History and Development
It's a simple physical concept, just two mirrors at right angles.
Mentioned in Roman times at least once in AD 40. Patented in 1887 by a Catholic priest in England. Never seen as anything more than a novelty. Back then, they didn’t even have words for what is going on with ourselves in mirrors - words such as personality, interactional continuity, feedback loops, brain hemisphere differences, self-awareness and development.
Rediscovered in 1982 by John Walter through an accidental encounter with two mirrors in a bathroom. He was stunned by what he saw, and the intense feeling of recognition he felt. ”There you are!” he said. Instead of a challenging and essentially fake version of himself, the man he saw in felt real. His smile appeared warm and genuine for the first time, and it didn't go away. This “True Mirror” effect was a brand new discovery
Mr. Walter began developing these mirrors in 1992 with perfect seams using front surface mirrors. He also began showing it to people and developing theories that explained why the true reflection should be so different.
After 20 years and tens of thousands of viewings, he found some surprising results:
Roughly, in almost every demographic, 10% immediately like what they see and get it at a personal level. Its a good sign usually - people who are more artistic, curious, vivacious, open, self developed and perceptive, usually fall into this category
10% kind of like it, or at least like the concept itself. They are usually willing to learn about things even if they don’t immediately see the value or effect for themselves.
30% see no difference. They are often more no-nonsense, business minded, and value rationality over intuition, They often don’t think too much about the importance of image or deep, emotionally-integrated personal development. Or, sometimes it's just that they've just become conditioned to stare at themselves in mirrors without expression - and usually you need an expression to see the true differences.
50% are highly disconcerted, dislike it or don't even want to look. This new view is foreign to them, and so, unwelcome. In addition, the perceptual effect of exaggerated asymmetries when first viewing one's self in this mirror can be very challenging and off-putting.
The connection to our understanding of what “Self” is that can be engendered by repeatedly 'visiting' with one's True Self through this mirror can be superficial, or it can be profound. Only further research can tell us for why some people with respond so deeply, while others remain unmoved. In theory, what happens in a backwards mirror is the opposite of what is natural- we get disconnected from our true nature. The action stops in our faces and brains, and we become isolated. If humans, with their amazing intelligence and understanding, can establish a dynamic feedback loop to themselves, and especially in an experimental setting over time, who knows what they will discover and develop?
We only know one thing for sure: for some, this mirror really is a tool that promotes radical self-acceptance, self-understanding, and self-empathy, and can even revolutionize self-image.
Watch this space for some remarkable results!