The Word Foundation

One, two, three-surface mirrors are symbols of the physical, astral and mental mirror-worlds; a crystal globe, of the spiritual mirror.

The spiritual mirror is the world of creation. The mental world, the world of emanation from creation; the psychic world mirrors reflections of emanations and of reflections of itself; the physical world is the reflection of reflection.

—The Zodiac.



Vol. 9 JUNE, 1909. No. 3

Copyright, 1909, by H. W. PERCIVAL.




THE essentials of a psychic or astral mirror are desire and form with such light from the mind as is connected with desire and form. The material of which the psychic mirror is composed is astral. This is made visible in its own world by the backing or enforcing of desire, similarly as the backing of a looking-glass makes the mirror.

As a physical mirror is composed of material of the physical world, so a psychic mirror is composed of astral matter of the astral world, and as the physical world is in itself a mirror, so the astral world is itself a mirror. What we call the light of the sun is that which makes the physical world visible. The light from the fire of desire is that which makes the astral world visible. The matter of the physical world is moulded secondarily into distinct form, whereas the matter of the astral world is primarily given form; that which gives it form and causes it to be imaged is thought. The desire world is the mirror of and reflects thought. Thoughts being reflected in the astral world, take on forms which are characteristic of that world. What is said of reflection in the physical world applies to psychic mirrors in the astral world, but with this difference: the reflection of a reflection will be of the same color and form as the first reflection, but the reflected image of an image reflected in the astral world will be more like a shade than what is in the physical world a reflection. It is a shade, not with bare outlines, as a shadow, but with the characteristic features and incidents of that which is reflected.

The astral or psychic world further differs from the physical world as a mirror in this respect; that whereas the physical mirror will only reflect so long as image and light are present, the psychic or astral world will retain the image which is first reflected into it by a thought, and the reflection of that image will be retained as a shade-reflection on the psychic mirror which reflects it, after the first image has been removed. Other differences exist. The reflections of living objects in the physical world follow the exact movements of the objects reflected, and only move while these objects are moving, but the reflections of a thought as desire-forms in the psychic or astral world continue to move after the thought has been impressed but is no longer active, and, although they hold the same form, the movement of the form varies according to the strength of the desire. Further, in the physical world the reflection of a reflection ceases when the first object ceases to be reflected, but in the mirrors of the psychic world the shade-reflections of the thought reflected in the astral world continue after the first reflection may have ceased or been removed, and they differ from the first reflection in this: that the reflection of the thought is animated and varies its movements, but the shade-reflections of the reflected image retain the form, and perform automatically the movements made while the image remained and was reflected on it.

Two ideas which are essential to mirrors and reflections are time and space. These are appreciated differently in the psychic world than they are experienced in the physical world. In the physical world, time is measured by light and dark periods determined by the presence and absence of sunlight. In the reflections of the astral world time is measured by light and shade, which are determined by the increase or decrease in the strength of the fire of desire.

In the physical world our idea of space is that of distance, and, to our sense of vision objects appear in size proportionate to their distance. The idea of space is not absent from the psychic or astral world and its reflections, but space is not appreciated as distance. To our notions, it may be expressed by such words as plane, realm, or stratum. Any image or reflection in the physical world is seen while the object remains within seeing distance. Objects and their reflections in the astral world can be seen if the seer is on the plane on which those objects or their reflections are. Our notions of distance and its measurement by feet or miles should not be applied to the psychic or astral world. The astral world is graded according to planes, realms or strata, and all images or reflections existing in or reflected by any plane can be seen there without regard to distance. To illustrate: an image or reflection in one plane might lie next to another in the plane above or below it, but each would be unaware of the other’s presence so long as they each remained in a different stratum. For a seer to become aware of or see the object or reflection it would be necessary to enter or reach its particular plane. In the physical world, our idea of going to an object is by shortening or removing the distance, which is by movement. Not so in the astral world. One passes from plane to plane of the psychic world by the principle of desire, and sees there the images or reflections as he raises or lowers his desire; according to the nature of his desire will he see the objects, the images and reflections, on any plane of the astral world.

The psychic or astral world is a double-faced mirror. Each face of the mirror has many grades or planes. The astral world as a mirror reflects the thoughts of the mental world and the things of the physical world. There are numerous interplays between the reflections of images and the reflections of reflections, from plane to plane and between the upper and the lower sides of the psychic or astral mirror. It requires some discrimination to distinguish between the reflection and the object reflected and the reflections of the reflections in the mirrors of the physical world. It requires still more discrimination to know how to distinguish between the images, their reflections and the shade-reflections from the mirrors in the astral world, and to be able to know on which of the planes that is which one sees.

The purpose of psychic mirrors is the same in principle as that of physical mirrors; but whereas physical mirrors turn or throw back images of physical objects in the physical world, psychic mirrors hold over and throw back at us the actions and desires of the astral world. We may conceal the desire which prompts an action in the physical world, but the action as and how resulting from the object of desire is seen and reflected in the mirrors of the psychic world. The psychic mirrors on their different planes of the astral world hold over or throw back at us the desire-images or reflections as we make them, or they reflect them in the psychic mirrors of the various planes of the astral world. These reflections are thrown back or precipitated into the physical world and cause impulse to action in the physical world. This impulse to action causes conditions which bring sorrow or joy, suffering or happiness. Not knowing the connection between that which happens and its cause, we are not able to see the cause of the condition or occurrence and shall not see it unless we use the present occurrence as a reflection to trace back the occurrence to its cause.

The mental world may be likened to a mirror. It differs from the physical and psychic worlds in respect to reflection in this particular: that whereas the physical and psychic worlds act by reflection, the mental world acts as a mirror by emanation, transmission, refraction and reflection. That is to say, it does not reproduce images and the reflections of images, but emanates, transmits, refracts and reflects towards the mirrors of the astral world. The images in the mental world are thoughts. They are in themselves mirrors. The material of which the thought-mirrors are composed is life-matter. The mirror-thoughts are produced when the mind from the spiritual world breathes on or contacts the life-world which is on the plane of the mental world. The thought-mirrors throw their emanations and refractions into the astral world and these are then reproduced into physical form in and reflected by the physical world.

The mirror-thoughts are so produced by the action of the mind on life-matter as indicated by and according to ideas in the spiritual world. The mental world may be said to be a mirror which images the spiritual world and which emanates and refracts into the astral and thence into the physical world.

The mirrors of the mental world may be broadly divided into two classes: those which are being involved and reflected by the psychic mirrors as physical reflections in the physical world, and those which are evolving by reflection from the physical through the psychic by aspiration toward the spiritual world. It is by means of the thought-mirrors that man stimulates the astral or desire-mirrors to action and reflection into the physical world. The desire-mirrors and their reflections as physical action are caused by the holding of a thought-mirror in the mind; as the thought-mirror continues to be reflected in the desire-mirror the desires are stimulated and made stronger; these desire-mirrors then produce physical action in the physical world. It is within the power of man to choose which of the thought-mirrors he will use to stimulate the desire-mirrors into physical action. According to the thought-mirror which is held in his mind will he act on the particular plane of the mirrors of the astral world and bring about action in the physical world. The thought-mirror in the mental world acts on the mirrors of the psychic world as a burning-glass acts on physical matter in the physical world. A burning-glass collects and focuses the sun’s rays at a given point on physical matter and, by concentrating the rays, fire is set to the physical matter if inflammable; so by holding a thought-mirror of the mental world, the mirror sets fire to an image on the plane of desire in the astral world, and so brings about the actions in the physical world.

All that the ordinary man is able to do, usually, is to hold a thought-mirror in his mind; he cannot make one. The ordinary man cannot produce a thought according to an idea of the spiritual world. Not until after long and repeated efforts is he able to produce a thought-mirror. He learns to do this by holding in his mind thought-mirrors which are already produced. As a man chooses his thoughts, so will he learn to think. As he chooses his thoughts and perpetuates or changes his desires and their reflections in the physical world, he makes the environments in which he lives and the conditions by which he is surrounded.

The spiritual world may be spoken of as one, grand, complete, universal mirror. As a mirror it may be compared to one, infinite atmosphere. The material of which it is composed is primal breath-matter, which is light. In the spiritual world, considered as a mirror, is contained the idea and plan of all that is to be manifested in any of the three mirror-worlds. The mirrors of the spiritual world are mind-mirrors. These mind-mirrors may be symbolized by crystal spheres. A crystal sphere pictures all things on every side of it without having a backing or lining of matter different from the crystal, through which the light shines.

The mind-mirrors of the spiritual world symbolized by crystal spheres are similar in idea to the universal, one mirror which is the spiritual world. Each mind-mirror has in it all that is in the spiritual world-mirror. That which has being in the spiritual world-mirror as an infinite atmosphere, is not emanated or reflected into it from some other source. All that has being in the atmosphere of the spiritual world-mirror is self-existent, having being or coming into being by itself or from itself within the atmosphere of the spiritual mirror. The plan of being existent in this universal spiritual atmosphere or mirror, is also in each individual mind-mirror within the universal mind-mirror. The spiritual world is the world of ideas, the world of creation, from which come into manifestation all the lower worlds and into which and through which lower worlds are involved and worked over and the self-existent ideas of being are evolved.

The mirrors of the spiritual world differ from other mirrors in that they create for the other worlds what these as mental or thought-mirrors will emanate, or as psychic and physical mirrors will reflect.

A mind-mirror of the spiritual world reflects from, on, in, by, or through itself. When it reflects from itself it shines forth, and this shining enters into the mental world by being transmitted, emanated or refracted by a thought-mirror. This thought-mirror may be turned and reflected into the desire-world by the mind or thought of a man and later the thought will appear as an act or a form in the physical mind. When a mind-mirror reflects on itself it sees the universal mind. When it reflects in itself it sees itself in all things and all things in itself. When it reflects by itself it sees itself alone and no other thing than itself. When it reflects through itself it sees that which is imminent in it, but which yet transcends every existing thing in all of the worlds of manifestation and in the spiritual world itself; it knows itself as the permanent, changeless and one reality, persistent through all time, space and being, and as that which all of these with their qualities, attributes, characteristics or distinctions depend on for their respective states and being.

That by the presence of which the spiritual world is a mirror, self-shining and reflective, that which allows all things to be known in the spiritual world-mirror and each individual mind-mirror to know itself and to reflect from, on, in, by, or through itself, is Consciousness. The presence of Consciousness in the infinite universal mind makes all things perceptible, reflective and known by the individual minds.

It is by the presence of Consciousness throughout Universal Mind, that any of the worlds may be known. By the presence of Consciousness the individual mind may know itself to be itself. By Consciousness the mind may see itself in all things or all things in itself according to the manner in which it as a mind-mirror reflects. By Consciousness the mind-mirror as an intelligent being may, by reflecting on Consciousness, through itself, become at one with Absolute Consciousness.

The surface of the earth may be compared to the physical mirror. All things which are on its surface are reflections which move over its surface. The air may be compared to the thought-world as a mirror, which transmits, emanates, and refracts the light which shines through it. The light that shines through the air and which may be said to exist on all sides of the earth, may be likened to the light-mirror of the spiritual world. There is no apt correspondence for the astral mirror-world.

Man stands within all this, and man is the mirror of all this. He is not only a one-surface, a two-surface and a prismatic mirror, but he is as a translucent, transparent and crystal-like mirror, from, on, in or by which each separate thing may be seen, by which many things may be seen at once, or all together summed up in their entirety.

The incarnated mind is the mirror by which are emanated, transmitted, or refracted, the thoughts which come from man’s spiritual world; by the incarnated mind he throws on his desire-mirrors the images which cause his desires to be active, to be calmed, or to be changed. By this mirror-thought man looks into, chooses and decides which images he will reflect on his desire-mirrors and which he will cause them to reflect through the physical body or mirror, so that they will become actions. Thus he brings about the circumstances and conditions which surround him. Above and around the incarnated thought-mirror is the real man himself who is a spiritual individual mind-mirror reflecting the universe.

When the incarnated mind which we have spoken of as the mental mirror, receives the divine light and begins to think of what it has conceived, its thoughts are refracted and transmitted and brought into the desire-world and there reflected by the desires of the astral world after which they appear or are caused to appear in the physical world. In the transmission of thoughts, the mental mirror may be imperfect, the desire-mirror murky or unclean and so the transmission would be distorted and the reflection exaggerated. But clean or unclean, the mental and desire mirrors are those by which all of the things in the world are brought into existence.

Wherever man goes, there he projects or reflects from himself, the images which flit through his mind. So hamlets, villages or great governments are built up, all of the architectural structures, sculpture, paintings, music, all designs, clothing, tapestry, houses, temples and huts, the daily papers, the magazines, or books, legends, myths and religions, all are the putting into evidence in this world by means of the mirrors of man those things which exist as pictures or ideals in his mind.