The Greek word persona–from which we get the word “person”–is usually translated as “mask”, and refers to the way we operate in the world, as mask-wearing actors in a theater. As our awareness of ourselves expands, it becomes clearer and clearer that this mask is an imposing limitation on a much more expansive, innate consciousness.
In Indian scriptural analyses, they often use the sanscrit word upadhi–meaning “limited adjunct”–to describe the way we are socially conditioned to fit into a group, at the expense of losing that expansive awareness. The more I read, travel and meditate, the more I find that I “loosen” that conditioning and begin to respond to the world in more authentic and “improvised” ways, instead of by mere repetition or the copying of others’ behaviors. I occasionally respond in ways that surprise even myself, which I love.
Today, all of this for some reason makes me think of the simple cable box next to my TV. I like to think it receives channels, but in reality the signal sent out by the cable company is going everywhere, all over the country, for free.
No, my friends, what the cable box actually does is, it scrambles all the channels–except the ones we pay for!