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  • Writer's pictureMen's Corner

'In The Box': A Man and His So-Called Personality.

Updated: Aug 9, 2019

''In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.''

— C. S. Lewis

Among many other things, one thing really stands out for me when it comes to working toward deeper truths in life, and that is the concept of personality...

Human personality in general, and men's personality in particular.

And, having looked deeper into myself than I have ever looked into another, I have found that much of a man's outward personality and character is nothing but deception.

A boy grows up with pain, and hides behind a mask; this is the lot of all mortals...

And by the time we are grown men, we collect many, many masks...

As adults, it is namely this — the combination of all those masks — that we present to the world, even to ourselves., calling it our personality.

Knowing no better, remembering no better, and having 'always felt that way', we then turn to the world, asking of it to tell us who we are — and indeed it does. The world looks at our outward behaviour — it examines all the ways in which we carry ourselves, think, react, learn, create, and relate — and it puts us into one of the categories it has...

The world then labels us with terms, words, and phrases; it instructs us never to push the boundaries of our so-called personality, and it provided us with much care and comfort — backed by the academic research to justify it all — so much so, that most of us never really doubt the facts behind the figures, the truth behind numbers and the research...

And this is where we are wrong.

Because what we have learned to call personality is, for the most parts, a defense against pain...

Very little of what we have learned to call our 'self' actually is.

In my work, I have often found that a man's personality and outward character often seems to be 'designed' in a way that is exactly opposite to his true nature. This is a fact that is proven over and over again, not only in the lives of my clients, friends and contacts, but in my own life as well.

This is what I have seen...

A boy grows up timid, fearful and shy — introverted and 'bookish', he is driven into a corner by the world, pushed into a dark hole which he believes is his only safe place. In time, his young personality crystalises into a shape that fits that mold. He grows up torn by anxiety, fear and shame; he fears the world and doesn't even know why...and this is indeed tragic.

Because the so-called personality of that man is nothing more than a solidified, grotesque monument, a hard shell, the result of childhood conditioning and pain, and an unwanted guardian against future suffering...but believe me as I say this — nothing good comes out of a mere defense against pain...

Indeed, most of the good things in life are products of 'an actions for' something worthy, rather than 'a reactions against' suffering...

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes, asked the ancient Roman poet Juvenal — 'who will watch the watchmen?'

Who could protect that hapless little boy from his own protection, his own hardened, deformed self?

And so, in a way that is sinister beyond imagining, the hardened misshapen bulk of the adult male becomes the tombstone of the boy buried underneath it.

But we, who are on the outside, think this is still him, the boy! We still think he is as he should be — and we urge the man to 'follow his heart and chase his dreams'...

We do not hear the deathly silence.

We do not see the grave.

* * *

'The tragedy of life is in what dies inside a man while he lives ,' said peace activist Norman Cousins, and oh, how right he was...

The death he speaks of is the successful permanent suppression of the good things that we were all born with and, like that little boy, have since lost:

'...the death of genuine feeling, the death of inspired response, the awareness that makes it possible to feel the pain or the glory of other men in yourself.'

Interesting phrase, 'genuine feeling' — could this be the ability to feel from that true inner self, that heart, the young boy who is hidden inside of all of us grown men?

And what about 'inspired response'? If we are honest, we will admit that very little of our responses are 'inspired' — provoked, more likely...

And if we look even deeper, we may even see that those responses are not even responses, but actually, reactions...

We are rarely free to act; most of the time we are 're-acting' to the constant requirements, needs, and demands of our world — from our smartphone to the people around us.

Yet, we cannot deny that fact that the men we tend to admire happen to be men who do indeed 'act', do indeed bring the power of their presence, thoughts, ideas, and actions into the world; it is they who affect the world and change it, and not vise versa.

And when we study some of those men, we often find that they too had been labeled by the world — with definitions of traits, characteristics, and even serious medical conditions — and were never expected to cross the cruel, rigid borders of those categories and get out of the 'boxes' they had been put in...

But they did.

Many of them challenged the world and its comfortable, suffocating diagnoses; they rejected their own desire for convenience and ease; they turned away from the need for excuses, compromise, and all that which appeals to the mind but enslaves the spirit — and this is why we read about them today...

Do not let the world tell you who you are.

You are more, far more than you have been led to believe. You are not the limitations of your so-called personality; your very desire not to be proves it!

You must embark on a deep journey for the recovery and restoration of the man you were meant to be — so that you can play well your role in life; so that you can be fully yourself — and then you will come face to face with your own masculinity, your own greatness as a human and as a man.

And even though the discovery of that true inner man, the man behind the mask of personality, is a long, painful, and sometimes even brutal process, I can tell you this: becoming your true self again means becoming a true man — a 'real man' — and this is worth everything.

Absolutely everything.

With much respect,

George Stoimenov


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