This time of year, we sometimes say “the veil is thin” — the division between the waking world and the sleeping world, the conscious and unconscious, the embodied and transcended. Halloween (All Hallow’s Eve) gives us a chance to remind ourself that we’re all just dressed up in costumes and masks all the time. My teacher Mitchel Bleier once suggested that we get all dressed up not to disguise who we are, but instead to discover who will recognize us despite our external trappings.
We all know that feeling of walking down Frenchmen Street in 7″ platform boots, giant wings, a mask, elaborate costume — only to have someone see us, recognize us instantly. Maybe you don’t know the feeling of platform boots and the smell of Frenchmen Halloween — but that recognition, that being seen, is something we all deeply crave.
But what is it that we’re seeing when we see another person like that? And how do we cultivate that vision? Is it their walk? Their “aura”? (Aside: I hate words like aura — I think they separate us more into the in-the-esoteric-know and otherwise.) Do we hear that specific lilt in their voice, glint in their eye? Why is it that the year I dressed us as The Angel From Montgomery, my fake white eyelashes veiled me from the man I was sleeping with at the time, but not my yoga DJ?
How do we reveal our own true self – not the one we costume with careers and status, fancy clothes and perfect hair – but the one that those who know us recognize? And how do we train our vision to look beyond these external veils, to the true nature of the people around us?
When you mask this Friday — I encourage you to explore if you are trying to hide or reveal your light. Sometimes, when we entirely change our external layers, only most real parts of ourselves remain.