Echo and Narcissus, and Advaithic truelove

The story of Echo and Narcissus apparently originates from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. {Here’s a wikipedia link to a document} It has elements of love and romance, and sadness, but within the folds of the story is a conundrum that just about everyone faces in everyday living and in the condition of being human.

I could write this Article all kool and sassy, yo!, but narcissism is also a personality trait that psychologists and behaviouralogists have some trouble with, coz they {we} tend to see everything from the lens of ‘patients’ or ‘problem’ when some selfishness or selflessness..or anything related to ‘self’ kinda shows up, coz spiritual enthusiasts made ‘self’ a sort of woo-woo concept that a lot of people have a difficulty grappling sufficiently with. {I am trying to get my head around calmly enough to deal with this vague topic that is vaguely understood and gets most people scatterbrained more easily than be centered enough to see a solution for existential concerns in it because it is insufficiently appreciated as the solution for a problem in it, so kindly bear the ‘seriousness’ I have in the tone of this Article}.

I have seen trailers of the Matrix Resurrections and one of the scenes depicts Neo walking through the mirror into an alternative/parallel/transcendental world. I haven’t seen the whole thing so I have only a peek-a-boo perspective but the movie, Turning Red, also has the girls at puberty having their Red Pandas walk through the mirror, and here (in the story of Echo and Narcissus), we have Narcissus in love with his own a sort of mirror?

Everyday, we at least look at our reflection in the mirror, even if just in passing, unless of course you hate yourself so much that you distinctly keep mirrors out of your sight lest it scare the bejesus out of you for showing you what you don’t want to see of yourself.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarf’s ‘Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all’ has a point, a poignant one if only we could go beyond the ‘witch wicked lady/queen/stepmother’ bit and appreciate the depiction with an appreciative eye tinged with a bit of tolerance for the apparently unpalatable; maybe there is something attempting to be told but cannot be without it being clothed in a story that is not all ‘fair maiden’ beautiful but a little ‘dark maiden’ discomfort, like the dark skinned ‘niggers’ may have been inciting a discrimination due to color preference or due to a limited framework from which ‘beauty’ is appreciated.

The idea of Ha-Tha yoga invites appreciation of both sides of the coin – the pros and cons {provideds and conditionals} of both sides. Both sides, like the idea of ‘God’ and ‘Devil/Satan in the Book of Genesis, has two sides to each of their character, for example ‘God’ appointed a cherub to guard the Tree of Life to prevent anyone from going to it. I am thinking this ‘God’ had an issue with his/her mother or father or both or thought himself/herself to be bigger than the Tree of Life that he/she needed to protect the Tree, like a child parenting the parent while banishing the people of the Garden of Eden from it. I often wonder who is the Devil in the story – the one who asked Eve to eat from the Tree of Wisdom and wisen up or the one who prevented them from eating from the Tree of Wisdom? Every time I read that Story, I think, God and Satan whosoever is the Devil, both need growing up. That, of course, would make me someone who ate from the Tree of Wisdom and climbed the Tree of Life and came back with the Bean as the fruit of the Stalk that Jack planted {of Jack and the Bean Stalk lore where he got scared enough from the beings atop the Stalk that he had to cut down the Stalk, apparently, in that story} and am now on the job of sanitising the ground of being and becoming, like Moana did after returning back to her island after restoring Te Fiti’s heart. Clearly, I am the proprietor of Meristem Intelligence®️ for paving new grounds in what it means to be human.

That aside, Narcissus, unlike most people who looks at themselves in the mirror, loves what he sees in the reflection somuchso that he rejects even Echo who happens to be cursed to only repeat the last few words spoken by anybody, so essentially Narcussus rejected her for not having anything else to speak than just parroting his own last few words. ‘Yes men’ come to mind who work-in-progress leaders love to have around to laud their own deflated ego, is what I think, to maintain their superiority complex. They dont seem to tire of ‘echo’ but then they may not have a ‘reflective’ mirror, like the witch stepmother of Snow White fame had {but we all do have a mirror to reflect off of in our own homes, if only we knew the beauty there is in seeing what we want to see and also what we dont want to see of ourselves every time we look in the mirror; maybe that will save a lot of cosmetic expenses but ‘society’ we keep company around may change due to ‘makeup’ discrimination (This YouTube video has some food-for-thought on the matter of makeup discrimination

Back to Narcissus, contrast his trapped love for his own reflection in the water of the lake with Pi’s gazing into Mr.Parker {the tiger of Life of Pi} fame where Pi says ‘I saw a reflection of me in his eyes but also something more than just me’ {approx}.

Echo provided an audio reference for Narcissus to reflect on his words because she echoed back the last of his words to him, which he lost interest in after a while and instead found more interest in reflecting upon himself in the waters of the lake somuchso that he excluded everything else and died pining for what he could not have because he didn’t know that the person in the lake’s reflection is himself. He had no point of reference by which to recognise that that person in the reflection is himself.

In Malayalam, there is a saying ‘chengaadi nannaayaal kannaadi venda,’ meaning ‘if you have a good companion, you don’t need a mirror.’

In Advaitha, like represented by the ardhanareeshwar of Shiva and Parvati where Parvati is within the body of Shiva detoxifying his throat from the poisons exuded by sheshnaag during Samudra Manthan somuchso that the elixir of life as Ganga flows from Shiva’s head purifying the sins of those who dip in the waters of the River of Life {that is probably represented by the practice of baptism in the christian way of living or by zamzam in the islamic/muslim way of living}, Parvati is Shiva’s companion and Shiva Parvati’s. One is not greater than the other but a complementary partner. She has female equipment and he has male equipment. Female equipment cannot do male equipment things and that’s why we have Ha-Tha yoga to keep both equipment functioning together so that you versus me pow-wow does not happen in the male versus female dynasty. In other words, to keep Nature and Nurture functioning cooperatively together so that ecological issues do not arise with global warming or ice age, both need to keep it together. ‘And’ is a better operational word than ‘either/or’ or ‘versus’ so that ‘I Love You’ does not mean ‘I versus You.’ Eleven (11) is a good representative number for walking on two legs where one leg is as important as the other for maintaining morphological balance and functional coexistence. Vedic numerologists call Eleven ‘Ekadasi.’ The movie, Ocean’s Eleven, has reference to what happens when commonsense is not maintained well enough in nonviolence for intercontinental wellbeing for #humanityacrossboundaries.

Narcissus may have been in love with his complementary partner who is present in ‘complementary signature form’ within his own bodily make but he does not know himself well enough to recognise which is his, let alone know which is his complementary partner’s. Moreover, Echo may have been his complementary partner for she loved him but was cursed to only parrot what anybody said, of which Narcissus also happened to be a voice she parroted. The spell would have been broken if she recognised her own voice from that of other’s {in other words, if she knew her mouth from her anus or her ass from a hole in the ground, which most people who do not understand ‘discernment’ have a difficulty re’cognizing and that is why education such as that provided by Meristem Intelligence®️ is necessary so history is not repeating the same problems over and over again, and can finally move forward evolving into the potential afforded by the wonderful design of the human body that has taken a lot of time making and maintaining as such}. In multimedia mode, Narcissus would snap out of his fixed attention at the image in the lake and his senses would pick up on Echo’s other-than-Narcissus identifiers and both Echo and Narcissus would live in love for each other because each mirror the other not just as the loved compliment but as more than just themselves. They could get wrapped in each other to the exclusion of rest of the world and that’s why living in a society (not just in the forest or on the mountain top or on an island all to themselves) is better. A Lott of civilisations have had issues with romantic liaisons (couples in love) because their format of love could have expanded more than just each other and included the love, care and concern of rainbow frequencies afforded by how their own individual body tissues were made (each human body formed from different kinds of care and love received by certainly more than just one person or thing or entity) and hence if their bodies do not complementarily share the loves of the societies each visit, romance goes out the window after marriage. It takes both the male and female dynasties to maintain a marriage and a marriage to keep the male and female dynasties maintaining marriages nonviolently for #humanityacrossboundaries preserving the beauty of a genuine smile and enjoying the Christmas cake with a heart that warms with the care shared.

Narcissus also needs his lake to reflect on himself from time to time so he does not get lost in Echo or the world around him in which he lives. Narcissus and the beauty he so gets enamoured by in the reflection is also Advaita in that the beauty and mystery and fact of his existence is all reflected within the framework of an image in a transparent clear reflective surface in which there is what there is to see both known and unknown, liked and disliked maybe but is there present what is missing by its presence or absence as long as we care enough to reflect upon what ‘I am’ from time to time. Echo needs such reflecting surface {as a sounding board too maybe} so even if she has no voice of her own, she has an image to reflect upon and make something of herself other than the identity afforded only by her voice. Afterall, while human intellect may have formed from images and sounds predominantly, as complementary partners, they need spaces of their own to exercise being themselves so they offer surfaces to better being an evolutionarily wholesomizing upscale {competition} to themselves so they dont stagnate or devolve or die like Narcissus or Echo did in pining for an unobtainium that lacked training or perspective enough by which to have.

I first got introduced with the art of befriending the mirror at Landmark Education’s ILP. Over the years, I met the mirrors as an aid when no other surfaces would provide sufficient depth and insight like my journal would as a written reflector or self-talks would as a sounding board. Many an insight later, the story of Echo and Narcissus offered another perspective not many may have appreciated there is to solve an existential conundrum with.

The following is an exercise one could do that would help be in touch with reality, with oneself as a point of reference to reflect upon from time to time so one bridges any gaps with one’s conscience and at the same time include maybe a little of what one may have excluded inadvertently in the experience of being oneself, alive, happy or just humane.

Get yourself a mirror or two – one for your bathroom and one for somewhere in the vicinity of your workstation or living space. I tend to keep a big one reflecting my bed so I do not miss seeing the bottom of my bed where I tend to keep things, forget them and then the mirror does not want me having a look at the underbed space {or I dont want to look at the mirror reflecting the underbed space} until I dont want to not look at the mirror because of how the underbed space is and so I clean it up! Talk about coercion by ‘dont want to avoid it anymore’ innate implicate order of conscience incited to work my life in to requisite order marketing. Call it a memory palace by implicate order of conscience employed. You will look at the mirror advertently, inadvertently, consciously, unconsciously, subconsciously. Magic will begin to happen as your life begins to move through spaces as you walk around with the umpteen known and unknown thoughts you dont want to reflect upon or have anyone know or bounce off of you but you continue to be a pain in your own bum until you do look at what you are not facing up to. The mirror does that trident’ing so you clean up and sanitise what you see in the mirror.

Happy discoveries!

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