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Mirror mirror

Magic mirrors have always held a fascination for readers of fantasy, from the truth-telling mirror that hung on the wall in the story of Snow White, to the desire-revealing mirror that Harry Potter discovered in a side room at Hogwarts. My bathroom mirror, unfortunately, is of the non-magic kind, and simply reflects what is put before it; which is a pity, for what is put before it could no doubt be improved by a bit of magic!

Special mirrors are also encountered by readers of non-fantasy. The Book, in one of its texts, speaks of a freedom-finding mirror. “The man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it, he will be blessed in what he does.” What is this mirror that promises such high things as freedom and blessing? And what is its composition, and how does it work?

Whatever it is, it is not of the Narcissus-kind, inducing self-love, nor is it a means to self-empowerment by affirming autonomy and rousing personal rights. It is a mirror that contains the will and desire and character of Another, and freedom is gained by submitting to that higher will and maintaining that humble posture. But where is wisdom to respond with such humility to a Truth-telling Mirror that says that there is One who is fairer, and who desires our freedom, and who will give it if we do not look away?

DM 31st July 2021

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