In the ancient Aramaic culture, the “apay” was the mask that an actor would often wear as the opening persona or character in a play or dramatic performance. The goal was for the performer to eventually transcend this egoic persona and ultimately drop the mask (apay), revealing one’s True, Higher Self. When Yeshua [Jesus] would address others as what Christianity now calls a “hypocrite”, his First Century CE listeners would have understood that he was referring to their judgments and criticisms as coming from the mask or persona of their egoic or false self, not from their higher, Divine Nature.
Apay is also the ancient Aramaic word that was ultimately translated as “veil”. This brings to light the truth of how our egoic persona obscures the authenticity of our True Being. A Course in Miracles defines ego as “but a dream of what you really are”. This insight reveals a much deeper understanding of our hypocritical persona being a movie-like mask that conceals our inherent Divinity as the Essence of Love Itself.
Paramahansa Yogananda wrote “No cruelty exists in God’s plan, because in His eyes there is no good or evil – only pictures of light and shadows. The Lord intended us to view the dualistic scenes of life as He does – the ever-joyous witness of a stupendous cosmic drama.
Man has falsely identified himself with the pseudo-soul, or ego. When he transfers his sense of identity to his true being, the immortal soul, he discovers that all pain is unreal. He can no longer even imagine the state of suffering.”
In his 1929 book “Pagan Regeneration: A Study of Mystery Initiations in the Greco-Roman World”, Harold R. Willoughby relayed how the general mass of students were called mystae, meaning “those with closed eyes” until they went through their final grade of spiritual initiation, at which point they were called epopteia, meaning “those who can see”. These “eyes closed” mystae were often very easily swayed and wowed by the “bells and whistles” of miracles, trance states and even psychotropic substances, most often to the negation of true actualization and realization. In the eagerness of their spiritual immaturity, they would often prefer to be “stoned on God” rather than do what was required to experience the eternal nectar of true Gnosis. This “eyes that can see and ears that can hear” insight was literally all over the pagan philosophies and mystery teachings at the time of Yeshua. In fact, this pagan philosophy is all over the teachings of Yeshua as well.
This, I offer, is our highest human calling.
[excerpted in part from Dale’s book “Echoes of an Ancient Dream: Aramaic Toning on the Path of Light”]