There is a beautiful and palatial house of mirrors. A dog snatches some meat from a butcher’s shop, and enters it. Everywhere it looks, the dog sees its own image, with meat between the teeth. The animal instinct moves on two directions – protect your own morsel from being snatched, while making attempts to snatch the other’s share. In the house of mirrors, the dog’s life is spent in alternating spells of growling and baring fangs at the image, and then running around, seeking safety of its own possession. Once in a while, the dog attacks the image, only to hurt itself, and bloodying its own head. With a mind filled with fear, rage, and greed, and a bloodied body, the dog soon takes its last breath.
From another entrance, a young child enters. Everywhere he goes, images stare back at him. There is confusion, ignorance and fear. The child runs from room to room, and the images chase him. Overcome with fear, the child also faces his demise.
Another entrance, and a wise person walks in. He knows of the house of mirrors, and has come to enjoy it. He knows that the image is not a reality, but looking in the mirror, the wise person can see his faults, and attempt correction. He moves around, and uses the various mirrors to continuously improve himself. Having spent a productive day, he happily walks out.
My guru would illustrate the world with this allegory. Life is a house of mirrors, a virtual reality. Lived with rage and greed, a gruesome end is certain. Live it without wisdom, and the end will be less than what was possible. Live it wisely, and you will depart this world happy, improved, and without fear. Guru Granth Sahib says:
Kabeer, that death which the world fears - that departure fills my mind with bliss.
For it is only then that perfect and supreme bliss is obtained.