Romeo & Juliet Interrupted

Romeo & Juliet Interrupted

Postby Speculum » April 12th, 2005, 6:01 pm

In the “Christ In You” thread (on the second page, about two-thirds of the way down), I wrote, Virtually all Teachers in virtually all traditions insist that a seeker must have a Teacher.

Ruminating that idea today, this image arose:

In the final act of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, there is a scene which, if performed well, can be extremely moving, even gripping. Here's the action at that point in the story: In order to avoid having to marry someone she does not love, and to save herself for Romeo, Juliet conspires with a friar to take a potion that will put her into a death-like trance for several days. The friar agrees to inform Romeo of the plan so that when he hears of Juliet’s “death” he will know it is not real. However, the friar fails to inform Romeo, who on finding Juliet “dead”, kills himself; after which, when she awakens to find Romeo dead, Juliet kills herself.

Again, if performed well by convincing actors, this scene is tense, and everyone is unconsciously drawn deep into the story, especialy the audience, who almost want to jump out of their seats, and scream to Romeo, “It's just a potion! She's not really dead!”

Now, suppose that at that crucial moment, some stranger were to walk out onto the stage, and say to Romeo, in a voice loud enough for all to hear, “Excuse me, fellow, but you left your car lights on in the theater parking lot”.

What happens? Instantly, abruptly, everyone in the theater is jolted out of the story and back into the real world. Suddenly, unexpectedly, we are reminded who and what and where we are.

That’s what a Teacher does. A Teacher walks onto the stage of our life, and with just a look or a touch or a few words, interrupts the action just for a second, even a microsecond, but long enough so that -- even if just for an instant -- we see what’s what. And that changes everything.

And the Teacher doesn’t have to be (or I should say, seem to us to be) a physical person. It can be a dream, a vision, an audition, or a book. It can be by whatever technique or vehicle or method that God wills; for whatever the appearances, God alone is the Teacher, and God is limited by no thing.
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Postby Neo » April 20th, 2005, 4:20 pm

Yuor image is absolutly correct. Thats just what Zen does with guidnce from a master. Suddenly, the music stops, and ********

Then it starts again, but not as convinceingly. Once it has happenned once, it is never again the same.

Thank you for that Romeo Juliet idea.
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Postby Clarence » May 1st, 2005, 3:25 pm

I wonder if it were possible that some of the people in the audience of this hypothetical performance of "Romeo and Juliet" might hear the man remarking about the automobile headlights, and not realize that he and his remarks are not part of the script, but rather conclude that his appearance is a variation on the original Shakespeare, that this particular performance is a different version of the original? If that were their reaction, then the man's appearance would not lift them out of the play's drama.

Accepting that possibility might help to explain why religions are composed of so many different sects. Each one hears the same words slightly differently, sometimes enormously differently. It might also explain why, as suggested in the post about the "historical Jesus", some people do not recognize a Teacher as a "Teacher". When they hear him speak or read his words, they take it to be an expression of a variation on their reality, an improvement of it certainly, but not necessarily a transcendence of it.
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Romeo & Juliet Interrupted

Postby windabove » May 20th, 2005, 4:19 pm

I have wondered the same. If my world can be upset upon a word, what does that say of the 'reality' I take to be 'my world'?
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Postby Bhakti » May 21st, 2005, 2:36 pm

In As You Like It, Shakespeare has also said that all the world is a stage and we're mere players. Words are what we mortals have as one form of communication, but sometimes something other than words rings true in our heart of hearts, at which time we step off the stage and are no longer players but the play itself.

Words nor Teachers can describe this experience, which some call Enlightenment, God, Love, etc. Love is my favorite word, but the play itself I experience as Infinite Energy beyond words or anything mortality can ascribe to it. Is it Reality? I don't know.
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Postby Clarence » May 31st, 2005, 4:32 pm

Here's something hard to ignore that the novelist Aldous Huxley wrote about words:

Words, words, words! They shut one off from the universe. Three quarters of the time one’s never in contact with things, only with the beastly words that stand for them.
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