Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Today I’m feeling the oft-quoted Mencken cliché that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American population. That a walking joke such as Rick Santorum could garner support in Iowa (and in much of Red State ‘Murka) proves the cliché.

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We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.
-- Andre Berthiaume

Einstein once said that if you can't explain it to your grandmother, then you really don’t understand it -- or something like that. And I get that, I really do. When I was attending university, I would spend a lot of time with my then eight-year-old son going over complicated psychological concepts. As with most children at that age, he possessed an insatiable curiosity and when we would do our homework together, he would always ask about my studies (applied psych). Try explaining attachment theory, or object relations to a kid. LOL The thing is he would usually ask the most fundamental questions, often cutting to the core of an issue or area of study. It was cool until one day he turned to me while we were watching TV and asked if the lead character was showing signs of being bi-polar. LMAO

Anyway, I say all this because most of what you will find in here is often like an introduction, in the simplest manner possible, to concepts and practices that often took me years to absorb. Lot’s and lots of jerking off, reading, and application. Sometimes, what happens however is that in translating all this I have to omit important nuances otherwise I would be sitting here writing forever. I encourage any here to pursue further anything they might find of interest herein. I often leave links and references for people so disposed

I remember once going to the movies and while watching the previews, I came across a hilarious commercial. In the commercial, a young, ordinary-looking woman is on her way home and glamorous beautiful faces from glossy magazine covers become animated and talk to her. One says, “You’re fat!” On the bus another face from a magazine a fellow passenger is reading blurts out, “With your figure you should walk!” And on and on it goes until she passes a newsstand and she’s beset by a cacophony of relentless criticism: “You’re no good in bed!” “You’re hopeless,” etc. Eventually the poor woman buys a magazine that, the voiceover explains, is more interested in who you are rather than who you should be. Very clever…

This commercial speaks to a deep truth in our modern society: the relentless pressure to “manage” our image. The word personality comes from the Latin root meaning mask and that’s an interesting point. We all have a huge stake in managing our individual identities, or how others perceive us. There’s a whole economy based on this primal need and it’s called “self-help.” LOL! The masks we wear are varied and the reasons we wear them are really quite simple: we wear masks to hide our true faces from others and sometimes even from ourselves.

You know the masks: the seductive mask of the “sexy siren” or the “innocence” mask, for example. For men, we like wearing the “hero” or tough guy masks. Some of us wear the “black sheep” or “lone wolf” masks. Many of us wear the “I’ve been saved and now I’m spiritual” masks. Others wear the “I’m the Deep Philosopher/ King” mask – that’s a good one. LMAO!

The point is we become so enamored of our masks that sometimes we lose sight that who we really are transcends all of that. We are creatures born with a tremendous amount of potential here on this small blue marble in the middle of nowhere. And we’re confronted with the opportunity to rise above it all and reclaim what is truly ours. The Big Secret is this: you’re just fine the way you are and most of what we like to call growth, or change, is really throwing out all the garbage that obscures who we really are and what we can be.

The cost of wearing a mask is the loss of the chance to develop our real potential. What masks are we attached to? Are you willing to give up your commitment to them in the interest of real growth?

When we attempt to go within to who we really are meant to be, we are confronted with many obstacles and there is a societal interest in keeping you numb and/ or anxious. We live in a consumer-based society that has a huge monetary interest in selling you newer, prettier masks. If we all stopped chasing that mirage and actually woke up to some realities, some very powerful interests would be very much threatened. We buy wholly into this and if you’re even thinking of putting on the “I’m different from all that” mask at this point -- please stop! You’re not that different, sit down and relax.

The point is that we, yes all of us, we all wear masks at a very high cost. Undoing the masquerade takes time, practice, guidance and support.

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…


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