This chapter explores how the world around us mirrors back to us our strengths and weaknesses, our fears, desires, beliefs and judgements. Learning to read the mirror matrix helps us to know what we need to be working on at any given moment.

In the film The Matrix we discover that the world which everyone thinks is real is actually some kind of artificial construct or artificial reality. In the real world there is a kind of matrix superimposed on top of objective reality which serves to mirror back to us aspects of ourselves which require attention.

This “mirror matrix” is remarkable in the way that it works. It is so amazingly fine-tuned that, if we have eyes to see, it will show us exactly which areas of our lives we need to work on in any given moment.

The matrix is such that, if we have a rudimentary understanding of it we can gain insight into our main strengths and weaknesses, yet also, if we develop a deeper understanding of how it works, we can see layer upon layer of intricate guidance.

Every situation contains a lesson for us. Learning to see the lessons in every situation will help us to move through our development more quickly. If we do not recognise when something is being mirrored back to us then we will have to undergo a repeat of the lesson by experiencing a similar situation, all of which uses up precious time and energy.

How the mirror matrix is superimposed on top of everyday life

When you look at the world around you, you might think that what you are seeing IS the outside world, but although you are looking at the outside world, what you see is a model of that world that you have created inside your own mind. What you see is your own unique interpretation of the world. This is the reason that there is so much confusion between people, so many misunderstandings and so many disputes. We think that we are all talking about the same thing (the objective world around us) but we are actually each talking about the unique model of the world that we have inside our minds. In any conversation all participants are actually talking about something different. If we could all remember this there would be no need for war or arguments.

Any model, no matter how detailed, can only ever be an approximation of what it represents. None of us can include the entire universe in our model of the world and therefore each of us only has a limited perspective. This is why it is very useful to remain open to learning new ways of looking at things and why it is important to listen carefully to what other people are saying.

The models of the world that we create in our minds (and which we confuse with the objective world) are made up of our beliefs, desires, hopes, fears, judgements and prejudices. Every piece of our model represents something about us. Every time we observe the world around us and have a reaction to it, this reaction reveals something about us.

So when we are busy getting annoyed at someone and wondering why they don’t understand or why they are so stupid, we are actually annoyed with something about ourselves. Except, just as we can only see an approximation of the world, so too we only see an approximation of ourselves. We may realise that we are not really annoyed with the other person and that we are really annoyed with ourselves, but it is useful to remember that we are actually annoyed with something we believe to be true about ourselves.

It may be that some of our perceptions about the outside world are very accurate. The same could hold true for our perceptions about ourselves. We might actually understand some aspects of ourselves very well, but then again we might not. So it is a useful practice to be mindful that what we are dealing with is models of who we are and not necessarily who we actually are.

By remembering this we remind ourselves that what we thought we knew about ourselves may turn out to be untrue. This creates the possibility that we could be pleasantly surprised and find that we are capable of much more than we previously believed. Similarly, by remembering that our perceptions of the world are, at best, rough guesses, we can remain open to the possibility that the world (or rather our perceptions of it) could change for the better at any time.

So when someone says that a situation is serving as a mirror for us, what they are saying is that what we are seeing is a model of the situation and that the model we see is reflecting back to us something about ourselves. Because all fears, desires, hopes and prejudices are based on beliefs, what is being reflected back to us is something about our beliefs.

At this point it may be useful to remind you that what I am saying is not objective fact or objective truth, but an expression of my own unique way of seeing the world. What I am sharing with you is “my truth”. It is true for me at this time. By remembering this you may avoid the trap of replacing one limited view of the world with another.

So how can we use this way of looking at the world to our advantage and use it to help us grow?

Pay close attention to emotional and mental reactions. When you get entangled with someone and it doesn’t feel good, step back from the situation. Give yourself space and time. Detach. Look at the situation and describe it without using any character names. Take the characters out of the situation and try to summarise in a few words or a few sentences what it is all about. Imagine that the situation was happening to someone else or that you were watching it on TV. What would it seem to be about? Without forming any judgements simply ask yourself “what does this situation appear to be about?” Is it about trust, for example, or respect? Once you have worked out what it seems to be about, you can then look at what beliefs you hold that are relevant. If someone appears to be disrespectful, for example, what beliefs do you hold about respect? Write down or record what comes to mind and if you know someone who will listen to you without judgement, ask them if they will help you to explore your beliefs.

On one level other people exist and on another level they don’t. When it comes to working out what someone is mirroring back to us we can learn a great deal by approaching it as if we were the only one involved. If we find, for example, that we have become attached to thinking that someone else is being dishonest, we can prevent ourselves from getting locked into blame and judgement by asking ourselves, “where in my own life am I being dishonest or not true to my Inner Being?”

Next Chapter: Teachers in Disguise >>

*** This chapter is taken from my book The Light Within ***