‘…It’s amazing how frequently the myths and religions of Greece,China,Central America,Russia, and other places use mirrors. The ancient Egyptians – as well as the Etruscans, Romans, and many other cultures – buried people with mirrors, probably because these magical surfaces were thought to capture the soul and help preserve it in the afterlife. Similarly, the Chinese thought that demons only became visible in mirrors, so they put them on their backs to defend themselves from malevolent forces.’
I’ve been reading an interview with Mark Pendergrast about his book MIRROR MIRROR: A History of the Human Love Affair with Reflection – which is definitely going on my wish list. The science, mythology and history of mirrors is a fascinating subject and so important to the development of the Entanglement tale through its three book ride. It wasn’t until I started working on Entanglement and all the research that entailed, just how remarkable mirrors are, how important to the myths, religions and rituals of our ancestors, and how vital to current science.
Richard L. Gregory’s book Mirrors in Mind takes a more scientific approach, but also delves into the art, history and mythology in an attempt to find answers to the mystery of mirrors. As Feynman said, when trying to work out how the mirror flips an image right to left, but never top to bottom, ‘How does the mirror know?’
‘Thousands of years of questioning and experimenting have led to an ever more surprising understanding of light, of matter, and of mind. Who could have guessed that mirrors are like radio aerials and like tuning forks; and yet through the strangeness of light they are not quite like anything else at all.’