As human beings we are drawn to drama, and not just the drama that takes place on stage and in the theater. We could fight that tendency and try to eliminate drama from our life. That is probably impossible for most of us. Perhaps the question is not whether there will be drama in our life. The important question is “What kind of drama will it be?”
There is creative drama. The origin of the word drama is the Greek word dran, meaning “to do, act, or perform.” Creative life drama transpires for a person when they experience themselves as being the doer, the actor on the stage of their life.
This is the kind of drama we are meant to experience in our life. To create in any form is drama. It is excitement, it is fun, it is joyful. Any kind of creation can be that. When we think of creativity, perhaps we think of something artistic—visual art, music or poetry. But creativity can be building a building, or having a family, or something as simple as having a conversation. It is all creation.
The act of creation has drama in it. It has romance and adventure. It has excitement. We are wired for excitement as human beings. We crave it, and we will find it, one way or another.
There is a good kind of excitement to know in one’s life, which is the excitement of creation. Then there’s another kind of excitement and another kind of drama. And if a person is not deliberately engaging in creative drama, they are opting for another kind of drama—because people find drama, one way or another, as long as they have breath.
If you are not experiencing the drama of creation, you are very likely experiencing a drama that is characterized by another word of Greek origin—pathos. Pathos is defined as suffering and calamity, and literally “what befalls one.” This is a drama that is about what is happening to you. It is the drama of victimization.
So here is the crucial choice that faces every person. It is the choice that determines whether you experience the creative drama or the drama of pathos. Who are you going to be? The one who acts? Or the victim of the drama?
There are things happening in our life. In the creative drama, what we have to concede is that it’s not just us who are doing, acting, and performing. Other people are doing and acting and performing. So is all of creation. But what is our relationship to other people, or to the world at large? Yes, they are doing things, something’s being created. But has our identity now shifted to being a pincushion to receive the pricks of life? Or are we creating in harmony, as much as possible, with all the rest of the creator-beings on this planet, and with all the rest of creation? Are we creating together? That is the adventure.
As I was growing up, my father had an insight into how young people relate to the adventure and drama of life. He noticed young people in their teens getting into trouble of various kinds—breaking the law, taking drugs and drinking alcohol, and becoming pregnant. We used to call them juvenile delinquents, a term we don’t use very much anymore. My father’s theory was that they were getting into trouble because they were looking for excitement and they hadn’t found a healthy, creative way to experience it. His solution to that for his own children was to encourage outdoor adventure—especially sailing, in my case. And I certainly have stories to tell about my adventures sailing with my father. His point was that life is an adventure and that if a person doesn’t find the adventure of life, they’re going to find the adventure of pathos, the adventure of self-destruction, the adventure of crashing and burning, and of being a victim of what happens to you. That’s drama of another kind.
How does a person make the transition from being a victim in a drama of pathos to a doer of deeds in the drama of life? The first step is to let go of the old drama. Knowing that the facts may not change, you can let go of the obsessive storytelling around those facts. Only then, in that letting go, can you embrace your own tranquility. Only then can you connect deeply to the power and wisdom within you that is the source of your creating.
What is the pathos transpiring in your life? You would be an unusual person if you didn’t have any going on. Now is the time to let it go so that you can know a deeper centering in your own creative spirit. You have to give up the drama of pathos if you’re going to know true centering in your life and be a fully embodied creator-being. The price of admission is giving up the pathos and coming into tranquility so that you can know centering and let the genius and the power that’s available to you be accessed.
When that happens for a person there is cosmic order that enters consciousness. It brings order to consciousness itself. It brings peace and the kind of tranquility that isn’t just blankness but which is the ordering power of cosmic love.
When the ordering power of cosmic love fully enters conscious awareness, it begins to be at work in that person’s world. It is coming all the way through the person; through thought and emotion, entering their physical body, and pouring out to connect with the world that they are in. It is connecting with other people. It is connecting with all of creation.
Cosmic order is about relationship—all the elements of creation in creative relationship with each other. That is a picture of order. When we allow the ordering power of cosmic love to fully enter our experience, we are emanating this power to every person and to all of creation with whom we have a relationship. As the creation all around us relates to us, they are relating to the cosmic order that is emanating through us.
The steady presence of that ordering power over time in relationship transforms the drama of pathos to the drama of creation. Both show up in relationship, do they not? Whatever drama it is, we experience it with other people. How do we turn that around if it has gone to pathos? It should be obvious on the face of it that we cannot go around to all the people in our life and ask them to do it for us. It gets turned around because there’s something we do, there’s a centering we find, there is a power and there is a wisdom that we access that brings order, first of all to us personally and then to other people, because what’s coming through us invites a relationship that is part of the larger order of things.
For that to really be at work, for us to stay in the creative drama and out of the drama of pathos, there has to be something consistent in our centering, something committed, something of absolute choice. There has to be a quality of unconditionality, a commitment that, no matter what, we are becoming more and more deeply spiritually centered.
Here is what I know from both my own personal experience and my observation of others. Unless a person makes this choice unconditionally and absolutely, with commitment, and incontrovertibly, it will get undone. There has to be the conscious commitment to stay out of the drama of pathos, a conscious commitment to stay centered no matter what, through anything; and no matter what happens, no matter how much you may feel like a victim, to stay out of that and let that go, and to be yourself as a creator-being.
Because if there isn’t unconditionality, you are just waiting for that thing to come up that gets you. And it will come up, and it will get you. I promise! That’s just how it goes. There is something that gets us all, unless and until we make the decision for ourselves that we’re just not going to be gotten, not even by our favorite bogey man, whatever it is for us; that we will be staying on course, we will be staying centered no matter what.
The man who founded Emissaries of Divine Light, Lloyd Arthur Meeker, had a wonderful saying that addresses this matter of absolute centering. It’s in a booklet we still publish, Lighting the Way in You.
…every “kick” becomes a true “boost,” and the world has no power to hurt in any way.
When you make the absolute commitment to a deeper and deeper centering, then no matter how awful a circumstance may seem to be, and no matter how much it used to trigger you, it now empowers you. It is all just energy coming to you, and if you stay centered you have more power to work with. In that process, there is internal heat, and the internal triggers are burned up.
I first read this wonderful phrase when I was seventeen years old. At the time, I didn’t know how true it was! Since that day, I have received many kicks. I’ve been through experiences where I was flambéed by the heat and the pressure of life and what came to me. At times, it felt like there was an explosion that detonated inside me. But because I stayed centered, all that got burned was my pathos and my triggers. And I was set free to do, to act, and to perform.
That was the invitation to me as a young man and throughout my life. It is the same invitation to every person on the face of the earth. Enter the drama of life as the creator-being you are. Let go of the pathos. Enter into a new tranquility. Find your deeper centering in the source of your own wisdom, love and power.