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July 7, 2013
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Special guest: Vicki Harris
(J) You were saying that what persona is, is the mask, like you were saying. How’d you put that?
(Vicki) I had forgotten. I heard on a radio show, and Martha and I had been talking about persona and she graciously was loving me through something, and I heard this pastor say that you know the masks that were worn in Greek dramas and comedies, that the word for that mask is persona. I just about drove off the road because I thought, oh my-gosh, that right there is a total picture of what we can so easily become. What happens is, when we grasp at something someone else has and hang onto it, it becomes a, it’s a lie. And we become a lie and everything that we express is therefore a lie. It is total sham.
(M) Well, that’s what I wanted to go to, because when John was doing the podcast he shocked me because he said that the woman is, was a lie. And I thought that, I never thought about that. You grasped it, and he did… One of the pictures on it was a woman with a sticker on her mouth that said ‘liar’. But it is, you’re right Vicki. It is to become a lie, and that’s frightening. That is very frightening. Everything you become is a lie.
(Vicki) And you don’t know how to respond to anyone except to sort of reach back down in all of your lies that you have gathered up, and try and pull out of your bag of tricks (John: Hmhmm) how do I…? This is how I respond to you so let me just lay that on you, and this one comes at me with envy so I throw that on you, or this one comes with something else. And so it literally is such death because that’s what has originated it, I think. I don’t know.
(M) You’re orchestrating your response, and it’s a deliberate, formulated response rather than being spontaneous. I know that someone I said to them… She said, “Martha you used to tell me to be, just be.” And she said, “You don’t understand, that was the most impossible thing that could be told me.” I think this comes from a childhood issue.
(Vicki) I know from myself that I would be looking for clues of how do you want me to respond? How do you need me to respond to you? And for myself, I can say that I lived that way a very long time, trying to see just sort of like ‘clue me’, give me, give me something here so I know how you want me to respond to me so you’ll love me.
(M) It’s living by a script, isn’t it?
(Vicki) It’s drama; it’s drama with a mask! It’s a drama with a mask. It is.
(M) That’s brilliant.
(J) Well, I see what it does, is it prevents you from actually forming a response out of your heart, and so you’re basically walling yourself from your heart. You’re walling other people from you heart, so that’s why it’s such a lie, because only out of the heart can true life, you know, emanate. You know? You have to, you have to be in your heart to be able to have, you know, Christ formulate how He wants to respond to things, and how you’ll respond, and how He can deal with you. And as long as you’ve walled that heart off into all the file-cabinet of responses to different things, you’re not spontaneous because it’s all in the head. It’s all the file-cabinet in that head.
(M) Hmhmm. I remember realizing that all my life, if I had simply been honest and spontaneous, both the other person and I would have been better off. But I would have the spontaneous feeling or response, but I would suppress it. And so I guess that’s a lie too. But I remember an episode with one of my children in school, and I wish I could remember the episode, but if I had been spontaneous it would have been healthier for the teacher and me and the child. And so I really let the child down when I wasn’t just honest. And I was thinking while you were talking to Vicki, society, all institutions, families, do not permit you to be absolutely honest. The absolutely transparently honest person is a rarity. And I read, think it was Sparks said, “Without transparency there can be no relationship.” And that’s true.
(Vicki) Uhm. John, when you said that it’s got to come out of your heart, I think that’s one of the things that this ministry through your blogs, through Martha, the Read MK, that continues to nourish the Body of Christ, is that you have to live out of your heart. And I am one, I’m sure among many, who struggles to get the head out of the way, and I think that, I just want to thank you while I have a chance, that you are always speaking from your hearts which are before the Lord. And so it is the Lord’s heart coming to us in truth. And you know, whoever lisens, we can go, we can get, ‘oh, that’s me,’ or angry or ‘I don’t want to listen to that’, or you know, all the emotions that can rise up, but you cannot deny truth. You still know that it’s the truth of the love of God coming with it. And that’s why I think it is, even when someone is transparent, I mean I always wanted somebody who was willing to look me in the face and say ‘you’re wrong’. Don’t we all? Don’t we all want somebody in our life that has the courage to come and say, ‘you messed up’; why didn’t you tell me you felt that way, or you know, if you’d told me six months ago that you didn’t want to do this, we wouldn’t be where we are right now. And I think that is such a truth of the world we live in. And as you’ve been mentioning, for myself as well, the whole Southern upbringing thing of ‘well it’s not polite’ to do it, and not that you have to be, you know, disrespectful or impolite, but I just think it’s very powerful to realize that it is about living out of your heart and not your mind.
(M) I remember a long time ago, and it’s never left me, reading “Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Need”. It’s a pyramid drawing, and it takes you through stages of maturity, and the peak point of that pyramid, the most maturity a human being can come to you would never guess, especially if you’re a Southerner. (Martha laughs.) You would never guess what the tip of it is: the most mature human being is spontaneity. And see that is the child. The child is utterly spontaneous with himself and with others. And when Jesus said, “I played the flute for you and you didn’t dance; and I played the dirge and you didn’t mourn”, He was saying you’re trying to be ‘adult’, and so you’re not responding to God. It’s not only responding to each other; we don’t respond to God unless we become spontaneous with Him. And Job was. Job was utterly truthful and spontaneous with both his friends and God. And he ended up… God corrected him, “Where were you when I made the ocean?” And, but he did have an incredible encounter and vision of God. And in the end he was doubly blessed and became the source of prayer for healing for his friends. And so, he would not abandon his view. I didn’t do anything wrong. Well, maybe he didn’t, but he was going to say what he felt, and then let God correct him if he was, if he was wrong. I don’t know that…
(Vicki) That’s actually what teachers are given, that’s one of the things that we study in education to present to children is to, and they’re always to be working toward the higher level. And so it’s very interesting. I had not remembered that spontaneity was the very top level of Maslow’s hierarchies. So, yeah…
(M) Does that mean spontaneity is our highest need? Or does it… Because I know the bottom levels were primal needs. Don’t find it and tell me it’s spontaneity.
(Vicki) Interesting now that you say that, because in the years that I taught ‘at risk’ kids, we had a medical specialist come in and talk to us and explain to us that because there is this hierarchy of self-preservation in every human being, that if those lower levels of, you know, food and shelter and clothing, are not met, security, are not met, there’s no way for a child’s brain to move up into where it can grasp new information; because the energy is being expended in self-preservation. And so, I don’t know, this is causing me to really want to meditate and think about that because is that true for all of us then? You know, until we have settled in our heart ‘we are safe’. If we’re not safe then we are scrambling to grab it from wherever we can.
(M) And we dare not be honest.
(Vicki) Or needy.
(Vicki) I never even thought of it in this context; never even thought of it before in this context, but that is exactly… I mean in dealing with children and young people who, you know, don’t even know their address because they don’t know where they’re staying this week, or you know, whether someone’s coming home tonight to give them any dinner; uhm, whether they’ll see their parents in the next days or so, they cannot move beyond that and they are very hardened and very fearful of anyone coming in and trying to help and show and guide. I mean it makes… I have much more clarity at this point about why the interactions were as they were.
(J) Well, if you look at the Maslow’s Hierarchy of need, the basic one is physiological need, which is breathing, food, water, sleep, then it’s safety. So you have that food basic. If you don’t know where your food is gonna be coming from, where you’re gonna be sleeping, the basic core is shattered so there’s no way you can be spontaneous if… Ok, and then you have safety, body, employment, resources, family, if that’s destroyed there’s no way you can be spontaneous. Then you’ve got to have friendship, family, intimacy, and you know, you don’t know where your parents are. You’re whatever or you’re constantly moving around and around and you really don’t have a friend base, you cannot be spontaneous. Then it’s self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, and being respected by others. Good grief if, if… So, I mean, it is like a snowball going down, and then self-actualization is the final where it’s spontaneity, creativity, morality, lack of prejudice, problem solving, acceptance of facts. So, if you look at this, if you have a problem with acceptance, prejudice, problem solving, creativity, morality, if you uhm, don’t have those core foundations, no wonder you’re gonna be looking at the file cabinet to pull, rather than to deal in your heart. And that’s just amazing that the heart has to have that security base in order to function in itself. That’s, that blows my mind. That is, that is, I cannot believe this.
(M) I’ll tell you what I’m seeing, seeing in experience that the one thing that can solve that is God’s love through somebody.
I agree that the child-like-heart w/in us truely does desire to be corrected. And can’t the suffication of our spontaniety be compared to the quenching of the Holy Spirit?
When I was in the organized church (not to be critical of all; just a personal experience), I found it difficult to be open and real because I had done that, after getting to know some people – just to get prayer for some scars I had not yet been delivered from – only to get “the look.” So the next church I went to, I just sat in the back row and hoped that no one would ask me anything about myself. Really, just as much of a mask. Guilty!
Playing with my 2 year old granddaughter helps me enter into play and spontaneous responses with God.