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Deconstructing “Me,” Removing the Masks

(Steve is a former refugee adjudicator. The day prior to writing this article, he wrote one on refugees.)

What do a refugee and an ascender share? Both have chosen to leave home to seek something better.

Why has a refugee left home? To flee persecution. Home is a place in a country that the refugee leaves to seek another, free of serious discrimination, mistreatment, perhaps torture.

The ascender also chooses to leave home, but home to him or her is not a place, but a dimension. His or her suffering is existential.

Both leave home seeking something better, the refugee out of little choice, the ascender out of a great deal of it.

The ascender’s “persecutor” is himself or herself. At its most basic, that persecutor is a set of unexamined, habitual responses to situations. These responses are founded upon a view of life that sees “me” as separate from all others and my interest as being in competition with that of all others. These responses, this “me,” as it turns out, is a mask.

The home to which the ascender is going can be seen as a place of sorts, but it would be better imagined as a condition. That condition, I think could be best described as “universal love.” To reach that place, the ascender must leave behind all that is an obstacle to universal love. Primarily these may be thought of as his or her habits, his or her masks.

Habits of being, habits of thinking, habits of doing. Masks of all sorts.

I experience this “home” as a residue or precipitate that is hard to put in words. I’m aware of it but cannot describe it as having tone or color or taste or smell.  It is as oppressive as a wet blanket around the shoulders. It’s always with me. It’s the “home” I’m leaving.

Wilhelm Reich called it “character armoring.” Eckhart Tolle referred to it as the “pain body.” Encounter-group leaders described it as “residual muscular tension in the body.” Werner Erhard called it “records.” Hindus named it “vasanas.”  Many, many people have known it and called it by some name. I simply call it “habits,” “masks,” unexamined ways of being and behaving that are laid down by my separative mind to maintain its separative existence.

These are the primary obstacles to experiencing the universal love that I’m told is characteristic of the Fifth Dimension.

The way to this new land of universal love has no road map that I’m aware of. A compass will not help me. I don’t know what to take with me on this journey, even if I do know what to leave behind.

“Me” is what to leave behind – my habits, my masks. What I’m engaged in over this next period of time, from 10-10-10 onwards, is the deconstruction of “me,” the discarding of my habits, the dropping of my masks.

“Me” is the source of suffering the ascender has identified – the character armoring, the pain body, the stack of records, vasanas, and masks.

There is no place to get to on this journey. My masks dropped, universal love is naturally revealed. That is the mystery.

This period of reflection I’ve engaged in over the last 24 hours has identified for me the source of my suffering and has shown me what I need to do – deconstruct “me,” remove the mask. It hasn’t shown me how to do it. I may need assistance here and that assistance has been promised me by the sources we read.

But I’m now aware of the home I’m leaving. I’ve identified its experiential aspect in myself. I’m willing to leave it behind. Leaving it behind is the journey I set out on as an ascender.

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