Once there was a monkey who happened on a marvellous thing. A small mirror lay before him at the foot of a great tree in the center of the forest. Of course he had never seen a mirror before so at first he was quite startled and somewhat fearful of the strange but familiar monkey that kept staring back fearfully at him and copying his every move. However, soon he came to be totally fascinated by how the monkey seemed to know him so well. It would mimic his every move, confirming each action, each and every intimate intent was magically guessed by this mysterious monkey. It was as if this strange, flat and almost ‘other worldly’ monkey could actually read his mind and even seemed to know exactly what he was thinking or even planning, even down to the most random moods and facial expressions. Slowly it dawned on him that this was a friend indeed. A friend for life even who could bring great comfort and significant meaning. After some time it also became apparent that this was also a wonderful way for the monkey to get in touch with himself and he soon began to learn many new things about his own facial expressions and how these led to express the feelings he had so deep inside of him.
The monkey was so enamoured by the perfect purity of the reflection directly before his eyes that he simply could not let go of the piece of mirror that was now firmly in his hand. He would drift off and stare at it for hours on end, seeing new facets and wonders every time he looked at the mirror (although of course, he never knew it was a mirror or what even a mirror was). It was such a comforting presence in his life, so much so that soon he refused to move away from it in any way. He would sleep with it clutched firmly to his heart and he would even dream about all he had seen in it. It was indeed an enlightening find.
Now our monkey was not totally selfish and eventually he did want others to see his new discovery as well. After all it had made him quite the celebrity in his troop as he strutted about, clutching his strange, treasured discovery for all it was worth. It was indeed a sensational find and he eventually tried to share it with the others but even when he did excitedly show his wonderful new possession to the other monkey’s in the troop he would hold it so closely to his own face that the other monkeys would mainly see his reflection in the mirror even when trying desperately to see themselves or whatever else was in the mirror. To them it almost seemed as if the mirror only reflected our friend the monkey. This communal activity wasn’t all plain sailing though as the monkey in the mirror also tended to cause some troublesome division in the troop and even at times some serious pain especially when the other monkey’s out of frustration perhaps, or just playfully, tried to grab the mirror away from him. Sadly, when this happened the only result was that it cut deep into the hands of the other monkey’s as well as his as the tussle for possession and control of the reflected image ensued.
The mirror soon began to absorb godlike qualities to the monkey as well as the troop and all of life increasingly began to be determined and reflected through this small, shiny piece of mysterious, reflective glass.
Very soon the monkey became so intoxicated by the perceived power and stability of the immediate reflection before him that he was unable to disengage with this reflection at all. To add to this dilemma he was now also unable to understand that the only way to really explore truth and reality in all it’s fullness in and around him was to take the risk of moving away from the immediate reflection he held so close to him, loosing his hold on his immediate reflective perception and taking a few short steps back to see what might possibly lie directly behind, and to either side of the small piece of flat, two-dimensional reflective glass … the same glass which he had now placed directly before his own eyes … so close in fact that the very image he had first seen was now somewhat blurred and vague. Indeed, it took great imagination and not a small amount of speculation to recreate what images of the original reflection he could recall when he had first picked up the small piece of mirror found at the base of the great tree in the middle of the forest.