One of the most transformational theories of Core Energetics is the theory of higher self/lower self/mask. There are many fascinating aspects to the mask. Firstly, our mask doesn’t just hide our negativity to other people; – our mask can also keep negative aspects of ourselves below the level of our awareness. This is why clients often get stuck in therapy, as remaining in the mask is also non-movement of energy.
Why? Because our mask is also held in our body in the form of muscular armouring, blocks and energy leaks which prevent the flow of energy through the body and deeper access to our unconscious. The more we delve underneath the muscle armouring the more we are able to bring the unconscious to consciousness, and bring our negativity to the surface. Dr. John Pierrakos called this penetrating the mask and facing the lower self, Reich referred to it as working with the secondary drives trapped underneath the muscular armouring, and Jung called it embracing the Shadow. Whatever it is called, our forefathers agree that we must not skip or bypass our negativity if we want to heal.