One of the reasons I enjoy traveling is the opportunity to have myself reflected back in a different way. The people and culture is different. The landscape is different. The buildings are different. Where I live is different. I find myself reflected back in all of these ways, finding myself in a fresh way.
This came up for me as I just stayed in a different city and different house for a little over a week, and found it both liberating and refreshing. The books in my room were ones I normally wouldn’t look at and read. There were no or few memories attached to the house and location.
New places, cultures, people and landscapes all help me find myself outside of my familiar views and experiences of myself. They help me broaden how I know myself, what is available to me.
In returning home, and getting back into house projects, I see how much I have enjoyed living for three years in a house reflecting other attitudes than the ones I typically identify with, including the colors of the walls. I also see some dread coming up in realizing that I am engaging in projects now – tiling, painting walls, changing blinds, which reflect more my typical conscious attitudes. It almost seems a little claustrophobic to live in a place where my conscious orientation is reflected back to me in that way.
On a larger scale, this also goes for our ecosystems. If we only live in tamed ecosystems, which most of us do, it is just another way where our conscious attitudes are reflected back to ourselves. What is reflected back is what I am already familiar with in myself.
Wilderness on the other hand, what is left of it if any, reflects ourselves in a quite different way from our tamed, civilized and controlled conscious views.
Fortunately, life can never be completely tamed, it will always be wild to some extent, so we cannot eliminate it completely – as much as we try.
The larger whole will always come up, reflecting back our own larger whole, and inviting us to become familiar with more and more of the way existence manifest – out there, mirroring in here.