Kids inflated with assumed identities of princesses, Incredible Hulks, and Minions will again traipse through our neighborhoods this Halloween. Winds will nip ankles, flit crisped leaves across lawns beneath a waxing crescent moon; porch lights will invite Knock Knock jokes. With encroaching darkness, the drama will deepen.

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

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.

Many small children, bereft of nurturing, develop masks or defense mechanisms that thwart later significant relationships. Psychic pain leads them to seek out consulting rooms of psychologists or other helpers and begin the painful process of owning their masks, discarding them, and developing psychic boundaries. For the first time in their lives, they discover their Source and begin listening for directives. They and those around them thrive.

I know. With much help, I’ve discarded my mask; it graces the bookshelf in my study and reminds me where I’ve been and of more work to be done.

Happy Halloween!