Resources of the Himalayan Yoga Tradition

The Art of Joyful Living

"The word 'personality' comes from the Greek word 'persona,' or mask, because actors in ancient Greece used masks to show what character they were playing. You too wear masks. They are your personality. But who are you really? Who made these masks for you? You are the way you have made yourself. You have manufactured something for yourself to wear. Sometimes the mask exists for defense, or protection; sometimes the mask exists to deflect others; sometimes it is for creative purposes. You use the mask of the personality for many reasons.

You chose these masks. You are your own creation. When you suffer, you sometimes think your suffering is due to God, but that is a poor philosophy because God never wants anyone to suffer. Why should God be interested in creating suffering? You wanted to be the way you are and that is how you created yourself, so you should not blame others for your personality or its conflicts.

In reality, you dismiss the fact that your personality is what you have made yourself, and then you say, 'This is just the way I am!' or 'God has made me the way I am,' which means that you do not understand the word 'God.' The word 'God' stands for that principle of equality, love, and and selfless brilliance - the summum bonum of life. You should not misuses the idea of God to claim that God created you the way you are. You are a spark of the great light; there is no doubt about that. That great light that is within you is actually a nucleus, and this whole universe is its expansion. You'll understand this truth only when you have experienced it."

- Swami Rama in "The Art of Joyful Living."