Beyond The Mask

We’re going to begin this article with a poem written by Paul Laurence Dunbar. The following is sourced from Wikipedia: “He was an American poet, playwright, and novelist; born to parents who were enslaved before the American Civil War.” In 1902, his body passed at the tender age of thirty-three. How talented a writer; how rich his writing. I include his poem because I believe it clearly relates his understanding of true Self–That, which is beyond our mask of name and form:


We Wear the Mask
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
       We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
       We wear the mask!
Paul Laurence Dunbar

We may also discover true Self, That, which is beyond any of the human drama that may have apparently occurred in “our” life. We are not now–nor were we ever–the mind’s sharpness or dullness; the body’s health or disease; our apparent failures or successes! We are neither our costume nor our story. We are beyond the mask! We do not rise or fall by our mask; the mask shines by the light of true Self. We are That which cannot be defined. I Am is our true Self–SPIRIT!

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,


Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. May it help you in your spiritual journey. 🙏🙏

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

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