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The Play of Life
I see life as a play and myself as the actor and director. I live the story that I write for myself. I am in a constant state of creating and experiencing my creation. Is this not true for us all? A part of us, the actor, steps into the world and plays a part in it. It identifies itself with what it sees, smells, feels, tastes, hears and thinks. This part of us directs our life energy outwards. The other part of us, the director, recognizes the play as a charade, standing apart from the drama. This part of us directs our life energy inwards. I make this analogy to point out the absurdity of an actor playing the role of a victim of fate in a play that he himself directs. Surely, our experience of life is under our complete control, we simply need realize it.
Every moment, we choose to engage in activities that either ultimately lead to our enlightenment or self-destruction. Every moment, we choose our disposition in life, perceiving the world as either a predominantly hostile or friendly place. The capacity to see oneself in another, to love, is a trait common to all sentient beings. The only thing that sets our species apart is our ability to conceive. This ability is both a blessing and curse, for while it enables us to excel, it at the same time condemns us to view the world through the limited scope of our minds and senses. We conceive contrasts, disparities, borders and limitations. We see ourselves disconnected from the rest of creation. These false conceptions cause us to live in isolation and to fear the unknown, what is ‘outside’ and unfamiliar. This alienates us from the infinite cycle of life from which we originate. We come to fear death, believing our existence will meet its end. We try with all our strength to repel pain and pursue pleasure.
Sometimes we may have an insight that by trying to repel a negative aspect of our lives, we are repelling the positive as well. It could be compared to attempting to filtrate contaminated water by damming half of a river that you think is contaminated or ‘bad’, and allowing the other half to flow that you think is pure or ‘good’. This of course is absurd and will not increase the purity of the water, as the contaminants will now flow at their same concentration in a more acute and swift stream. This simple law can be seen in effect in our everyday lives. For example, if I dread an aspect of my life while viewing myself as a victim of the circumstance, I will do nothing to change it and helplessly submit to it. I'll seek the source of my problems outside of myself, never considering that they may be rooted internally. I'll continue to struggle in vain, so much that eventually I'll develop a numbness to my everyday life. I will unconsciously keep my eyes on the clock and fritter away in an endless procrastination. By resisting the bad aspects of my life, I resist all aspects of life, good and bad. Even in the most despairing of conditions, apparent misfortunes could be received as blessings if we would step back, inquire into the root of our suffering, empty our minds and open ourselves to the subtle mysteries and miracles of existence.
If we would simply stop resisting the ‘bad’, clinging to the ‘good’ and allow our lives to flow unhindered by our minds, we would be able to see life as it is, as an infinitely complex, dynamic, perfectly balanced and never ending cycle. The truth is that our logic and reasoning cannot deliver us the same depth of joy and fulfillment that our pure being can. The mind cannot improve upon life, for life is already innately perfect. All it can do is remain dormant as we open ourselves to the way things are. As we cultivate inner stillness and mindfulness throughout our daily lives, our hearts natural wisdom will awaken from its long slumber. We will rediscover our childlike senses of wonder and joy and restore our view of the world as a loving and friendly place. We will eventually even disarm the greatest of all fears, the fear of death.