observance of mirror effects nd its results in examples


Observance V
Dr. Milton H. Erickson, a pioneer in strategie psychotherapy, would often
educate his patients powerfully but indirectly by creating a kind of mirror
effect. Constructing an analogy to make patients see the truth on their own,
he would bypass their resistance to change. When Dr. Erickson treated
married couples complaining of sexual problems, for instance, he often
found that psychotherapy's tradition of direct confrontation and probIernairing only heightened the spouses' resistance and sharpened their differences. Instead, he would draw a husband and wife out on other topics,
often banal ones, trying to find an analogy for the sexual conflict.
In one couple's first session, the pair were discussing their eating

 especially at dinner. The wife preferred the leisurely approach-a
drink before the meal, some appetizers, and then a small main course, all at
a slow, civilized pace. This frustrated the husband-he wanted to get dinner over quickly and to dig right into the main course, the bigger the better.
As the conversation continued, the couple began to catch glimpses of an
analogy to their problems in bed. The moment they made this connection,
however, Dr. Erickson would change the subject, carefully avoiding a discussion of the real problem. 

The couple thought Erickson was just getting to know them and would
deal with the problem directly the next time he saw them. But at the end of
this first session, Dr. 'Erickson directed them to arrange a dinner a few
nights away that would combine each person's desire: The wife would get
the slow meal, including time spent bon ding, and the husband would get
the big dishes he wanted to eat. Without realizing they were acting under
the doctor's gentle guidance, the couple would walk into a mirror of their
problem, and in the mirror they would solve their problems themselves,
ending the evening just as the doctor had hoped-by mirroring the improved dinner dynamies in bed.
In dealing with more severe problems, such as the schizophrenie's
mirror fantasy world of his or her own construction, Dr. Erickson would always try to enter the mirror and work within it. He once treated a hospital
inmate who believed he was Jesus Christ-draping sheets around his
body, talking in vague parables, and bombarding staff and patients with
endless Christian proselytizing. No therapy or drugs seemed to work, until
one day Dr. Erickson went up to the young man and said, "I understand
you have had experience as a carpenter." Being Christ, the patient had to
say that he had had such experience, and Erickson immediately put hirn to
work building bookcases and other useful items, allowing hirn to wear his
Jesus garb. Over the next weeks, as the patient worked on these projects,
his mind became less occupied with Jesus fantasies and more focused on
his labor. As the carpentry work took precedence, a psychic shift took effeet: The religious fantasies remained, but faded comfortably into the background, allowing the man to function in society.
Communication depends on metaphors and symbols, which are the basis
of language itself. A metaphor is a kind of mirror to the concrete and real,
which it often expresses more clearly and deeply than a literal description
does. When you are dealing with the intractable willpower of other people,
direct communication often only heightens their resistance.
This happens most clearly when you complain about people's behavior, particularly in sensitive areas such as their lovemaking. You will effect
a far more lasting change if, like Dr. Erickson, you construct an analogy, a
symbolic mirror of the situation, and guide the other through it. As Christ
hirnself understood, talking in parables is often the best way to teach a lesson, for it allows people to realize the truth on their OWll.
When dealing with people who are lost in the reflections of fantasy
worlds (including a host of people who do not live in mental hospitals),
never try to push them into reality by shattering their mirrors. Instead,
enter their world and operate inside it, under their rules, gently guiding
them out of the hall of mirrors they have entered.
Observance VI
The great sixteenth-century Japanese tea master Takeno Sho-o once
passed by a house and noticed a young man watering flowers near his front
gate. Two things caught Sho-o's attention-first, the graceful way the man
performed his task; and, 

second, the stunningly beautiful rose of Sharon
blossoms that bloomed in the garden. He stopped and introduced hirnself
to the man, whose name was Sen no Rikyu. Sho-o wanted to stay, but he
had a prior engagement and had to hurry off. Before he left, however,
Rikyu invited hirn to take tea with him the following morning. Sho-o happily accepted.
When Sho-o opened the garden gate the next day, he was horrified to
see that not a single flower remained. More than anything else, he had
come to see the rose of Sharon blossoms that he had not had the time to appreciate the day before; now, disappointed, he started to leave, but at the
gate he stopped hirnself, and decided to enter Sen no Rikyu's tea room. Immediately inside, he stopped in his tracks and gazed in astonishment: Before hirn a vase hung from the ceiling, and in the vase stood a single rose of
Sharon blossom, 

the most beautiful in the garden. Somehow Sen no Rikyu
had read his guest's thoughts, and, with this one eloquent gesture, had
demonstrated that this day guest and host would be in perfect harmony.
Sen no Rikyu went on to become the most famous tea master of all,
and his trademark was this uncanny ability to harmonize hirnself with his
guests' thoughts and to think one step ahead, enchanting them by adapting
to their taste.
One day Rikyu was invited to tea by Yamashina Hechigwan, an adLAW 44 387
388 LAW 44
mirer of the tea ceremony but also a man with a vivid sense of humor.
When Rikyu arrived at Hechigwan's horne, he found the garden gate shut,
so he opened it to look for the host. On the other side of the gate he saw
that someone had first dug a ditch, then carefully covered it over with canvas and earth.

 Realizing that Hechigwan had planned a practical joke, he
obligingly walked right into the ditch, muddying his clothes in the process.
Apparently horrified, Hechigwan came running out, and hurried
Rikyu to a bath that for some inexplicable reason stood already prepared.
After bathing, Rikyu joined Hechigwan in the tea ceremony, which both
enjoyed immensely, sharing a laugh about the accident. Later Sen no
Rikyu explained to a friend that he had heard about Hechigwan's practical
joke beforehand, "But since it should always be one's aim to conform to
the wishes of one's host, I fell into the hole knowingly and thus assured the
success of the meeting. 

Tea is by no means mere obsequiousness, but there
is no tea where the host and guest are not in harmony with one another."
Hechigwan's vision of the dignified Sen no Rikyu at the bottom of a ditch
had pleased him endlessly, but Rikyu had gained a pleasure of his own
in complying with his host's wish and watching him amuse hirnself in
this way.
Sen no Rikyu was no magician or seer-he watched those around hirn
acutely, plumbing the subtle gestures that revealed a hidden desire, then
producing that desire's image. Although Sho-o never spoke of being enchanted by the rose of Sharon blossoms, Rikyu read it in his eyes. If mirroring a person's desires meant falling into a ditch, so be it. Rikyu's power
resided in his skillful use of the Courtier's Mirror, which gave hirn the appearance of an unusual ability to see into other people.
Learn to manipulate the Courtier's MirrOf, for it will bring you great
power. Study people's eyes, follow their gestures-surer barometers of pain
and pleasure than any spoken word. Notice and remember the details-the
clothing, the choice of friends, the daily habits, the tossed-out remarksthat reveal hidden and rarely indulged desires. Soak it all in, find out what
lies under the surface, then make yourself the mirror of their unspoken
selves. That is the key to this power: The other person has not asked for
your consideration, has not mentioned his pleasure in the rose of Sharon,
and when you reflect it back to hirn his pleasure is heightened because it is
unasked for. Remember: The wordless communication, the indirect compliment, contains the most power. No one can resist the enchantment of the
Courtier's Mirror.
Observance VII
Yellow Kid Weil, con artist extraordinaire, used the Deceiver's Mirror in
his most brilliant cons. Most audacious of all was his re-creation of a bank
in Muncie, Indiana. When Weil read one day that the Merchants Bank in
Muncie had moved, he saw an opportunity he could not pass up. 

Weil rented out the original Merchants building, which still contained
bank furniture, complete with teller windows. He bought money bags,
stenciled a bank's invented name on them, filled them with steel washers,
and arrayed them impressively behind the teller windows, along with bundIes of boodle-real bills hiding newspaper cut to size. For his bank's staff
and customers Weil hired gambIers, bookies, girls from local bawdy
houses, and other assorted confederates. He even had a local thug pose as a
bank dick. 

Claiming to be the broker for a certificate investment the bank was offering, Weil would fish the waters and hook the proper wealthy sucker. He
would bring this man to the bank and ask to see the president. An "officer"
of the bank would tell them that they had to wait, which only heightened
the realism of the con-one always has to wait to see the bank president.
And as they waited the bank would bustle with banklike activity, as call
girls and bookies in disguise floated in and out, making deposits and withdrawals and tipping their hats to the phony bank dick. Lulled by this perfeet copy of reality, the sucker would deposit $50,000 into the fake bank
without a worry in the world.
Over the years Weil did the same thing with a deserted yacht club, an
abandoned brokerage office, a relocated real estate office, and a completely realistic gambling club.

The mirroring of reality offers immense deceptive powers. The right uniform, the perfect accent, the proper props--the deception cannot be deciphered because it is enmeshed in a simulation of reality. People have an
intense desire and need to believe, and their first instinct is to trust a wellconstrueted facade, to mistake it for reality. After all, we cannot go around
doubting the reality of everything we see-that would be too exhausting.
We habitually accept appearances, and this is a credulity you can use.
In this particular game it is the first moment that counts the most. If
YOUf suckers' suspicions are not raised by their first glance at the mirror's
reflection, they will stay suppressed. Once they enter your hall of mirrors,
they will be unable to distinguish the real from the fake, and it will become
easier and easier to deceive them. Remember: Study the world's surfaces
and leam to mirror them in your habits, your manner, YOUf clothes. Like a
camivorous plant, to unsuspecting insects you will look like all the other
plants in the field.

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