SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the notion that "when we really begin believing in the roles we play, we become more and more willing to sacrifice ourselves and others to them?" Can you share a personal story of a time that you caught yourself believing too much in your role? How can we be more mindful of the separation between ourselves and the roles we play?
Have you ever met a rabbit who turned out to be a snake?
Today I greeted a deacon I have long avoided. I wish I could share my story but suffice it to say like Christ, he wrongly crucified me. Though I'd like to think I forgave him, I clearly haven't.
Moral of the story, no matter one's role in life, beneath it all, lies a person!
I do not weak out snakes ( much less trust them).
I work in a school where we have an entire area dedicated to children who cannot/do not control their bodies. They have positive and negative energies randomly coming out of them in the form of inappropriate behavior for a classroom. Without an ability to properly be a student, these kids require a lot of time, effort, patience and creativity to support them in learning.
Blessed be the one, who while in this world, can healthily and respectfully live it. We were not made for this world or for this temporary body . . . But we do have "some hoops to jump through" to get to "our true home".
Seems to me that separating the roles we play from our "real," authentic selves is not quite so easy as we'd like to think. Yes, like everyone else, I act in ways that, consciously or not, are consistent with roles in which I find myself. But aren't those ways of being and doing as revealing of our true nature as everything else? Isn't that what culture and norms are about? And are all such behaviors inherently less honest/less moral/less noble than "spiritual practice" that is also a role?
I wonder if all the stuff that occupies my mind is so...what? Distracting? Untrue? Better to avoid than to honor? Are we not the impermanent sum total of all we intend and appear to be and all the roles we have played in the whirl of nowness? These kinds of questions can find clearer answers in certain circumstances rather than others. When we ask ourselves "do I have to do this...even if I don't want to?" such doubt (or is it genuine, earnest inquiry?) may seem lot easier to handle than attempting to adhere to a deep spiritual practice that may or may not allow us to vacate our minds. And then what?
No wonder we get addicted to drugs, sports, work, entertainment, stimulating tastes and experiences...all of which are associated with the roles we fall into, choose, or are willing to play. So...what's worth knowing and doing? And can that ever be outside of the drama of living one moment to the next and the next?
I have gradually lost touch with myself by subordinating myself to roles and social conventions, even seeing myself through someone else's eyes. The problem is I felt my role in life should fulfill me and in certain ways it did. Now with no role in life it creates this disillusionment about life. It makes me feel lost and I sometimes feel my mind spinning and drifting into this psychic pain. It seems rather than trying to deny my pain there seems to be this need to become my pain and this is gradually dissolving the pain.
In my becoming my pain and living with serenity from within, I have noticed my mind starting to create this opening to quieter mind. My mind seems to be more clear and I feel myself becoming aware of the Supreme Being itself is my source and origin of a true identity. There is no concept or belief here and is beginning to be a direct experience of simply resting. It is like I am dropping a social consciousness, my role, and living behind my experience. I am beginning to just watch.
My mind being quieter and watching even within my emptiness with no role, seems paradoxical to me. I still experience myself as a personal being but I also experience my quieter mind beginning to center into Essence. It is like my projects and my preoccupations are being turned around by this quiet mind. There is no work, no role to participate in, and is like moving beyond my beliefs in a role. In my ego's perspective this is all wrong, yet my faith saying Essence will be felt, like the sun.
Writing this helped my quiet. It was like realizing my satisfaction is not found in a particular experience or a role. Rather, the quality is this awareness of Presence is what gives this quiet its satisfying quality. It is just a place to begin. I want to say thanks to everyone because writing this is like a refreshing breeze.
It takes many years for most of us to really see and acknowledge the roles we have played - the roles we have been encouraged to play and the roles we assume in order to avoid dealing with the challenges of life. When this awareness comes to us, we can begin to learn the lessons that result from the challenges. And when those lessons are accepted, we can be our authentic and true spirit.
We each have many roles. They're part of life. We are more and more willing to sacrifice ourselves and others to the roles we believe in. I can't take on a role without sacrificing some of me to the role. How much of me gets sacrificed varies from role to role and depends on how much I invest in the role. Some roles mean more to me than other roles. Some roles are more dominating than other roles. Other people get sacrificed to a role to the extent that the role gets in the way of me and others meeting as persons. That's only a problem when me or the other want to meet as persons. Many interactions in life are role specific and functional, not personal, and the persons aren't into meeting as persons. The furnace repairman and I aren't there to meet as persons. Roles like mother, doctor, priest, celebrity are very dominating, and many who take on those roles never take them off and lose themselves as persons. Some roles, like dad, I'm meant to keep on particularly for my young children. With them I have a job/role to fulfill -- I'm not there to be a whole person -- I can be a whole person with their mother. Roles aren't necessarily bad. They can be useful. A role is a problem when I use it to hide behind. I did that when I was a young teacher and I got called on it by some students, which woke me up. I've pretty much given up hiding behind roles. I've become mindful of the separation between me and the roles I play. It's important that I have my roles and my roles don't have me. Over time I've gotten more clear about that.[Hide Full Comment]
We are into a mass pretending joint-action, in that so much of what we do, say or share may not be 'us'.
An immediate example is as I write this comment, am I really going to write whatever I want? I think not - there is a certain mindfulness about the space and who may read this and so on....
But that role also becomes the boundary and limits me from exploring what lies beyond (and in this case expressing what lies beyond)......
Like saying 'what the #&@%' if I feel that about a reading....I won't do that, because it is not the role I play in this space....
But its good once in a while to get tired of being wise or being correct or holding a role I guess.....and rest in just being....
How that will really look like....I wonder.....but to pull that off will need a collective 'undressing' of our roles....
Else, a variant of a Bollywood movie dialogue comes to me 'Jab tak ek role baat karega....ek role sunega' (Till you speak from a role, I will hear as a role)
In our own ecosystem too, I suspect, if we drop away our roles, we might encounter much more diversity of selves and views than we see....
saint relate this bodies as a rental house for short time on our journey of life eternal or physical ,mental.everything is given to us for this journey,eyes to see[with sunshine] ears to hear melodies of creation nature,crying of child when he dosent get toys, laughter when he is happy playing with toys.[we grown up do the same thing with material toys,just forms changed .] skin to feel loving touch of beloved]everything is given.we make mistake when we try to posses this is mine and not yours [me mine you tours is root cause of all this endless cycle] then we develop attachment to my body,my family, my house ,my city ,my country,my race religion etc.when my kids were young to protect them from bad friends we all play this role.whatever good intention may be we forget life is ???. to enjoy any sport one must think end resault its a game.[to go see football game in cold cold weather like in greenbae is silly drama where fan and players are way far from reality .why not use that energy to help homeless in the world,help children everywhere in war torn world,of religious ignorant.god has given us goodbrain think on issues that mankind face today. always love n.n.c.[Hide Full Comment]
"Religion" is related to "obligation." Both descended from the Latin word for "to bind." Our roles and illusions of a separate self, the self construct known of our personality, separate us from our true connected Self, bound to all of LIFE. This is so easy to say and so hard to reify. I keep practicing and failing to let go of my roles and my irrelevant past. I saw my grown children over the holldays, and their adult status was a constant reminder to let go of the image of an everyday mother. I am not that. Each day I can re-make myself. Each day I can strive to become the zero Gandhi aimed for, not empty, but a channel full of life and love.