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The Prism

The Prism is an old photographic exercise, an experiment I did with a piece of polished quartz, carved into a somewhat pyramidal irregular shape, under black light, and which has reminded me of some recent reflections. As I mature with age and the challenges that life presents me with, the mystery of different opinions about the same person has become more clear or simple.

the prism
The Prism – Precious in my Photo Blog

A few days ago I visited an old client and friend to whom I still give some computer training, because he retired a few years ago and is trying to remain active and enterprising. That day I arrived early, either because I had the wrong time or because I happened to arrive early and nothing happens by chance. There was no one at home except the staff.

I ended up starting a conversation with one of them, the one who came to see me at the gate. And so talking of this and that, the employee ended up unburdening sorrows about the bosses, both my friend and his wife. I listened attentively, without questioning any information, opinion or experience, not least because I knew him too and he sounded honest and truthful in everything he said.

Regardless of the fact that not everything may happened exactly as interpreted, the question goes through another view, the prism side. How was my experience with the same person so different? How did the employee complain about attitudes I didn’t know about, for what reasons do we regard people in different ways or for what reasons do we get different facets from people? Let’s say that that selfish and inconsiderate side that the employee complained about the boss had never hit me, I had no reason to complain, his boss had always been right with me, even from the time when we weren’t friends yet, only customer and service provider. And this is not something about power or social status because one is an employee and the other is a boss. This same observation happens between friends, on equal terms. It often happens that a person treats different friends in different ways, sometimes even worse the one who helped him the most and better the one who hurt him the most. It happens between parents, siblings, even lovers. Is it a simple question of human imperfection? 

The Pyramidal Prism

I found myself remembering this old photograph, this exercise that at the time was nothing more than an aesthetic or experimental curiosity; photographing the quartz under the black light I used to apply in the engraving of sensitized screens for silkscreen printing. So, it is as if each one of us were a prism, but an irregular one, since to each side of the personality corresponds a side of the pyramidal prism and our facets or sides are not all equal, some dominate more than others.

And since I have become interested in the study of past lives, I find myself sensing that our prism side destined for each person who passes through our lives may also be conditioned to the karma already created in one or more passed lives, which turns everything into a certain mystery. That person is already conditioned to certain and specific sides of our personality, that person is not destined to know other facets or even the whole, to the extent of the karma the person needs to fulfil, be it good or bad. This vision frees us from the burden of judgement. It is up to us to listen more and judge less.

Should I change my opinion about my friend because of the employee’s complaints? Or should I stick only to the version that my friend used of himself towards me? And here the prism comes in. Life has brought to my attention other sides of the prism that make up my friend, but without them reaching me. Those sides were not meant for me and the reason why the employee got the worst ones is something between them, it’s beyond my understanding, reserved to the mystery of past lives. However, to totally ignore the employee’s complaints doesn’t seem intelligent either, since nothing happens by chance. Maybe the employee was just in need of letting off steam and maybe I was the person chosen by destiny in order to listen to him patiently and quietly without judging anyone so as not to harm anyone, because despite everything the employee chose not to resign and without needing to do so, he would easily find another similar job. And maybe it will serve me as a measure to expand my mind and prepare it for more prisms to come.

This does not mean that we totally abstain from any intervention in situations that call for it, but even in times of action this perspective will give us a different presence of mind. It is also difficult to know when to act and when not to act. If there are obvious situations, there are also some that are not so obvious or not obvious at all. It’s something you learn with time because life is always sending us little signs of guidance, it’s a matter of learning to identify them and interpret them correctly.

It also does not mean that karma is something inevitable in the fundamentalist sense of the word. One of my psychic friends who has already died several years ago, used to guarantee that karma has to be fulfilled, that everything bad that we do in this life returns in the same or the next life. Even if it does not return in the next life, in some life it will. The later it comes, the worse. So the ideal is to reduce bad karma, preventing them from passing on to next lives. 

But karma is not this thing of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. It comes back in the most diverse forms, it transmutes and adapts to the paths that we are carving out, and it also softens to the extent of repentance, if this occurs, but it is not extinguished, it is channelled into something different from its original form, the one that we created in the first place. It is worth this transformation also in the opposite direction, there being no repentance but rejection. The rejection of karma only catapults it into forms equally different from the original, in the worse direction. And I suppose this is what my friend was getting at when he referred to karma so adamantly, is that there is no way to extinguish it before its fulfilment, we can only change it in its form but not in its essence, for better or worse.

So it’s really a matter of human imperfection, but the issue is how this intelligent higher energy whom most call God manages each and everyone, accurately crossing each other’s path as the learning required for soul evolution.

Finally, this image of the irregular pyramidal prism fits both the dynamics of incarnate life and the dynamics of spiritual life. Perhaps a soul at the height of its evolution no longer resembles a prism, but rather a sphere, without edges or vertices, a whole that harmonizes on a wide, round surface… who knows?

The Challenge

The challenge I launch here is that to those who are interested or somehow liked this post send me your own posts on the subject of The Prism, be it in its physical or mathematical form, be it in metaphorical form. It can be a photograph, an illustration, a video, text or poetry. Leave the link in the comments or in pingback. All validated links will be added to the post.


The photo in this post was first published in 2015 on my personal photo blog under the title Precious. The photo is also for sale in the Gallery.

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