One day, a dervish says to his master, “Sir, I do not think I fully comprehend the notion of ‘being a mirror’. Could you please help me on this?”

The master listens to the dervish and asks him to meet him by the lake next morning. Dervish sets out before dawn. He wonders what his masters will tell him so early in the morning.

They talk by the lake:

-Son, one of your pupils has a spot. Do you know which one?

-Sir, I have been with you since I was very young. There aren’t any mirrors anywhere in our monastery that I know of. I haven’t had the chance to look at my pupils for a long time.

– First close your eyes and tell me which of your pupils has a spot. But don’t tell me the wrong one. If you don’t know, say you don’t know.


The master takes out a piece of mirror from his pocket and holds it to the dervish’s face. Meanwhile, dervish tries to feel which one, but in vain…

-I can’t tell.

-Lesson one: There is nobody blinder than the one who doesn’t want to see. If someone doesn’t want to see and has shut his eyes tight to reality, then it is impossible to hold a mirror to his face.

The master slowly bows his head and tells him to look at a puddle of mud. No matter how carefully dervish looks into it, he cannot see his pupils.

-Lesson two: He who could not clean himself, cannot be a clear mirror for you. Make sure the people you have chosen to be around you are sincere companions.

Dervish listens to his master attentively. Master takes a clean bowl of water from the lake and places in front of the dervish. Just as the dervish is about look into it, the master takes off his sweater and covers dervish’s head. Dervish:

– Sir, you have blocked out the sun. I cannot see anything in the dark.
– Lesson three: The mirror loses its function when the darkness of the mind casts a shadow on the light of the heart. If you want to hold a mirror to someone, you should make sure you have opened your heart to love.

When the master removes the sweater, dervish is able to see with his own eyes, and no matter how long he stares into his pupils he cannot see the spot.

– Master, I still can’t see the spot.

– My dear son, you don’t really have a spot on your pupil. When a person looks with his mind, he sees fault; when he looks with his heart, he sees love. Most of the faults that we believe we have are illusions of false mirrors. A master’s biggest responsibility to his apprentice is to remind him that there is a master within his heart. Truth is hidden in every person’s heart. Our mission is to be a mirror to that truth, and nothing else.


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