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Home / Articles / Columnists / Life 101 /  ACTORS AND THE INFINITE FIELD OF CREATIVITY WITHIN
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Friday, February 3,2017

ACTORS AND THE INFINITE FIELD OF CREATIVITY WITHIN

By Cary Bayer  

Cary Bayer is a Life Coach and the founder of Higher Self Healing Meditation. He conducts private practices and teaches meditation classes by the ocean in South Florida (954-788-3380) and in the mountains in Woodstock, New York (845-679-5526). You can find him at www.carybayer.com and reach him at successaerobics@aol.com

Later this month you may find yourself watching the annual Oscars presentation red carpet segment. It seems as if the stars are being treated like Olympian gods and goddesses. We call them stars; in other words, lights in the heavens that brighten the midnight sky, so the Olympian reference seems apt.

We lionize actors and actresses because they perform a valuable service for us. On the obvious level, they present art to lift our spirits, open our minds, and warm our hearts. More subtly, they sometimes portray heroes who embody what life looks like when lived from your full potential. They do this by putting their egos aside so their characters can take over. The best among them can channel many different kinds of characters from their center. We delight in watching such channeling because we yearn to find that center in ourselves. When you come from your center, you can discover vast creativity.

As a Transcendental Meditation teacher for decades, and now the founder of Higher Self Healing Meditation launched in 2010, I’ve given many hundreds of people the experience of that center, the higher Self within. This silent center within you is a pure field of creative intelligence, a source of limitless creativity that can display itself through acting, music, art, or any of the less “arty” fields, like gardening, managing, and virtually any human activity.

Some performers - truly artists rather than just box office magnets - draw from within themselves as wide a range of characters, as possible. I’m thinking of artists like Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman, rather than Sylvester Stallone, who’s played the same character many times.

Meryl, Dustin & the Cosmic Role of Actors

What’s so remarkable about Meryl Streep’s oeuvre is just how many different characters have lived inside her.

Perhaps the highest role such actors play each time they play a role is that they remind us that we, too, are playing roles. We’re, after all, not human doings, but human beings. That means that the transcendental Being in us manifests as a human; the Universal becomes an individual. Another way of saying it is that the non-changing essence in us also appears as a changing individuality. It plays a role, like Superman who’s also a mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper. Your Being plays a role as whatever it is you do in the world. As Teilhard de Chardin, the brilliant Jesuit paleontologist, put it, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience.”

Meryl Streep has portrayed with pitch-perfect accuracy accents that were Polish (Sophie’s Choice), Danish (Out of Africa), Italian (The Bridges of Madison County), British (Iron Lady), Irish (Dancing at Lughnasa), Australian (A Cry in the Dark), and Chilean (The House of the Spirits),  as well as American accents from the South, the Midwest, and New York. She’s played straight women, a gay woman, dying women, even a dead woman. That she’s won only three Oscars, while being passed over the sixteen other times that she was nominated, is a mystery to me.

Dustin Hoffman has played a transvestite (Tootsie) an autistic savant (Rain Man), a street hustler (Midnight Cowboy), a 120-year-old raised by Native Americans (Little Big Man), a grotesque criminal (Dick Tracy), a pirate (Hook), a stand-up comic (Lenny), a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist (All the President’s Men), and a confused college grad (The Graduate), to name just a handful.

Like all performers, Streep and Hoffman are real people separate from their wildly varied roles. They’re like your true inner Self, which stands apart from your body, your perceptions, your thoughts, your feelings, and your personality. Or as Walt Whitman wrote: “Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am.”

Actors, drawing on their connection to the source of infinite creativity within, play many roles. This is analogous to the many roles that you play in your own life: spouse, parent, child, sibling, employee, client, or agent, etc. Looked at from a more cosmic point of view expressed in the Bhagavad Gita, the textbook of Yoga, the actor, remaining detached from the roles that he plays, is also like your higher Self, which, remaining detached, has played the role of many individuals through your soul’s many lifetimes. This lifetime it has been you, in a past life it was someone else, in a future one, assuming that you don’t realize that higher Self as your true nature in this lifetime, yet another person. In the 22 nd verse of the 2 nd chapter of the Gita, Krishna, the teacher, tells his student Arjuna, “As a man casting off worn-out garments takes other new ones, so the dweller in the body casting off wornout bodies takes others that are new.”

(Maharishi Mahesh Yogi translation) So the actor detaches from who he is to let another being live through him. When you realize your true nature, you, too, will let another being live through you, but in this case it’s not a new character but who you truly are. And you’ll come to see that what you call your personality is really the role, just like Clark Kent is a role that Superman plays in society.

So to paraphrase the Wizard of Oz, “Pay less attention to the actor behind the dropping curtain. Not because he’s a fraud, like the wizard, but because he represents the infinite creativity within yourself. And while he might not be inviting you to play Hamlet, Stanley Kowalski, or Groucho’s Rufus T. Firefly, he is quietly inviting you to connect to the infinitely silent, yet infinitely creative source within yourself through meditation.”

 

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