We are inhabited by multiple personas that manifest depending on circumstances. They are like survival mechanism and have been refined by your previous experiences and the feedback you receive from others. Everybody has his set of masks. You behave differently at work, at home, or with your friends.
I would argue that 60% of who we are is due to our genetic background. Thus, some of your archetypes are inherited from your ancestors, look at your parents and try to figure out what masks you have from them. A certain type of genes predisposes to certain behaviour, smoking, assertiveness, curiosity, etc. Some patterns are given to you by society, what does it mean to be a man, what a girl should like or dislike (both are archetypes). Some you create yourself, unconsciously by trial and error. For example, I observed how my voice and stance changes when I ask a guy for a favour, I become more girlish, let’s say.
Who we are is like a diamond with multiple facets. Some people end up identifying themselves with one side, I see this often in athletes, especially in my younger sister, she is a handball goalkeeper above all. The sum of all these masks is your ego. However, these covers are not who you are therefore putting an equal sign between your ego and your true nature is a false presumption. Archetypes are a survival mechanism and nothing more.
To become fully conscious means you reached that level of clarity where you recognize when you start reenacting the instinctive behaviour of an archetype and change it, base on your true desire.
Let us say your lover starts screaming at you because you forgot to put the butter in the fridge. Assuming that most of the time your warrior archetype would activate, fight the enemy that threatens your self-worth, you’ll start arguing and after a while, you reach the conclusion that you should break up (that escalated quickly). However, if you are conscious of yourself you would not do that. Instead, you’ll try to keep things at bay, apologize and put the butter in the fridge, you won’t die if you do that, but your ego will. Why risk an argument for some fermented milk? Maybe you are not even the problem, maybe your partner was, in fact, angry with his boss and came home with the fight mode on. To be honest it is rarely about us, most of the time people is about them, about them having a bad time and not knowing how to manage it, about them having a personal issue that they can’t fix.
By letting go of all the masks society and culture gave us, and the ones we manufacture, we allow ourselves to become who we really are. I do think inside each one of us there is a latent potential and in many cases, it is suffocated about what we think we should be. That is when you define what success is in your own terms, and when you start finding meaning in what you do.
I like to think that our true self is that sweet spot where consciousness and responsibility meet.
Responsibility? Yes, for the decision to turn fate into destiny. When you assume that all your happiness and sorrows are yours alone as cause and effect.
In the end, I want to make a point clear, masks are not evil nor is ego, they protect you from being exposed to others and chaos thus they protect you. In doing so, some barriers are imposed and you can’t manifest your potential and uniqueness in a natural way. Think of yourself as water, you take the form the vase you are put into, but instead of identifying yourself with one container or another, I encourage you to remember that you were once a wave in the ocean, that your current archetype is not your true nature, the ocean is.
I’m not that good with metaphors but I hope you get my point. If not, ask and I’ll try to explain it better, I can’t garantee I will succeed but I will try. Until next time, thank you for reading and warm hugs.
If you want to read more about “masks”, check this thing out. Also, I if you feel like changing something but don’t know where to start, read this, it might help. If you have a more mystical or metaphysical state, in this article you can find some insights into what does it mean to be human, as far as I am concerned.