I remember with great fondness one of my earthly teacher, now passed on, who taught us about the way we act in each successive life like actors in a play. It’s a bit like an actor in rep who takes on a part in a play this week and say he plays the part of a Lord. When he is on stage he wears a costume and is made up to look like a member of the aristocracy, he uses his skill as an actor to portray the Lord and, having done a bit of research, tries to bring something extra to the part to enrich it and to enhance the play as a whole. While playing the part he will also learn about aristocrats and gain a better understanding of what Lords are and how they live etc. and this experience will enrich the actor.
The next week he may play the part of a Doctor and again he will use his skill to bring perhaps a new aspect of the character to the play. The actor himself will also gain from the experience learning about the world of Doctors. The other members of the cast will, by the performance of the actor / Doctor, be encouraged to give a good performance too. At no time is the actor really a Lord or a Doctor and each time he takes to the stage he puts on his costume, wig and makeup which gives him a mask so that his fellow players see him as the person he is playing. The word mask in Greek is ‘persona’ from which we get the word personality. So you see that each part played is a different personality but the actor is the same in all the parts he plays.
Of course the actor in all the parts played is the Soul that never varies but grows in experience through each part and personality played.
As Sai Baba puts it:
You are on a journey through the stream of life from one act to another – it is one continuous activity, marked by karma all throughout. It would be a pity, if you do not know the right technique of performing karma (actions).
Just as the fruit on a tree depends upon the seed, the soil, the manure, the tending of the gardener and the fence, the results of your actions too reflect a variety of factors, such as the tendencies and consequences of the activities in previous lives. A potter makes pots and pans from the clay in the earth and so it is called mrinmaya (material and ephemeral). But you are Chinmaya (spiritual and transcendental) for Brahma, the Divine Potter, has made you from Truth (Sath), Consciousness (Chith) and Bliss (Ananda). Understand this difference, and shape your actions. Act in accordance with what you profess to be; that is the real Dharma (righteousness).
Divine Discourse, Sep 29 1965.
Are you playing your part well? Are you aware of the part you played last time round? In your HPT you may find the answer to these tantalising questions, and rest assured your acting now is often coloured by the last part played!
So let it be well played, Love Hanukah