I met Vikram during my recent trip to Kolkata, also known as Calcutta, in West Bengal, India. I’ve been visiting India since 1979, and have spent many years studying meditation and contemplation with an Indian spiritual path, and from this have developed a profound respect for the wisdom that has developed over millennia, bringing a completely different way of seeing ourselves and the world around us than that my own psyche developed from, the European Christian paradigm.

Vikram’s conversation with me, in my hotel room near Kalighat, the temple to the Goddess Kali, I chose to put sat the front of this podcast series, because he tells a perfect tale of the power and significance of the masks of gender than are imposed on us all. So many of us, including myself, have had our own talents and the life of our own being denied by the unconscious application of one of two available masks, personas, and their offspring, such as expectations and assumptions, that we are obliged to live our lives through, as a kind of performance. There it is; the theatre of the world.

How much grief at the loss of our own selves has this brought? Becoming conscious of what is unconscious is the way we can become free of the shackles of the unconscious mind, and the conversations I am having with such remarkable people as Vikram show us the way to be truly aware and free.