Mask effect

Andrei Grigoriev
4 min readJul 10, 2021

We are sitting with my wife in a restaurant and talking to a waiter. He wears a mask, a physical mask, and we barely hear what he’s saying. Every 20 seconds: what?

Image credit Vogue Portugal

I then recall that 10 years ago when I flew to New York to dance away my mask, this time metaphorical. I invested a fortune to fly over the ocean, many days workshop, use all my intention, all my courage, all my (at that time little) love towards myself to go through this, which was, honestly, very challenging. The task was then create a papier-mâché mask when I was still at home. And then take that my mask away at the end of workshop.

I sit there and realize that we used to pay money for that, often a lot, to take those masks away. Because true freedom and true happiness only come from that — becoming yourself. Yet wearing a mask, physical mask, when we hide a large portion of our face, may work stronger than wearing a metaphorical mask, when we play someone else, someone we are not actually are.

The System in just few months had put a mask nearly on everyone on the planet. And instead of ripping that mask away, people keep holding the mask, even two of them, as I saw in one British newspaper lately, that is today considered cool.

Here comes the key question: do we have to wait for the next Jesus Christ to wake us up or this time we can wake up ourselves? Or help wake up each other. Will we dare to question authority on whether the virus actually does exist in the first place (I still don’t know, I’m just curious and I feel something is not right about the story)? And, if yes, does the mask actually help (I have seen evidence that it doesn’t and makes things worse)? And I don’t even raise the question on that transparent fluid people agree to be injected into the flesh of the body. It’s easy to be simply banned in the digital scene for using this keyword.

I guess that was the set of questions some people started to ask in late 30s about Hitler. Mostly across the ocean as it was dangerous to ask them in Europe. And the speed of being taken down (sign the treaty with Germany) for most of Europe at that time tells to me people believed either him or at least believed those from their respective authorities who had made the decision to step down.

And now we sign treaty and step down at planetary scale. We paid hundred annual bucks for the convenience to save our numbers in xls and our words in doc files. And those money went to finance this whole thing in first place. And we still don’t connect the dots and continue to pay for that convenience. And we don’t ask questions! We trust authority. Authority that keeps people at home for months! Authority that in some countries has associated itself with speculation and greed. Nothing else, only that.

Is it a time in the history of humanity when the untruth has augmented to such an extreme that removing those masks, this time both metaphorically and not, will become the gesture of true love? Love towards ourselves first, towards each other and towards the living world on planetary level.

Where is that Spanish espíritu de poder that could halt the hungry bull with that red piece of fabric? They go for groceries on schedule. Where is that Italian passione per la vita that f*cked the seatbelts for years so that it doesn’t cover the brilliance of the white shirt? They are unable to exit the little room and hug their neighbour. And French, how they now manage le premier baiser with the double mask?

But this time it’s not about the battle, not about resistance. The System is still too ruthless against the manifestation of individual characters. Like one (now famous) tribal leader said lately, it’s about being “discreet and sensible on individual level”. About attention directed more inward. It’s a perfect timing for working on becoming yourself. About observing and acknowledging the fear, if it is there. Reflecting on and working with the positive attitude, day and night. Being grounded AND accept the presence of some higher connection, whatever you call it, not just one or the other. It’s about talking to nature, literally talking to a tree, even if you have to do it through the window. And it’s not about necessarily speaking to your loved one, it’s more about sensing that she wants a coffee but you are already filling the coffee-pot.

That for me is the practical conclusion of the Mask Effect.



Andrei Grigoriev

Founder of terraSCOPE − strategic consulting, SHAGI [] back to feet after spine injury, earlier (disappointed) marketing executive