Have you ever been to a Hall of Mirrors? Maybe they don’t exist anymore outside of my childhood memories. They were rooms with distorted mirrors where reality was bent and shaped to create amusing illusions. You were tall, short, fat and thin depending on each mirror’s deceit. It was fun.
I used to work in a place where I had the opportunity to use the “Pepper’s Ghost” illusion to suggest to people that they were seeing an apparition from beyond the grave. It was usually tongue-in-cheek but occasionally some poor audience member thought it was real. In that case it was not fun for them.
And that’s the thing about smoke and mirrors, about magic shows, about showbusiness, about spectacle. There is a contract with the audience, with the ‘other’. They willingly suspend their disbelief.
Outside of showbusiness and the fairground it is a different moral environment. There is no contract. There is no “Go on, please fool me!” Quite the opposite. In Civvy Street we don’t want smoke and mirrors. And, if we are not shysters, we don’t proffer them. It’s a different deal.
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (Corinthians 13:12)
Even as I have been fully known. The adult version of ‘Show me yours and I’ll show you mine.’ What you might call the naked truth.
And it only then that love, real love and not a mere simulacrum, can take root.
“Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” Even as I (too) have been fully known.
It takes balls. It takes ovaries. It takes love.