Trick-or-treaters, masked as princesses, pirates, ghouls, all inflated by assumed identities, will again traipse through our neighborhoods this Halloween. Winds will nip ankles, flit crisped leaves across lawns beneath a crescent moon, and welcoming porch lights invite Knock Knock jokes. With the encroaching darkness, the drama will deepen.

Perhaps you’ve also worn a mask for such haunts when a kid or for Mardi Gras carnivals or for parties? Perhaps watched masked performers in plays or ritual performances of native peoples?

Or even worn masks for protection or disguise?

You are not alone. Peoples from cultures all over the world have donned masks for such purposes. The oldest one, made of stone, dates back to 7000 B.C., the Pre-ceramic Neolithic period; it is kept in the Bible and Holy Land Museum in Paris, France.

But there is another way of considering masks.

As children, beset with lack of nurturing, some develop masks or defense mechanisms that can later thwart significant relationships. Some visit the consulting rooms of psychologists or other helpers and begin the painful process of owning their addictive masks, discarding them, and developing psychic boundaries. For the first time in their lives, they experience their spiritual center and begin living from this Source. They thrive.

I know. I’ve been through this process. And here is the result – I keep it in my study!