We don’t perceive reality. We see what we expect to find based on our worldview. The masks of our worldview distort the experience of the Observer.
The Mask Of Belief
The larger our mask, and the longer we wear it, the less we can see and the harder it is to take off. Beliefs are the foundation of this face shield. This disguise is nothing but a set of boundaries and boundaries and barriers to perception and thinking.
What’s in Control?
“The Ego, however, is not who you really are. The ego is your self-image; it is your social mask; it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants control, and it is sustained by power because it lives in fear.” — Deepak Chopra
The Ego isn’t our enemy; it is the home of our personality and instincts that are necessary components of the mind. However, our culture turns this mechanism against us. It uses brainwashing and propaganda to keep us in fear, behind the barriers of beliefs where it can control us.
“Here, I think, is another clue to finding true self and vocation: we must withdraw the negative projections we make on people and situations — projections that serve mainly to mask our fears about ourselves— and acknowledge and embrace our own liabilities and limits.” — Parker J. Palmer
Inner Work as a Destructive Process
These barriers of this self-made prison hinder our thinking and perception. Breaking through these barriers is intense inner work. Spiritual work is a destructive process. When you break down these walls, they come crashing down.
““Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretence. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.” — Adyashanti
Unfortunately, many people are proud to live by faith to exclude facts. They enjoy exposure to self-hypnosis, which is how belief takes precedent over facts and logic. People learn not to trust the facts or what they see.
“For we live by faith, not by sight.”— 2 Corinthians 5:7 New International Version
When you dig up rotting garbage, it stinks. The mask of belief is what we bury in our subconscious that rots our use of common sense and logic.
“Do not make your mind a dumping ground for other people’s garbage.” — Ezra Taft Benson
The Truth of The Observer
The “real you” is the person you talk to inside your heads. It’s the aspect of consciousness in ancient traditions called spirit, soul, or the Observer. It is not our personality or instincts which are elements of Ego. Our Ego is a necessary tool of awareness that connects our bodies to the Observer.
The Observer is our truth, our essence. The Observer is the person you talk to inside your head. The real us is what some call spirit, soul, or Source. “Source” is the underlying consciousness in everything. You’ve probably heard the statements, “We Are One,” “We are all Connected.”
Many religions and philosophies contain theories about what we are and why we’re here. These theories come in the form of stories, and many of these follow a similar pattern. Joseph Campbell (1) calls this pattern the Hero’s Journey. It’s a typology that you’ll find in cultures around the world. It is based on the basic human desire to investigate things.
“You are the observer who watches your emotions as they push, pull, and stretch you.” — Bryant McGill
If we direct this need to investigate, we are following this pattern. The tools we use to do this are what we call spiritual technologies.
We can understand oneness intellectually, but it is another thing to experience it firsthand. When we are present, the Observer is in the driver’s seat instead of Ego. It puts us in contact with the Source of pure consciousness. Presence allows the Observer to come out of the background.
Confronting our Illusions
Using inner work techniques helps us confront the mask of belief. It doesn’t matter what you believe; engaging your opinions about reality is a good thing. The ability to see beyond or through our worldview sets us free.
“Truth is too simple for us: we do not like those who unmask our illusions.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
The goal of inner work enables us to take our masks off. The path is more about removing our illusions than grasping the truth. It doesn’t mean the search for truth is unworthy. To do it, we need to take off the masks that distort our perception.
Perception is the Mask of Mythology
We also need to investigate our sacred ground because religion comes in to program our values with mythologies and superstitions. Myths are the most destructive when religion mistakes them for truth. It’s an attempt to make faith perform as knowledge. So, religion becomes yet another mask.
The path of truth is a lifelong journey. As we learn to discern the facts from fiction, that mask comes off a little more. Even revealing part of our true self makes a life-changing shift possible. The modification allows us to see other possibilities. Now we can perceive the deceptions of our worldview. Once we can see them, we can begin confronting our illusions.
Seers and Shaman teach us that other levels of reality exist. These are processes that expand awareness. Most people are born with access to three states of consciousness, waking, dreaming, and sleeping. However, the dominant Western cultural narrative does not want you to seek these possibilities. They want to keep paying customers. It’s all about control.
The cultural narrative is powerful. Those who control the programming of cultural folklore can dictate values and thinking. Three religions command this social space that influences nations, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism (2). They are the rebranding of Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, and Assyrian mystery religions. And it is these superstitions that are the bedrock of Western culture. They create and control the mask of belief.
“One man’s myth is another man’s religion.” — Joseph Campbell
We understand mythology becomes powerful in a cultural narrative dominated by any religion. However, not all religions are harmful. Taoism and Paganism have the fewest number of barriers to free-thinking. Many of these systems encourage the development of your path.
Western organized religion has the most boundaries and restrictions dictating values and thought. As a result, these are harmful. They adversely affect our ability to think and reason. So, they restrict our ability to move beyond ordinary reality’s default settings.
“Much of what is called Christianity has more to do with disguising the ego behind the screen of religion and culture than any real movement toward a God beyond the small self, and a new self in God.” — Richard Rohr
However, believers of these paradigms don’t view their religion as mythology. They admit that it contains many myths, but they believe in its divine inspiration. You can point out errors in fact and logic until midnight. Unless they can admit to at least one of these problems, they will remain staunch believers. It’s a testament to the power of groupthink manipulation. These tactics can override our instincts and free will. Their masks are firmly in place.
Only when we confront our illusions can we understand mythology as metaphors instead of facts. Confronting our beliefs isn’t easy. Some tools can help us remove the mask of mythology. They allow us to engage the Observer rather than running on autopilot. These are what we can spiritual technologies.
Many ancient cultures were focused on investigating the mind and the unknown. These pioneers found and cataloged the most efficient ways to unlock the doors of consciousness.
We divide these tools into four major categories:
Above all, the mask of belief hinders our ability to find the truth. And the most significant part of this mask is religious mythology. Moving beyond the barriers of mythology is a goal of spiritual practice. Confronting our illusions is the only way to see beyond our current worldview.
Likewise, we understand that leaving behind falsehoods is just as essential as grasping the truths. Once you can remove your mask, you’ll find that your “personal truth” is the most important truth you will discover.
We know not everyone will agree with the points of this discussion, but we hope it inspires your own research.
We welcome your comments and suggestions. So, don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you want to learn more about spiritual exploration, check out our mission and FAQ pages. And, if you are an experienced spiritual explorer or just beginning, we have a virtual learning event we can tailor to meet your needs.
You will get special offers, online training discounts, and free unadvertised downloads when you register on our site.
(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
(2) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia