It’s rare to notice the different roles we play in life and how they sit side by side one another, disconnected in an awkward dish of what we call our persona. It is like having a wardrobe filled with different masks, except instead of us choosing which ones to wear at any given occasion, they choose us according to the situations which match their flavour. To family we are one, to friends we are something else, and to acquaintances yet another. In social life one mask is worn while in business, where suits, desks, handshakes and outlook invitations mark the territory, a completely different mask come to the fore. They are not of our choosing but rather our conditioning. And the larger the gap between the roles we play, and the greater the differences between them, the more we are left to question who exactly we are.
Reconciliation is the direction of psychological health. If we are one person in the morning, one in the afternoon, and yet another in the evening, these three individuals have been each robbed of the potential they could have otherwise pursued individually. A man is as strong as his inner solidarity, where his decisions in one moment are carried out in the next. If who you are is different according to the changing whims of the environment, then you cannot even depend on yourself and the choices you make. Think of it as the nature of the straight line and the power that phenomenon plays on the conceptual and literal worlds of man. A man governed by multiple roles has no straight line within him as the environment and his multiple masks curve him in the direction of their desire.
If a man were a conscious actor and could intentionally put on and discard his masks at will, then the situation would be different. For there would be a principle of consciousness beneath and beyond the level of the roles he plays, directing his actions in this world according to the necessities of specific circumstances. But that is not the case here and so a man must face the reality of not only being subject to curved forces which take him on endless tangents, but that his desire for self-development is also made impossible as the masks juggle and shuffle in whichever direction pleases them. A man doesn’t truly exist in this type of facade and so he must work towards raising his awareness of the masks, the disparity between them, and thereby begin to develop at least an awareness of their existence and influence.
Humpty-Dumpty must be put back together again. No illusions can serve him, as it does no good to pretend or assume that man is one person, one role, simply because he has one body and one name. The territory of psychology requires reconciliation through efforts of observation. Observation to the things that are said and done in one moment and contradicted in the next. Observation of the fact that we do not realize these contradictions when they occur and barely recollect them having happened at all. Our attention is always absorbed into the mask itself and the words and deeds it is busy toiling itself with. A man performing business or loitering in relaxation with friends can still be the same man, and so his psychology must be re-membered between the two for that to hold true. If for the sake of survival a man allows masks to wear him and impose on him a strategy and tactic which only serves to dismember him even further, then survival itself has to be forsaken.