Fields of Reflection

The deepest understanding available of how it seems that we are surrounded by others' expectations and opinions, and defined by them even unto dying from their creation of our disease, is this.

An agile youth was of the age when he had to go forth into the world to discover his own way in life. He knew that what he was about to undertake was a serious adventure, not something to be taken lightly, and was considerably apprehensive that he do well at it. He left his parents small home in the village with apprehension about the forces and unknown people he would encounter, and how he might deal with them.

He prayed on his first night out, as he lay to sleep beside a small stream, lightly bordered with large trees, that ran through the meadows and fields of a farm in a town near his own. He slept and dreamt that he had captured his own spirit in a corn-seed and had nourished it until he had handfuls and handfuls of this seed.

Imagine his delight when he awoke and found beside his head, as he lay on the grass, a small leather sack of the exact seed of his dreams. With delight he sprang up and ran to the nearest plowed furrow. He sprang lightly into the row and set about casting this seed around him. He threw it around in wide, spraying handfuls, and seemed to have much more to sow in this way than would normally have fit in the sack.

Nevertheless he finally emptied the sack and decided to go back to the streambed to find his auspicious sleeping spot before sunset. But imagine his surprise when he turned! Every seed, on every side around him, and bloomed into a large reflecting glass. In every direction the field of glass extended as far as he could see, because every glass held endless vistas of glasses and his own reflection was rebounded back upon his attention from every direction, in infinite multiplicity.

As he began to seek his way out he veered to avoid a looming reflection, and stepped aside only to find himself again approaching a looming reflection of himself. Again he stepped aside, and back; and again; but every step he took was hampered by an unsettling image from the field of mirrors, such that he quickly turned himself around so often as to be completely bemused and unsure of himself.

Cornered and bewildered, at bay within a field of his own reflections, he became more unsure and nervous; his every action seemed to come back toward him and he was unsure of his own position as the reflections around him compounded his perceptions. Every direction he looked seemed to include some facet of his own appearance and he became uncertain where he ended and the reflections began.

As he turned in search of a way out of this compound of self, his thinking became un-anchored from its usual location; he found his thoughts jumping the normal straits and fancied that all these reflections were to blame for all his short-comings, that they were the ones who had done his life's injuries to him. Then he found himself believing that they were a critical population of whose opinions he should be exceedingly cautious.

Again he fancied that the population of his whole world -- all the neighbors, relatives, acquaintances, supporters and enemies he had known in his life -- were actually made of these reflections, and that their personal names and faces were mere charades to disguise the real substance of their qualities.

Then, he entertained an even more absurd idea -- he imagined for a moment that he was not any of the images of himself, but was somehow ALL of them, at once. He felt himself pouring, as living thought , into every manifestation that he had perceived, and extended his flight of imagination further. He felt himself generating not only all the attitudes and opinions with which he had been challenged, supported, helped or confounded in his life, but also assuming the complete identity of the entire field, the surrounds, the verdant oaks and the delightful stream in every burble and pebble of its wandering.

With that thought his nightmare ended; for an instant he was as large as every corner of the universe he could imagine, and fully occupying all of them, and in a benevolent flux of admiration for every corner of the wonderful Creation that appeared so myriad and complex, but which was in truth only the endless reflection of his own energy, rebounding again to him in a perpetual cosmic scheme of One Delight. He laughed with the joy and dynamic pleasure of it, the delightful fever of self-generated conquest, failure, love, resistance, passion in all directions, curling and enfolding itself and returning wholly in each instant to his own un-defined Sourcehood.

With a flash and a thunderous shift, he awoke and was again in his village home, standing at his own door preparing to go out into the world. The dawn smiled from every tree and he felt full of refreshing adventure, and strode forth with a light smile on his countenance.

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