When old and ready to go, shall we have played all the potentiality of our parts? In our integration, is there release in the surcease of the seas of troubles? Predominantly, do we clutch with our penchants, predilections, and proclivities? Can we not so much end them as absorb them with deep joy into the light that is our time before the brief candle is put out? Do our petty yesterdays all go to dust? Do we indeed rage, rage against the dying of the light? Or do we cling to one or the other of our acts, one of Seven Stages?
Our First venture is self-centricity. Wound up in the immediate need of this or that being right, our emotion, intellect, spirit, and physicality is interdependent; a stew of passions and wants and the dismissal of an other's proximity, however conventionally espoused. In the suffering of the very young we readily see it; a veteran like me oft stumbles too.
Our Second role is that of concentricity. We have not yet enough of the self to exercise it as Self and must needs have immediate others, like forever dependent children, in the family of our cognizance before we can feel validated in our individuality, attendant as it is upon the approbations, inclinations, perturbations, and manipulations of our brothers and sisters. Even in old age, we may too easily recline into dependency on familiars, ha!
The Third play is most invigorated of all; it is Iago asserting himself. Very strong, we will want to prove domination over and above all others, control others, negate others, use others to bolster our own upward mobility. Though expected of the aggressive, it's seen in the progressive pandering to the audience for centre-stage, for proving others inferior, for putting others down. It gathers clans and clubs and political structures and poses at the head; in the light it boldly leads the charge against an other, in the dark it schemes from behind and then can pridefully accept the laurel despite those betrayed in its wake.
Our Fourth stage gathers and groups and quantifies and solidifies gullible communities into organized structures that, pitted against each other, will fight unto death for a cause, for a belief, for a way of life. Perhaps longest and largest of our roles, we find ourselves caught up in the habituated constructs of our forefathers, in the conditionings of our societies, our cultures, our values systems, our sensibilities; we hardly dare break free to reach across the boundary dividing a group of You from a group who I believe is Me.
The Fifth act appears most inclusive. We strut our stuff, accept the other, the different, the unique, the colour, creed, and clan, until what any one doer-does does not suite; then we dismiss, vilify, negate, and judge. So too does each judger also play a juror.
The Sixth age is epistemological, solipsistic, synthesizing, and overtly ontological. It thrives on knowledge rather than religious, spiritual, or mystical meanings, and contrives equal opportunity for all. It promulgates a potentiality within each yet to be realized, if only others were not so tardy, stupid, dumb, ridiculous, self-centered and such idiots! Ha!
And the Seventh, most heavenly of all, is that age where everything is important and nothing really matters; a moment by moment mindfulness no longer here nor there. Ha!