Mirrors: Reflections on Consciousness, Empowerment, and Spirituality

School of Consciousness and Transformation PARW 6424 2.00

Mirrors are much more than mere tools of vanity. Throughout the ages, they are believed to have predicted the future, captured and transported souls, and reflected far more than the user’s image. Mirrors have served as metaphors with myriad meanings, as symbols of divinity and power, implements of distortion, and tools for self-reflection. The mirror, in its variety of forms and applications, has truly captured the human imagination. This course is an interdisciplinary, selective cross-cultural exploration of the mirror (from ca. 7,000 BCE to the present). Students will explore the mirror in a variety of contexts: in world religions and spiritual traditions (such as Japanese Shinto, the Afro-American religion of Yoruba, Medieval Christianity, or the Aztec religion of Mesoamerica); mythology and folklore from ancient Greece to Africa to Asia; and literature and the visual arts from various historical periods to modern times. Students are encouraged to study an aspect of the mirror in a historical-cultural context of their choosing, and also examine the roles mirrors play in their contemporary lives. With faculty support, students may explore psychological, scientific, and cosmological perspectives on mirrors as an optional aspect of the course.

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