Monday, August 22, 2005


There has been a lot of randomness in my life of late. I'm not really sure how to deal with it, cause it's something that i've avoided before whenever it crept up. I'm trying to get my bearings on a lot of things and don't really know how to express it or make any real sense of it. Sooo...let me remove the spotlight from myself and move it to a more abstract level: Hypocricy and appearence. Adi Sankaracharya makes the claim "jagat mithyam brahma satyam" meaning the world is illusion and Brahman is supreme, Brahman referring to the Supreme Entity.
Lets take that statement and make it more practical or concrete, focus it onto the individual human being. Many, if not most, people assume two or three appearences. Usually, one is for the world at large, second for those they want to impress and finally the "real" them. The appearence they present or assume for the world at large is usually a professional or extremely superfical one. They will display their "respectable" qualities such as leadership, apparent moral fiber (or at least lip service to such), intelligence and drive. This way they can draw in many people and give them the impression that they are successful and "good" people. Granted some people are much better at this than others, the bad actors are the ones you can easily see through and sometimes get the impression of shadiness.
The second persona assumed is the one they want to show to people that they want to impress at a much more personal level. The qualities mentioned before are highlighted even further, they will also play upon the qualities that the other person finds appealing and enthralling. For example, if a person is drawn in by cultured individuals then the person assuming the mask will accentuate those cultural qualities. In this way, the first mask is affirmed by the assumption of the second mask. The really good actors will be able to convince others that they are sincere in their qualities despite indications that would logically dictate otherwise. Its not laudable but it is a practical and much used trait in the world we live in, which is based primarily on appearence and apparent superfical success.
Finally, the persona that rarely anyone sees and in many cases not even the individual themselves is the persona which defies and contradicts the previous two personas. The supposed cultural, moral and nice person is revealed to be a two faced hypocrite. Those qualities that are shown to the world and those they want to impress are merely clothes worn by the individual to further some goal. They want people to assume and infer that those qualities that they present to the world are how they truly are and thereby want to make people think that they are genuine people. This is extremely true in Indian society. Most indians of my generation and situation prove the above theory/opinion. They act one way with all the families and friends then an entirely different way with others, with whom they don't feel that cultural or familial connection with. Meaning, they will pretend to be respectful and upstanding people in front of family and friends but once away from them they will display contradictory qualities. It is hypocricy at its finest and most people can't even see that they are doing it themselves. How do we correct it? We should keep conscious of our actions and the appearences that we send off. The people who give off appearences are cowards because they can't bear to be seen for what they are, so they build up the appearences. Rather pathetic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
Very interesting (and slightly ironic) post. While I generally agree with the sentiment, I totally disagree with the assumption that people are consciously moving around these different personae. This I gather from you claiming that people are "actors," which implies they are intentionally behaving in certain ways to fit certain contextual conditions. The reason I say this is I've also been thinking about this a lot lately too, and stumbling upon your blog was a total coincidence. I just wrote about this very topic last night, albeit assuming we *need* these different personae in order to feel comfortable in our skin and successfully navigate our social surroundings. Yet, I figure it's more of a subconscious effort where we need to express different - and important - parts of ourselves in these different worlds. Don't want to go off on a soap box here, but if you're interested in a different perspective, read my entry from last night:

I admire that you're thinking of this stuff though, very cool. You write so well; it was actually a pleasure to read this. I'd say about 90% of the blogs I run into are so damn boring. :)