Theatre has many objectives. It can entertain or educate or both. It can mesmerise or bring consciousness. It can motivate and inspire. It can provoke or shock. Theatre holds a mirror up to reality and can evoke inner change. Theatre can be evolutionary. It all depends on how we engage with it. By merely passively observing the play in front of us no (positive) transformation can or will take place. When we engage with it we can either do so positively or negatively.
“Enlightenment doesn’t occur from sitting around visualizing images of light but from integrating the darker aspects of the Self into the conscious personality” – Carl Jung
“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of other people.” – Carl Jung
When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate. You meet your destiny on the road you take to avoid it. – Carl Jung
What is the connection between theatre and enlightenment?
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By Jean-Jacques M.
All the world’s a stage. As actors in the theatre of life we are all here to play our part(s), consciously or unconsciously. We find ourselves present at this time during a significant transformation stage. In the old, but still present age it felt like the stage had been set and most of us were simply reading our lines. It was perhaps not always understood why we were in the theatre in the first place. In the incoming age our destined roles are more clear and the new paradigm is more fluid.
Roles are changing. Transitioning actors are becoming scriptwriters while watching themselves on stage. They are rewriting the script and adjusting their parts. A drama, currently scripted to end in tragedy is being rewritten into a coming of age tale of transformation, rebirth and altered fate. This is a multi-dimensional theatre and shifting actors are becoming aware that by being in this stage, they are also present in others.
Berlin Wall, Germany. Photographed by JJM.
“We are living in what the Greeks called the right time for a ‘metamorphosis of the gods’, i.e. of the fundamental principles and symbols. This peculiarity of our time, which is certainly not of our conscious choosing, is the expression of the unconscious man within us who is changing. Coming generations will have to take account of this momentous transformation if humanity is not to destroy itself through the might of its own technology and science” (Carl Gustav Jung, 1957: The Undiscovered Self, p.110).
Jung was suggesting that we should not get completely carried away with technology and science, to the extent that we lose sight of ourselves (our Selves). Being unconscious and excessively distracted could preclude us from doing just that, because without taking stock of ourselves from time to time, there can be no self-awareness and without self-awareness there can be no self-knowledge. Without self-knowledge, we would not become aware of “the unconscious man within us changing“. This change that Jung was referring to was related to the collective unconscious of humanity entering into a time of transition, the faint beginnings of which he could already sense in 1957.
by Jean-Jacques @ Gypsy Café
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The Roots of a Ceiba Tree at Copán, Honduras, Central America. Photographed by Jean-Jacques Morin, September 2015.
In Mesoamerican theology the sacred World Tree stands in the centre of the world, crossing and connecting three horizontal levels, the heavens, the earth and the underworld. It has its roots embedded deep in the underworld, with its trunk straight and sturdy in the earthly realm and its branches high up in the heavens, diverging into the four cardinal directions.
According to Maya mythology the World Tree allowed human souls to come to be and this is symbolised by the White flowers of Ceiba trees, which are still found in Maya lands today. Following that, the biological human bodies which souls reside in allowed them to pass through the experience of life on earth. All souls came from one of the four cardinal directions, defining not only characteristics and personality traits, but also general destiny.
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Photographs and text by Jean-Jacques M.
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Berlin Wall, Germany. Photographed by Jean-Jacques M. © 1998 -2015. All Rights Reserved
“Transcending the shadow (Jungian archetype) means neither suppressing it, nor living from it, nor being intrigued or fascinated by it. Once you have travelled through your own shadow you have created the space and time to reflect upon it in order to step out of it and live mostly outside of it and be able to observe it (in order to “keep it in check”). The same goes for the ego.
In that sense we have then become “lighter”, less shadow orientated. This is what enlightenment means in a practically achievable sense. You can live your life (much) freer from your shadow. Completely falling back into it or being enticed and intrigued by it becomes much less common or likely.”
By Jean-Jacques M.
© 2015. All Rights Reserved. Gypsycafe.org
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In the 1993 film, Groundhog Day by writer Danny Rubin and director Harold Ramis, Bill Murray plays the role of a television weatherman, Phil Connors who gets stuck in a small town due to strange circumstances, a situation which ultimately leads to his individuation and personal transformation.
The underlying theme of individuation is incredibly strong throughout the film, but is dealt with in such a light-hearted manner that elements of it could easily be missed. To illustrate how the individuation process might look like for an individual, on a practical level, let’s revisit some segments from this film.
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Photograph and text by Jean-Jacques @ Gypsy Café
© 2014. All Rights Reserved. Gypsycafe.org