Roles

A man who moves with the earth will necessarily experience days and nights. He who stays with the sun will know no darkness. My world is not yours. As I see it, you all are on a stage performing. There is no reality about your comings and goings. And your problems are so unreal! Nisargadatta Maharaj

When I first read these words, they seemed so unkind, even cruel. But as I stayed with them, the deeper reality within them began to unfold in my mind.

We are playing roles all our waking lives. We get attached to these roles—I am a friend, a colleague, a lover, a daughter—and our emotions are hooked onto them as well.

But ultimately, these roles are empty of essence. And paradoxically, because these roles seem attached to me, they might cramp open action and compassion.

Can we move with the sun, free and unattached, yet loving and compassionate towards all? Holding this possibility in our minds, we live our days, mindful of the ephemeral nature of our roles.

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