The cathartic power of the stage
I’m reflecting a lot during this time. And the deeper I go inside myself, the more I can understand the complexity and the wonder of life. As I do so it becomes easier for me to observe myself with detachment, to grasp the nature of my reactions, to understand the plot of my aspirations and choices that are connected by a red thread, a hidden story.
There are so many moments of clarity that I have experienced, as if windows full of light are being opened here and there. The great ‘shift’ that put everything back in order was the realisation that my identity does not correspond to my body and my thoughts. This allowed me to start observing and looking at myself as if I were watching a character in a cinema or on the stage. And this analogy works very well in allowing me to free myself from repeating things, because it allows me to perfect myself, introduce variations, present myself in constantly new ways. It is like I am allowing myself to play my role better and better every day.
This analogy is also valuable in another direction: in the analysis of events and situations outside of me, in the interpretation of what is happening and in attributing value to what is happening.
We are all on the stage of an enormous tragedy, but if we understand the value of tragedy as Aristotle himself guided us to see, we understand that its profound meaning is catharsis, purification. In seeing our emotions, our difficulties, our machinations and inner contortions projected onto the stage, we have the opportunity to become aware and begin making different choices.
Planet Earth has been our stage for millennia, where we have experienced in physical form the representation of magnificence and profound horror of the whole spectrum of emotions. Everything our mind and body can produce in terms of thoughts and emotions is now clearly represented in front of our eyes, in such a clear and indelible way that it can no longer be kept silent or hidden.
The magnitude of our collective malaise has generated an extreme scenario, allowing us to finally understand and make different choices. We are back to a point where we no longer take our needs for granted: moving our bodies outdoors, meeting others, socialising, exchanging gestures of affection, exploring our world through travel to learn and nurture our curiosity… Our children are restless because they want to go out, meet their classmates, play outdoors; they even want to go to school!
What does this tell us? That the new society we desire and need is a society on a human scale, not simply on a more evolved technological and mechanical scale, that we must start over with ourselves in mind, with a sense of sharing and community, with a sense of respect, with a desire to walk slowly and appreciate more, with the pleasure of days where the work does not dominate our time. Our voices must be raised now, not to take a side in this polarisation game, but to shout in a united voice for the values we have neglected for so long and to which we want to return, with humility and the desire to build something better than the current reality.
There is no salvation in continuing to fight each other, there is no salvation in establishing who is wrong or right or who is responsible for all this. We are all responsible. Because for years we have all fed resentment, frustration, opposition, struggle, hatred, personal selfishness, defending our small garden without taking care of the common park. We no longer have to follow anyone or anything that pits us against each other.
Haven't you noticed yet that there is no truth anywhere? Those who praised and supported Trump four years ago are now demolishing him, just like those who supported Saddam Hussein years ago, then decreed his death. There is no truth in what the press leads us to believe, there is no truth in what we are asked to do one day and then to stop doing a few days later. The strategy of confusion and chaos is working well for those who have not yet understood the rules of the game.
It is a great theatre. Look at what part you are playing and ask yourself "How can I play it better?"
(Pic credits Unsplash - Yiran Fu)