Divakar (Mark Itzler) uses the metaphor of stage and auditorium to clarify why we hesitate not to follow the script (what is expected of us) and the difficulties we get into, once we have left the stage but need to go back to be part of society.
Even if it is our belief that we live many lives, we still only get to live this particular life once. With this script and this cast.
Looking at the average kind of circumstances that existence hands out across 7 billion people, how blessed are we to have this life? Safe and secure enough to explore the deepest truths available to humanity.
Most people would give limbs to have half our opportunities and environment, with such relative security and stability. A life of comparative luxury, allowing us the time and space to discover our most fundamental limiting beliefs. The very core issues at the heart of our ‘story’, and the power to make positive change.
But it is essential to remember that doing something positive with our lives doesn’t mean we avoid negative consequences and reactions from others and ourselves.
There are ALWAYS, perceived or believed, negative consequences for any challenge we face.
If there weren’t any, then we would be doing, or would have done it by now.
So we need to really feel into what our perceived fears are.
They may be hidden and subtle. We are very used to making excuses to ourselves and finding external reasons to not act in our highest self.
For instance, take physical health. We all know exactly what is required to achieve optimum health for our age and circumstances. That is not a mystery. There would appear to be no negative consequences in getting fit and healthy. But they are there. If we begin to exercise and work on stretching and strengthening our bodies, there will be the challenge of feeling pain and exhaustion. If we become conscious of our eating, then we fear feeling hungry, or are forced to find a new way to deal with cravings, and eating to contain fear, or emotional turbulence.
If we want to heal ourselves because we feel unwell, then we have to get real about our illness, and take responsibility for our recovery.
Everybody wants to feel well and healthy but we don’t want to face the feelings that the challenge will bring. We don’t want to have to heal ourselves. Everybody wants to have the best possible quality of life, but few are ready to overcome the obstacle they face to achieve that.
Every day we make small repeating choices, habits, rituals, call them what you like, and those small decisions all work toward a certain outcome. So making real change, going beyond the point of no return, means to make a daily, in fact, at first, an HOURLY conscious commitment to empower the decision. The change will be permanent if the inner commitment is permanent too. So this is about turning up the awareness level to our actions and assessing their impact on our decisions. No small action is either judged as good or bad, just the question comes – ‘is this action aligned with my decision to grow or not?’ It’s almost like giving away the part we normally play, the thought we have and the words we say. It’s like letting go and handing it to something bigger than us. Trusting that true inner voice over the louder entrenched voices.
It’s about turning our focus to see the STRUCTURE of limiting belief, inhibition, self-sabotage and addiction. NOT THE CONTENT! Why?
The metaphor is thus.
There is the theatre of life. In that theatre, there is a stage and an auditorium.
If we are on the stage, and ‘in character’ – we are playing our roles and following the script that we have committed to memory (our beliefs and conditioning). We are in the play – in the movie, absorbed by the plot, the other characters and our part in the story.
Somewhere inside, we know that this is just a play – a performance – a script. But we also know that if we don’t follow the script, we will upset all the other actors and their roles will be exposed and invalidated. We have to stay in character – (behave ourselves and keep up the status quo). Not just to protect ourselves, but also to protect the integrity of the illusion for everyone else. Even if we don’t like the script, even if we see that the story is just that – an imagined reality, we still maintain our roles because we don’t want to be ejected from the stage.
We only know the stage and nothing else.
So if we see the idea of raising our awareness as a growing realisation that we are on this stage, then the first thing we will want to do, is see what exists beyond the stage, beyond the script and the roles laid out for us. We feel compelled to start writing our own script. We crave spontaneity and creativity. We seek to find something beyond what we see and hear every day.
So how do we awaken from the dream? How do we get off the stage? We cannot ease our way out of unawareness, we cannot gently dip one toe into the void and expect to see what is beyond. In the end we have to move to the front of the stage and jump into the darkness. We have to take the leap, knowing that we may never be able to return to the illusion of our story, our script, our roles. We need to be ready for the character to die so that the actor can become self aware and see that we are now no longer on the stage.
Now we are in the auditorium. We are the director, the writer, the producer. Now we see that our beliefs and conditioning are not actually real any more than we decide they are and we get to write a new scene. A great liberation but also a great responsibility.
Now, if we don’t like the story we are writing, to whom can we complain? Who can we look to to blame for our lives?
Ok, we get the idea of letting go of the character, but we have to interact with our world. We have to live in the marketplace. Eventually we will have to get back on the stage, but now, we are the authors of our reality and can never again be just an actor, reciting the old script and the old moves. Now we are back in the play, but we are no longer in character. We have become self aware and responsible for creating our own plot. This is a very different experience because we are now aware that we are on a stage and that we are not living according to the story going on around us. This may severely piss off some of the characters on the stage. The cast of your life. They will not be able to rely on you to fit the script anymore. They will feel destabilised and abandoned because they cannot take their cues from you in the same way anymore. You are now in the game but not OF it. This can be a very lonely place. This is why we need courage. Why we need to learn how to integrate this new disillusionment into a life that still includes connection, intimacy, love and community, while retaining our innate sovereignty. Our own completeness.
We integrate through active contribution and by giving ourselves in service. Part of the task of an awakened person is to share their realisation with those around them, and more generally, their fellow travellers. To assist them to also be liberated from the stress and anxiety of keeping up a performance, a set of roles and staying in character 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
First published on Marc’s blog
Marc Itzler (Divakar), a sannyasin since 1974, spent his teenage years with Osho in India from 1979–81. A father of two grown sons, a stepdaughter and granddaughter, he lives in North London and is the founder of ‘A Liberated Life’, running courses, meditation workshops, and is also a Human Potential coach. With Roberto Milani he is presently running a workshop for men: boyinthebubble.co.uk – marcitzler.com
More articles by the same author published in Osho News