Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Mask

Isn't it amazing the front we put up in front of everyone? "A kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual" -- Carl Jung

Most of us, including myself, wear a kind of mask which is our persona. It's not something bad, in fact it's useful in certain situations.   According to Carl Jung, we need to develop a healthy and flexible persona that helps us navigate through society, and also allows us to reveal our true selves.

This mask that we put on is something that we start to develop as a child, as we grow older it grows more complex.  According to Jung the absence of a persona is a "a man blind to the reality of the world".  Therefore it is essential to our very being to develop and to start wearing this mask.  Despite that, we long to be seen for who we are, our hopes and our fears acknowledged.  We dream of someone who we can show our True Self to. We want at least one person in our life who we can see clearly for who they are.  A relationship where there are no secrets, no lies. 

A relationship where you don't have to pretend is not easy to find.  In our world, almost every single person we meet is hiding behind something. I realize it is an essential part of society, however, some people develop such a superficial mask their true personality is absent. Also there are those that present themselves as a perfect socially acceptable human being, however behind the mask they are destructive and may even be sadistic. Those are the people that I fear.

On one hand the mask, however essential it may be, is nothing but a form of deception. On the other, the absence of our persona is a form of blindness, it is what Jung calls "a state of disturbed psychic equilibrium". What we need, is to be able to reveal just enough so that we are not blinded, and hide only that which does not make us deceive.

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