Discover more from Remembering Wild
On The Self Who Has No Center
How mirrors are tools of separation
There are two ways of seeing yourself; either through an accumulation of fracture or through a wild indivisible Wholeness.
Both are real - but only one is true.
What medicine is to the body, metaphor is to the mind - so let’s metabolize this through a story I’ve always been fascinated (and yet slightly horrified) by…
When missionaries first encountered the uncontactable peoples of the Peruvian jungle, they dropped small mirrors (and weirdly, white underpants) from their seaplanes into the heart of each tribal community.
Mirrors were a ‘modern technology’ intentionally used to divorce people from their wild, indivisible union with Land.
It was a way of isolating the beholder; making them feel enlarged, important… and singular.
To these Indigenous Peoples, Forest herself was a mirror, and so too were plants, animals, rocks, and community. The multiplicity of their environment reflected one seamless identity, to which they knew themselves. Life showed them who they really were -mere backcloth to the artisan, Earth.
The mirror became the most successful tool of separation known to the missionaries - but now there are too, as many ways we’ve been ‘saved’ from our inner wilds as there are widening rings in our trunks.
I was saved until someone convinced me I was drowning.
It wasn’t long ago that I suffered from a severely fractious mind – I wasn’t broken by my biology - but by my beliefs. I saw myself only through the monocular of separation and it physically felt like being shucked and sheathed from the stem of life.
The truth is that I wasn’t orphaned by the world – I exiled myself - by forgetting my fundamental interconnectedness with all that is good, green, and loving in this world. Alone, I became lured by the mirrors of self-importance, self-shame, self-victimizing, and ironically, spiritual practices that made ‘me’ the center of the universe.
When the mind creates an abyss only the Heart can cross it.
If you are courageous enough to let go of what you know about yourself, you will see that what’s keeping you away from your Whole Self is this idea that you will walk away with less.
Nothing could be more untrue - you will not lose anything essential, in fact, you will become more. More than anything your mind has convinced you of.
Because this life is not about who we are, alone and despite the world – it’s about who we are, together and in relationship with everything.
Try and talk about the mundanity of your feet without talking about the sensation of grass, the substance of the earth, the magical pull of gravity, the rotation of rock, the sun star, the moon calf, the entire conscious universe…
Try and describe your eyelash without landing up at stardust.
So, lose your relationship with the Self who’s convinced you of your separateness - and return to the Wild-Self who is the world. Gauge who you are by the quality of your relationships, the freedom of your art, the peace of your environment, the contribution to your community, the love of your garden, the attentiveness you offer rain, streams of sunlight, your felt senses…
See yourself in the true mirrors of this life, never deriving your sense of worth from a picture, a post, or a pinned belief.
Have we not fallen under the same mirror spell? Do we not split ourselves through the self-enlarging mirrors of social media, egoic belief systems, me-centric spirituality, and an economic system that convinces us of our broken-ness in order to sell us our wholeness…
Remembering the truth of who we are starts by asking ourselves, through what do I seek my true reflection?
Do we use mirrors that are socially accepted, the ones others have given us, the ones we’ve internalized - or can we recognize ourselves in that which we are not (and have never been) separate from?
Just a quick note on the future of this newsletter…
I love being a part of a like-hearted community and feel a calling to spend more time with those who’ve pledged their patronage here. This means I’ll be sending out this newsletter now much less allowing more time to spend writing and responding to Thursday’s community thread. I appreciate, beyond words, all the ways you are present with this work.
Join Thursday’s community thread from $5-7 a month. Group discounts (min 2 people) are available.