Jekyll & Hyde

Do we all pretend, play a part in a gigantic play we call life? Do we all create our own persona and slip the mask on as soon as we are confronted with society? And why? What is the consequence of taking that away, instead, having reality? Is it dangerous? More boring? or just scary? Maybe we have just forgotten who we really are deep down at the core.

Yes OK, this is pretty deep for a Sunday but it swirls in my mind a lot.

Jekyll and HydeWe are born performers. We learn throughout childhood the subtle art of building a complex character that fuses us into our social setting. We start off acting how we feel, but slowly learn to act how we ought to feel. The “ought” part coming from experiencing thousands of social interactions. Does this mean the person we present as in society is not the real us? Or because we have acted the part for so long are we a character and the character has become us?

The problem with the latter theory I find is that sometimes when I’m alone with my mind I feel like there is a Jekyll and Hyde battle going on. I have one part of my brain telling me “this is how I feel” and another part going “that’s utter bullshit, I’m feeling like this”. It’s like my tamed mind is fighting the constraints it’s in, imposed by society, but ultimately by myself.

Sometimes this “Hyde” side of my mind is overwhelming, and feels uncontrollable, yet I know it is definitely and absolutely me. It lets me know that “it (Hyde)” is not the crazy side, tells me that the crazy side is the Jekyll side, as that is the side that is willing to be forcibly rammed into a mould and subdued all in the name of pleasing society. Hyde is telling me I’m loosing myself, my true expression of who I am, my identity, and that society has conditioned me into rationalising this behaviour even though looking at the big picture it’s absurd and incomprehensible.

What am I trying to say? I suppose I’m trying to say that sometimes it’s worth questioning who we are, however scary the truth may be. You can always swap characters, learn new lines, but you can never run away from yourself, so you might as well get to know you better. You may find out you have a dark, twisted, dangerous streak, but there is no running away from that, you can hide it behind your character, but at what cost?

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