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The Matsuyama Mirror

"I have brought you a very pretty thing," said he to his wife; "It is called a mirror. Look and tell me what you see inside."

Source - The Matsuyama Mirror, the seventeenth century Japanese folktale (Rakugo).

The integration or humanization of the self is initiated from the conscious side by our making ourselves aware of our selfish aims; we examine our motives and try to form as complete and objective a picture as possible of our own nature. It is an act of self-recollection, a gathering together of what is scattered, of all the things in us that have never been properly related, and a coming to terms with oneself with a view to achieving full consciousness.

- C.G. Jung, Transformation Symbolism in the Mass: The Psychological Meaning of Sacrifice, CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East, par. 400.

It is the Self which builds up the ego. A graphic representation would show first the unknown psychic totality of a human being — thought of as a sphere, not a circle — and then in the upper part of the sphere could be the field of consciousness; anything within this field is conscious to me. The center is the ego complex. What is not connected through some thread of association with my ego complex is unconscious to me. Before this field of consciousness exists, the self-regulating center (the Self is regarded as the totality and the regulating center of the whole personality, and it seems to be present from the very beginning of life) builds up the ego complex through certain emotional and other processes.

If you study the symbolism of the ego complex and of the Self, you will see that the ego has the same structures and is to a great extent a mirror image of this center. We know the representations of the Self in mandala construction, for instance; the ego has the same fourfold subdivision. The center of the Self slowly builds up the ego complex, which then mirrors its original center and which, as we all know, often succumbs to the illusion of being that center.

- Marie-Louise von Franz, The Interpretation of Fairy Tales (A Tale Interpreted: The Three Feathers).

Art: María Simó, 'The Miirror of Matsuyama'

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