My mind was a mirror: It saw what it saw; it knew what it knew. In youth my mind was just a mirror. In a rapidly flying car, Which catches and loses bits of the landscape.
Then in time Great scratches were made on the mirror, Letting the outside world come in, And letting my inner self look out. For this is the birth of the soul in sorrow, A birth with gains and losses.
The mind sees the world as a thing apart, And the soul makes the world at one with itself. A mirror scratched reflects no image… And this is the silence of wisdom.
Edgar Lee Masters 1919 poem, Ernest Hyde is part of his work, The Spoon River Anthology. His Anthology is a collection of epitaphs written by the inhabitants of a small town cemetery in Spoon River, Illinois. In death, truth and free will abound, but in life free will as well as truth can be unmanageable by-products of the ego.
Our free will is an innate gift, but we have a blueprint within us that guides us, and helps us function as individuals and as a race of people. We can override that blueprint, and often do, thanks to the portion of the self called the ego. Our ego is the lens for the inner self. When that lens is distorted by beliefs and perceptions, our focus changes and so does our inner blueprint.
Masters calls the distortion the birth of the soul in sorrow, but the soul doesn’t experience sorrow. It is always in a state of well-being, and it is always prodding us to sense our inner reality with or without the help of our ego. We constantly put obstacles in front of the ego, so we can use our version of free will. We tend to over-sensitize and over-develop our egos because of those obstacles. Our lens becomes foggy from the challenges. But even in the fog, the silence of our own wisdom is like a rapidly flying car. It always offers us a ride to our inner self on an adjusted version of our original blueprint.