Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘masks’

Who's Hiding Inside

Who’s Hiding Inside

 

Tucked away within a slime covered oyster, one lying in the murky depths of the swirling ocean, lies a pearl of great price. The divers of indigenous peoples take their life in their hands to dive deep to bring to the surface these watery treasures, for sale and display. Likewise it takes a level of  daring for us to enter the murky depths of our inner world to discover what lies beneath. It’s a dive that many of us refuse to take, particularly, may I tentatively suggest, those of us who claim to follow the Nazarene. Within the confines of both conservative and progressive belief systems, inner diving is looked upon with great suspicion. Labelled as a form of  self-absorption, a wasteful narcissism, we’re advised not to dabble our toes in the waters of Self.

For the conservative disciple, Jesus/Yeshua, is all we need. We keep looking outwards at mental projections of his death and resurrection, believing that we’re somehow saved from an eternity outside the reach of God’s love. Of course a measure of inner knowledge is occasionally suggested, but it refers only to the indwelling Spirit that has somehow come to take up residence within the faithful believer. Now where exactly Spirit is believed to have settled isn’t really explained, with both soul (psyche) and spirit (ours) bandied around as religious buzz words without any real explanation. No, the emphasis is primarily one of relating to an external God, One who is somehow out there. Mission, the evangelisation of others, is the overarching goal of the conservative believer, with very little time left for Self exploration and inner knowledge. Brainwashed that such introversion is for the selfish New Age types, the pearl is left to sit within the encrusted shell of ego, our wounded and dare I say it, unhealed psyche-soul.

For the progressive too, the inner search for meaning is also a somewhat Don Quixote waste of time. Rightly believing the  Nazarene to be a revolutionary of the scapegoating social order, the Progressive sets out of a Love mission to show the compassion of God to others. No airy-fairy pie-in-the-sky love for the Progressive, but a practical siding with the victims of society in a sleeves rolled-up kind of way. For the Progressive the Nazarene is to be found in the tear-stained face of others. A vital part of the salvation narrative but not the whole story. For the Progressive the inner world is one of angst and pain, the drivers of their compassion for wounded others. Yet, they too seem reluctant to explore their own inner world, preferring to explore the inner world of others instead. Much less painful and perhaps much more ego boosting. No, the Progressive follower of the Nazarene tends to see the Queendom-Kingdom without, in the mess of the here and now. The realm of Divine Love within is one that is believed but not really sought. More important things to do in our earthed, yet partial take on the Nazarene and his message.

Both religious tribes tend to view each other with deep suspicion while leaving the inner journey thing to the mystics of other traditions. Such inner travellers are viewed as a bit of a waste of space and those to be pitied with their tales of self-knowledge and an inner Presence. Get into that stuff too much and you’ll soon be living  at the top of an Egyptian desert pole or, more likely, taking a much-needed break in a mental health institution.

No, let’s face it. Inner knowledge isn’t top of the Yeshua followers to do list. Best left to the Mind, Body, Spirit brigade and their supposed, uncaring narcissism. And yet, the divine portal, the pearl of the human spirit, still lies deep within, growing and crying out for expression. And expression it will eventually get.

When the masks of ego fall away during the performance we call life, when the slime of our shell-like ego is washed away in the storms that beset us, when something breaks within, opening the clamp-like grip of our psyche-soul to reveal a touch of Source, the divine deposit that makes us who we are. Our authentic self, that part of us untouched by pain and struggle, that centre that flows into the Energy of God.

And the way in?

Silence and reflection as we lie on the Divine Psychiatrist’s couch, willing to meet our shadow Self with all its warts and deep felt pain. A passer-by on our journey Home, one we can’t ignore but need to embrace as we walk towards the Light. Such sessions aren’t the result of strenuous Self-Improvement effort but the co-operation of a psyche-soul that knows the time has come to relinquish control. The day of ego has passed and Divine Love begins to do its healing, yet painful thing.

Is it any wonder that we keep busy with Jesus? Better an outside Saviour than one who walks with us through the valley of psyche-soul, the valley of death into the pastures lands of spirit-Self and Divine Love.

Now where did I put that mask?

http://amzn.to/NCDf3k

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Sorry, Do I Know You?

Sorry, Do I Know You?

 

Without doubt life’s a weird dance. A 70+ years’performance with all the intricate twists and turns of inter-personal relationships and attachments. The longer I live the less I seem to know. Yet, maybe that’s the way it was meant to be. At the end of it all maybe we’ll just fall into the compassionate arms of Mystery having done our thing on the dance floor of space-time.

One of the most baffling elements in life is our perception of those close to us. We get to a place where we think we know them, only to be shocked and surprised by some of their newly emerging hidden layers. At times I wonder if we’re just relating to a projection of ourselves – an idealised me, rather than the real other, whoever that may be. I suspect that the majority of our daily interactions operate on this semi-delusional basis. All that we know about the other is the mask which they wear with pride. A camouflaged disguise to throw us off the scent of their inner brokenness and pain. Often, we are merely two masks boosting each others egos, a little mutual appreciation society that gets us both through the day.

Of course we can easily switch masks at the drop of a psycho-spiritual hat. Our numerous little sub-personalities, those that comprise ego, have quite a store of them from which to draw upon. A face for every situation under the sun methinks. Like some frantic trick or treater  we are skilled at flashing up a new face in order to get what we need, viz. a little care and attention to numb our debilitating internal pain. Is it any wonder that relationships come and go, prospering only to eventually hit the rocks of estrangement? Our friend has repeatedly seen all our faces and is growing totally bored with them. Time to move on and admire a new set of masks. “So long! It’s been nice knowing you, or more accurately, not knowing you!”

The dance of the masks has many stages on which to do its thing. Marriage is a classic example of such a performance area. Many marriages break down as the power of the illusion begins to lose its efficacy, finally revealing what the other person was really like all along. Paradoxically, marital mask wearing is a pretty dangerous game, for as it draws us ever closer together, we automatically open ourselves up to the possibility of our mask slipping. Our fantastical romantic projections fall away, leaving us with just another flawed human being, one crying out for authenticity and love. Shocked, some of us miraculously find a new love within, one with which to embrace the other’s now deeply apparent brokenness. Others, exhausted by the endless marrital games of hide and seek, decide enough is another and run for the nearest divorce lawyer. Licking our relational wounds we hide away until another mesmerising mask passes our way, enticing us into a brand new love dance.

Collective mask dances also prove to be potent protectors  in our ego’s defensive armoury. “There’s safety in numbers,” we reason before signing up and joining in. Bumping into numerous others on the dance floor of communal swing, makes us feel much safer for a while. Much social belonging takes this tantalising form. Yet, we interact on the basis of keeping our hidden Self behind a jolly veil of whole-hearted participation. Sadly, a high proportion of our religious involvements within those pietistic families known as church, tend to fall into this category. Churches aren’t really set up for stark realities, for such realities would explode the often superficial group dynamic almost as soon as it was established. No, we all have available to hand a convincing religious self, a devout mask with which to deal with the depth of interaction required in our particular sect of choice. Just turning up with a beatific smile each Sunday is all that’s required for some groups. Others ask a lot more of us, in terms of time, energy and above all cash, along with a zealous believer’s mask, one that reinforces the control of the collective group narrative. Yet, as soon as reality begins to break through an unwelcome chink in a member’s psycho-spiritual armour and their mask falls to the ground, the collective quickly offers them a replacement mask, one to be pitied and prayed for in the continuing religious dance. Of course, the alternative response is a swift expulsion, a communal act of isolation that sends the maskless one out into the desert darkness of unbelief.

So, when we interact with those around us today, let’s see if we can identify our mutual, multifaceted masks. For behind such veneers lie real people, those buried in the pain of ego entanglement. A little act of courage on our part, may see us removing one of our precious masks, thus allowing the other to reciprocate. The first, healing steps toward a genuinely authentic connection. Yet, to achieve such an intimate level of inter-personal knowing first requires our own internal knowing. Only Spirit can draw us into our own persoanl dark room, that Silence where we sit naked and alone with Source. But more of that next week.

http://amzn.to/NCDf3k

 

Read Full Post »

Masks

Masks

Do we really know those closest to us, indeed, do we really know our Selves?

We generally walk around, bumping off our fellow humanoids like the ball in a pinball machine, whilst falling for the masks  they wear in the somewhat whacky world of human interaction. Like actors in a grand Venetian drama we strut, or rather, stumble around the stage of life in a relational stupor.

So are we all devious little creatures deliberately hiding our true self to those without?

Surprisingly, I believe not, for most of the time we’re not aware of which of our repertoire of masks we’re actually wearing!

May I suggest that our masks are initially the personalized projections of others upon us. Let me explain.

The Shadowlands reality of this space-time world, is, I believe, merely a perceived reality. A flat 2-D impression of a mystery filled 3-D + Source Reality. The human brain for all its marvelous complexity is actually reductionist in nature. Bombarded with a storm of incoming external and internal stimuli it draws a simplified sketch of our present state of being; one that helps us to maintain a functioning level of sanity in the swirling ocean of impulses called life.

In other words perception is the interpreter of our reality. This explains why I believe someone to be a scoundrel whilst another believes them to be a saint. Our perceptions, our decipherers of external stimuli are clearly on different settings.

So when we make up our mind about someone we’re doing so on the basis of our perception of them. In other words we’re creating a mask or persona for them, one that we place upon them every time we meet up. We regularly relate to them on the basis of the mask.

As the other reads our relational response to their mask they will conform to their perceived role in one of two ways. They will play along with our scripted role for them or they will rip off the mask and break off the somewhat unreal relationship. Let’s face it, much of our human interaction is role play, the adaptation of our Self image to the perceptions of others. This built up and somewhat manufactured Self is none other than the ego, the me in which we take refuge from the threat of further rejection and psychological pain.

The abused wife is willing to play the role of victim until another role is graciously offered to her by another director, one far away from her violent leading man, on another stage of self- perception.

So is there really anyone lying under our historic collection of projected masks?

I believe so.

Under the make-up of our social self lies an embryonic image, one placed in the depths of our being by the Creative Director of our human drama. This image is marinated in Divine Authenticity; it’s the real deal; the reflected image of our Source Love. To have this Self revealed, often through the painful stripping away of ego masks is true freedom and a homecoming of the most intimate kind.

The Nazarene, that mask-less prophet from another Stage, calls us into such a freedom. Mentored into the ways of Divine Love, we can finally touch base with our true Self; One that doesn’t require the imprisoning applause of the audience without.

http://www.amazon.com/author/dylanmorrison

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: