Take the plunge – Learning more about ones Mask self
Some of the work that people do to come into personal harmony can involve working with reactionary patterns of personality. These appear like layers that can be removed, much like pealing an onion. As the layers of the personality are exposed it takes time to integrate what is now presented. Gradually, each aspect of the personality is revealed, layer by layer, until the centre or the soul self is reached and the light can be fully experienced.
In essence, the layers of the personality are like masks that we have created in order to survive, to receive love and to be accepted. These masks can also keep us from experiencing our own divinity, or better yet, remembering that divinity. That is why we search outside ourselves first for the truth that lies hidden within. What holds the mask in place is our thoughts, emotions and demands of how we must be. This moves us away from Spiritual nature, and from our inner peace. We do need to experience the opposite polarity to come into harmony or go from one extreme to another. Rather, we can move softly and gently into the centre of who we are authentically and in this our soul is open to the source. It has become the doorway for the Spirit to move through us.
The Creation Of The Mask Self To Mask Our Original Pain
When we are born we are still very connected to the great spiritual wisdom and power through our core. This connection to our core and therefore to spiritual wisdom and power gives the feeling of complete safety and wonder. During the maturation process, this connection slowly fades. It is replaced by parental voices intended to protect us and make us safe. They speak of right and wrong, of good and bad, how to make decisions, and how to act or react in any given situation. As the connection to core fades, our child psyche tries desperately to replace the original innate wisdom with a functioning ego. Unfortunately, the overlay or internalized parental voices can never really do the job. Instead, what is produced is a mask self.
The mask self is our first attempt to right ourselves. With it, we attempt to express who we are in a positive way that is also acceptable to a world that we are afraid will reject us. We present our mask self to the world according to our beliefs of what we think the world says is right, so that we can be accepted and feel safe. The mask self strives for connection with others because that is the “right” thing to do. But it cannot accomplish deep connection because it denies the true nature of the personality. It denies our fear and our negative feelings.
We put our best into the creation of this mask, but it doesn’t work. The mask never succeeds in producing the internal feelings of safety for which we strive. In fact it produces the internal feeling of an imposter because we are trying to prove we are good, and we aren’t good all the time. We feel like fakes, and we become more afraid. So we try harder. We use the best in us to prove that we are good (again, according to internalized parental voices). This produces more fear, especially because we can’t keep it up all the time, more feeling of fakery, more fear, in a building cycle.
The intention of the mask is to protect us from an assumed hostile world by proving that we are good. The intention of the mask is pretence and denial. It denies that its purpose is to cover up pain and anger, because it denies that pain and anger exist within the personality. The mask’s intent is to protect the self by not taking responsibility for any negative actions, thoughts or deeds.
From the perspective of our mask, pain and anger exist only outside the personality. We don’t take any responsibility. Anything negative that happens must be somebody else’s fault. We blame them. That means it must be somebody else that is angry or in pain. The only way to maintain this masquerade is to always try to prove that we are the good ones. Inside, we resent the constant pressure we place on ourselves to be good. We try to go by the rules. Or if we don’t, we try to prove we are right and they are wrong. We resent having to live according to somebody else’s rules. It’s a lot of work. We just want to do what we feel like doing. We get tired, we get angry, we don’t care, we blurt out negative complaints and accusations. We hurt people. The energy that we have held in with the mask twists, pushes, leaks and strikes out at others. And of course we deny that as well, since our intent is to maintain security by proving we are the good ones. Somewhere inside, we enjoy lashing out. Letting out the energy is a relief, even if it isn’t clear and straight, even if we are not acting responsibly when we do it. There is a part of us that enjoys dumping our negativity on someone else. This is called negative pleasure. Its origin is in the lower self.
Negative Pleasure and the Lower Self
I’m sure you can remember feeling the pleasure in some negative action you have done. Any energy movement, negative or positive, is pleasurable. These actions carry pleasure because they are releases of energy that has been stored up inside. If you experience pain when the energy first begins to move, it will always soon be followed by pleasure, because as you release the pain, you also release the creative force, which is always experienced as pleasure.
Negative pleasure originates in our lower self. Our lower self is the part of us that has forgotten who we are. It is the part of our psyche that believes in a separated, negative world and acts accordingly. The lower self is not in denial of negativity. It enjoys it. It has the intention to have negative pleasure. Since the lower self is not in denial of negativity as the mask is, it is more honest than the mask self. The lower self is truthful about its negative intent. It doesn’t pretend to be nice. It is not nice. It puts its self first and makes no bones about it. It says, “I care about me, not you.” It cannot care both about itself and about another because of its world of separation. It enjoys negative pleasure and wants more of it. It knows about the pain within the personality, and it has no intention whatsoever of feeling that pain.
The Higher Self
Of course, during the maturation process, not all our psyche is separated from the core. Part of us is clear and loving without any struggle. It is directly connected to our individual divinity within. It is full of wisdom, love and courage. It has connection to great creative power. it is the Facilitator of all the good that has been created in our lives. It is the part of us that has not forgotten who we are. Wherever there is peace, joy, and fulfillment in your life, that is where your higher self has expressed itself through the creative principle. If you wonder what is meant by “who you really are” or your “true self,” look to these areas of your life. They are an expression of your true self.
Never take a negative area of your life to be an expression of your true self. Negative area of your life are expressions of who you are not. They are examples of how you have blocked the expression of your true self.
The Importance of Intention
The majour difference between the higher self, lower self and the mask self is found in the foundation of underlying intent upon which each is based and in the quality of energy present in any interaction that results from the underlying intent.
What is so confusing about a lot of human interactions is that they are different according to the intent behind them. The words that we speak can come from any of the three places of intent – our higher self, lower self or mask self. The words themselves may say one thing but mean another. The higher self means it when it says, ” We are friends.” The mask self means, “We are friends as long as I am the good one, and you must never challenge the illusion that I am the good one.” The lower self says, “We are friends only to the degree I allow. After that, watch out! Don’t tread too closely because I will use you to get what I want and to avoid my pain. If you get too close to me or my pain, or try to stop me from getting what I want, I will get rid of you.” (In this case get rid of means anything that it takes to stop the person. It might mean simply not talking to them or overpowering them in an argument or a power play, or it may go so far as getting rid of them physically.)