Are You Ready to Take Off Your Mask?

girl wearing a Covid mask outside carrying a backpack
Image by Engin Akyurt 


Narrated by Marie T. Russell

Video version

As I was checking out of a grocery store, I asked the clerk if she was looking forward to removing her mask when our state releases its mask requirement. “I’ve kind of gotten used to it,” she replied. “I might keep wearing it even after I don’t have to.”

Her response reminded me of a poignant scene in the movie The Princess Bride. Inigo Montoya is a swashbuckling swordsman who has spent his entire adult life seeking to find the man who assassinated his father. Many times each day he practices cornering the killer, pressing his sword against the man’s chest, and telling him, “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

Inigo eventually catches up with the assassin and does him in. As Inigo is exiting the castle, his sidekick asks him, “Now that you have avenged your father’s death, what will you do with your life?”

Inigo stops in his tracks, a blank look washes over his face, and he confesses, “I have been in the revenge business so long, I don’t know what I would do without it.”

Steeped In Fear, Protection, and Defense

It is possible to become so steeped in fear, protection, and defense, that when we no longer need to protect ourselves, we may continue to do so out of habit and a sense of safety behind elaborate barricades. This dynamic goes far beyond Inigo Montoya and Covid masks. It applies to much of our life.

We have all adapted to a threatening world with masks we lay over our natural self. Such guises often take the form of a victim identity. The classic example of a rutted victim is Miss Havisham in Charles Dickens’ classic novel, Great Expectations. Young Pip goes to visit Miss Havisham, a fiftyish woman wearing a tattered yellowed wedding gown. Yet she looks much older, a bony waxwork. On her dining room table sits an expensive china set for a wedding reception, and a cake covered with cobwebs.

Many years earlier, Miss Havisham was jilted at the altar. She felt so crushed that she became frozen in that moment and found twisted solace in clinging to her identity as a ditched bride. And so she remained, thirty years later. Like the checkout clerk and Inigo Montoya, Miss Havisham became so comfortable in her mask that she feared to remove it, and never did.

Laying Down Our Arms and Our Masks

I will be glad to remove my mask and see the lovely faces of people I interact with. I miss seeing smiles, and I will not miss having to speak twice as loud to be understood. I understand the reason we have worn masks, and now I understand the reason for removing them.

When the war is over, we can lay down our arms. After World War II, some soldiers holed up in the jungles of South Pacific islands did not know the war was over, so they remained in combat mode long after the enemy had disappeared. People who go through traumatic experiences sometimes keep reliving the trauma even when they are safe.

Sadly, the Covid pandemic has been a rough ride for lots of people. At some point, the ride will be over, and we will be on to the next phase, hopefully gleaning lessons from the experience that will make the next phase better.

Releasing the Buddha from Imprisonment

Many years ago, a great golden statue of Buddha sat outside a temple near Bangkok, Thailand. When the monks at the temple learned that an army from a neighboring country was about to invade their town, they feared that the soldiers would see the gold and pillage it. So they came up with a scheme to cover the golden Buddha with a cement of mud and stones, so the soldiers would not take notice.

Sure enough, when the army marched past the temple, they overlooked the Buddha entirely. The conquerors occupied the city for many years and later departed. But by that time none of the monks in the monastery or anyone in the vicinity remembered that the Buddha was golden. They all thought it was made of stone.

Many years later a new king arose, and he ordered the Buddha to be moved to a new location. In the process of moving, a piece of stone chipped off the Buddha and revealed something shiny. A workman looked deeper and saw that it was gold. He ran to his fellows, shouting, “The Buddha is golden!” The workers took picks and shovels and released the golden Buddha from his cement imprisonment. To this day, you can visit the Temple of the Golden Buddha in Bangkok.

Many of us have become Covid stone Buddhas, disguising our divine nature under a sheath of fear, protectionism, and divisiveness. Meanwhile, lots of people have maintained our golden Buddha nature even while we wear masks.

A physical mask cannot stop your spiritual light from shining. In spite of external events, we remain divine. Now we are ready for the great unveiling—physically by removing masks, spiritually by rising beyond fear. The Golden Buddha is ready to once again shine. 

*subtitles added by InnerSelf
©2021 by Alan Cohen. All Rights Reserved.

Book by this Author

Soul and Destiny: Why You Are Here and What You Came To Do
by Alan Cohen.

book cover: Soul and Destiny: Why You Are Here and What You Came To Do by Alan Cohen.Does your life have a plan and a purpose? Is your destiny fixed, or can you choose how your journey turns out? Can you change a destiny already set in motion? Why do certain people and patterns show up in your world? Is there a you that runs deeper than your body and personality? Will a part of you go on after you leave the world?

Alan Cohen sheds welcome light on the answers to these important questions, and many more. In his warm and relatable style, he makes big-picture ideas easy to understand, with many heartwarming, compelling stories. If you are trying to make sense of who you are, where you come from, and where you are going, here you will find many profound and touching insights to discover your true self and achieve your highest destiny.

Click here for more info and/or to order this book. Also available as a Kindle edition.

More books by Alan Cohen

About The Author

Alan CohenAlan Cohen is the author of the bestselling A Course in Miracles Made Easy and his newly-released inspirational book, Soul and Destiny. Join Alan and musician Karen Drucker for a transformational in-person ACIM-based retreat in California, Into the Light, December 6-10, 2021. For information on this program and Alan’s other books, recordings, and trainings, visit AlanCohen.com
  


 

More Articles By This Author

You May Also Like

AVAILABLE LANGUAGES

enafarzh-CNzh-TWdanltlfifrdeeliwhihuiditjakomsnofaplptroruesswsvthtrukurvi

INNERSELF VOICES

man eating fast food
It's Not About the Food: Overeating, Addictions, and Emotions
by Jude Bijou
What if I told you a new diet called the "It's Not About the Food" is gaining popularity and…
Lunar eclipse through colored clouds. Howard Cohen, November 18, 2021, Gainesville, FL
Horoscope: Week of November 22 - 28, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
woman wearing a crown of flowers staring with an unwavering gaze
Hold That Unwavering Gaze! Lunar and Solar Eclipses November-December 2021
by Sarah Varcas
This second and final eclipse season of 2021 began on 5th November and features a lunar eclipse in…
two images of one person looking in opposite directions
Beyond Our Perspective: Our Perception Comes from Our Perspective
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com
We each have our individual experiences, frame of reference, and opinions. This creates our own…
Eclipsed Moon and Stars
Horoscope: Week of November 15 - 21, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
dandelion flower in bloom and another in seed
Seeking Spiritual Perfection: Faith in a Better Tomorrow
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com
As spiritual beings, which we all are, we seek to attain perfection, to attain our fullness of…
smiling woman seated on a public bench
Continuing to Grow: Seeking Knowledge, Wisdom, and Intuition
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com
Just like everything in nature, we are growing. While our growth and changes may not be as obvious…
flowers in a meadow in front of the ocean with a sun on the horizon
Horoscope: Week of November 8 - 14, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
Is It Selfish To Listen To Your Inner Compass?
Is It Selfish To Listen To Your Inner Compass?
by Barbara Berger
You have an amazingly accurate and reliable Inner Compass that is working all the time. An Inner…
Ice on Fire: HBO Official Trailer And Interviews
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
Ice on Fire is an outstanding documentary presented by Leonardo DiCaprio. It is equally as…
Using Your Light to Hold the Darkness at Bay
Using Your Light to Hold the Darkness at Bay
by Sonja Grace
As Bear sang his song the darkness began to shrink down into nothing and very soon it was gone as…

Selected for InnerSelf Magazine

MOST READ

How Living On The Coast Is Linked To Poor Health
How Living On The Coast Is Linked To Poor Health
by Jackie Cassell, Professor of Primary Care Epidemiology, Honorary Consultant in Public Health, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
The precarious economies of many traditional seaside towns have declined still further since the…
The Most Common Issues for Earth Angels: Love, Fear, and Trust
The Most Common Issues for Earth Angels: Love, Fear, and Trust
by Sonja Grace
As you experience being an earth angel, you will discover that the path of service is riddled with…
How Can I Know What's Best For Me?
How Can I Know What's Best For Me?
by Barbara Berger
One of the biggest things I've discovered working with clients everyday is how extremely difficult…
What Men’s Roles In 1970s Anti-sexism Campaigns Can Teach Us About Consent
What Men’s Roles In 1970s Anti-sexism Campaigns Can Teach Us About Consent
by Lucy Delap, University of Cambridge
The 1970s anti-sexist men’s movement had an infrastructure of magazines, conferences, men’s centres…
Honesty: The Only Hope for New Relationships
Honesty: The Only Hope for New Relationships
by Susan Campbell, Ph.D.
According to most of the singles I have met in my travels, the typical dating situation is fraught…
An Astrologer introduces the Nine Dangers of Astrology
An Astrologer introduces the Nine Dangers of Astrology
by Tracy Marks
Astrology is a powerful art, capable of enhancing our lives by enabling us to understand our own…
Giving Up All Hope Could Be Beneficial For You
Giving Up All Hope Could Be Beneficial For You
by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.
If you're waiting for a change and frustrated it's not happening, maybe it would be beneficial to…
Chakra Healing Therapy: Dancing toward the Inner Champion
Chakra Healing Therapy: Dancing toward the Inner Champion
by Glen Park
Flamenco dancing is a delight to watch. A good flamenco dancer exudes an exuberant self-confidence…

New Attitudes - New Possibilities

InnerSelf.comClimateImpactNews.com | InnerPower.net
MightyNatural.com | WholisticPolitics.com | InnerSelf Market
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.