We can use words to communicate, but connection requires more than words. Connection is meeting in pure transparency.
The intimacy of meeting so directly can be overpowering. The removal of boundaries, at that level, recalls a state of union and oneness that long preceded the notion of a separate self.
The terror of loss of self in such encounters generates ambivalence. Though we might seek the closeness of connection, we seek refuge in the protection of small talk, roles, and prefabricated expectations and interactions. Why do we find it so necessary to hide?
Carlos Castaneda was emphatic that we should avoid looking into the mirror; at most, a brief unfocused gaze for shaving or combing of the hair. For the shamans of his lineage, looking in the mirror results in the fixation of attention upon self-reflection, what the psychotherapist of today calls narcissistic preoccupation with the self.
The more we focus upon the presentation of the self, the more we become alienated from our true selves. The more we stare at our reflection, the more Bobby the Flyer takes command, and we find more and more fault with ourselves, which leads to a state of narcissistic loathing. Why then do we hide? Because we are so damned unacceptable!
Loathing the self is then compensated for by the insatiable attention we seek for our outer presentation of self, what Jung called the persona, or the mask we wear. Regardless of how much attention it receives, it is never enough to erase the underlying belief of unworthiness of the true underlying self.
Mirroring, in the modern psychological sense, happens between two people, not one person viewing their own appearance in the mirror. To mirror with another is to feel, know, and be with the truth of one’s own and the other’s experience in the moment. A meeting of the eyes in that moment reflects an unmistakable acknowledgement of a shared experience.
Mirroring requires no words, though words might be exchanged. Words are not necessary because the knowing of the meeting has already been validated through the mirroring effect. Meetings of this kind crack the mirror of fixation upon self-reflection. Meeting in transparency, with nothing hidden, transcends judgments of self and other.
Mirroring actually requires no special skill. In fact, shamans suggest that we all have access to the direct knowledge experience of mirroring. Direct knowledge is knowledge unfiltered by the mental processing and judging of the mind’s internal dialogue.
The key to direct knowledge is inner silence, a state of mindful presence that shuts down the mental process, that is, thinking. Devoid of thinking we are treated to the experience of what is, unbiased by interpretation.
Connecting at the heart level is mirroring at the level of truth. Of course, this can be experienced as extremely romantic, where “hearts meet as one.” Romance is highly sought after for this mirroring experience of transparent meeting.
Unfortunately, romance soon becomes overwhelmed with archetypal expectations of each other, which quickly engages the judging mind. This closes down the purity of the mirroring channel between partners, who then become utter strangers. The mirroring of romance is co-opted by nature’s underlying intent to simply continue the species, not deepen spiritual connection.
Romance is a limited subset though valuable experience of mirroring. That is, while it lasts. Mirroring is possible in all human and non-human interactions. Mirroring frequently happens between humans and animals, or humans and plants. Mirroring is the basis of successful early parenting. Mirroring is the essence of true bonding.
Mirroring is the active relational tool for the current and coming evolutionary advance of the human species. It springs from the heart because the heart brings us to the true interconnected oneness of everything, which is the active principle in mirroring.
Relax the mind, suspend judgment, and mirror. See what happens!