by Isha Judd –
We pretend all the time in order to be accepted by others, but the irony is that we all do exactly the same thing — everyone else is pretending too. We think we are doing a great job of convincing everyone that “I really like you — you’re great” while at the same time we are thinking, I hate her so much! I never want to see her again! In reality, we’re not fooling anyone — they can all see through our act because they play the same roles themselves!
It takes courage to put down your masks, but surprisingly, when you finally do so, you will receive more approval than ever before, because you will be approving of yourself.
One of the pitfalls on the path of self-realization is the adoption of a “spiritual” mask that replaces the old masks we have learned from society. We get caught up in the intellectual idea of how a spiritual person is meant to look, and we create a spiritual ego. Then, because of our outer appearance, our eating habits, our long hours of practice, or our many followers, we consider ourselves to be in a place of enlightenment, when in fact we are not. We create a new box of ideas and rules about how we are supposed to behave, based on the very teachings that were designed to break our boxes! Absolute completion, or enlightenment, doesn’t have a box. It is unlimited totality — it just keeps expanding and expanding, eternally.
Our masks make us feel safe and comfortable, but comfort is one of the greatest causes of our discontent. We think our masks and the comfort they bring make us happy, but in reality they cause us to stop growing as individuals, leaving us stifled and dissatisfied. Our masks make us rigid and static. They suck the spontaneity, flexibility, and growth out of life.
The greatest aspect of the human experience is evolution, to become more — more excellence and ultimately more love. Until we cast off our masks, we cannot truly evolve.