Saturday, September 1, 2018

Old Masks, New Ceramics

The word Personality is derived from the Latin ‘persona ‘, or ‘mask‘.  In ancient Greece players in the sacred Mystery plays always wore masks.  We can imagine these actors, in the course of the play-cycle which formed the Mystery celebrations, assuming first one mask and then another as roles changed with the play being performed. Thus we might conceive of the immortal soul in the metaphor of life’s Mysteries - assuming first one personality, persona, or mask, then another as it plays its allotted part in the successive Mystery plays which form the changing cycle of spiritual experience."
 Dion Fortune, Metaphysician (1935)

In the course of working this summer, I had many "leftovers", pieces that didn't work or were broken.  Rather than discard them, I saw them as "Shards" as well.  Lying among the shards they were a kind of personal archeology, "artifacts" used and discarded in the course of a lifetime.  So these pieces came from them.  It seemed surprisingly appropriate especially for someone who has had a career as a mask maker...........

We all wear so many masks in the course of a lifetime.  Where, indeed, is "the I", the famous Buddhist question.  It is a profound spiritual metaphor as well - the soul, moving through personalities, experience, lifetimes.  Ultimately, we are not the masks, the "personae" we wear, we are the Journey.  

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