In my experience, reason neither enables nor supports empathy or social justice.
Masks were not created by us. Our oldest traditions as human beings involved masks of some kind. We only arrive at the understanding we have of animals and nature by adopting a persona that matches what we are looking at, at least to the best of our ability.
I like those African voodoo masks. They are excellent examples. Ask any Hawaiian and they will tell you they didn’t invent the appearances of the spirits we see in their tikis.
It’s interesting how similar masks from various native cultures can be. Well, there is a reason. We don’t make up personas. They existed before us and will exist after us, and they have an impact all their own. How many masks can you think of? Is it a long list?
Not many. This isn’t a coincidence. We acquire our masks from two different sources. The masks like you see in voodoo are inspired by human observation of nature. That’s the first source, and these masks are no deception. We all assume these forms at different times. To adopt a new mask is to shift form if not shape. Can you make a decision without putting your emotions and thoughts into some sort of form?
When you refuse to adopt a clear form, things still happen. Those who refuse to identify with anyone or anything, how well do they function in the world? And the body knows all animal forms, voodoo masks are body masks.
A split second choice is more about the body than the thinking. Muscles have memory, I believe. They have seen this in people with spinal cord injuries. It’s established that they do. Any cell that has the ability to return to a state of equilibrium has memory.
The other theater, or set of masks, is derived from the relatively new domain of human “conscious” thought. Generally, very primitive and impressionistic masks all wind up resembling death masks as they are seriously minimalistic and diminished, like a person’s face becomes thin and wasted when they have been on their death bed for a while.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.