The view of ego as an array of functional /dysfunctional masks

Use this forum to discuss the April 2023 Philosophy Book of the MonthThe Unfakeable Code®: Take Back Control, Lead Authentically and Live Freely on Your Terms by Tony Jeton Selimi
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Jenna Padayachee
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The view of ego as an array of functional /dysfunctional masks

Post by Jenna Padayachee »

I am enjoying pages 51 onwards in this book as it discusses how we use various masks in our existence, often shielding our authentic soul expression.
Upon reflection, I view the various masks I have used in my own life as much as I learned about the masks of others I have interacted with.
Often, I am led back to my soul; however, I have noticed in the society I exist, people are happier with using masks ( it is deemed reality), and the soul is
something that is only spoken about during certain occasions( funerals).

"Your self-deceptive persona is so intelligent that it takes many forms throughout your life, and it never stops changing the mask. It evolves with every fake persona you show to the world, and it has a unique purpose throughout your life. It can make you die, or it can help you to survive, to hide from the abusers, the bullies, the racists, the narcissists, the sadists, and the many people you may come across who try to inflict you with unbearable pain. “Why would they do that?” you ask. It’s because they, too are living in pain." Page 51-52.

I find this particular extract very profound in piecing together the roles of ego in my life and many life interactions. I understand from this that the more we rely on our masks, the more powerful these masks become, possibly killing the truth of our soul's expression within our timeline.
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Sushan
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Re: The view of ego as an array of functional /dysfunctional masks

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I find your reflection on the use of masks in society quite insightful, especially in the context of Freudian psychology. Freud theorized that the human psyche is divided into three parts: the id, ego, and super-ego. The ego, which mediates between the often unrealistic id and the overly critical super-ego, can be seen as a collection of masks, adapting and changing based on external social pressures and internal desires.

Your mention of masks as both protective and potentially suppressive aligns with Freud's view that the ego is responsible for negotiating with the outside world, employing defense mechanisms to cope with societal expectations and internal conflicts. These mechanisms, while protective, can often lead to a disconnection from one's true self, which seems to echo your point about the masks killing the truth of our soul's expression.

Furthermore, Freud believed that these defenses contribute to the overall health or illness of our psychological state. Over-reliance on certain defenses (or masks) can lead to neuroses or other psychological disturbances, much like the unbearable pain you described inflicted by others who are also in pain and wearing their own masks.

This interplay of masks, according to Freudian theory, shapes not only individual health but also our collective cultural and social structures. How do you see these psychological theories reflecting, or perhaps even shaping, the dynamics you've observed in society regarding the use of masks?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
Jenna Padayachee
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Re: The view of ego as an array of functional /dysfunctional masks

Post by Jenna Padayachee »

Sushan wrote: April 23rd, 2024, 12:47 am I find your reflection on the use of masks in society quite insightful, especially in the context of Freudian psychology. Freud theorized that the human psyche is divided into three parts: the id, ego, and super-ego. The ego, which mediates between the often unrealistic id and the overly critical super-ego, can be seen as a collection of masks, adapting and changing based on external social pressures and internal desires.

Your mention of masks as both protective and potentially suppressive aligns with Freud's view that the ego is responsible for negotiating with the outside world, employing defense mechanisms to cope with societal expectations and internal conflicts. These mechanisms, while protective, can often lead to a disconnection from one's true self, which seems to echo your point about the masks killing the truth of our soul's expression.

Furthermore, Freud believed that these defenses contribute to the overall health or illness of our psychological state. Over-reliance on certain defenses (or masks) can lead to neuroses or other psychological disturbances, much like the unbearable pain you described inflicted by others who are also in pain and wearing their own masks.

This interplay of masks, according to Freudian theory, shapes not only individual health but also our collective cultural and social structures. How do you see these psychological theories reflecting, or perhaps even shaping, the dynamics you've observed in society regarding the use of mafsks?
I agree with you that my view aligns with Freud to a large extent. Thank you for bringing this excellent connection forth!

Masks and identity have shaped our experience of society to date. The reality is most of us enjoy the thrill of it all, and as time progresses, we are at risk of it consuming us partially or entirely.
Every culture and social structure has a standard set of identifiable masks that defines a distinct classification of what is deemed the norm. In my experience and observations, I see the use of masks as the root cause of chaos, wars, delusion, unhappiness, and unawakened states of entering death.

There are times when I experienced the use of masks,
( being the naive, well-mannered lady who keeps everyone happy instead of stating the truth gracefully/ conforming to cultural norms in terms of performing the acceptable role of being culturally exclusive to others who are from diverse backgrounds/ meeting society standards of what defines a successful and happy life),
I realized that it was me, everyone, and my Divine creator that I was fooling by doing so. I came across various philosophies ( Lao Tzu, Plato, Socrates ), religious teachings ( the common universal ethics), literature, art, music, martial arts, unmasked human beings, and pivotal moments of silence that ultimately pointed to the value of the soul and authenticity.


Consciousness, however, is beyond the confinements of classifications and theory ( more intuitive). I realize that I am at a point in life where the vast array of masks are now suffocating, time-consuming ( although some were fun at times, when not protective or destructive), and pointless. I enjoy the liberation without it, even if society rejects me for it. I prefer the feeling of the real; it is truly living ( light breathing), and it is rather an indescribable state.

Reading the Unfakeable Code has heightened my awareness of the unmasking process, which I also connect to the Buddhist Philosophy of "letting go." and the other Eastern philosophies that reference "awakening."
( accessing true consciousness). This is the ultimate state, whereby we have nothing to prove and nothing to fear, only love and lead ( by example), lighting the way ( as there may be those who find value in such light in their own journey, as we find such light from certain others on our path).
True consciousness/ Authenticity shatters the delusions/ imprisonment and harm created by any forms of ego/masks.
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Sushan
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Re: The view of ego as an array of functional /dysfunctional masks

Post by Sushan »

Jenna Padayachee wrote: April 23rd, 2024, 4:41 pm
Sushan wrote: April 23rd, 2024, 12:47 am I find your reflection on the use of masks in society quite insightful, especially in the context of Freudian psychology. Freud theorized that the human psyche is divided into three parts: the id, ego, and super-ego. The ego, which mediates between the often unrealistic id and the overly critical super-ego, can be seen as a collection of masks, adapting and changing based on external social pressures and internal desires.

Your mention of masks as both protective and potentially suppressive aligns with Freud's view that the ego is responsible for negotiating with the outside world, employing defense mechanisms to cope with societal expectations and internal conflicts. These mechanisms, while protective, can often lead to a disconnection from one's true self, which seems to echo your point about the masks killing the truth of our soul's expression.

Furthermore, Freud believed that these defenses contribute to the overall health or illness of our psychological state. Over-reliance on certain defenses (or masks) can lead to neuroses or other psychological disturbances, much like the unbearable pain you described inflicted by others who are also in pain and wearing their own masks.

This interplay of masks, according to Freudian theory, shapes not only individual health but also our collective cultural and social structures. How do you see these psychological theories reflecting, or perhaps even shaping, the dynamics you've observed in society regarding the use of mafsks?
I agree with you that my view aligns with Freud to a large extent. Thank you for bringing this excellent connection forth!

Masks and identity have shaped our experience of society to date. The reality is most of us enjoy the thrill of it all, and as time progresses, we are at risk of it consuming us partially or entirely.
Every culture and social structure has a standard set of identifiable masks that defines a distinct classification of what is deemed the norm. In my experience and observations, I see the use of masks as the root cause of chaos, wars, delusion, unhappiness, and unawakened states of entering death.

There are times when I experienced the use of masks,
( being the naive, well-mannered lady who keeps everyone happy instead of stating the truth gracefully/ conforming to cultural norms in terms of performing the acceptable role of being culturally exclusive to others who are from diverse backgrounds/ meeting society standards of what defines a successful and happy life),
I realized that it was me, everyone, and my Divine creator that I was fooling by doing so. I came across various philosophies ( Lao Tzu, Plato, Socrates ), religious teachings ( the common universal ethics), literature, art, music, martial arts, unmasked human beings, and pivotal moments of silence that ultimately pointed to the value of the soul and authenticity.


Consciousness, however, is beyond the confinements of classifications and theory ( more intuitive). I realize that I am at a point in life where the vast array of masks are now suffocating, time-consuming ( although some were fun at times, when not protective or destructive), and pointless. I enjoy the liberation without it, even if society rejects me for it. I prefer the feeling of the real; it is truly living ( light breathing), and it is rather an indescribable state.

Reading the Unfakeable Code has heightened my awareness of the unmasking process, which I also connect to the Buddhist Philosophy of "letting go." and the other Eastern philosophies that reference "awakening."
( accessing true consciousness). This is the ultimate state, whereby we have nothing to prove and nothing to fear, only love and lead ( by example), lighting the way ( as there may be those who find value in such light in their own journey, as we find such light from certain others on our path).
True consciousness/ Authenticity shatters the delusions/ imprisonment and harm created by any forms of ego/masks.
Thank you for sharing your reflections, which bring to mind Socrates' philosophy, particularly his ideas about self-knowledge and authenticity. Socrates famously declared, "The unexamined life is not worth living," advocating for a deep and personal examination of one’s values and beliefs. Like the masks you describe, Socrates might argue that many people live unexamined lives, adhering to societal norms without questioning their authenticity or the truth of their own existence.

In this context, the masks represent not just social roles but also the barriers to self-understanding and genuine living. By questioning these masks, as you have, we challenge the very fabric of what society considers "normal" and uncover more profound truths about our nature and the nature of reality.

Socrates’ method of elenchus, or the Socratic method of questioning, might be a useful approach in continuing to explore these themes. By continuously asking probing questions, we can peel away the layers of masks and perhaps get closer to what you term 'true consciousness' or authenticity.

How do you think applying a Socratic questioning to our everyday interactions might help us and others shed these masks and embrace a more authentic existence? What might be the challenges and rewards of such an approach in our modern society?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
Jenna Padayachee
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Posts: 51
Joined: November 5th, 2023, 1:23 am

Re: The view of ego as an array of functional /dysfunctional masks

Post by Jenna Padayachee »

Sushan wrote: April 25th, 2024, 9:41 am
Jenna Padayachee wrote: April 23rd, 2024, 4:41 pm
Sushan wrote: April 23rd, 2024, 12:47 am I find your reflection on the use of masks in society quite insightful, especially in the context of Freudian psychology. Freud theorized that the human psyche is divided into three parts: the id, ego, and super-ego. The ego, which mediates between the often unrealistic id and the overly critical super-ego, can be seen as a collection of masks, adapting and changing based on external social pressures and internal desires.

Your mention of masks as both protective and potentially suppressive aligns with Freud's view that the ego is responsible for negotiating with the outside world, employing defense mechanisms to cope with societal expectations and internal conflicts. These mechanisms, while protective, can often lead to a disconnection from one's true self, which seems to echo your point about the masks killing the truth of our soul's expression.

Furthermore, Freud believed that these defenses contribute to the overall health or illness of our psychological state. Over-reliance on certain defenses (or masks) can lead to neuroses or other psychological disturbances, much like the unbearable pain you described inflicted by others who are also in pain and wearing their own masks.

This interplay of masks, according to Freudian theory, shapes not only individual health but also our collective cultural and social structures. How do you see these psychological theories reflecting, or perhaps even shaping, the dynamics you've observed in society regarding the use of mafsks?
I agree with you that my view aligns with Freud to a large extent. Thank you for bringing this excellent connection forth!

Masks and identity have shaped our experience of society to date. The reality is most of us enjoy the thrill of it all, and as time progresses, we are at risk of it consuming us partially or entirely.
Every culture and social structure has a standard set of identifiable masks that defines a distinct classification of what is deemed the norm. In my experience and observations, I see the use of masks as the root cause of chaos, wars, delusion, unhappiness, and unawakened states of entering death.

There are times when I experienced the use of masks,
( being the naive, well-mannered lady who keeps everyone happy instead of stating the truth gracefully/ conforming to cultural norms in terms of performing the acceptable role of being culturally exclusive to others who are from diverse backgrounds/ meeting society standards of what defines a successful and happy life),
I realized that it was me, everyone, and my Divine creator that I was fooling by doing so. I came across various philosophies ( Lao Tzu, Plato, Socrates ), religious teachings ( the common universal ethics), literature, art, music, martial arts, unmasked human beings, and pivotal moments of silence that ultimately pointed to the value of the soul and authenticity.


Consciousness, however, is beyond the confinements of classifications and theory ( more intuitive). I realize that I am at a point in life where the vast array of masks are now suffocating, time-consuming ( although some were fun at times, when not protective or destructive), and pointless. I enjoy the liberation without it, even if society rejects me for it. I prefer the feeling of the real; it is truly living ( light breathing), and it is rather an indescribable state.

Reading the Unfakeable Code has heightened my awareness of the unmasking process, which I also connect to the Buddhist Philosophy of "letting go." and the other Eastern philosophies that reference "awakening."
( accessing true consciousness). This is the ultimate state, whereby we have nothing to prove and nothing to fear, only love and lead ( by example), lighting the way ( as there may be those who find value in such light in their own journey, as we find such light from certain others on our path).
True consciousness/ Authenticity shatters the delusions/ imprisonment and harm created by any forms of ego/masks.
Thank you for sharing your reflections, which bring to mind Socrates' philosophy, particularly his ideas about self-knowledge and authenticity. Socrates famously declared, "The unexamined life is not worth living," advocating for a deep and personal examination of one’s values and beliefs. Like the masks you describe, Socrates might argue that many people live unexamined lives, adhering to societal norms without questioning their authenticity or the truth of their own existence.

In this context, the masks represent not just social roles but also the barriers to self-understanding and genuine living. By questioning these masks, as you have, we challenge the very fabric of what society considers "normal" and uncover more profound truths about our nature and the nature of reality.

Socrates’ method of elenchus, or the Socratic method of questioning, might be a useful approach in continuing to explore these themes. By continuously asking probing questions, we can peel away the layers of masks and perhaps get closer to what you term 'true consciousness' or authenticity.

How do you think applying a Socratic questioning to our everyday interactions might help us and others shed these masks and embrace a more authentic existence? What might be the challenges and rewards of such an approach in our modern society?
I have not considered Socrates' philosophy of self-knowledge and authenticity. Thank you for expanding on this with his rather famous quote. I do see and agree with how his view ties into my view of people being comfortable using masks to partake in society's role without examining their existence, true identity, role, and purpose.

I also appreciate your elaboration on how masks can become barriers. I have experienced such barriers, and I am in the process of identifying and breaking them down ( It is humbling to reflect on how many there were).

Writing about my reflections (occasionally journaling) now and again helps me with this identification and breakdown process. This process naturally occurs for me when I exercise courage and awareness through different forms of activities ( reading, movies, music, different environments, trying something new, and so forth ) or non-activities ( meditation/solitude). What are your experiences in identifying or breaking down barriers (other than Socratic questioning)?

In terms of using Socratic questioning in everyday interactions, I believe that it can partly contribute to one's personal development by improving an individual's experience in life ( promoting authenticity and value holistically). However, not everyone in society believes in this questioning due to it conflicting with religious and cultural views, and this will serve as a barrier to using this approach in terms of examining oneself and the quality of engagement with our fellow human beings in terms of a collective approach.

If this approach were to be adopted and understood by everyone, I suspect our interaction would then be in perfect harmony within a true conscious existence collectively—a state of human perfection where we all coexist at the optimum level.
Although one person's active reflection and life example can impact another's realization at some point, the extent to which exact measurements and progress can be defined will differ per person, time, and situation.
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Sushan
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Re: The view of ego as an array of functional /dysfunctional masks

Post by Sushan »

Jenna Padayachee wrote: April 28th, 2024, 8:48 am
Sushan wrote: April 25th, 2024, 9:41 am
Jenna Padayachee wrote: April 23rd, 2024, 4:41 pm
Sushan wrote: April 23rd, 2024, 12:47 am I find your reflection on the use of masks in society quite insightful, especially in the context of Freudian psychology. Freud theorized that the human psyche is divided into three parts: the id, ego, and super-ego. The ego, which mediates between the often unrealistic id and the overly critical super-ego, can be seen as a collection of masks, adapting and changing based on external social pressures and internal desires.

Your mention of masks as both protective and potentially suppressive aligns with Freud's view that the ego is responsible for negotiating with the outside world, employing defense mechanisms to cope with societal expectations and internal conflicts. These mechanisms, while protective, can often lead to a disconnection from one's true self, which seems to echo your point about the masks killing the truth of our soul's expression.

Furthermore, Freud believed that these defenses contribute to the overall health or illness of our psychological state. Over-reliance on certain defenses (or masks) can lead to neuroses or other psychological disturbances, much like the unbearable pain you described inflicted by others who are also in pain and wearing their own masks.

This interplay of masks, according to Freudian theory, shapes not only individual health but also our collective cultural and social structures. How do you see these psychological theories reflecting, or perhaps even shaping, the dynamics you've observed in society regarding the use of mafsks?
I agree with you that my view aligns with Freud to a large extent. Thank you for bringing this excellent connection forth!

Masks and identity have shaped our experience of society to date. The reality is most of us enjoy the thrill of it all, and as time progresses, we are at risk of it consuming us partially or entirely.
Every culture and social structure has a standard set of identifiable masks that defines a distinct classification of what is deemed the norm. In my experience and observations, I see the use of masks as the root cause of chaos, wars, delusion, unhappiness, and unawakened states of entering death.

There are times when I experienced the use of masks,
( being the naive, well-mannered lady who keeps everyone happy instead of stating the truth gracefully/ conforming to cultural norms in terms of performing the acceptable role of being culturally exclusive to others who are from diverse backgrounds/ meeting society standards of what defines a successful and happy life),
I realized that it was me, everyone, and my Divine creator that I was fooling by doing so. I came across various philosophies ( Lao Tzu, Plato, Socrates ), religious teachings ( the common universal ethics), literature, art, music, martial arts, unmasked human beings, and pivotal moments of silence that ultimately pointed to the value of the soul and authenticity.


Consciousness, however, is beyond the confinements of classifications and theory ( more intuitive). I realize that I am at a point in life where the vast array of masks are now suffocating, time-consuming ( although some were fun at times, when not protective or destructive), and pointless. I enjoy the liberation without it, even if society rejects me for it. I prefer the feeling of the real; it is truly living ( light breathing), and it is rather an indescribable state.

Reading the Unfakeable Code has heightened my awareness of the unmasking process, which I also connect to the Buddhist Philosophy of "letting go." and the other Eastern philosophies that reference "awakening."
( accessing true consciousness). This is the ultimate state, whereby we have nothing to prove and nothing to fear, only love and lead ( by example), lighting the way ( as there may be those who find value in such light in their own journey, as we find such light from certain others on our path).
True consciousness/ Authenticity shatters the delusions/ imprisonment and harm created by any forms of ego/masks.
Thank you for sharing your reflections, which bring to mind Socrates' philosophy, particularly his ideas about self-knowledge and authenticity. Socrates famously declared, "The unexamined life is not worth living," advocating for a deep and personal examination of one’s values and beliefs. Like the masks you describe, Socrates might argue that many people live unexamined lives, adhering to societal norms without questioning their authenticity or the truth of their own existence.

In this context, the masks represent not just social roles but also the barriers to self-understanding and genuine living. By questioning these masks, as you have, we challenge the very fabric of what society considers "normal" and uncover more profound truths about our nature and the nature of reality.

Socrates’ method of elenchus, or the Socratic method of questioning, might be a useful approach in continuing to explore these themes. By continuously asking probing questions, we can peel away the layers of masks and perhaps get closer to what you term 'true consciousness' or authenticity.

How do you think applying a Socratic questioning to our everyday interactions might help us and others shed these masks and embrace a more authentic existence? What might be the challenges and rewards of such an approach in our modern society?
I have not considered Socrates' philosophy of self-knowledge and authenticity. Thank you for expanding on this with his rather famous quote. I do see and agree with how his view ties into my view of people being comfortable using masks to partake in society's role without examining their existence, true identity, role, and purpose.

I also appreciate your elaboration on how masks can become barriers. I have experienced such barriers, and I am in the process of identifying and breaking them down ( It is humbling to reflect on how many there were).

Writing about my reflections (occasionally journaling) now and again helps me with this identification and breakdown process. This process naturally occurs for me when I exercise courage and awareness through different forms of activities ( reading, movies, music, different environments, trying something new, and so forth ) or non-activities ( meditation/solitude). What are your experiences in identifying or breaking down barriers (other than Socratic questioning)?

In terms of using Socratic questioning in everyday interactions, I believe that it can partly contribute to one's personal development by improving an individual's experience in life ( promoting authenticity and value holistically). However, not everyone in society believes in this questioning due to it conflicting with religious and cultural views, and this will serve as a barrier to using this approach in terms of examining oneself and the quality of engagement with our fellow human beings in terms of a collective approach.

If this approach were to be adopted and understood by everyone, I suspect our interaction would then be in perfect harmony within a true conscious existence collectively—a state of human perfection where we all coexist at the optimum level.
Although one person's active reflection and life example can impact another's realization at some point, the extent to which exact measurements and progress can be defined will differ per person, time, and situation.
In my own journey, breaking down barriers has involved a lot of introspection and reaching out to diverse perspectives. Engaging in creative arts and immersing myself in different cultural contexts have been particularly enlightening. Each experience acts like a mirror reflecting parts of my identity I might not have questioned otherwise.

Regarding the reluctance to adopt Socratic questioning due to religious or cultural fears, it's important to recognize that avoiding these questions can perpetuate stereotypes and hinder progress. Philosophically and logically, questioning the norm is essential for true understanding and growth. It drives the evolution of thought and society by challenging outdated or unexamined beliefs. Fear of questioning, while understandable, limits personal and collective development.

How have you managed to overcome these societal pressures, or how do you see them impacting your own journey towards authenticity?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
Jenna Padayachee
Premium Member
Posts: 51
Joined: November 5th, 2023, 1:23 am

Re: The view of ego as an array of functional /dysfunctional masks

Post by Jenna Padayachee »

Sushan wrote: May 3rd, 2024, 11:52 pm
Jenna Padayachee wrote: April 28th, 2024, 8:48 am
Sushan wrote: April 25th, 2024, 9:41 am
Jenna Padayachee wrote: April 23rd, 2024, 4:41 pm

I agree with you that my view aligns with Freud to a large extent. Thank you for bringing this excellent connection forth!

Masks and identity have shaped our experience of society to date. The reality is most of us enjoy the thrill of it all, and as time progresses, we are at risk of it consuming us partially or entirely.
Every culture and social structure has a standard set of identifiable masks that defines a distinct classification of what is deemed the norm. In my experience and observations, I see the use of masks as the root cause of chaos, wars, delusion, unhappiness, and unawakened states of entering death.

There are times when I experienced the use of masks,
( being the naive, well-mannered lady who keeps everyone happy instead of stating the truth gracefully/ conforming to cultural norms in terms of performing the acceptable role of being culturally exclusive to others who are from diverse backgrounds/ meeting society standards of what defines a successful and happy life),
I realized that it was me, everyone, and my Divine creator that I was fooling by doing so. I came across various philosophies ( Lao Tzu, Plato, Socrates ), religious teachings ( the common universal ethics), literature, art, music, martial arts, unmasked human beings, and pivotal moments of silence that ultimately pointed to the value of the soul and authenticity.


Consciousness, however, is beyond the confinements of classifications and theory ( more intuitive). I realize that I am at a point in life where the vast array of masks are now suffocating, time-consuming ( although some were fun at times, when not protective or destructive), and pointless. I enjoy the liberation without it, even if society rejects me for it. I prefer the feeling of the real; it is truly living ( light breathing), and it is rather an indescribable state.

Reading the Unfakeable Code has heightened my awareness of the unmasking process, which I also connect to the Buddhist Philosophy of "letting go." and the other Eastern philosophies that reference "awakening."
( accessing true consciousness). This is the ultimate state, whereby we have nothing to prove and nothing to fear, only love and lead ( by example), lighting the way ( as there may be those who find value in such light in their own journey, as we find such light from certain others on our path).
True consciousness/ Authenticity shatters the delusions/ imprisonment and harm created by any forms of ego/masks.
Thank you for sharing your reflections, which bring to mind Socrates' philosophy, particularly his ideas about self-knowledge and authenticity. Socrates famously declared, "The unexamined life is not worth living," advocating for a deep and personal examination of one’s values and beliefs. Like the masks you describe, Socrates might argue that many people live unexamined lives, adhering to societal norms without questioning their authenticity or the truth of their own existence.

In this context, the masks represent not just social roles but also the barriers to self-understanding and genuine living. By questioning these masks, as you have, we challenge the very fabric of what society considers "normal" and uncover more profound truths about our nature and the nature of reality.

Socrates’ method of elenchus, or the Socratic method of questioning, might be a useful approach in continuing to explore these themes. By continuously asking probing questions, we can peel away the layers of masks and perhaps get closer to what you term 'true consciousness' or authenticity.

How do you think applying a Socratic questioning to our everyday interactions might help us and others shed these masks and embrace a more authentic existence? What might be the challenges and rewards of such an approach in our modern society?
I have not considered Socrates' philosophy of self-knowledge and authenticity. Thank you for expanding on this with his rather famous quote. I do see and agree with how his view ties into my view of people being comfortable using masks to partake in society's role without examining their existence, true identity, role, and purpose.

I also appreciate your elaboration on how masks can become barriers. I have experienced such barriers, and I am in the process of identifying and breaking them down ( It is humbling to reflect on how many there were).

Writing about my reflections (occasionally journaling) now and again helps me with this identification and breakdown process. This process naturally occurs for me when I exercise courage and awareness through different forms of activities ( reading, movies, music, different environments, trying something new, and so forth ) or non-activities ( meditation/solitude). What are your experiences in identifying or breaking down barriers (other than Socratic questioning)?

In terms of using Socratic questioning in everyday interactions, I believe that it can partly contribute to one's personal development by improving an individual's experience in life ( promoting authenticity and value holistically). However, not everyone in society believes in this questioning due to it conflicting with religious and cultural views, and this will serve as a barrier to using this approach in terms of examining oneself and the quality of engagement with our fellow human beings in terms of a collective approach.

If this approach were to be adopted and understood by everyone, I suspect our interaction would then be in perfect harmony within a true conscious existence collectively—a state of human perfection where we all coexist at the optimum level.
Although one person's active reflection and life example can impact another's realization at some point, the extent to which exact measurements and progress can be defined will differ per person, time, and situation.
In my own journey, breaking down barriers has involved a lot of introspection and reaching out to diverse perspectives. Engaging in creative arts and immersing myself in different cultural contexts have been particularly enlightening. Each experience acts like a mirror reflecting parts of my identity I might not have questioned otherwise.

Regarding the reluctance to adopt Socratic questioning due to religious or cultural fears, it's important to recognize that avoiding these questions can perpetuate stereotypes and hinder progress. Philosophically and logically, questioning the norm is essential for true understanding and growth. It drives the evolution of thought and society by challenging outdated or unexamined beliefs. Fear of questioning, while understandable, limits personal and collective development.

How have you managed to overcome these societal pressures, or how do you see them impacting your own journey towards authenticity?

I thank you for shedding light on your personal journey. I agree with you on the importance of these questions, as I see their value. However, not everyone in my environment agrees with this type of questioning due to what is deemed as "blind faith" and/or already being a "good person." I have within my vicinity at least 5 physical people within close radius with whom I can have these types of philosophical engagements without being offended, judgemental, or bored.
I occasionally meet a passersby/client with such refreshing engagements, who exchange such valuable introspective messages. It is interesting and challenging at times to exist in such an environment, but I do see the value it plays in my growth, resilience, and conscious connectivity.

I have noted in Selimi's book that he views solitude as loneliness ("...alone in the wretched caves of solitude " PG 163); this was a part I did not agree with in his book. The manner in which I have overcome societal pressures and achieved holistic growth, strength, and clarity is through embracing solitude. When I wake up, I spend at least an hour or 2 ( in my own space) either meditating and exercising and or journaling; I have grown to develop this as my waking ritual, for if I wake up, it is a privilege and an honor, this is my expression of gratitude to my creator. I schedule my day and take the day on. There is a lot that I have learned with time in my interactions that I have realized does not always require my reaction ( especially if triggered destructively from the outside/by members of 'normal' society); it is not always the same or easy, but I trust my intuition, and I trust my divine connectivity and my ability to discern what I need to absorb and what I need to let go if ( like adopting a meditative state through-out my routines, interactions and activities).
There are times I pause (due to flames /gashes and overloads) or return to a space of solitude and /or to reflective material ( music, meditation, art books, etc) for re-centering. I feel that this process impacts my journey consciously as I get to live to the rhythm I was born with (I am happy being) and experience the things I choose and still love my environment and humanity as is ( there are also purely radical things that I connect to throughout my day that I know is in tune with my heart and journey). This is my journey of authenticity. In my authenticity, I find value in the quote (often attributed to the monk, Thich Nhat Hanh), "Enlightenment is when a wave realizes it the ocean." As I authentically express myself, I am aware that I am a part of the conscious pool /ocean that connects all of existence. This allows me the platform to approach people and certain matters with love, patience, and assertiveness. This also leans on Jungian Theory, which is concerned with bringing balance and union between the conscious and unconscious ( ego/masquerade toolkit) parts of the mind.
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