efforts. Then I turned to look again into his dearly familiar face. At that instant everything vanished—all form melted from my sight. Pure Bliss engulfed me. I was conscious only of Bliss. I was awake, divinely awake!
Looking into my Guru’s face, I had found the Formless Cosmic Bliss! Afterward, I thought with reverent wonder how the Flawless Mirror of my Guru reflects God.
If we want to know the truth about anything—ourselves, others, the world around us, the nature of reality—we must raise our consciousness towards God’s flawless mirror. St. Paul says in the Bible, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
So how can we perceive the truth of our being? It is not by looking at the distorted images we see reflected in this house of mirrors which comprise the material world. When we offer all that we are at the feet of the Divine, we can gaze into His flawless mirror and see reflected there our true self: a spark of God made of His bliss and light.
Master once said to a group of his disciples, “I see all of you as images of light. Everything—these trees, bushes, the grass you are standing on—all are made of that light. You have no idea how beautiful everything is!”
Towards the One Light,