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Our contempt looks good
We practice in the mirror
better to perform

From → haiku, poetry

  1. Evidence life is a drama.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Have you heard or read Alan Watts on this topic and the mask/persona use and their original word meanings?


    • I’ve heard a couple of Alan Watts tapes on related subjects and read The book on the taboo against knowing who you are a long time ago, but I don’t recall anything about the etymology of mask/persona.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The word person comes from the Latin persona, which was the mask worn in Greek and Roman drama 🎭. It’s funny how the word use developed into what is actually going on. Now to be a real person is actually to be a genuine fake.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think that’s true actually. As Harry Frankfurt, the Princeton philosopher of bullshit, said, “Sincerity itself is bullshit”.

          Striving to be ‘true to yourself’ is futile as ultimately there is no ‘self’. The Buddha used the metaphor of an onion – you keep peeling off layers until you finally arrive at … nothing. But you could also say it’s masks all the way down.

          To Frankfurt the pursuit of sincerity is an escape from realism, and he’s down on anti-realism. But I am an anti-realist and to me sincerity is an escape from that. It’s an attempt to project a ‘real self’ as a sort of Cartesian anchor from which all other phenomena can derive a fixed relationship. An attempt to coalesce ‘reality’ around the ‘real me’.

          But at least it beats insincerity.

          Liked by 1 person

        • It beats insincerity, but it doesn’t beat honesty. Even honesty about our negative traits is more refreshing than playing the part of the mask—in all sincerity, of course.
          What’s interesting is people actually know this and practice this in their everyday lives. There’s a business mask, a church mask, a friends mask, the mask you wear at grandmas house, etc. The only time they can actually be themselves is behind the wheel in a car or on the toilet. There is no other getting away from the role-play unless you just refuse the game entirely.


        • but why assume that Self refers to ‘something’ rather than ‘Nothing’?
          Sri Ramana’s Self is same as buddhist void.

          and Nisa has a marvelous saying “Always think ‘I am nothing’ and you will mature fast”. same thing. no-thing😁


        • I dunno about you but when I’m on the dunny I often find myself ‘rehearsing’ some sort of persona I intend to project in an attempt to communicate something to someone. Something about unloading shit puts me in that frame of mind.

          A former neighbour of mine insists she has no masks and is always herself. She’s also one of the most insincere people I’ve ever met. All “fake it ’til you make it” unexamined affirmations about what she wants to be, which for her is essentially the branding she tries to flog. It’s not that she lies a lot more than most people but she bullshits constantly.

          The useful distinction Frankfurt makes is that liars think they know the truth and seek to deliberately misrepresent it. Bullshitters don’t care one way or the other; they’re entirely focused on the impression they’re trying to make.

          I think my ex-neighbour doesn’t think she wears masks because she is the masks. She’s completely invested in her concocted public persona and has no contact with a private self. In her case it’s bullshit all the way down. Maybe she’s enlightened.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Haha. Maybe she is… but I doubt it. More like un-awaringly self absorbed insecurity—Imposter syndrome.


        • but why assume that Self refers to ‘something’ rather than ‘Nothing’?
          Sri Ramana’s Self is same as buddhist void.

          Even if the assumption isn’t the problem there’s still thought habits that come as baggage with the use of language. We use words to refer to ‘things’ so it’s hard to avoid treating a word – even ‘nothing’ – as a signpost to something.

          The tendency [is] always strong to believe that whatever receives a name must be an entity or being, having an independent existence of its own. – John Stuart Mill

          Maybe that’s why Sri Ramana always insisted silence is the best upadesa. To throw a word at something is to obscure it. To throw a word at nothing is downright misleading.

          But as I’ve said before, I think the use of capital-S ‘Self’ in neo-advaita is particularly problematic. Western thought has thousands of years of habitually believing in a separate self, soul or spirit to overcome. The Enlightenment may have dethroned a separate deity but it in no way overcame those assumptions, even in its ultimate rejection of Cartesian dualism (as the fundamental incoherence of mind-brain monism in the mind sciences demonstrates).

          Then New Thought, humanistic/transpersonal psychology, misappropriated Asian and indigenous belief systems and consumerist marketing practices were blended to create the New Age and ‘Self’ was elevated to the status of Deity to supplant the rotting remains of the Abrahamic God.

          So when you say ‘Self’ to a New Age neo-advaitist you’re not talking about nothing. You’re referring to the God of Narcissism marketers promote as Nirguna Brahman.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. More like very poor self-esteem she’s constantly trying to hide (mostly from herself) behind a screen of shallow self-confidence.

    The problem is the bullshit she tells herself (and everyone else) about herself is constantly eroding through contact with reality. So she needs to work full time at shoring it up with fresh bullshit while shutting down anyone who might threaten it by tossing truth in her direction. She identifies with the bullshit so truth is an existential threat.

    She’s a bit like Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, fending off reality with the constant reaffirmation “I am well liked” and the conviction that being well liked is a sure fire ticket to success.

    Liked by 1 person

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