Light, Reflection, Image and Soul

If we take a sheet of paper and put a pinhole in it, we are mostly familiar with the invention of the Pinhole camera, we invert the image of the object the camera is facing. As the light passes through the focus of the hole the rays cross over to expand in an inverted manner on the other side. Sir George Trevelyan points out in one of his lectures, that the light has become focused with the image growing smaller and smaller until it reaches the centre of the hole. At that point the image has become reduced to infinity and in fact the image no longer exists. It has returned to that place from which the tree itself comes, if we are looking at a tree. The tree has its origins in the Eternal realms, and its source, as with all else, in The One. For that fragment of Space at the centre of the pinhole the tree no longer exists as an image but remains in potential as the rays begin their expansion and present us with the inverted image.

Similarly when we look at our faces in a mirror we see, not our face as others see it but, a reversed image of ourselves. The left side of the face in the image appears to be on the right side of the figure in the mirror. It is still on the left from our perspective, but appears to be on the right of the image we are surveying. A lot harder to describe in words than it is to witness. Just look in the mirror and lift your left hand.

This inversion of image is interesting as it gives us an analogy for material existence. The Sufis say we are standing on our heads in this world. Others declare we are a tree with our roots in heaven. St Peter chose to be crucified with his head downwards as a symbol – not of the Devil as others later laid claim – but of how little this material body represents of the Entire Being we are. When Dylan named his song Highway 61 Revisited I see it, not so much as 16 but, as a reversal of the number 19. The image is inverted as well as reflected.

Classical authors tell us that the analogy for the Soul is both as a mirror and as something plastic, like clay. It is something which can be moulded but also something that is a reflection of the Greater Whole. For those mistaking the Soul for the Greater Whole Itself I would say only that I call that plane of Soul, the plane of False Unity. It is a reflection of the greater unity which is Consciousness itself and first vision of what Unity can be. However the Soul still sees itself as something separate from others, even while asserting it is the same as others. To be the same as, there has to be more than One. Unity exists as an unbroken, undivided thing. It is only in Unity that we will find our rest.

Author: Keith Armstrong

Dance teacher, writer, film-maker, educationalist, enthusiast.