Monday, January 25, 2010

A Lifelong Mask

Prepared by: Leila Moslemi (

"The most herculean task is simplicity"
                                                                Carl Jung

In ancient Greece and Rome the mask was used at war by soldiers and governors to hide their own identity. Later on this mask was used in theatre for indication of a more powerful feeling. When for the first time in my childhood I saw a mask of a terrifying animal on my friend's face, I was really afraid. But then I also used it and put it on then I recognized that a mask is used for playing and laughing. When I grow up I put on some real masks on my face which I really didn't like them at all. The mask of a useful person for society, the mask of a devoted mother, a faithful wife, … . When I remember those childhood masks I feel happiness in the deep part of my heart. At that time my mask was light and pure but by the passage of time my mask got heavier and darker than before.

Carl Jung argues on this mask as an important dimension of human psyche, "mask is a device that man make use of it at society in order to hide the real persona so that a better persona would be shown to the society".
I have seen lots of carnivals in which people put on strange masks on their faces and behind the masks they do lots of forbidden actions which are rejected by the norms of a society. In ancient mythology most of the heroes had a mask (eg. ZORO). But why? Because the society would reject them without a mask. Therefore a mask is a way to get a new identity. Naming is one of the powers of society on humankind. A mask is the power of society in which we have no chance of selection. After some times, we try to know ourselves exactly by those masks on our faces.
The masks are neither our real character nor our real feelings. They are forced on us by society in which we live. As a case in point we may have different persona at home or at society. We should be aware of the inside masks. We all have outside masks by entering to the society. What happens when we put on this mask on our own inside feelings?
The inside mask is not necessarily our own inside feelings. We should recognize the difference between an inside mask and an outside one for having a flexible identity. We should know more about the masks on our faces. They are forced on us so that we obey some rules forced on us by society. Te best way to know the roots of all the things in the world is simplicity. Let's put away our masks in order to achieve the secrets of mankind by simplicity.


  1. dear mahdi
    i can see that u visit my posts but u never comment on them. that's too bad. why?

  2. yeah, I read your blog time to time, but I really have nothing to say!!! u know im not such a great book reader!
    by the way, im reading "Orange Girl" right now. its an intriguing book, i think im gonna like it!

  3. Mask kills creativity, Mask kills love, Mask kills friendship, Mask kills pure feelings... but unfortunatly it's an inevitable part of modern life. We should learn how to use them properly. I remember "Eyes wide shut" when you said: "...and behind the masks they do lots of forbidden actions wich are rejected by the norms of a society."
    Put on GREEN mask lily and come to streets with your people. ;)

  4. Dear Lily,
    You referred appropriately to the Jung’s statements. Most of psychology theorists have work on this subject. At this moment I have Eric Berne’s works in my mind, but we can find extensive investigations of others in the basic psychology books.
    However this subject is worldwide, but it is more apparent and dominant in the closed cultures like Iran. It is obvious that many of Iranian families appreciate their children (boys or girls, girls to the more extent) to hide their feelings, especially feelings related to sexual aspects. This is one example of what makes people to play a role in the society...

  5. Dear Lili:
    To remove the mask, one must have the courage to give up what the mask provided for him; it can be anything: dignity, honor, importance, wealth,... whatever.
    It IS difficult to remove it; but, the point is that, since the mask is a fake, whatever gives us will be fake.
    The one wearing a mask knows this truth deep inside. This is what we all know, but, who has the courage to unmask?

  6. Dear Leili
    To remove the mask, we all need to reframe
    we all need to identify our egos, and put it under the control
    we may then reach a freedom of mind and body; we may then enlighten ourselves

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