Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The four faces of us all.

The distortions we imagine.
There is a Japanese saying: “We have three faces: The first face, we show to the
world. The second face, we show to our family and friends. The third face, we never show anyone and it is the truest reflection of who we are.”

There is, however, another Japanese Zen koan: “Who were you before your parents were born?” which transcends the first saying and points to our “original face”—Who all of us are before the clothing of expectations or definitions are applied is this original face, without form or definition—the one that can’t be seen that is doing the seeing. Look at it this way: If there is a face that can be perceived it cant be who we are since it takes both a perceptible image (what is seen) and one who sees. All of us are that imperceptible seer, not an image.

The first face we show the world because we believe it is the expected ideal. The second face is the one we risk showing, based on the assumption that we can relax with family and friends: still a risk, but one we accept. The third face, the one we never show, is the one we fear the most and holds the greatest risk of exposure, persuading us that if ever revealed will destroy us. All three are unreal projections, based on our criteria within us that we construct. None of these are real. Instead they are based on the expectations we each hold as yardsticks against which we measure who we imagine we are as acceptable beings, worthy of love.

The only face that is real is the fourth: the one that can’t be seen. This face alone holds no criteria of acceptability since by nature it is wholeness itself: complete, indiscriminate, lovable beyond measure and understanding of all, because IT is all. 
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