I was thinking about reflections, and in particular, the kind of reflection captured in photographs. It struck me that looking at any reflection could serve as a kind of metaphor for life. We always experience life on two levels – physical and spiritual. The physical is easy to identify since it involves our total sensual experience of the environment we find ourselves in. The spiritual, on the other hand, becomes a little more complex to define. For one, our spiritual realm is for most part only experienced by ourselves with no, or little interaction with others around us. But then again, this is not entirely true.

Our spiritual realm is the sole motivating force behind our thoughts, words and actions. In other words, the reality and experience of our spiritual realm will be reflected in our physical realm. Put plainly, we simply act the way we think. I am not privy to your thoughts, and you are not privy to mine. But you are directly affected by my thoughts through my words and actions.

Solomon once remarked that we are (in essence) what we think. The invisible becomes visible. So, for instance, if your thoughts are filled with hatred and envy, your actions will be determined by that in various ways. Likewise, if your thoughts are filled with compassion and love, a corresponding action will ensue. It is for this reason that our “inner self” becomes more vulnerable, and also becomes more important to protect. Take care of the spiritual side, and the physical will simply take care of itself since it is a reflection of the invisible.

The nature of a reflection is determined by the stillness of the environment. The more still the environment, the purer the reflection. Is it possible that we can determine the environment the same way we determine our inner self? The answer is probably yes. We need to, as with everything else, make the determination in our heart (our mind, our thoughts, our inner self) that peace will pervade every place we may find ourselves. The travels of life can be a true reflection of the stillness we experience on the inside. And it is in that stillness that beauty is reflected and experienced.

The ultimate question begs to be answered: when looking in a mirror, do you like what you see? Is it a true reflection? As Dr. Seuss would put it, is it truer than true? Is it the truest of the true?

If not, then we have the power within to make it different, to change the reflection, to better the trueness. The truer the reflection, the stiller the environment. Are you ready for the next step in your adventure?

Nahoon River, East London, South Africa (© waldo malan. All rights reserved)