A question for you to answer

May 25, 2017 | 45 comments

Here’s a question I’ve often pondered.

When you stand before a mirror, which comes first?
What you see in the mirror, or what you expected to see in the mirror?

What do you think?

45 thoughts on “A question for you to answer”

  1. Hi Evan and every dear commenter,

    I am not quite sure what really comes first

    after I thought about this question a while I came to the followidng result:
    – what I s e e comes first, I think –
    I tried it several times this morning, but yes, what I see comes first.

    Now I am really eager to get to known what other commenters say to this question

    Thank you for this interesting question, Evan.

    Happy ascention day – here in Germany it is a laborfree day

  2. When I see in the mirror I expect to see in my reflection, the image and likeness of God. If I look for the size and shape of my being… then I feel there is no substance in the physical personality, since the true essence of my being is spiritual. It becomes natural then to ask myself when I look in the mirror…”Am I in harmony with the good qualities that make my true spiritual self hood? The qualities of love, compassion, forgiveness, intelligence, honesty, purity, serenity, resilience, etc.

    Physical personality is not our true personality.. An attractive personality can be deceptive and vain… As its correctly said “All that glitters is not gold.” Even in the Bible there is a mention of material personality being vain…in the case of Absalom in Israel..who was very attractive but cheated people.

    ” Material personality is not realism, it is not the refection or likeness of Spirit, the Perfect God.”Science and Health.

    Our true self hood, made in the image and likeness of God, the true reflection of God, is pure, perfect, spiritual and eternal, without beginning or ending…untouched by the worldly things.
    “Because man is the reflection of his maker he is not subject to birth, growth, maturity and decay.” Science and Health.

    Hymn No. 51 is very appropriate and explains that we are the perfect reflections of our Creator, God.

    Hymn No. 51
    Eternal Mind the Potter is,
    And thought the eternal clay:
    The hand that fashions is divine,
    His works pass not away,
    Man is the noblest work of God,
    His beauty, power and grace,
    Immortal; perfect as his Mind
    Reflected face to face.

    God could not make imperfect man
    His model infinite;
    Unhallowed thought He would not plan,
    Love’s work and Love must fit.
    Life, Truth and Love the pattern make,
    Christ is the perfect heir;
    The clouds of sense roll back, and show
    The form divinely fair.

    God’s will is done; His kingdom come;
    The Potter’s work is plain.
    The longing to be good and true
    Has brought the light again.
    And man does stand as God’s own child,
    The image of His love,
    Let gladness ring from every tongue,
    And heaven and earth approve.

    1. Yes thank you Nergish, that`s the metaphysical part and reallity. and thank you for Hymn 51, I love that, too.

      But I thought the question is ment clearly the one or the other answer.
      And thank you all dear commenters below for your interesting answers.

      Love to all 🙂

  3. Well Evan this one is very thought-provoking! I have to agree with Uta that what I see comes first – and much as I would love to see the image and likeness of God, as in Nergish’s lovely comments, in all honesty I have to say it’s usually the image of ageing and dissatisfaction that leaps out!! I love hymn 51 – it’s one of my favourites and one I should stick to more often!

  4. This is a wonderful and thought-provoking question. The first thought that came to me was from our textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, page 86, “Mortal mind sees what it believes as certainly as it believes what it sees. It feels, hears, and sees its own thoughts.”
    That being the case …??

  5. Great question! If I am in from of the mirror doing something else, like washing my hands, I usually see what is there. But if I go to the mirror thinking I have to adjust something, I will see what I expected to see, as messy hair or wrinkled clothes etc. Then I am looking for what could be a problem. Then I am not seeing the whole reflection.

    I am sure every time I am in front of a mirror today, this Spiritview will come to thought!

  6. Definitely what I expect to see!
    If I’m looking in the mirror I’m checking out with material eyes to see what matter is saying about me and I’m bringing tons of expectations along. I expect to see a short person, a chubby person a (fill in the blank) person. All things I’ve decided are true about me long before I looked in the mirror and all things I agreed were true without especially consulting spiritual reality.
    It rarely crosses my mind to see anything else but what matter expects to see.
    Or…to reject what matter is confirming it sees.
    This will be fun to try.

  7. I generally check to see if my hair looks good. That’s my main purpose. Sometimes, longer to put on makeup. Very utilitarian. That’s it’s purpose, after all. Sometimes clothing, too. And I try to send myself Love.

    Although, sometimes comes a critical evaluation of my physical appearance.

    I went through a period where I’d gained a LOT of weight. It was very demoralizing. I felt I looked bad, for the first time in my life. I lost it when I started studying CS again, turning my focus on filling spiritual needs rather than physical. I “knew” I’d never let that happen again. But now, I’ve gained quite a bit back. When I look in the mirror now, I affirm my spiritual nature – but this question made me realize my thought has been in SPITE of how I look! Thanks for helping me see through that!

    My dear friend, who told me about SpiritView, made me and others signs to put in our bathrooms affirming our beautiful, spiritual nature. For me the need wasn’t due to insecurity of looks, it was to affirm my status as a beloved child of God. Bless her for that!

  8. Good morning everyone
    What a great question!

    I love the thought of letting the mirror be divine Science 🙂

    I have found that thought very healing over the years. Christian Science teaches us the natural expectancy of good and that Love is reflected in love!

    In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes……..

    Your mirrored reflection is your own image or likeness. If you lift a weight, your reflection does this also. If you speak, the lips of this likeness move in accord with yours. Now compare man before the mirror to his divine Principle, God. Call the mirror divine Science, and call man the reflection. Then note how true, according to Christian Science, is the reflection to its original. As the reflection of yourself appears in the mirror, so you, being spiritual, are the reflection of God. The substance, Life, intelligence, Truth, and Love, which constitute Deity, are reflected by His creation; and when we subordinate the false testimony of the corporeal senses to the facts of Science, we shall see this true likeness and reflection everywhere.
    SH 515:25
    From Concord Express – A Christian Science Study Resource: The King James Version of the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy’s published writings

  9. How interesting every comment.
    The more comments I read the more I find how thought provoking this simple short question can be.

    I mean I could look into the mirror and try to see what God sees in me.
    But for that I don`t need a mirror; I just need my spiritual sense which is cultivated through the lesson sermon, the textbook, the church services etc.

    Thank God for this lively blog of dear Evan 🙂

  10. Reflection. Nothing more and nothing less than perfection with no label or filters attached. It is when “I” scrutinize, “I” see imperfection and need to correct.

  11. A couple of weeks ago I was taking my 91 year old mom for a drive. She sat in the front seat and asked me who is that old woman outside the car? Is she coming with us? I was sitting in the driver’s seat and looked past her outside the open window and didn’t see anyone. I asked her what old woman? She looked again outside her car window , into the rear view mirror and said that woman! It was herself. She lives in a memory care facility and knows me when I visit. We both laughed heartily.

  12. Wonderful thought provoking question! I am sometimes confronted with what I expect to see and what mortal mind tells me I see. Also I have several mirrors in my house and every one shows a different vision. I’m assured then that these mirrors’ distortion of me are as much a lie of who I am as I am that mortal mind is distorting the facts of my true being! I’ve pretty much stopped judging my appearance in a mirrored reflection and try constantly to hold thought in line with the understanding that my true spiritual self has not a single element of error and that I’ve been formed by Divine Mind forever new every moment! We are pure unadulterated spirit! Never born into matter and never die out of matter! I have only one body and that body is spiritual and perfect. I don’t even have a wrong concept of body. I have a right concept of body, spiritual, perfect whole and beautiful.” That’s what we should all see!!

  13. Honestly, not looking for anything. I usually just go about tidying up what’s there and go on about my day. Hopefully taking no thought for the body. I affirm that I am the child of God. No mirror can or is needed for that.

  14. Very interesting question. I first thought that I see what I expect. However, as I thought about it I don’t think that’s necessarily what I see. I think I see what I see. I see what I see of myself or think of myself at that particular moment when I look in the mirror. I see what I’m accepting to be true about myself at that moment
    If I’m believing that I am a challenged, fearful mortal, then that’s what I see reflected in the mirror. If at that moment I am holding to the fact that I am the absolute image and likeness of God then I see only good. So again, I think I see what I am seeing of myself.
    I think it’s true of everything and all of us. We see what we’re holding in consciousness as reality. We see what we are seeing.

    Thanks, Evan, for the question

  15. Great Question, thought provoking, all I can say is that I will NEVER look at myself
    in the mirror the same way again. Thanks for the “wakeup” call!!

  16. When we step in front of a mirror what comes first is the original. There can be no reflection without the original. So, in the mirror of divine Science the Original is God, Spirit. If I am dwelling in Science, then what I see is the spiritual reflection of God. His perfect creation.

  17. The question is great! I side with Ps 7:8
    “Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honor all the day.”

    THAT is the only beauty check I want 🙂

    Interesting that the majority of respondents are women! Great question to ponder- love you folks!!

  18. gotta admit it’s what I see. but remembering Evan talking about his younger heavier self looking in the mirror…. not sure what he really SAW, but it changed everything for him. Would like to know!!
    ….. but after I see what I see, I think I am God’s child expressing love, that helps!

  19. A comment from the male side (the far side?)… When I look into (at?) the mirror I always understand that I look more like I do now than I did before. It’s very reassuring.

  20. The word “reflection” also means “a thought, idea or opinion fomed.” When we look in the mirror, we see exactly the image that is already established in our thought.

  21. I think it’s what I see, which is the material view. I don’t, however, accept that picture of me as the last word about me. Maybe I will remember to affirm my spiritual identity immediately afterwards, every time.

  22. I love all the comments and ideas! Thanks. I thought…”What you see, is what you BE!” So I must watch what I see! Thanks, Evan.

  23. Yes you are right Kathy, we must watch what we see!

    I just remember, when I don`t like what I see – may be in the morning, just after getting up – I give my picture in the mirror a nice smile. The rest will be corrected – if there is something to be corrected at all – while studying the lesson sermon later on.

  24. Terrific question! I think what I see in the mirror is what I already think I will see. I have posted on one side of the large mirror over the bathroom vanity quotes from Mrs. Eddy’s writings, the Bible, and the periodicals—things that I want to remember about true body, beauty, etc. They help me to focus on my spiritual being which is always strong, beautiful, joyous, selfless. I’d like to do a better job of that! Thanks to all.

  25. Great question Evan. While I was in graduate school we use to use the mirror question as a explanation of time. It went like this as you see the reflection in the mirror you are not seeing the present because by the time, be it so small an increment, the reflection gets to you the present has already past. So in reality you are looking into the past.

    So back to the question when you stand before the mirror which comes first, what you see or what you expect to see?

    My response to this is that it depends upon your outlook. Are you looking into matter or spirit? If you are looking into spirit, you won’t see the past because the spirit is eternal and therefore all that can be reflected is good. If you, on the other hand are looking into matter, it too is no longer there, it is has already passed. So we are benefitted more by looking spiritually then are reflection is always true, always good and always shinning out from our whole being which is connected to the whole of spirit. So if you are looking from the center of your being, you are seeing the spiritual you an identity connected to the whole, without taint, error free. That in my mind is tantamount to seeing or expecting to see. Expect to see spiritually you will see the spiritual you but if you only look to the material you may not see all that is there and you cannot see the future you.

  26. There was a sign in the women’s bathroom where I worked that read something like “Objects in the mirror are much more beautiful than they appear.”

    It reminded me that if our consciousness is spiritualized, we discern our true being as the reflection of Soul, Spirit which always reflects well (helpful in customer service); and if we are mired in the material outlook, we see with our “material” eyes only those things mortal mind has outlined and believed, which isn’t always the best reflection, since it varies at any given time.

    Boy, does it take practice to “see” that purer reflection! Especially first thing in the morning when I’m getting ready for my day. I say to the mirror “this is not me!” and then try not to identify with the hair that won’t go right, or the blotch on my skin I’m covering with make-up, or the slight bulge because my pants might be a bit too tight in the waist.

    I give myself a smile and say “go out and present your true self!”, utlizing the good I’ve been given to see others in the mirror of Spirit, their true reflection.

    Thanks, Evan, for this thought provoking challenge.

  27. It depends on which mirror you are looking into

    If you look into the mirror of divine Science (see Science & Health page 515)
    you will see a divine reflection of Soul individualized as you.

    But if you look into the mirror in your bathroom you are liable to see anything mortal mind is pushing forth as the “special” of the day, and portraying the image as you.

  28. Oh, my! What a wake up call for me! so grateful for all above especially Evan’s wonderful question. No longer, never again, will I evaluate God’s image and likeness as a disheveled early .mortal waker. Time to forget looking at matter and spiritually SEE God’s eternal, spiritual image and likeness. What a way to begin the day. I am so grateful for this one-eighty thought for my early AM beginning –seeing what God created!

  29. The mirror !! I feel this is a constant source of unhappiness for me if I let it. I want to get away from my negative thoughts about my body and so try to remind myself that what I am seeing is not the real me. I struggle with my weight being in conflict with what I am learning about my true nature. It seems I need to peel away the layers the world offers and I bought into for many years, as a constant source of what we should weigh, what we should eat, how much exercise, etc. The conversations about all of these is usually daily among my friends and co-workers, and even when you are reading the spiritual antidote, I often find myself eating from false appetite and then feeling regret, or eating things I don’t want to because of fear of results from eating certain foods, etc., and not from a standpoint of freedom. One of the thoughts that came to me the other day was that the reason I haven’t had my demonstration over this seeming problem, is that I never really give it up to God. I pray about it and get wonderful inspiration, and then go back to my thinking where I feel I have to do it, analyzing what I did right or didn’t do right that will add weight or lose weight, checking for material results. I’m always sitting on the fence and I know I can’t do that. So I relax and keep studying and just know that the more I know about God, the more I will know about myself. I love this blog and all the comments, I wanted to share this thought I have been working with lately from a Sentinel article : Body is not the substance of me; it does not define me. It’s at best a human symbol of the spiritual beauty that originates from God. Body is unable at any moment to become an obstacle and to keep me from expressing spiritual qualities.

  30. My goodness! Such a sensitive area for mortal-mind to try to work us over with!
    But we are ARMED and ready for any and all of it, thanks to this wonderful Science of Truth!

    Plato said, and Mrs. Eddy quoted him in her book, Christian Healing, “What thou be-est, that thou see-est.” So, if I work on understanding who I really BE,, as God made me, then this is what, proportionately, I will see in myself and others, and…even in that ole mirror!

    Thanks, family Love you!


  31. My most beloved
    Sons and Daughters,
    I have heard your prayer.

    To know me and to love me
    with all thy heart.

    I answer every such prayer
    immediately, lovingly, and
    with understanding so
    you can know.

    Revealed now, this moment,
    Truth on the wings of Love.

    As you eat of this manna
    from heaven…. taking in
    this meal you will experience
    the discomfort of all
    that is untrue fleeing
    from you.

    As the daemons of doubt
    and fear, unworthiness and
    guilt, pain and suffering, appear
    seemingly ready to attack,
    fear not, for I have your hand
    and remain next to you.

    You shall witness the Light
    of our Love cause to vanish
    each and every fear.

    As these daemons appear, they shall
    as quickly disappear, for
    I am Light…and I have made
    you after me… Light begat Light.

    This is the answer
    to your prayer, this is
    the heart of Christ,
    which I have given to all,
    That you may be free
    from suffering, that
    you may know you are
    my Life Eternal.

    Now my children, as your
    prayer is answered, we together
    will answer every sincere
    Prayer of others.

    The most tears are shed
    for the prayers that are

    Born anew
    we live the miracle
    of Love
    The Joy of Living

    This is Christ
    This is how I have
    made you, my beloved
    Each and every one
    a Christ

  32. Dear Evan, Thank you very much for this question’s actvity.

    In Truth, there is only one mirror mentally fabricated with perfect precision. This one will always hold perfectly to its eternal precision. Accordingly, the reflection or picture one views will present Life, Truth, Love et. al. with the same unalterable perfection. This is the one to be first seen,-always. Any other mirrored reflection, seemingly seen, will show itself to be false, and hence, nonexistent. Much like mathematics: 2+2=4, or does 2+2=5?

  33. It depends on if there is a surprise such as messed up makeup or gravy on my shirt, then I see what’s there because I didn’t expect that.

  34. Such a great question! I have loved reading everyone’s response. What I 1st see is me. It is usually a little alarming .
    I strive to see what I’d prefer to see. That me is sort of cute,angelic and reminds me of my favorite emoji that wears a halo. I’m much more filled with happiness and joy when that face appears. When my light shines I feel more in my rightful place.

  35. Karin. What you see in the mirror and what you expected to see in the mirror are one and the same, for it reflects the only the truth, since there is only one mirror possible for God holds that mirror of perfect Father-Mother reflecting divine Mind’s perfect idea.

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