What would your life be like without masks?

In the book The Madman, Khalil Gibran says: You ask me how I have gone mad. It happened like this: one day I woke up from a deep sleep and discovered that all my masks, masks that I had moulded and used in other lives, had been stolen from me.

I fled unmasked through the crowded streets shouting, “Thieves, thieves, damned thieves.”

Men and women laughed at me, and some ran home afraid of me.

And when I got to the market square, a boy standing on the roof of a house, shouted: “He’s a madman.”

I looked up at him and for the first time the sun kissed my bare face and my soul became ignited with love for the sun and I no longer desired.

Especially my masks. As if in a state of ecstasy, I shouted: “blessed thieves who have stolen my masks”.

That’s how I went mad.


I read this poem read in 2007-2008 at the Ecocentro Restaurant when I used to do free public sessions of NO-THERAPY where I confronted participants by asking them the question, who are you ? Whoever motivated themselves to go to the front and respond was exposing them-self to an uncomfortable situation in front of all those present because the essence of this technique is to demonstrate that we present ourselves before others with a series of more or less organized lies, in order to give a coherent appearance in relation to the belief that we have about ourselves.

Alberto José Varela

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