Plans, Projections & Masks

by Antonio Dias

This post is a bit of a departure from my common practice. It is left as a lightly edited transcription of a meditation of a few hours duration from a few days ago. It was written as each phrase or sentence or paragraph came to my attention as I let go of any attempt to direct my thoughts other than to stay attuned and capture what arrived. At times these thoughts came quickly. Other times, minutes, many minutes might pass between one fragment and the next.

I’ve begun pieces this way before, but usually these are just the kernel of longer elaborated essays completed over a number of drafts with many of the “spaces” “filled in.”

What if one were left “as is?”

***

Plans are a form of mask.

A map is a mask.

We put on a plan the way we put on a mask. Both are opportunities for projection. In both cases we are insisting on a lie. Insisting that we, and others, accept a projection as if it were true.

Working with literal masks, acting, theatrical performance; remove the transparency afforded our common projections and in so doing extend our awareness of masks and their effects.

Maps and plans are props for the Ego. They give us a place to hide from the brittleness of our projections. They screen us from a direct engagement with what is – the last thing the Ego would want to have to confront! – and they buttress the Ego’s insistence that it have its way.

We desire plans because Ego weakens our capacity to handle what is, directly. Dismantling Ego’s hold on us liberates us from the tyranny of the plan.

It is only when the crash and bother of our striving after Ego’s demands has ceased that we can hear the soft voices speaking to us from out of the field. We know we are listening when we accept what it imparts to us without friction, without our focus remaining on our concern over how we might interpret what we discover. As we no longer impede what comes in, what goes out is also free to flow with the virtuosity of grace.

We cease to own what we do, unshackling ourselves from expectation. We fully enter the realm of Gift.

The natural world, that which is born, exists within the realm of the Gift. This is reflected in Genesis, before the Fall life was within Grace.

There is effort, but it is free from the tyranny of expectation, from out of which we became tied to Law.

Art’s practices focus on freeing us of expectation.

This connection between expectation and the need for Law is at the root of the violence done in the name of Justice through Ego’s constructions. To the Ego life without expectation, without accountability, and supervision, the entire edifice built up to prop up intention and its properties, all that replaces engagement with order, craft with technique; would collapse of its own weight. There is an extreme fallacy put forward by Ego’s apologists that there can be no rigor without these trappings of hierarchy and order. That is a lie. It is a mirrored projection. What passes for rigor within Ego’s realm is the expression of the unfaceable fear and doubt that all its machinations are built out of thin air. Its caricatures of rigor and discipline are meant to cover this fundamental inadequacy with the excuses of striving.

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