Man in the Mirror: Part 2

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

JAMES 1:23:25 ESV¹

The movie industry has reached such inventive genius that it can infiltrate our imagination and rearrange reality. Just trying to figure out the plot is enough to keep our attention and even implant ideas in our mind that challenge our values.

The “Black Mirror” series on Netflix confronts the physical and psychological terrain of our imagination. It starts from the moment you click on it. “The series begins with a small throbber rotating over a complete black background which turns the screen into a mirror.” At the end of the title sequence, it looks like your screen is broken on purpose.

According to the book Black Mirror and Philosophy¹, Charlie Brooker, the show’s creator said in an interview, “the show is really about the human condition. It’s not a technological problem we have, it’s a human one… when you read about Black Mirror, you sense a dark reflection of society through a [broken humanity].” The schemes that wreak havoc, like mass shootings, explosions and the news that clutter our daily lives are the staple of this series. On the other hand, the search for our true identity through the supernatural has the wellness industry and spiritual centers thriving as they each offer their version of bliss. Our world is shattered and the hearts of many broken. We’re searching for answers to the deepest hungers we can’t fill. Who do we trust? We want to see change in the world but only offer the man in the mirror cosmetic fixes. Who doesn’t want to be well? Who doesn’t want a life free from stress? Who, deep within their heart, doesn’t want to know God or if He really exists? 

According to Genesis 1:26-27², God created mankind as one looking through a mirror. God saw himself through us. Humanity was endowed with free-will, ‘a self-conscious personality’ spiritually as well as physically in the image of the divine. Just like at the end of the title sequence in Black Mirror, the concrete essence of the likeness to God was shattered by sin. The world today is the true mirror of the human heart. It is broken and dark. In his book Polishing the Mirror³, Ram Dass navigates the brokenness of mankind when he says, “How do you get on with it? You give up the things that don’t get you to God. What do you give up? It’s not just material stuff. It’s also the ways you identify yourself, how you feel about yourself… keep giving up your guilt, your anger, and your preoccupation with your own melodrama.” The writer of Hebrews 1:3 confirms that it’s only through Jesus Christ “the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature…” that our nature is transformed into the image of God again. 

To us, Jesus is a mirror in which we see the image of truth and grace, wisdom and virtue, piety and love. Our brokenness is an identity crisis.

¹ Irwin, William. Black Mirror and Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell, 2019.
² The Bible. English Standard Version.

³ Dass, Ram. Polishing the Mirror. Sounds True Publishing, 2013.

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