Why do we get disturbed by unexpected or challenging situations? It is because we forget that the world is a vast stage on which the drama of life is being played out and we are enacting our roles in it.
The tests we face are a part of the play. If we keep this in mind, we will not be distressed; instead we will be amused. When we remember that it is a play, we will be aware that the nature and behaviour of other people is a part of the drama. This awareness helps to keep us calm and stable.
The knowledge that we are in a variety show will spare us any surprise or sorrow from encountering different personalities, attitudes and behaviours.
In the cinemas and theatres, various kinds of films and plays are shown. If it is an action film showing a lot of bloodshed, we are not dismayed by the violence because we know beforehand what kind of a film it is and expect to see such scenes. For the same reason, war and horror films entertain rather than frighten us.
If we have a similar consciousness while playing our role in the drama of life, would we become angry or distraught? To remain unaffected by the multifarious scenes of life, we need to be detached observers. We can be so only when we have the realisation that we are actors in a play.
We are souls and our body is a costume, wearing which we perform our various parts. But we usually fail to remember that we are acting, and instead identify with our roles. We label everyone according to their gender, nationality, race, religion, or social status. These labels describe our costume, the body, not our true self, the soul. Imagine what would happen if a film star forgot who she was and started to believe that she was the character portrayed by her in a film? She would be laughed at and probably advised counselling.
When we forget that we are in a play, we cease to be detached observers and start experiencing distress. We then ask questions such as, “Why did this happen”, “How could they do this”.
The key to remaining stable in every situation is to know the self, the soul, and understand that all souls are playing their unique roles in the drama of life. This helps us accept people and situations without being influenced by them.