The Story of the Golden Buddha
A golden Buddha was covered up with clay one day when an army was coming to invade. It worked, as the army didn’t steal or destroy it. However, everyone forgot it was golden underneath until a long time later when a young boy accidentally bumped some clay off. He saw the gold beneath. He called everyone else and they picked off the clay to reveal the glorious, golden Buddha.
"Our real tresure is hidden within." The true story of the golden buddha covered with clay. Voice: Debbie Ford. Excerpt from the movie "The Shadow Effect".
There is a parallel for us in this story. We’re all “golden” at our cores. Our spirits are “gold” (and we all have the same gold!!) and then we’re born with a physical body and mind. This is the beginnings of the clay. During our lives we add more and more clay. We get to like the clay. We think our clay is better than other people’s clay. We forget that we are gold underneath. Hopefully, at some point in our lives, a bit of our clay breaks off and we see some gold. Once that happens, we’ll probably spend the rest of our lives trying to get the clay off and rejoicing in the gold we can see beneath. The important point for me is that we ALL have the same gold beneath all sorts of various clays that we’ve constructed over the years. At the level of the gold, nobody is better or worse than anybody else. I find this thought inspiring.
Alan Cohen tells the story of the Golden Buddha and explains it's meaning.
People Who Wear the Mask
In her book, Light Emerging, Barbara Brennan writes, "The mask self is our first attempt to right ourselves. With it, we attempt to express who we are in a positive way that is also acceptable to a world that we are afraid will reject us. We present our mask self to the world according to our beliefs of what we think the world says is right, so that we can be accepted and feel safe.
"The mask self strives for connection with others because that is the 'right' thing to do. But it cannot accomplish deep connection because it denies the true nature of the personality. It denies our fear and our negative feelings.
"We put our best into the creation of this mask, but it doesn't work. The mask never succeeds in producing the internal feeling of safety for which we strive. In fact, it produces the internal feeling of an impostor because we are trying to prove we are good, and we aren't good all the time. We feel like fakes, and we become more afraid. So we try harder. We use the best in us to prove that we are good (again according to internalized parental voices). This produces more fear, especially because we can't
keep it up all the time, more feeling of fakery, more fear, in a building cycle.
"The intention of the mask is to protect us from an assumed hostile world by proving that we are good. The intention of the mask is pretense and denial. It denies that its purpose is to cover up pain and anger, because it denies that pain and anger exist within the personality. THE MASK'S INTENT IS TO PROTECT THE SELF BY NOT TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY NEGATIVE ACTIONS, THOUGHTS OR DEEDS.
"From the perspective of our masks, pain and anger exist only OUTSIDE the personality. We don't take any responsibility. Anything negative that happens must be somebody else's fault. We blame them. That means it must be somebody else that is angry or in pain.
"The only way to maintain this MASQUERADE is to always try to prove that we are the GOOD ONES. The energy that we have held in with the mask twists, pushes, leaks, and strikes out at others. And of course we deny that as well, since our intent is to maintain security by proving we are the GOOD ONES.
"Somewhere inside, we enjoy lashing out. Letting out the energy is a relief, even it is isn't clear and straight, even if we are not acting responsibly when we do it. There is a part of us that enjoys dumping our negativity on someone else.
"The intention of the lower self is to maintain separation and to do anything it wants to do, and to not feel pain. The intention of the higher self is for truth, communion, respect, individuality, clear self-awareness, and union with the Creator. The major difference between the higher self, the lower self, and the mask self is found in the foundation of underlying intent upon which each is based, and in the quality of energy present in any
interaction that results from the underlying intent.
"What is so confusing about a lot of human interactions is that they are different according to the intent behind them. The words that we speak can come from any of the three places of intent--- our higher self, lower self, or mask self. The words themselves may say one thing but mean another. 'The higher self means it when it says, 'We are friends.' The mask self means, 'We are friends as along as I am the good one, and you must never challenge the illusion that I am the good one.'
"The lower self says, 'We are friends only to the degree I allow. After that, watch out! Don't tread too closely because I will use you to get what I want and to avoid my pain. If you get too close to me or my pain, or try to stop me from getting what I want, I will get rid of you.'
"In this case, get rid of means anything that it takes to stop the person. It might mean simply not talking to them or overpowering them in an argument, or a power play, or it may go as far as getting rid of them physically."