The Mirror Image

In a distant land, there existed a population without any experience of the mirror. One day, a mirror suddenly appeared. Why it appeared was not known. A person, walking along the field, saw it and picked it up. He was mesmerized by it, because he saw a perfect reflection of himself in it. He had never had such detailed, precise perception of himself. So he took it with him and looked at it often, each time mesmerized by it, and yet each time the effect worn down. Eventually, he was not satisfied by this image, and wanted more. What he wanted, he did not know, so he thought, at least he could introduce this thing to others.

The others also saw their perfect reflection, and were mesmerized by their own images. They were so alive, and moved exactly as they would move, spoke exactly like they would speak. They did not understand how this had come about, so out of curiosity they decided to find the mystery behind this thing. They experimented with it. They broke it into small parts, and assigned different groups to find out the different qualities. They began harvesting materials from their environment, to do all kinds of alchemy, to mix, in hopes of producing something like this spectacular mirror. In this project, they persisted through generations. Until, finally, a small child, by chance, stumbled upon a hole in which she lost her toy, through which she saw a reservoir of reflective liquid. Upon hearing the news, the people rushed to this hole, opened it wide, and harvested this liquid, and they produced something quite similar. They were ecstatic. For the longest time, the reflection were only shown to the very few, because there were only so many of the mirror fragments. Yet, now, they could produce as much as they could, and show everyone their reflections.

And that they did. They produced. They harvested the reservoir almost dry. Almost everyone in this land had access to this thing which reflected themselves. So the people, every day, looked at their reflections over and over. They made the reflections act in all sorts of ways, funny, sad, afraid, and so on. They made big mirrors and small mirrors. They gathered in front of the mirrors, talked to the mirrors, broke other's mirrors, and traded mirrors. They collected mirrors, categorized mirrors, made modifications to these mirrors to reflect distorted images. In the search of some new experience they tinkered with the mirrors everlastingly. Yet, this creeping boredom was always there, and it prompted them to only tinker more with their mirrors.

That is how the people of a land become possessed by their own image.


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Cover photo by Aman Upadhyay on Unsplash