Posted by: gnosticwill | July 8, 2009

Have you ever looked in the mirror and been disappointed or surprised by what you see?

CatAndMirrorIt’s interesting that I hold this image of myself in my mind, an image which is slimmer and better looking than I really am. If I catch a glimpse of myself reflected in a shop window or any mirror I happen to pass I can be confronted by this stranger, this slightly older; heavier even balder man, who can’t really be me…

In seeking self-knowledge I am continually confronting things I would rather not see.

If on first noticing this feeling of discomfort I looked at it; meditated on it and worked to understand it, the fear would disappear and knowledge would come. It is highly likely that out of that inner study I would discover something needs to change; it could be eating habits or exercise. More likely it would be an attitude like blind superiority some sort of judging others – of always seeing myself in the best possible light, when the truth is something different.

A teacher of mine used to say of people walking along the esoteric path, “that we need to be hard on ourselves and easy on others”. And not the other way around because we can only change ourselves and not one person has ever been changed by the wishful thinking of others.

If I look on these feelings – no matter how confronting or disappointing – as gifts from the divine, then I can start to ascend the ladder towards God, and little by little this attitude of thankfulness for the difficulties in my life changes what is inside and strengthens me so that I can take the next small step. Facing with courage what needs to be changed, not being overcome by failure, nor filled with pride at some small (or large) success.



  1. This is a great post Will.

    It’s amazing how pervasive self-image really is — like a permanent vision in our head that we always need to defend and guard.

    It is such a sad thing, because it keeps us so shut off from others and locked up in our silly pride.

    Thanks for your insights here.

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