Mirror Theory

A mirror does not just produce an image of what would be there without it; it also changes the light distribution in the half space in front of and behind the mirror. Shadows may extend from the mirror into the half space before it, and vice versa. The shadow is the body’s way of resurfacing past wounds to be consciously discovered and healed.

In some religions vanity, in the modern sense of the word, is considered a form of self-idolatry in which one will liken their self to the greatness of God for the sake of their own image, and thereby becomes separated and perhaps in time divorced from the Divine grace of God. Whatever you have constructed, can also be deconstructed. In Christian teachings vanity is considered an example of pride, and one of the seven deadly sins. One of Mason Cooley’s aphorisms is “Vanity well fed is benevolent. Vanity hungry is spiteful,” and Friedrich Nietzsche has written that “vanity is the fear of appearing original: it is thus a lack of pride, but not necessarily a lack of originality." 

In the middle of the 20th century, behaviorism became a dominant paradigm within psychology, especially in the United States. This led to some neglect of mental phenomena within experimental psychology.  Psychologist John B. Watson has shown that strict behaviorists believe any person could potentially be trained to perform any task, regardless of things like their genetic background, personality traits, and internal thoughts.  All it takes is the right conditioning. The psychology of religion seeks to explain how patterns of thought in the human mind give rise to religious belief, and to give a naturalistic account of religion based on human psychology. Psychology is then used to explain away this religious belief. The most influential critics of religion that have used this approach are Ludwig Feuerbach and Sigmund Freud.  Semantics deals with the relation of signs to their designate and the objects which they may or do denote; and, pragmatics deals with the biotic aspects of semiosis, that is, with all the psychological, biological, and sociological phenomena which occur in the functioning of signs. The word parabole, means “symbol,” and is used in Hebrews 9:9. Trauma is energy, and if a shadow has formed as a result of intense energy, the force of that shadow can be extremely powerful. Shadows release a part of them from within, and project themselves into the world. They literally come to us via events and through people.

According to Carl Jung, the shadow can sometimes overwhelm a person’s actions; for example, when the conscious mind is shocked, confused, or paralyzed by indecision. ‘A man who is possessed by his shadow is always standing in his own light and falling into his own traps … living below his own level’: hence, in terms of the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 'it must be Dr. Jekyll, the conscious personality, who integrates the shadow … and not vice versa. Otherwise the conscious becomes the slave of the autonomous shadow’.  And, it is the shadows which are the most disowned, which show up with the greatest force. They reflect, mirror back to us what needs to be brought to light. It is OUR jobs when we see this kind of shadow in another person to help them, or somewhere down the line their confusion about how to cope in the world will end up affecting us and maybe our children. Acceptance and responsibility connects everyone together whether we like it or not.  “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness’s of other people.” What Carl Jung was likely referring to was not so much being ‘bad,’ but the emotional energy we hold inside of us regarding ‘darkness’.

”… wherever known reality stops, where we touch the unknown, there we project an archetypal image.“