(Del lat. persōna, máscara de actor, personaje teatral, este del etrusco phersu, y este del gr. πρόσωπον).

2 comentarios:

  1. "The person, from the Latin persona, was originally the megaphone-mouthed mask used by actors in the open-air theaters of ancient Greece and Rome, the mask through (per) which the sound (sonus) came.


    “Individual” is the Latin form of the Greek “atom” — that which cannot be cut or divided any further into separate parts. We cannot chop off a person’s head or remove his heart without killing him. But we can kill him just as effectively by separating him from his proper environment. This implies that the only true atom is the universe — that total system of interdependent “thing-events” which can be separated from each other only in name. For the human individual is not built as a car is built. He does not come into being by assembling parts, by screwing a head onto a neck, by wiring a brain to a set of lungs, or by welding veins to a heart. Head, neck, heart, lungs, brain, veins, muscles, and glands are separate names but not separate events, and these events grow into being simultaneously and interdependently. In precisely the same way, the individual is separate from his universal environment only in name. When this is not recognized, you have been fooled by your name. Confusing names with nature, you come to believe that having a separate name makes you a separate being. This is — rather literally — to be spellbound.


    The hallucination of separateness prevents one from seeing that to cherish the ego is to cherish misery. We do not realize that our so-called love and concern for the individual is simply the other face of our own fear of death or rejection. In his exaggerated valuation of separate identity, the personal ego is sawing off the branch on which he is sitting, and then getting more and more anxious about the coming crash!


    Just because it is a hoax from the beginning, the personal ego can make only a phony response to life. For the world is an ever-elusive and ever-disappointing mirage only from the standpoint of someone standing aside from it — as if it were quite other than himself — and then trying to grasp it. Without birth and death, and without the perpetual transmutation of all the forms of life, the world would be static, rhythm-less, undancing, mummified.

    But a third response is possible. Not withdrawal, not stewardship on the hypothesis of a future reward, but the fullest collaboration with the world as a harmonious system of contained conflicts — based on the realization that the only real “I” is the whole endless process. This realization is already in us in the sense that our bodies know it, our bones and nerves and sense-organs. We do not know it only in the sense that the thin ray of conscious attention has been taught to ignore it, and taught so thoroughly that we are very genuine fakes indeed."

    Una reseña de Maria Popova sobre "The Book On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are", de Alan Watts.


  2. En una de las citas, Watts dice que muchos problemas filosóficos suelen resolverse anulando la pregunta inicial. Que es como si la filosofía quisiera liberar al ser humano de la "enfermedad" de ciertas preguntas sin sentido. Pero, dice, el asombro no es una enfermedad, sino una de las características que parecen distinguir al ser humano de los otros animales y a la gente inteligente y sensible de la idiota.

    Esa obsesión con "qué nos distingue de los otros animales". Parece paradójico, tal vez no lo sea, pero me parece paradójico que esa característica que Watts señala como una de las que nos distinguen de los otros animales —el asombro— esté precisamente relacionada con lo que él llama la "alucinación de la separación", con el hecho de que nos sentimos —y nos sabemos— individuos y como tales nos preguntamos por nuestro lugar en este mundo que ni siquiera sabemos qué es. Es decir, la propia sensación de separación nos lleva a la idea o, si tenemos suerte, a la conciencia y sensación de unidad.

    Precisamente eso que nos hace sentir animales distintos, especiales y reyes del planeta, esa manera de asir el mundo que pasa por la sensación de individualidad y separación (y su compañero el asombro) es precisamente lo que nos aleja de poder "colaborar con el mundo como un sistema armonioso de conflictos", cosa que los otros animales hacen sin tanta arandela.

    Es extraño hablar de la alucinación de la separación. Da la sensación de que separación y unidad se distinguen realmente en el mundo, así como nosotros los distinguimos al nombrarlos. Como si una, la separación, fuera solo un fenómeno producto de una serie de factores (entre esos un sujeto que percibe), y la otra, la unidad, fuera la realidad subyacente que no nos atrevemos a ver ni a vivir. Pero se trata, precisamente, de que no existe la una sin la otra. Es tan real la interdependencia de la persona —máscara— con el mundo, como son reales las miserias individuales del personaje, la soledad de una desgracia. No hay conciencia de unidad que torne las desgracias y miserias menos reales. Así como no hay tragedia, por horrible que sea, que anule los lazos de la persona con el mundo.