Roles As Masks Replace Self
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- Discovery Demands 5TP: The Evolution of Perspective
“The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.”–Socrates
Self is the space and place inside that composes you. Self is the inner container, host, and vessel. Self is not the contents of the container. Self is not the actions of the container. The self does not change when the contents change.
he changes in behaviors of the container do not change the container. Self cannot be changed by people. Self cannot be changed by changing habits. Self no more changes by changing feelings, thoughts, behaviors, or experiences than the body changes by changing clothes. Self has not changed, but what has changed are feelings, thoughts, behaviors, habits, and experiences.
A role is a set of behaviors that you are supposed to perform and that you are limited to in a specific set of situations. Just as you are limited in the moves you can make when you play a game such as chess or checkers, so too are your options limited when you play the role of father, mother, brother, sister, teacher, counselor, doctor, etc. No one is a role, but people should perform roles. For instance, no one has ever been a doctor or a lawyer. But many people have acted like a doctor or a lawyer by learning the role of doctor or lawyer.
Roles are what you perform. Roles are behavior sets that you follow. Roles are guidelines for behavior that help us to interact. Roles are not people and people are not roles. Roles are true when you follow them and are aware that you are following a role.
For instance, we want you to follow your role as a responsible and licensed car driver and not any desires to act as a mean or reckless car driver. Your driver role is to stop at a red light whether or not you feel like it. Your driver role is to stop for a school bus whether or not you think you need to.
Roles are helpful and masks are hurtful. Roles keep you within the bounds of your duties whereas masks hide your true intentions. Roles are real and masks are phony. Roles are guidelines and masks are deceptions. Roles are functions and masks are games.
Masks are a perversion of roles. A mask is either a role that you hide behind or a role that you fight being. When you identify with a mask, you seek to be known as the mask instead of as your self. Masks are phony because you identify with the mask and want others to identify you with the mask when you are not the mask. When you resist being a mask, you are fighting a false battle as you think you have to fight from being a mask or all masks when you do not. No one can be a mask.
People can only appear as a mask. We often mistake people for their roles and so create the fiction of people being masks. But no one has ever been or ever will be a mask or a role though they perform the role a lot of the time. Your feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and experiences come and go but you remain and therefore you are not them.
Masks are what you wear to hide behind. Masks divide self from self. Masks are the device of the phony. Masks are a pretense. Masks are lies. For instance, beware those who smile all the time as they are hiding their real intentions and will likely stab you in the back when they get the chance.
Split role-awareness is what happens when you give your other-attention to the appearance of a role you are playing so that you can watch to see if you are successfully performing it. And you give your self-attention to thoughts of what the role is in order to better become the role. This division is experienced many ways including as conflict and the GAADSAP emotions: guilt, anxiety, attached, depression, shame, anger, pride. Bad actors in movies and plays make this mistake frequently.
Self-confidence is absurd as self is not a doing but a host. However, role-confidence is natural based on experience. When you have performed, practiced, studied, and had experience successful performing a role–then it is natural to have confidence that you can and will perform that role successfully.
Role-surrender is what the wise do once they have learned and practiced a role. In role-surrender, you turn your performance of the role over to Energy, to Spirit. The role is then performed through you in a magnificent manner. You make no effort to complete the role. You do not identify with the role. You are under the performance of the role.
- Learn to accept and perform roles.
- Learn to differentiate self from roles.
- When you identify with roles they then become masks.
- When roles become masks, they replace you.
- More on the 5TP: Pages by Topic: 5 Thinking Positions