Who are You? Who am I?

In the “Jodorowsky Constellation” that I watched yesterday night, Jodorowsky is asked “Who are You”.

Here is his answer.

The Emperor of China asked the same question to Boddhi Darma who crossed India thinking he would find disciples. The Emperor called him and told him “I translated 2,000 books. What is my merit?” 

Boddhi Darma told him “There is no merit!”. The Emperor of China asked him “Who are you to dare to speak to me like that”. 

Boddhi Darma replied “I don’t know” and he left. 

Only when you die can you know who you are. The moment you can define yourself, you are dead as when alive you keep changing.

Jodorowsky says “People say I am a mystic because I study themes that overs avoid. I do not consider myself a mystic or even an artist. I play games. I am a player.”

What kind of “person” are you?

Person means mask.

“Per-so-na” in Greco Roman drama is the sound that comes through the mask actors were wearing to embody their character reminded me Alan Wats in “Out of your mind”. 

According to Carl Jung, the persona is also the mask or appearance one presents to the world. It may appear in dreams under various guises. People may choose to wear a social mask or "persona" to make themselves appear more socially desirable. This is used to impress potential partners or to make new friends.

So there are the masks you chose to define yourself with and the masks that others see you wearing, they’re different. 

I am or have been in disorder an entrepreneur, a sailor, a pilot, a paraglider, a blogger, an Internet “expert”, a social media addict, a conference organizer, a radio show host, a meditator, a learning guitarist, a student of Tarot, a book author, a smoker (20 years ago), a “burner” who liked to party at Burning Man, a kite-surfer, a WEF speaker, someone going in therapy for 7 years almost every week, a student of plant medicine and indigenous tribes, a vision quest Lakota student, a spiritual person, an amateur of wines, a vegan (for a month), a marathon runner… These are all masks I decided to wear and often go deep in them. Then there is how friends and family and strangers see me and the mask they see in me. 

I can decide today to wear another mask. Any mask. When I wear one I like to go deep. I keep it or abandon it. 

Each time I go to the the Amazon forest the indigenous paint my face. 

They painted me as a flower, a warrior, a scary snake, a ghost… When I asked them why they painted me this way they always said “for protection”. Most of the time the painted masks were scary. I posted some on Instagram with brutal reactions from friends, from love to “he got crazy” to a scary person, to someone cool who lives the life of the indigenous fully, to someone bad doing cultural appropriation (while the indigenous did it spontaneously and seem to like painting me even though I’m not “one of them”). I received fascination, repulsion, admiration and even almost lost some friends with just one photo posted. 

If there is one thing I discovered, it is the power of those paintings. I don’t post them anymore, maybe I will again one day, without taking them seriously and just as a game. 

It’s like wearing costumes at Burning Man which I learned to really enjoy. I have impersonated many roles there. I got the same type of reactions as with the masks when I posted some of them. 

That might be why I like Tarot too, all the cards are archetypes, a mask you can take, a person you can be. 

In The Toltec Secret, Dreaming practices of the ancient Mexicans, Sergio Magaña recommends wearing two masks and talking to yourself in front of a mirror. One has a long nose you can see and the other doesn’t. In a dream you can’t see the tip of your nose. 

No more masks.

Meditators disappear in long silent retreats where eye contact, talking and reading is forbidden. Shamans retire alone to the forest for a long period of time (sometimes year) to discover who they are and connect with nature. I have spent time with both and spending more and more time this way. I enjoy retreats and I am considering longer ones, longest I have done is a month so far. Each time I learn a lot about myself. 

So who am I really when I remove the masks? Can I know really? It seems the answer is no and it’s a futile quest. 

Even my image in a mirror isn’t me, it’s only a reflection like the Moon reflects the Sun light. It never looks the same. The only way I can see myself is through my own conditioning and choices or what people tell me I am, through their conditioning and culture.

I was saying in my previous post that I have always cared way too much about what people think, I am learning to care less and be more “myself” not knowing who that is. 

How about you reading this, Who are You?