THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS

In Philadelphia a police magistrate sobers up his daily haul of drunks with a big mirror on the station house wall. They don’t like what they see, and most of them are ready to take the pledge after one good look. If this mirror trick works, we can expect most of our metropolitan station houses to be renovated along the lines of the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. Anything to cut down on the hordes of smashed, schnoggered inebriates who clutter the magistrate’s blotter—more than 10,000 this year in the station which now has the mirror!

No doubt we will soon have some psychological studies on mirror therapy. Perhaps the psychoanalyst’s couch might be equipped with a mirror on the ceiling. Short of Cinemascope, there is nothing like a mirror to see yourself as others see you.

There seems to be one difficulty, however. Long before the station house had a mirror, most of the bars were lined with them. Somehow the mirror seems to work better when a hangover has made a man more reflective. The behavior of certain Hollywood citizens who have a maximum installation of bedroom mirrors suggests that plate glass alone is not the answer. If Narcissus had been furnished with modern mirrors he might have perished of self-love on the spot. The daily mirror reveals one’s least secret admirer.

There has been one substantial improvement on mirrors for spiritual therapy. The women who ministered at the door of the tent of meeting brought their brass mirrors to Moses, and he cast them into a laver, according to the pattern he received in the Mount. A mirror never flatters; a morning-after mirror may bring the truth of despair. But only a laver cleanses.

James exhorts us to look into the mirror of the Word, not as idle spectators, ...

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