The Two-Faced God

I was not planning on posting this weekend, but today’s prompt from The Daily Post gave me an idea for a Halloween Costume!

We’re less than a week away from Halloween! If you had to design a costume that channeled your true, innermost self, what would that costume look like? Would you dare to wear it?

My answer? Janus, the god of war and peace, the god of change and time, the god of gates and doors.

From Wikipedia

I’m not saying that I’m two-faced/Janus-faced (deceitful, hypocritical, etc.). It relates more to how a person hides his real self from the world. For the sake of time, I will urge you to read this passage from an introduction to a journal that named itself from the god:

The image of Janus as two-headed reminds us that, as human beings, we are always radically de-centered and unknown to ourselves.  It is no mistake that the doors of Janus’ temple were kept open in times of war.  In war, the other can take on the menacing quality of what is unknown to ourselves.  Janus’ signification of vigilance calls us to continually remain open to what has been marginalized, split off, and left out of dialogue, for it may appear in the face of that which aims to destroy us.  The opening up of a dwelling-space can offer the dialogue which may thwart the mutual destruction which can result when we fail to recognize our disowned face in the face of the other.  And, with such a dialogue, we cannot help but be transformed.  Self and other offer each other, in this space, the opportunity for new beginnings with new dialogues.  Further, the significance of Janus being two-headed reminds us that, as Nietzsche wrote, “Truth is the kind of error without which a species cannot survive.”  The ‘truth’ of any community is always only partial, both revealing and concealing, and thus necessitating a never-ending dialogue by which the meaning and ground of the community can continue to be renewed.

Halloween is perfect for this, since putting on a mask reveals what’s off the mask. I would wear a costume that symbolizes Janus as it would reflect my personality. To end this post (because I have to go and I have no time later, sorry), I am leaving you with this music video:

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2 comments
  1. Now that’s creative. How many people even remember Janus except as part of the first month of the year? And which face to you wear? Time to choose.

    Like

    • Josh said:

      I learned about Janus during my senior year of high school. Not sure if a lot of people know about him, but one of the things I learned is that one of the face looks backward and the other looks forward–indeed a great god to be named after for the first month of the year. Thanks for commenting!

      Like

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