We Are All Flawless Mirrors: Why Psychic Self-Defense Isn’t Actually About Defense


Only through unconditional acceptance of each of your thoughts and actions can you become aware that you and the world are magnificently detailed reflections of one another.

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Sometimes it’s difficult to feel safe and protected.

If you’re nodding your head in agreement, take a moment to breathe.

Yogi Bhajan taught that if you can slow your breathing to three breaths per minute, you can learn to be master of your emotions. Try it.

Our emotions are the watery medium through which the self interfaces with the external world, the conductive material through which our personality is conveyed into the world of the Other.

It is said in yogic doctrine that the heart chakra is the gateway between the lower and higher chakras. In corresponding manner, the emotional body is the gateway between the lower bodies (the realm of the physical, personal self) and the higher bodies (the etheric, transpersonal self).

This is why the spiritual path of self-protection and self-actualization has so much to do with working through the emotional material we find in our hearts.

In the words of Ibn al-‘Arabi, “the heart is a mirror in which the manifested Form of God is at each moment reflected on the scale of the microcosm.

Emotions are the bridge between self and other

Not surprisingly, the emotions with which we are confronted are always connected to someone or something outside of ourselves. We don’t feel fear, anxiety, pain, or joy about out isolated selves…it’s just not how we’re programmed.

There is always a reference to some context of which we are a part, some reason, action, cause, or teleology. More often than not, this external context is another person with whom we are consciously connected in some way.

Emotionality is experienced in this way in order to show us that, as Thomas Merton said, “no man is an island,” From the perspective of discrete ego consciousness, each one of us is merely a part of a miraculous Whole that is far greater than the sum of its parts.

We are all facets of the same infinite-sided jewel.

And so the paradox of spiritual work is revealed: we must turn inward – away from the illusion of the world abroad – in order to find the truth.

As we progress on this path, though, we find that we must also reach communion with the external world, for no one is truly enlightened until everyone is enlightened (this is referred to as the doctrine of Mahayana in Buddhism). Thus, it is through surrender to transpersonal space, surrender to community in its highest form, that we become whole within ourselves.

Once we attain this highest individual wholeness (some would call it satori, nirvana, or samadhi), the cycle begins again, for we must return to the external world as a boddhisatva, to polish more of our jewel’s facets to a gleaming shine.

The point being: emotions are central to the human experience of interpersonal relating, and when we are not master of them, the world feels totally overwhelming.

The world isn’t actually out to get you

Have you ever stepped outside and felt bombarded by the sheer volume and vastness of the world’s minutiae? The thrum of traffic, the enveloping onslaught of color and shape, the invisible web of seething electronic frequencies, and the matrix of collective thoughts, rushing like converging tributaries into an ocean of perceived and felt form.

This sea is churned to crashing wave and whitewash spray by countless minds and wills, all grasping at the spark of Will that holds all life in balance.

And yet, beneath all of this chaos, there is profound peace. There is an indefinably deep Order and Love that we can intuitively feel in our moments of greatest and highest clarity.

But what about the rest of our moments? How are we to find sanctuary in a world that seems so utterly out of our control?

There’s a whole host of shielding techniques and psychic self-defense practices that are perfectly calibrated for the task of creating safe personal space. Remember, though, that self-responsibility and right use of language are two of the greatest and most intuitive tools that you have at your disposal.

Let’s take a look at one of the fundamental principles of psychic self-defense, from which we can derive the most potent self-protection technique of all.

If you’re not worried about your karma, you should be

Our universe of physical form is governed by simple yet infinitely intelligent laws of action and reaction.

The oscillation between being and non-being that continually recreates the world throughout every moment dictates constant motion, constant sway between dichotomous poles, constant hopping from stasis to ecstasy (the Greek word ekstasis literally translates as “out of stasis” or “outside the self”).

Whether you choose to call this phenomenon karma, causality, conversation of energy, parity, or any other name, it’s worth paying attention to. While karma does not imply predestination, it still has the power to dictate how we progress on our path as spiritual beings.

Over the eons, hundreds of thousands of pages have been written about how sentient beings should interface with the Wheel of Karma, but here’s a five-word summation: always strive for karma neutrality.

In a nutshell, this means that your goal should always be to avoid participating in cycles of action and reaction. Only by escaping the endless turnings of this cycle can you discover the calm at the eye of the storm.

This liberation point is the center of the mandala, the psychedelic strange attractor, the eschaton, the event horizon.  

The importance of such neutrality holds just as strongly in the case of psychic self-defense. As such, don’t protect yourself by fighting back; this kind of action will always create karma, which you’ll simply have to work through before proceeding on your path.

Instead, act as a mirror for the influences from which you seek to protect yourself. Invoke and decree that your energetic body is a perfect mirror.

Seriously, say it aloud…it feels pretty good.

So what does mirroring have to do with protection?

Just about everything.

Psychic self-defense begins with self-responsibility: only through unconditional acceptance of each of your thoughts and actions can you become aware that you and the world are magnificently detailed reflections of one another.

By coming to this revelation, you empty yourself of all ego elements, personality structures, and selfish projections.

You become a perfectly transparent vessel for Divine Will. Rather than repelling enemies or unwanted influences, this force simply illuminates their true nature.

In this way, acting as a mirror is not a willful action of creating a barrier that pushes away outside influence. It is the revelation of the truth of transpersonal identity: we are all facets of the same infinite Mirror, which, when polished and clear, reflects back to the observer exactly what needs to be seen.

If the observer happens to be someone or something that is attacking you, they will be undone by the revelation of their own lack of integrity. You will have protected yourself simply by unveiling their true form.

Set your enemies (and yourself) free

Ram Dass shows us that enlightened gurus teach their students with this same mirroring process:

“From a guru’s point of view he just understands how it all is in eternal time and space. He has no attachment either to life or death. You see: you are your own guru. That’s what’s so far out – you are your own guru, I am my own grandpa. And that’s what you finally know when you are hanging out with one of these guys. You ‘hang out’ with yourself, because there’s nobody at home there at all. So to the extent that there’s hanging out (in the interpersonal sense), all you can be seeing are your own desires. He is a perfect mirror.”[1]

Here’s the moral of the story: like any spiritual teacher or guru worth his or her teachings, we must serve and exalt even that which seeks to harm us.

Because we’re all in this together – none of us are free until all of us are free.

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[1] Ram Dass, Be Here Now, pp. 64-66.


Ryan Greendyk

Ryan Greendyk is a conscious internet entrepreneur, writer, kundalini yoga teacher, psychonaut, and sacred space creator. He's pretty fond of tea ceremonies, entheogens, bass-beat wizardry and techno-shamanism, superfoods, gifting, fire spinning, alternative healing modalities, spontaneous outbursts of love, and spending quality time with God and friends. In a nutshell, he's dedicated to delivering others to their highest selves through the creation and promotion of communities, cultures, products, and programs built upon creativity, intentional play, and spiritual self-mastery. He is the Founder of Lightlab and the Producer of Lightlab Events.

  • James Boswell

    Simply breathtaking! ;-) My favorite article so far on the site. I look forward to a pragmatic example of how to mirror an “attack.” A hypothetical play by play would be helpful.

    • http://www.lightlabcreations.com/ Ryan Greendyk

      Thanks for the feedback, James! Keep in mind that mirroring an attack works the same way as everything described above. Your goal should always be to deal with enemies via illumination, not counter-attack. That being said, I think it would be fun to post a play-by-play at some point :)

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