“Remove the mask”- Lessons from Scooby-Doo
During my morning study, I came across this quote from Mary Baker Eddy, “Expose and denounce the claims of evil and disease in all their forms, but realize no reality in them.”
Eddy goes on, “To put down the claim of sin, you must detect it, remove the mask, point out the illusion, and thus get the victory over sin and so prove its unreality.” Science and Health 447:20
I asked myself, “If what’s behind the mask isn’t real to begin with, why do we have to expose it?”
I thought a little more…
Lies are complicated and liars like to mask themselves as something else. Then I thought about a loved cartoon, Scooby-Doo. Each episode ends with the villain being unmasked. It seems like a rudimentary plot, but there is something satisfying about seeing who is behind the mask and stopping them from further damage. Here is one short clip from an episode, “Scooby- Doo- Betrayed by an Old Friend.”
This cartoon illustrates to me the relevance of solving the mystery of evil and not just letting the liar run loose. In our lives the monsters we face might look a little different than animated figures. They come in the guise of disease, political unrest, joblessness, homelessness, hate, financial insecurity, or other things stemming from fear. Yes, the villain is not what it appears to be, and so by “removing the mask” we are facing fear that appears in different forms with Truth.
It’s Truth that resolves things when a lie is exposed.
Here is a small example…
I was working at a summer camp when I got a phone call saying that my grandma had passed away. Grief and sadness flooded me. I loved my grandma- it didn’t seem fair! She was such a loving woman. We’d spent many special times together. I’d have overnights with her, she took me to my ballet lessons, she taught me how to play the recorder, I learned Cribbage from her, and we loved to read books. It was hard to think that I wouldn’t be with her in the same way.
As I got off the phone I thought, “I wish I was with my family. I wish I was able to go home and properly honor my grandmother. Instead, I am here at camp with a busy schedule and I don’t have any time to reflect.” Then I realized that I could expose or challenge those thoughts or patterns of grief that we face when someone passes away. I knew that camp was a good place for me to be- it wasn’t a distraction from sadness but a way to directly implement the lessons my grandmother taught me and the love she had for children. Though I knew I wouldn’t be able to see her at the end of the summer, I could live with the reality of the spiritual qualities and virtues she embodied right then. There were many times that summer that I shared my grandma with other people.
Like pulling the mask off of a villain, it helped me to face those daunting thoughts of grief and loss with Truth- to see the on-going and uninterrupted nature of Life. This helped me be present to the good things going on at camp and complete my summer duties with joy. I still think of my grandma with much love.
Just like Scooby-Doo it takes courage to remove the masked monsters we face. It’s worth it and it helps to know, “…God worketh with you.” Science and Health 22:11