Get OUT of my way!
I’m a firm believer in the concept of mirroring. The idea that the world we see is a reflection of those feelings we have inside.
The purpose of the mirror effect is to get us to recognize our own faults that need to be dealt with.
So today, I was at work (Yes I had to work the day after Thanksgiving!) and was walking to lunch. This happened to be Burger King. As I was walking in the door a customer was headed out. He stood there facing me and said in a gruff voice, “dude you need to get out of MY WAY.”
Before it registered what he said, I had side stepped to let him out. After I realized what he said, I was pretty upset. I felt this guy was out of line. He was telling me what to do. It made me pretty angry!
After getting my food, I sat down and the guy was still on my mind. I decided to take an account of what just happened. I decided to Face The Mirror. If this guy was a reflection of me… what was he showing?
Then I realized – Just the day prior, I did the same thing! I was driving to get some food for Thanksgiving. On the way out of my driveway – some guy was standing there with a woman. He glanced at me, but didn’t move. He sort of just lingered in the driveway. I was pretty upset with him and I waited – but in my car I was saying some comments that weren’t so nice.
I was thinking what kind of guy would just linger in my path… I needed to drive out and he’s blocking me. I was attributing this character to someone conceited with self inflated ego. As I was driving back (an hour later) I was still thinking about it and thinking how bicycles, skateboarders, drivers and pedestrians in my area are all the problem. They are all thinking only of themselves – riding in the center of car lanes, splitting lanes in traffic on their bicycles and so forth.
Where did I go Wrong?
My thoughts about the guy in the driveway were pretty negative. I made several errors:
- I assumed he was blocking me to assert his superiority
- I assumed that he was conceited and arrogant
- I made a correlation between him and the rest of the population of my Los Angeles – judging them
- I judged this guy, as well as all the bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers
- I also was identifying with the ME vs THEM paradigm.
The assumptions are all wrong. We can’t assume we know anything. In Buddhism they would say, “perhaps that’s the Buddha or a Tantric Deity teaching you a life lesson…” Regardless, who am I to know this guy’s motivations. Perhaps he was not fully aware of where he was. He looked a little dazed.
Judgement is a dangerous sword to walk on… as it cuts both ways. I judged him and by extension many other people in my neighborhood. “Judge not lest ye be judged,” said Jesus. This is why. By judging others, we’ll perceive others judging us!
Ego Identification – that old “them” vs “me.” That idea that “others” out there do things to me, is an error in thinking. There is no “others” in the spiritual sense. Only in the egoic sense of the physical plane do we say “I am me and you are you, and you frustrate me.”
Life returned to me my very own actions. There I was, standing in this Burger King and I see myself (in the form of someone else) treating me, as I was treating the guy in the driveway. Seeing them as “others” who are “frustrating me” with their “selfish behavior.”
Now that I understand what was going on, I feel very grateful to have met this man at Burger King. He exposed my illness – that disease known as ego identification.
Here is a second lesson… I can’t get all caught up with “well aren’t I smart to figure this out?” That too is ego. As the Zen students say, “don’t add more.” By being self focused on some discovery, I would add more to the discovery. The “more” is negative as it takes away from the lesson and puts focus on me.