When we think that we are persons, we are immediately enmeshed in a ranking system. According to this system, the death of a queen is vastly more important than the death of an unbaptized orphan in a country with no weapon systems and a minor league GDP. The word ‘person’ comes from the Latin for actor’s mask. Clearly, there’s no benefit to be derived from reforming our systems. We just need clarity about who we are not.
Hey there! Buddy, speaking! Yessir, your ego! Your pleasure-seeking pain-avoiding wired-for-business hyper viper! Yes, it’s me! Me as you! The voice in your head that never shuts up! That likes and dislikes, desires and fears, judges and labels, worries and wonders, remembers and imagines, plans and organizes, reacts and repeats?! So times a-wastin’, dude! Pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er!
The prison of personality chokes off love by first inhibiting and finally denying spontaneity. Perfect behaviour is spontaneous behaviour. Love doesn’t calculate. It cares nothing for results. Love’s reward is the action itself.
The personality is a set of conditioned behaviours of which we are mostly unaware. If you doubt this wear your watch on your opposing wrist for a week. These behaviours make us utterly predictable to those who know us best. ‘Here we go again,’ they think or say. Which is why we need to live in community—to be reminded now and then that we are robots. We need the personality in the same way a chick needs its shell—as an adolescent protection, only useful for as long as it takes to peck our way out of it.
The personality is a braid of conditioned behaviours and memories. It’s why we think, speak and act the same way every day. We assume this triple-named bit of binding is who we are.