What does this ACTUALLY mean, in literal terms?
The most well explained general meaning I could find would be this....."In essence, the expression looks at any place there is a duality, one where half of the duality is deemed “above” while the other half is deemed “below,” and tries to establish a relation between the two."
While the originator of this phrase may have had a specific meaning the phrase itself can have many interpretations because the meaning of it can be applied to various context. The same way in which we use the same catch phrases which can be applied to endless situations.
So a lot of it depends on who's using the phrase to understand what exactly they might be referring to. For example an occultist or a witch of some sorts might be using the phrase as a way of undermining traditional Christian thought. Or it could even be interpreted in the way the Bible states "on earth, as it is in heaven"....A "new ager" might be using it to express all things are ultimately of one origin or expressing a singularity or maybe someone might be trying to say there is reason for all things and so on. So really you have to know the objective of the user.
This has popped up frequently in my synchronicities. Mostly in the form of, that the outside is a reflection of the inside. A while back, I was pretty paranoid that the outside world was LITERALLY a reflection of my inner world, the turmoil, the changing sociopolitical environment (not just the US, but the whole world.)
You can get caught up in a social network or social consciousness if you're not careful. This is where things get weird, this is why you have to be watchful and learn to subdue the mind, the thoughts and the emotions because many times we are being affected by things external to ourselves unknowingly. Powers that be are aware of this factor and use social consciousness as a means to manipulate, influence and control this world in certain directions and it works real well on those who are primarily focused on superficiality and the immediate physical perception. Ironically those being controlled mock outsiders and those who think outside the box and then are deemed stupid, mentally ill, crazy ect ect and they become categorized as outcasts and shunned so that the manipulation may prevail. It happens all the time, you see society being controlled by forces of political, religious and societal trends and then someone comes along and challenges that consciousness and they are targeted, ridiculed and even killed.
This took place in the time of Jesus on a massive scale, where Jesus challenged the authorities that were in control of that part of the world and he was murdered. His message got through because ultimately even though Jesus' message has been deliberately tainted He still managed to alter the face of religion and that power was eventually brought down. Unfortunately it wasn't long before the next power came in and took control, while distorting the same image that came to usher in freedom and the light of God.
Didn't mean to ramble sorry, you just got me thinking about some things. But yeah I get where you're coming from, just be careful and learn to detach yourself from what could be trying to control your output and experiences, your inner peace. Even though you are very much apart of the sociopolitical movement and social consciousness on one level living in this world you also have independence within your inner self/being. This is why I compare consciousness in creation with there being many channels of observation throughout radio signals. You could be thinking and even feeling things that are not even from you because you're the "receiver" so to speak of many various radio signals and frequencies of conscious activity, I know that may sound weird lol but I'm just trying to create an image for you.
It is true as you say on many levels that "the outside is a reflection of the inside" and you just want to make sure you're the watcher and the one who is in control of the conditioning, and the reflection. But if none of this resonates with you just disregard it, sometimes you bring up topics that get me thinking about other similarities!