The Hollywood Agenda

The Looking Glass

 

 

 

Southland Tales

Through the looking glass you’ll find what you are looking for.

 

 

The Looking Glass

 

In summary of the second major stage of the monomyth, the road of trials, the hero must brave some sort of peradventure in order to accomplish his task. More often than not this entails a confrontation with his father or a father figure, or some other type of authority figure, on what may be considered the antagonist’s own ground. We see this most clearly, for example, in the Horus the Avenger myth of ancient Egypt and all its modern retellings, in Neo’s conversation with the Architect in The Matrix Reloaded (2003), or in the conflict between Luke Skywalker and his father Darth Vader in the Star Wars saga. This is no coincidence, and Campbell’s work was so influential on Star Wars creator George Lucas that the latter revised its script after coming into contact with Campbell’s ideas. Reprints of Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces have used the image of Luke Skywalker on their covers as the archetypal hero of the monomyth.

As he is facing great peril, the hero’s success often depends on his being assisted. He will consult an oracle or be mentored by an older and more experienced sage, just as Luke is mentored by Obi-wan Kenobi and Master Yoda. There are normally 3 challenges which he must face, exemplified most commonly by the theme of the 3 doors which we will examine more closely later on.

At the end of his struggle, the hero emerges victorious and lays claim to his prize, the fabled treasure. This treasure takes the form of the truth about the nature of his own existence. It is normally unpleasant and unfulfilling; he will typically learn that his whole way of looking at things is flawed and that he has been lied to. Some manipulative technique may have been applied to entice him to search for the treasure for someone else’s gain, or he may discover that there actually is no treasure. Then again, he may become enlightened by adopting the new perspective which his journey, with its trials, has afforded him. Wealthy or not, the truth has set him free, and he sees it as his vocation to go back into the real world and teach what he has learned to others. When he goes back to the real world, what the hero aims to do is teach others to see the world beyond this one.

In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, Alice travels to Wonderland by way of a mirror. The “looking-glass” motif has since come to signify a portal to another dimension. However, the looking glass is not a personal item or artifact the way that Lyra’s alethiometer (literally, ‘truth measurer’) is in The Golden Compass (2007). She calls it a “daemon mirror” to disguise its purpose in order to protect it. It is the last of its kind, as the Magisterium has destroyed all others.

 

The Golden Compass

It enables you to see what others wish to hide.

The Imaginarium of Doctor ParnassusThe Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

-What about the mirror? What’s that about, eh?
-It’s impossible to describe. It’s … this mystery!

The Imaginarium of Doctor ParnassusThe Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

It’s everything. It’s you, it’s me, it’s us … he holds the universe behind the mirror.

The MummyThe Mummy

-You’re meant to catch the sun with that.

The MummyThe Mummy

-What are these old mirrors for?
-Ancient mirrors. It’s an ancient Egyptian trick. You’ll see.

 

Mirrors appear when the hero has an epiphany in films rich with exoteric symbolism. Although they are normally mirrors which the hero uses to see himself as he really is, they also appear often as symbolic representations of awareness or portals into other dimensions, as shown here in The Box (2009), where it is associated with the coffin (death):

 

The Box

 

 

1 Corinthians 13:12 is often cited for its use of the metaphor of the looking glass in its depiction of the mystery of the resurrection, as shown in Star Trek: Nemesis (2002):

 

Star Trek X: NemesisStar Trek X: Nemesis

“For now we see but through a glass, darkly …” He said he is a mirror.

Star Trek IX: Insurrection

 

 

Much of the time that we as the audience are told to “look,” the thing we’re supposed to look at is a mirror.

 

Star Trek X: NemesisStar Trek X: Nemesis

-So look in the mirror, see yourself.
-I’m a mirror for you as well.

Donne Darko

Our paths through life must be righteous. Go home and look in the mirror.

Moonraker

Look at this.

Taxi Driver

Didn’t you ever try looking at your own eyeballs in the mirror?

 

These calls to look in the mirror are followed by periods of “reflection” and introspection. The hero may notice something he hadn’t seen before, like a gray hair which causes him to have a mid-life crisis. For example, Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) actually starts hearing a voice which is a narration of his life and which prompts him to make radical changes while looking in a mirror in Stranger Than Fiction (2006):

 

Stranger Than Fiction

 

 

The hero always finds his place in the world when he examines himself, usually at a time when he has to make an important choice and perhaps reform his life in such a way that he is crossing the threshold between being a normal person and being a hero. This is quite literally the case in several superhero films such as Fantastic Four (2005) and Hancock (2008):

 

Fantastic FourHancock

 

 

Villains reform their evil ways and mediocre celebrities get a dose of reality when they see themselves in the mirror and find themselves lacking in spiritual qualities, as in Megamind (2010):

 

MegamindMegamind

 

 

Questionable decisions are regretted and the decision to reverse them is made, as in Tron: Legacy (2010) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010):

 

Tron: Legacy

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

 

 

The motif of the mirror is used to signify objectivity, contemplation and repentance.

 

The TournamentThe Tournament

Raiders of the Lost ArkRaiders of the Lost Ark

HackersIndependence Day

The MummyX-Men

The Omen (2006)The Omen (2006)

 

I happened to catch a reflection of myself in this mirror here. It’s rather an unusual effect, isn’t it?

 

Sometimes, however, it is used to denote the passage into the world beyond in the way that Lewis Carroll used it. In these instances, the mirror may change its form and become liquid. It may break or shatter, signifying that the reality perceived by the person looking into it is or is understood to be an illusion. Or it may show something which is not there at all, or not show what is. For example, vampires do not appear in mirrors. In some cases it shows what we do want to see; in others it shows what we do not. In most cases, it shows what we need to see, and sometimes it is the only way to see what needs to be seen.

 

The MatrixBewitched

The Omega Code

The Omega CodeThe Omega Code

-What do you know about visions?
-Your collective consciousness is telling you something.

RevolverRevolver

They’ve thought this one through, alright. Oh, they’re smart.

 

Looking in the mirror means having a visual impression which we instinctively have mental and emotional attachments to. Mirrors are made for us to tend to our appearance; we style our hair in them, we do our makeup in them, we shave our faces in them, etc. Even if we don’t care about how other people look, we are still bound to care about the way we look in front of a mirror because that is how we perceive that the world will perceive us. Our self-esteem depends on our looking young, healthy and attractive, so looking in the mirror essentially amounts to looking at one’s own ego. If we don’t identify with the image in front of us, or if we don’t identify with the egocentric feelings which we are likely to feel when we do—if we look past the superficial appearance of a skin-encapsulated organism, deep into the mysteriously complex arrangement of cells which we call the eyes—then the all-encompassing question of consciousness arises.

 

Little Fockers

I looked in the mirror and said, “Who am I?”

 

In this way the mirror is the alethiometer, or golden compass. It has the power to show us not only who we are, but who we are becoming. We age in front of our mirrors, we become more mature in front of our mirrors, etc. The mirror is the means by which we create a perception of self through residual self-images, mental constructs by which we make associations and account for differences between what is and what has already been. Put another way, a conscious person sees the truth of his own nature unfold before him when he looks in the mirror.

 

The Golden CompassThe Golden Compass

It’s a daemon mirror. We daemons use it to see the truth in our own eyes.

 

To drink from Mímir’s Well is to look in the mirror. A still pool of water is, after all, reflective, and even polished brass in the ancient world would not give as true a reflection as a pool of water. So while the mirror can show us what we look like and reflect our inner beings back at us, if we are introspective enough to see such a reflection, it also shows us the past and the future. As in Odin’s case, the truth which the mirror holds for the conscious person is the knowledge of the future. More to the point, like Captain Jack Sparrow’s remarkable compass, it shows us the way to that which we desire most.

 

Sapphire and Steele (TV Series)

This is the future, isn’t it?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Do you think this mirror shows the future?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s StoneHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

-The happiest man on earth would look in the mirror and see only himself

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s StoneHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

exactly as he is.
-So then, it shows us what we want—whatever we want.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s StoneHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

-Yes, and no. It shows us nothing more or less

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s StoneHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

than the deepest and most desperate desires of our hearts. This mirror gives us neither knowledge or truth.

The Last Mimzy

The book says it’s a map to the past and future.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

It’s a pensieve. It allows me to see once more things I’ve already seen.

 

The key here is that in order to see ourselves the way we really are, it is not enough to look at the image in the mirror. We have to see the archetypal image behind the mirror. Alice must travel through the mirror in order to get to Wonderland. As a mirror is a solid object, this means we have to break it in order to get to the other side, or else flip it around. On the other side, the mirror is just a pane of glass; only one side is reflective. To reach the other side means to see through it. In film, the transition is symbolized by breaking it.

 

Devil

Could that mirror break from him hitting it?

PandorumNever Say Never Again

 

 

In Labyrinth (1986), for example, Sarah breaks the mirror in the ballroom in order to wake up from the daze she has been put in by the villain. Not only that, but she also finally solves the labyrinth in doing so, and goes straight to end of her quest:

 

LabyrinthLabyrinth

Donne DarkoDonne Darko

I had a Cunning Vision. This vision has released me.
Not just in the mirror … I looked through the mirror.

 

Benjamin Gates finds his way to the treasure room by going through a wall with this “cunning vision” (in this case the All-Seeing Eye) in National Treasure (2004):

 

National Treasure

“Through the All-Seeing Eye.”

 

Passing through the mirror is difficult, but it is the threshold which one must cross to get to the realm of the collective unconscious. As such, every hero must do it. Every hero must see himself as he truly is in order to effect any kind of positive change in his life or in the lives of those around him. Once through the mirror, however, he will gain the powers to do so, and to create a whole new world in his mind.

 

HancockHancock

I think I might’ve had a little bit of a breakthrough. But I’m sitting there and I’m staring at myself in the mirror.

The MatrixThe Matrix

Your appearance now is what we call ‘residual self-image.’ It is the mental projection of your digital self.

 

Tron (1982) reveals that each digital self is a program controlled by a user. In Tron: Legacy (2010), Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) creates the second emanation of the character Clu (Codified Likeness Utility), which is the digital projection of his real self, in order to create the Grid. The 2 identical characters (1 digital, 1 real) look at each other for the first time through a mirror just prior to the beginning of the act of creation.

 

Tron: Legacy

 

 

The fact that this is alluding to Mímir’s Well is reinforced by the original Tron, and by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009):

 

TronTron

Harry Potter and the Half Blood PrinceHarry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

 

 

The children in The Last Mimzy (2007) acquire their supernatural gifts when they go through the trans-dimensional portal:

 

The Last MimzyThe Last Mimzy

It’s about Alice going through the looking glass.

The Last Mimzy

 

 

Resident Evil (2002) also uses the motif from Through the Looking-Glass to show access to the underworld:

 

Resident EvilResident Evil

Prep for entry to the Hive.

The Sorcerer’s ApprenticeThe Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Yes, we drove through a mirror.

The Sorcerer’s ApprenticeThe Sorcerer’s Apprentice

We’re trapped in a reverse world … payback for the bathroom mirror.

The Sorcerer’s ApprenticeThe Sorcerer’s Apprentice
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

We won’t die as long as we get out of here soon, by driving through our own reflection.

 

On the date of this writing (6 June 2011) it was reported that Canadian physicists declared that the world of antimatter (i.e. 4D) is “some sort of mirror world.” The leading researcher of the project has said, “There’s so many things were thought of as science fiction that we can seriously consider scientifically studying them.” Of course, we already know that there is more truth in “science fiction” than there is in “science.” The mystic knows the truth when he sees it and doesn’t need it explained to him by a team of 40 scientists working on a multi-billion dollar budget. If the “news” happens to report a fact, it is incidental and misleading at best.

 

The Imaginarium of Doctor ParnassusThe Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Don’t believe what you read in the newspapers—especially The Mirror!

Tomorrow Never Dies

I never believe what I read in the press anyway.

 

The reason for the report is that while the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) had created antimatter with its Large Hadron Collider as far back as 2002, it wasn’t until 2011 that any scientists were able to keep the antimatter particles in existence long enough to observe them closely. When matter and antimatter come into contact, the particles are destroyed almost instantaneously. In other words, it would be a very bad idea to try to take your 3D material body and place it in a 4D antimatter environment, or vice-versa. (The only person who can be shown by empirical scientific means to have ever been resurrected from the dead is Christ, and he is obviously a special case in the history of mankind.) Nevertheless, this is exactly what the mirror has the power to do. The Illuminati want to open a stargate so that they can go through, not even knowing what is going to happen to them, while simultaneously opening it for Satan to come through, and knowing what will happen as a result of that.

 

The Secret of MoonacreThe Secret of Moonacre

Your future awaits you if you want it. You decide.

The Secret of MoonacreThe Secret of Moonacre

 

 

The ‘multiple doors’ theme is presented in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009), where Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) gives his daughter a piece of good advice, and Satan comes through the other side of the mirror when she ignores it:

 

The Imaginarium of Doctor ParnassusThe Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

You don’t go through the mirror! Never! You know that!

The Imaginarium of Doctor ParnassusThe Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

This is to be my choice.

 

Uncle Arthur (i.e. Lucifer) comes through the mirror in Bewitched (2005):

 

BewitchedBewitched

-Oh no, you’re gonna crack the mirror, aren’t you?
-You watch too much television.

BewitchedBewitched

-I know you’ll do it. You always do.

 

It is important to remember that the mirror represents a threshold of consciousness in the metaphorical sense, but that it represents a stargate in the literal, real-world sense. We may think of crossing into 4D as “ascension,” but the barrier is actually a death trap for those who would open it and enter through it without having an immortal, immaterial being (a soul). It is better, for the majority of mankind, not to meddle with things they have no comprehension of and can derive no tangible benefit from. On the other hand, if Satan needs the portal opened on this end before he can come through, then that means he is trapped. “Breaking the mirror” (opening the stargate) so that Satan can come into this dimension will result in the end of the world.

 

The Sorcerer’s ApprenticeThe Sorcerer’s Apprentice

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the Hungarian Mirror Trap.

 

And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Yahshuah will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:6-11

 

ConstantineConstantine

Solomon KaneSolomon Kane

Die Another Day

I hope nobody here is superstitious. That’s one big mirror we’re about to break.

 

So now you’ll never again have to wonder why breaking a mirror is supposed to lead to “7 years of bad luck.” Nor will you have to worry about it again if you are superstitious, as the Great Tribulation won’t be caused by your accidentally breaking a mirror in your home. That’s not to say, however, that the Illuminati aren’t pinning the blame on you and trying to convince you that it’s your fault. God forbid they admit to their mistakes like they take credit for things they haven’t done.

 

V For VendettaV For Vendetta

How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well, certainly there are those who are more responsible than others,

V For VendettaV For Vendetta

but again, truth be told, if you are looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

The Last MimzyThe Last Mimzy
The Last Mimzy

“Why don’t they do something?” “Why don’t they stop it?” Who is this “they”? … “They” is all of us.

 

Don’t be deceived. It’s true that your ego is your enemy, and that the powers that be derive their power from the will of the majority. It isn’t true, however, that if you stop casting your votes and paying your taxes, then they will miraculously disappear or lose their grip on the mob. They will lose their grip on you, of course, but it is not the case that the whole world is predestined for salvation. Only a select few are—those few being those who deserve it by virtue of their having heeded the warnings and lived righteously. Breaking the mirror of the mind is just the first step on this path. Consciousness does not translate to righteousness, as is so obviously the case for Illuminists like Albert Pike and Aleister Crowley who are far more conscious than the average individual, and thoroughly devoid of conscience.

What, then, can we say of Satan? Guy Ritchie would have us believe that there is no Satan, that Satan is just your own ego. However, this begs the question of why he feels the need to use the name of Satan, when it was only ever applied in the ancient world to something or someone other than the ego. The connection to the ego is a valid one, but certainly no more valid than the connection to the metaphysical being for whom the title was originally coined.

In Revolver (2005), Jake’s mentor says, “The greatest con he ever pulled was making you believe that he is you.” To this our reply is that Guy Ritchie is trying to brainwash people into believing a lie by plagiarizing and manipulating one of the most famous lines in the history of cinema to effect the opposite purpose. “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled,” says Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects (1995), playing the Devil himself, “was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” Everything that follows that line of reasoning is as valid as anything which any atheist or Illuminist could possibly have to say about our egos.

What if Guy Ritchie’s own ego has convinced him of a lie (that he knows better than everyone else)? What if we wouldn’t even have an ego if it wasn’t for the malicious genetic tampering that started in the Garden of Eden and resulted in the creation of a hybrid human species with a reptilian complex, which is the source of all our ego and shadow personality traits? Would Guy Ritchie also tell us that there are no ETs and UFOs, despite hundreds of millions of eyewitness accounts and thousands of incontrovertible proofs to the contrary? If not, then he has some explaining to do, and a few oblique fictional references simply don’t cut it. Statistical surveys in other countries are lacking, but there are more people in the United States who believe in the Devil than in God.

 

RevolverRevolver

We just put you to war with the only enemy that ever existed, and you—you think he’s you’re best friend.

 

It’s not as though this belief is entirely irrational. It’s deeply ingrained in our collective unconscious. We all know who the real enemy is.

 

RevolverRevolver

Wherever you don’t want to go [the non-existent 13th floor] is where you will find him.