Personality – Loosening the Bonds


The word personality comes from the Greek word persona, meaning mask. We all wear these masks, but how do we drop them?

“The word personality is very significant. It comes from a Greek word persona. Persona means ‘the mask.’ In Greek drama the actors used masks, false faces. Those false faces were called personae. And from that, the word personality comes. It is beautiful. It means that you are acting through a false face, it is not you. You are hiding behind a false face because you cannot reveal your real face.

“I am not saying to necessarily – or unnecessarily – go on revealing your real face everywhere.

“There is no need: in some places the persona is needed. But be clear that this is the persona; this is not you. Inside, you must know when you are acting and when you are real. You must not be deceived by your acting. You must not become identified with your acting. I know that faces are needed; otherwise it will be difficult to live in society, very difficult. Faces are good in a way. They facilitate, they work as lubricants. And in a big society, with so many people, you need not reveal your reality everywhere.

“Someone meets you in the morning, and you feel disturbed by it… You think ‘Why have I seen this man’s face this morning? His face may destroy my whole day.’ But, outwardly, you smile and say ‘Good morning. How happy I am to see you!’ Inwardly, you are not happy at all.

“But this is okay as far as manners are concerned. It would not be good to say to the man ‘I am feeling very unhappy. You have destroyed my morning. Your face is dangerous. I am afraid that seeing you will ruin my whole day.’ This would not be good. Unnecessary – unnecessarily disturbing to the other man; there is no need.

You must know what is a mask and what is real

“But you must know what is a mask and what is real. You must be aware of what is going on within. That is your real being. And what is going on, on the face is just a social utility.

“If you can make a clear-cut distinction between you and your personality, then the personality becomes just like clothing. You can drop it at any moment and become naked.

“If you cannot drop it, it means that you are so attached to it that the distinction is not there, the separation is not there: there is no gap. A gap is needed so that at least in your room, in your bathroom, you can put your personality away and become real. At least in meditation, you can throw off the personality and become real, because there it is not needed.

With meditation no mask is needed

“Meditation is non-social. It is not concerned with anyone else, it is concerned only with yourself. So no mask is needed, you can be authentic.”

Osho, The New Alchemy: To Turn You On, Talk #14

Suggested reading: OSHO: Mindfulness in the Modern World: How Do I Make Meditation Part of Everyday Life?

Mindfulness in the Modern World