The Half-Silvered Mirror


THREE FOLK OF DISTANT TIMES began the traverse of their fateful threads. Omnignos, father of the three, knew everything but the meaning of his own knowledge. To help him with this puzzling problem he required that each of the three children view life's path with a glass. Narcos was given a mirror. Telos had to look through a window. Oikos received the half-silvered mirror. Each child was placed at a path. The glass was in place. The journey launched. Narcos found that no matter what he did or where he went he always saw the same thing-himself There seemed little point to moving about if the scenery never changed, so he didn't. Since he didn't know that there was anything else to see he put his energies into more detailed study of his private world. A short period of viewing himself in the mirror was followed by descent into the inner world. M ' any years of study led Narcos into a tighter and tighter spiral of knowing his previous knowings. With such exquisite self-knowledge Narcos; felt sure that he was the most fortunate of Omnignos' children and would surely be best able to deal with anything the world could offer.

Telos was exposed to in endless panoply of beckoning change. No matter where he went or what he did his window offered him a vision of the new and varied earth. The ultimate tourist, he was driven on by the beauties and changes of the world. By comparison with Narcos; he knew nothing of himself There were no minutes for his past, nor agenda for the future-only the enticing variety of his vision. There was so much excitement and variety in the distances he saw that nothing tempted him to delve within-so he didn't. Over the years Telos' experience began to resemble his travels, an endless array of visions of what could be-the dream residues of a vast unprocessed experience. Telos experienced much, learned little--and still he followed his visions.

Oikos was confused and frustrated at first. As she looked upon the world she had great difficulty focusing on anything. Movement changed experience, but there was always a persistent overlaid image. Fascinated by the change and the stability, she began to try to focus on one and then the other to help her understand each better. This was very difficult and challenging. It took Oikos many years to begin to understand the world of change amid the world of constancy. Just as she was beginning to understand the differences and view them separately she was astounded to discover that the two (the changing and the stable images in the glass) were actually part of the same image. The difference began to disappear. The constant reflection now became the force that directed the change in the external and responded to it. The reflection could initiate, control and interpret but was joined with the transmitted images into a dynamic unity-Ergos.

When the children had reached maturity Omnignos directed his servants to bring them back for the test of self-knowledge. Narcos remained near at hand in his depths. Telos had wandered afar. Many days of search were required to find him and bring him back. Oikos had learned discourse. She quickly learned of her Father"s wish and returned.

Omnignos had devised a simple test of self-knowledge. He would remove the glass of each child and observe the effect. They were told that they had participated in a very special and important study. Each had been wearing a glass which gave a unique vision. Now mature, the glass would be removed, giving a new and full vision Of life. As a test of this new vision, each of Omnignos' children would be placed in front Of a path which, if followed correctly, would lead to the laurel wreath. Whoever succeeded in reaching the wreath first would wear it and succeed Omnignos as head of the family. All were ready for the test.

Unbeknownst to the three, Omnignos had created a test of great difficulty. Each path was a maze requiring skill in interpretation, adaptation, the wise use of strategies and clues, the negotiation with other passing travelers. Only the wisest would succeed. Narcos was sure that he knew everything important and could win the contest. Telos felt he had traveled so much that he need only travel another journey to the vision of the wreath Oikos, seeing that each of her brothers had only half her vision, was saddened for them and their limitations, but puzzled what this would mean in the test. She would try to make the maze a part of her Ergos.

The glass was removed from each set of eyes. Narcos was overwhelmed by the brilliance of novelty. Yet, he was sure that if he thought he could figure out what to do just as he always had before. So he closed his eyes and turned in, seeking to divine the solution. No one can get Narcos to open his eyes, even now.

Telos was shocked to see that the removal of the glass changed nothing. Overjoyed with this good fortune, he rushed forward, as always. Telos could only respond to the novelty of the new. There were laurel wreath pictures placed in the maze, but not always on paths that led to the wreath. Telos followed them all. One such sign was placed at the entrance to a tunnel which spiraled endlessly into the earth. Telos' journey continues, though he has yet to suspect that he has made a mistake or could be on the wrong track.

Oikos, who had long since stopped seeing her reflection in the mirror, also noticed the absence of change. The reflection was now within. She would see the maze and negotiate it. But she knew her limits. She could hypothesize. She could suspect and evaluate error. She could examine her own assumptions. She could change her strategy. Though the maze was long and difficult she persevered to the goal. Her only delay was brought on by her empathy with her brother's fates. The laurel wreath was hers.

Omnignos was thrilled with this great revelation. He ordered that from now on all members of his family be raised with the half-silvered mirror.

Soon thereafter Omnignos died; Oikos assumed leadership of the family. She immediately ordered that the half-silvered mirrors be removed from all and destroyed. Her decree was simple, "No one need wear the half-silvered mirror. The Ergos has taught me it is the gift we all possess as our birthright of consciousness. Our most important task is to learn to use it well."