An artist dreamed of a magic mirror that creates his life. “Ego consciousness is a mirror into which the Self gazes…” and “…the ego is a reflection of the Self.” (Schwartz-Salant, 1982, p. 46.)
To be mirrored, is to be seen; one feels contained, accepted, loved. In the world of a child, the eye of the Mother is the mirror, the child’s whole world; it is where a child discovers him/herself, gradually developing an inner mirror and his/her own universe. If the eye of the mother is shut away, one cannot see oneself; all is darkness and death. One fails to exist.
The archetype of the Self as Mother-moon was revered as a deity for many thousands of years. The moon reflects the light of the sun; it is a mirror, in man and woman alike. Self-reflection is an essential aspect of inner growth. The growth of plants was thought to be associated, not with the sun, but with the moon; the cycles of the moon, waxing, full, waning, dark, to return again, has always been associated with renewal. Now, in a dark hour, we know that the light of the Moon will return.
The wounding of the feminine principle over millennia have resulted in wounded mothering in all of us, culminating in this Age of Narcissism with its envy and inner splitting into good and bad. Attachment theory describes the important role of objective compassion in the process of healing; neuroscience confirms that it is even able to regenerate braincells destroyed by early trauma. The effects of being loved lasts forever.
“By the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby… once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to those people who don’t understand… once you are Real, you can’t become unreal again. It lasts forever.”The Velveteen Rabbit, M. Williams
In the real lived relationship with the analyst, we aim at restoring the relationship to the inner mirror through self-acceptance, which may reflect on the canvas of the inner artist in a dance of light and shadow.