One Mask is much like another

The gentle folk who come to visit, with much love and good intentions, of converting me to their way of thinking, usually end up hurrying away, carefully crossing themselves, after offering to pray for me. They sit in my lounge room, they drink my tea, they look at my bookcases and their eclectic mix from gardening and cooking to theology and exorcism, and their faces close down and the pretty masks they wear start to crack.

My friends might think me a little odd, but that’s probably because of the dust bunnies under the lounges, because I never try to encourage their conversion to my beliefs, but I tend to drop my masks with my friends .. because a true friend is not someone you should have to ‘hide’ from. Oh yes, if you have unusual habits and fetishes you might want to hide them, but who knows what skeletons they have in their closets?

I’ve been thinking about masks lately, with all this violent objection to ladies of the Muslim faith wearing burkas, and the necessity of them disrobing in front of security guards, usually male ones, before entering government buildings. I understand the necessity for security, particularly now with I.S. and other terrorist groups doing their bit to make themselves famous by destroying innocent lives, but what does that have to do with the average Muslim who walks our streets, shops in our, and their, shopping centres (since many of them are Australian)? If they end up carrying concealed weapons, they won’t be any different from the average thug with religious or non-religious parents, and they’ll be forced to do it because society seems determined to blame ALL Muslims for one small group – happily forgetting, if they even know about it, the various Inquisitions that destroyed so many good ‘Catholic’ folk and other Christian groups, the extermination of the Jews by Hitler and other dictators, and the constant harassment of people of homosexual and lesbian nature, who continue to be born thousands of years after the various bibles condemned them. Now where is God in that, if God creates all things in ITS image? But that’s another subject.

So many masks. I’d more fear Wednesday Addams and her “I’m a homicidal manic, they look just like everyone else” ( than I would a woman who is honouring her God, her religion, and her family, by keeping her face covered in public. At least that ‘mask’ is easily removed. How do I discover whether the visible smiling face of the next stranger doesn’t hide a tiger?

There was a young lady of Niger
Who smiled as she rode on a tiger;
They returned from the ride
With the lady inside,
And the smile on the face of the tiger.

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(My tiger and his kitten)

And that leads me to the seven deadly sins, which generally provides the mask.


Let’s add a few more.


And there’s even more and others, but I am getting sidetracked again.

Which masks are yours? You see, we don’t wear just one, we wear many, in many layers, and sometimes we can get lost behind more than one, and can take months or years, or countless therapy, to ‘find ourselves’, the true ‘self’, behind all the ‘covers’. Some of them are provided by childhood programming, some of them are karmic, some of it is just sheer nastiness (or is that laziness), and some provided by fear. Some new age teachers call this our ‘shadow nature’, the part of ourselves we have to learn to accept, or better yet, release and never return to. Do I have the strength, or courage, to undo myself, to expose my heart to human judgement (mine), as I slip and slide through the mind field on a major life change that demands so much of me! Of course I do, or I wouldn’t be doing it .. I’d crawl back into my hole and hide.

Well, I stopped hiding many years ago, or so I thought, when I opened the first spiritual healing centre in a country town with 4 cathedrals and 17 churches – talk about over-exposed. The really interesting thing, during all those years, was that only one minister came to visit, condemned me for the pretty rocks on my window sills (crystals ..) without asking what I did, or didn’t, use them for .. (handy but generally not used by me) .. before stomping off down the stairs to take his three and four year old children to deepest Africa to be ‘missionaries’. That was during the Aides epidemic there, now we have Ebola. Have the missionaries come home? I had to wonder why he was exposing his children to all sorts of diseases, and physical dangers, just so he could prove something to someone .. because it wasn’t God. Good works don’t save us, only Grace does. This was many years ago, and I hope they came home safely. I left that town long before they returned.

Masks .. which one are you going to put on today? Will it be the ‘smile in the face of adversity’, or the sulking one because you didn’t get your own way? How about the frazzled one when someone yells at you and you can’t work out either what you did, didn’t do, or whatever it was that triggered it? Tomorrow will be the dutiful daughter mask as I take my mother to a town an hour away, just to go plant shopping (one of her great loves). I hope we get to eat Chinese food for lunch.

And the tiger cat beside me just launched himself onto the desk, where he is ‘loving-up’ the printer and my forehead before turning up his tummy to be rubbed. Now he is the tiger to watch .. 3 rubs and he might bite. Shall I chance it?

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We can pretend this isn’t real …

or we can accept it as part of our new reality, and adapt.

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We are all one family. 

Am I chasing rainbows in wanting each of us to remember the other, to know the other with our hearts, even if our minds never touch, nor our fingers?  Does it matter what clothes you wear, what mask you put on your face to hide your emotions?  Does it matter what name you call yourself, whether you walk, crawl or run?  Does it matter if my skin is one colour and yours another, that my language and yours are different, and the only communication we can share, for a while, is a frown or a smile?  Does it matter that you and I are old, or young, youthful or middle-aged?  Does it matter what colour my hair is or that it does, or doesn’t have curls?  No, none of this matters, because we are all one family – the family of the ‘Most High’, by the multitudes of names it is called.

The Jews say that ‘God’ has 72 names.  Some Christian religions called it Jehovah, other groups within Christianity will only accept God as the name.  The angels call it Abba.  The Muslims call it Allah.  They have a prophet called Mohammad, the Christians have Jesus, also a prophet, honoured by both religions, although the Christians see him as two faced – the face of kindness and the face of cruelty.  The Hindu’s have many gods, much like the Jews and their many names – is it one god playing many roles, or do the Jews honour many gods but only think it ‘one’?  Is Jesus the only son of the Christian God, or are we all sons and daughters of ‘god’ by whatever name?

We are all one family.  Yes, it’s a dysfunctional one, and we can spend far too much time hating where we should love; holding grudges where we should forgive and move on; lying when the truth would hurt one person or another, or perhaps set both of them free.  When you die what do want to be remembered for, by those who come after you – that you spoke your truth as kindly as you could, or that you only spoke with anger?  Is there not enough room in this world for all our truths, since we really don’t know who is right and who is wrong?

Chasing rainbows is defined as “trying to achieve something that is not possible or practical”.  It was seen as not possible to go to the moon and mars, but we went.  Humanity is so creative that it can create a way to transport itself from one world to another .. perhaps it is time that that transportation be from the world of ‘hate’ to the world of ‘love’.  Think how much more good, how much better, happier, safer and more peaceful our world would be if we could stop seeing the differences, one from the other, and find our common reality.  Perhaps then we would know what true love is .. and be one family.  I find that idea both possible and practical, and perhaps the saving grace in a world gone mad.

What do you think?

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Stray thoughts at the beginning of a journey

“Hello” by Shakespeare’s Sister.

Woke up this morning and my head was in a daze
a brave new world has dawned upon the human race
where words are meaningless and everything’s surreal
gonna have to reach my friends to find out how i feel

and if i taste the honey is it really sweet
and do i eat it with my hands or with my feet?
does anybody really listen when i speak
or will i have to say it all again next week

hello, hello turn your radio on
is there anybody out there?
help me sing my song

“Auguries of Innocence”  by William Blake

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

Both the verses I chose of the first song and the first verse of that poem are about perception .. and this whole blog is about perception.  That everything we think we see is an illusion, and all beliefs are either real or false, but that none of us know anything for sure.

Don’t talk to me about what your God is going to come and do ‘at the second coming’.  I am not going to hell because I don’t believe what you believe, and you cannot convince me otherwise, though I might have some fun if you try to, given that I can usually out quote anyone with a bible.

Western society is being coerced into going to war again.  Just look at the movies on the television, the focus of the news, the kids computer games .. we are being ‘numbed’ to violence, and opened up to the fear of the the great ‘what if’ … what if a bomb explodes in my home town, what if ebola spreads across the world .. it just adds to the ‘what if’ load that every person carries, the silent voice that says we must fear each other and fear the future.  That silent voice will destroy humanity, if we let it.

The voice comes through many streams, many forms of conversations; comes with many concepts that appear genuine and wise, but when you look into the heart of the information, you find the twists and lies.  Do you dig deeply into those ‘words without meaning’, because no words are without meaning, but all meanings are ascribed to words through our belief systems.  Change the pattern of human belief and you change reality.  Do you want to change it to include the death of your children, because I know I don’t .. and death is what we will leave them if we, this generation, and the ones before, and the ones after, do not claim back our humanity, our loving hearts, and come back from that world of fear that drives us all.

What is the first step … let me quote my bible – a book of mystery, myth and legend, and if you did deeply enough, some beautiful wisdom:

“Love others as you love yourself; treat everyone as an equal” …. yes I am paraphrasing.  What it means, to me, is – I don’t care what you believe in, I care about how you act, how you love, your truth, your honesty and your strength.

And then we come to my favourite poem .. its call “The Invitation” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer –

It begins –

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

Go and read the rest, go and really think about the words.  There is a lot to learn from that poem, for people seeking answers about themselves.

And lastly my own path

“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

And so begins the journey into the new ‘me’, as the old one slips away.  The angels see each of us as a living rainbow .. how do you see yourself?

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