Almost from birth the stress and pressures of incarnating into human form begin taking their toll on our personality. Long before we even have a clue as to who we are, we sense that our very sensibilities are under assault from many divergent sources. Our parents, teachers and friends all have a set of parameters which they expect us to form ourselves into. Even as we attempt to reconcile our undiscovered selves with those parameters set down for us, we begin creating and using masks to gain acceptance and avoid corrective measures…to buy us the time we need to figure things out. In the process, we of course begin to realize that parents, teachers and friends are also pretty good at using masks in their dealings with one another. We notice how differently they seem than when dealing with us. Next thing you know, nobody knows who anyone else in the family really is.
Our life partners also have expectations of us which we attempt to live up to. We find these social pressures in every phase of our life, and the older we get, the more complex and interwoven they become until one day we awake to the reality that we are wearing different masks in differing situations, depending on what is expected of us. We take this epiphany with a grain of salt because we also realize everyone else is doing exactly the same thing for pretty much the same reasons. We don these various masks as a kind of temporary safe haven from life’s little pressures and stress. They are a convenient way to communicate to those around us that we have things under control when in reality, we do not. The wearing of masks becomes almost mandatory in today’s workplace, and so we are swept along thru life collecting and using these masks, long since forgetting they began as a temporary solution. These many different masks we all wear are a physical manifestation of the popular philosophy of “Fake it till ya make it“- they are a shortcut we use instead of actually doing the work of becoming the person the mask says we are.
In a way these various masks we wear are like little lies we’re asking others to believe about us. Because it is so expedient we allow these masks to run interference for us in the web of our various relationships…often becoming a different person depending upon surroundings, like human chameleons. Unless we are aware of and manage them; these masks we wear eventually become a slick replacement for an actual personality. We wear them to protect our vulnerabilities, to conceal our pain, true feelings or motives, and to outright deceive others. We wear them like we do sun glasses, to protect & defend, and to conceal our true identity & personality or to conceal the fact we don’t have either. Sometimes even love is a mask, as we seek to have security and meaning in our life, hence the new terms to our lexicon like ‘starter husband’, and ‘trophy wife’, indeed even as we all silently and openly acknowledge “the game of life” the game of love is the game within the game, and to play it, we all wear our share of masks.
In Jeanne Avery’s book “The Rising Sign; your Astrological Mask” she explains how the ascendant in our natal chart actually serves as the mask thru which we allow others to see us. Indeed, maybe that explains why hiding behind masks is nearly second nature to us. Young girls are taught to hide behind the mask of make-up while little boys are taught to hide behind the mask of bravery & competence. We hide our pain behind the mask of a smile and conceal our fear & vulnerability with the mask of anger, and most of all we hide our disappointment with ourselves under the mask of happiness. Like Chinese nesting dolls, we have buried our true selves beneath so many masks that it takes work and patience to find our real, authentic self. Ego is a mask, wealth is a mask, aggression is a mask, superiority is a mask, victim mentality is a mask, and politics is nothing but masks. All too often our words are also masks we hide behind, as when we use pleasant or clever phonaesthetics to conceal our true meaning, or the true nature of things: i.e. seeing a sky full of chemtrails and calling it a partly cloudy day.
The wearing of masks began as a necessity in childhood, and because those childhood fears are so highly resistant to adult logic, we have kept them, allowed everyone else to keep theirs, with the silent agreement that nobody ever calls anyone else for hiding behind a mask. We have turned the game of life into a full-time masquerade ball where just trying to figure out who everyone really is becomes a major challenge, and trying to make sense of things is nearly impossible. Is it really any wonder why disassociative identity disorder (formerly called multiple personality disorder) is so common? The mental health hospitals everywhere are brimming over with people who have lost themselves in the maze of their own defense mechanisms. Maybe we should really look at that. Maybe now would be a good time for a mask bonfire; seeing as we have entered the new golden age of Aquarius…seems appropriate.
As we can see there are many reasons why we all wear these masks, and it has everything to do with choices made early in life. Most folks don’t realize just how powerful a thing choice is, or that there are actually three levels of choice. The first level of choice consists of those things that comprise our belief system and basic self image. The second level of choice includes short term decisions & choices ranging out to several months in the future. The third level of choice consists of long-range planning, goals and life path choices. At first glance this all seems well and good, but there exists a hidden thorn in the three levels of choice, and that is: No second or third level choice can exceed the limits of the first level of choice. Adolescence can be a very tough and challenging period of time as many of us can readily attest to and yet it is precisely this period of time when most of us formed our first level of choice. Out of all the various pressures encountered in adolescence that lead to our first level choices perhaps the worst is the pressure to be a winner. Everybody loves a winner, and society rewards winners handsomely, everybody wants to be a winner! Of course the trouble is that not everybody gets to be a winner. It takes lots of time, work and competition to be a winner … especially competition, not to mention luck; and thru it all your mask must never slip. Tons of pressure. Well let’s just see here, other than winners, what else ya got? Ah, yes…the losers; Nobody loves a loser, especially society, which is why nobody wants to become one. OK, what ya got other than winners & losers? For those who can’t be winners and don’t want to be losers there is the wonderful land of in-between called just getting by.
Visualize a typical disenfranchised youth during this critical period of creating their first level choices. The road to being a “winner” is long and hard, meeting everyone’s expectations & demands of you is exhausting, and, some folks just don’t get the whole concept of ‘better than‘ and competition. So they choose to not be a winner, or a loser; but to just float thru life in the middle, half-way between, the path of least resistance. Now this might be well enough except for that nagging little thorn, the universal law that says no subsequent level of choice can exceed the limits set by the first level of choice. Without knowing or realizing it, so many have crippled their own future and destiny with the choices made when they were young, confused and in pain. Years down the road we forget that ‘deal’ we made with the universe, and cannot seem to fathom why we don’t get that deserved promotion, or why we just can’t seem to “win” no matter how hard we may try. We forget that we opted out of the winners circle and can’t understand what invisible power is holding us stagnant in the middle between success & failure. Now ponder this for a moment: if the thoughts and choices of a traumatized youth are that powerful…imagine the power of the choices you can make now that you have learned so much more than that child knew!
The good news in all of this is that those first level choices made so long ago will operate at that level until we change them; and you can change them any time you want now that you know where to look! I said you can change that programming, I never said it will be easy though, because it isn’t. There will be years of false assumptions to discard as well as a butt load of low self esteem issues to dump. It will also take acknowledging to ourselves that nobody outside of us is responsible for the outcome of those choices which held us back all these years. As you dig down to the core self to access that first level choice and upgrade its programming, you will be peeling back the layers of self-deception and defense mechanisms…and tossing masks upon the bonfire of the vanities.
As it is nowadays we might as well be the people in the movie “Surrogates“- that’s how insulated we’ve become from one another as we all embraced the biggest mask of them all, the internet. Just like Halloween; on the internet we can be whoever we want to be right down to icon & avatar…and best of all you can do it every day of the year, not just one. But should you venture outside beneath the daily dosage of calming chemtrails long enough to say “hello” to a passing stranger, the look on their face will tell you all you need to know. We are a fractured and splintered society; so intricately involved in supporting & maintaining that crafted image of ourselves we allow others to see that we sometimes lose touch with our true authentic self. That is when panic & desperation can creep in, allowing the ego to quietly assert itself.*
If we are not confident enough now to live without our masks, after all the work and spiritual progress we’ve gained, maybe we never will be. What a loss of potential that would be. Giving up our masks feels too risky, the thought of it makes us feel vulnerable but give them up we must each in the fullness of time, as directed through the heart from the soul. We just have to be as motivated as we were when we laid in the original programming, that’s all. I guess I just have a hard time seeing how continued dependence on our social & psychological masks fits in with our spiritual evolution which depends upon us knowing who we are. Everybody bitches about all the phony people in this world yet nobody thinks they are one of them…it must be the new math?
Naturally, media and advertising are right there to exploit & reinforce our masks. For the women it’s “you’re too fat, too thin, too plain, too short, too tall” with a dizzying array of beauty products to solve any (pre-packaged) problem with your looks. While for the men it’s “Drive this, drink that, shave with this & splash this on afterward…and these hot supermodels will all go home with you.” They sell us our masks just like they sell us our religion & politics – very carefully designed to reinforce the feelings of separation & competition. The thing the powers that be fear the most is humanity having a unified collective consciousness, and we cannot achieve that as long as we’re still content to rely on these various masks we use to get through life.
It’s perhaps easy to see how we took to using masks, as they appear in the cultures of a great many peoples across the planet. Masks are highly sought after by collectors, we see them almost everywhere in one form or another, they are ingrained into our very subconscious minds, they seem natural to us. When we actually put on a real mask the anonymous nature of the thing can actually empower us to explore areas of emoting we might normally avoid, or never think of. Ceremonial masks often represent qualities & attributes we wish to embody into ourselves, such as a Hanuman mask for example. Even so, masks are designed for temporary use, to be removed when finished…not pressed into service as a shield against reality.
So here we all are hurdling thru space at 17 thousand miles an hour each of us hiding some or all of our true nature behind an elaborate array of masks. Everybody pretends to be O.K. when we’re not. Everybody pretends to know what it’s all about but none of us really do. We keep donning these masks and going through the motions just as we were taught to do, because nobody ever told you that you could choose something else instead. We’ve been doing these things for so many generations now that to openly criticize the government we must hide behind the anonymous mask. Because we don’t want to be recognized for standing up for freedoms guaranteed us in writing. Because we fear the repercussions. Because we don’t want to lose face.
Go figure, maybe that’s why they call this place “the grand illusion“!
Until next time: Be Good to Each Other !