THE BOOK OF THE ACTOR
December 23, 1962
Present: Rhom, Nadine, John, Rosalind.
Prior to the session, there had been a sharp telephone conversation with Rosalind-who had not been pre-warned of the session and was furious at being left out. As the others were not yet used to her being close enough to attend, they had not thought to invite her. John called her around 8 p.m. to ask if she wanted any questions asked that night. She said, enraged, that she should have been asked to be present. By the time she got there half an hour later after hastily getting a baby-sitter, everyone was angry and dark and scowling looks were exchanged. This is explained because it is pertinent to the session and the Actor Book. Perhaps, indeed, it was a part of it.
WE: A bottomless bucket of blood. No need to plumb its depths nor heft its burden nor add to its girth. The melody sung from the highs carries far-when sung from the depths, it crushes inward. When singing, climb ye to the high spots; move away from the deep singer lest ye be crushed, too. Awakened in you now is a re-memory. The multi-cells of Self are re-birthed with vita mess. A surer balance is evidenced. More penetrating to the substance is your vision. The judger in you walks to the other side and looks back with a new awareness. The false note now pierces the ear. The stage is set. John is to place the issue on the table.
John: Why is it that I have gotten myself into similar situations of making myself the accused in this life? Is it me? or is it karma?
WE: The difficulty, dear son, is not insurmountable. The difficulty does exist. When it vanished–and it will vanish-it will be as a hurricane called upon to dislodge a bit of puff.
(At this point, Rosalind arrived, and there was a heated discussion, also the aforementioned dark and scowling looks).
WE: The puff appears as an iceberg, more deep than high and just as permanent. The light must be turned to the ice mountain and focused. It must in time light to the dark, submerged region where lurk fish phantoms. This will be done. WE will urge your acceptance of all aids. A word: Think not that the ice mountain will never see its end, for with each single droplet that is melted, the mountain is less by that amount. See not the end; rather see the process in continuing activity. Untrouble yourselves as of this moment. Unfold the wrinkles placed by “not As.” A wave, crashing on the beach, refreshes the land while displacing grains of sand. It carries to the wading birds life-food and its loud boom is even music. Fear not the storms. Let them roll as their cycles permit. Be not swept away in the wind. Stand your ground. Bend, but do not break, and greet the wildness with outstretched arms and receive its kiss. There are no storms in a vacuum. Should you wish to meet the issue, it must be squarely placed.
John: (Asks how to conquer his ameliorating position and the appeasing attitude which he has found heretofore to dominate his life.)
WE: Your present honesty will stand you in good stead.
WE: The Devious One you have elected to become is exerting an almost life-long influence upon you. This Devious One shunned honesty because it met with untruth from others too horrible to bear. Such a force in the hand of stronger ones caused much turning and twisting. The light that shines down your well is honesty itself. Feel no remorse for the crime committed upon your tenderness, nor search out the guilty, nor turn the cheek. Just shine! See what has managed to survive in that well of loneliness. The light will reveal that which shines of itself.
John: But who is this Devious One you speak about? Me?
WE: Behind you is YOU. That which YOU are you have not been, and that which you will become you are. The survivor you has succeeded. WE say to you with all the strength in our command: be nevermore that which YOU are not. The turning back point has been passed. The way is shining downward to the heights. You have wished it so because the burden no longer need be carried. WE will not write the result, but will instead whisper it in your heart if you will pause for a moment and listen now.
(Pause. Silence. A feeling of peace filled the room).
WE: It is covered for now.
Rosalind: (Asked a silent question about the suffering she was undergoing due to the urgent financial problem and the need to care for her family. The garment-cutting job had not panned out. There appeared to be no solution and she felt the problem had gone on much too long. But where were its roots?)
WE: The world has had its share of sufferers. Their tears are the water-sheds of fools. The roaring rivers of tears rip away from the banks the saplings barely rooted. Rocks prevail not its wicked current, chips are flung to its eddy, and still the sufferers bend their cheeks to the wailing wall.
A robin, winging aloft and passing the field of wail- mg woe, wonders why all don’t sing his song. He rides the wind, spreads to the Sun, digs for his supper and seeks an eave in the rain. Leave the wall, sister! Stand in the Sun! The worm is under-foot.
(At that time, Rosalind felt this did not answer her question and that the “WE” of the board had no idea of how difficult things were in this material world. But much later she was to get the point about “attitude” and wonder about the “worm underfoot” that she had apparently missed.)
Pause and resume for the Book if one is desired . HO-HO! This is the Book of the Actor. He has been called the Emperor. He is bathed in light that comes from a point in front of him and at foot-level. In his right hand, he holds to his face on a stick a full mask. In his left hand, he holds a golden ball without ornamentation. He stands. One foot rests on a sleeping lion-left foot. He wears a girdle that reaches his ankles. He is barechested. He wears a pendant-square with twelve divisions-three rows of four stones. Yes, all different-you to do. The Actor is virile. Actor facing front. He looks at viewer, mask in front. The mask is slightly forward, permitting the edges of the under-face to be seen. There is a two-pointed beard, short, on Actor’s face. Hair is yellow. Mask is mask-like, expressionless. His skin on face is black. White mask.
There is a throne rearward right. On it sits a dog-a well-bred dog. Upright. A crown is on arm of throne-left side arm. Circular crown. Has six points. Each point is a cross having a red stone In the center. Dog Is facing viewer; lion profile, tawny in color-dog is white. Throne Is gold.
Two birds overhead, one with spread wings facing front holds in her beak a cloth that ripples downward. It is gathered at beak and fans out at bottom- pyramid in shape, royal in color and has a border of gold. The other bird has wings at his side and carries the Actor’s staff in his claws. It is a red staff carried in a horizontal position.
Blue birds, both in air on same level-spread-wing bird at left, fold-wing at right. The ground, in place of scenery, has five-pointed stars which ring from cover to cover going behind the Actor. Many stars, as small as the dog’s head. Shadows are cast backward by the Actor, stars and throne. Birds and carried objects have no shadows. Shadows being thrown onto an endlessness. Vague in color. Universality. Have you it?
John: One thing-is the actor’s skirt a thin, gauzy affair that one sees through? I mean . . . since you say he ought to appear virile, etc.
WE: Yes, good.
John: What is the arm position that carries the ball?
WE: Cradled somewhat. The Actor’s weight is not on the lion but on his other leg. He is straight-comfortably, not rigidly. He is THE Actor, remember. The Mind is the Book’s significance. Do not permit others to think of the Actor as one playing a role, but rather one who performs acts.
This was the first time the group had been made consciously aware of the way the WE of the board utilized happenings in the small circle as a means of teaching and of relating them to the Book (or principle) to be revealed. Certainly the “stage had been set” before the Actor-masked-was unveiled. The Actor Book, however, was to be a puzzler and John could never understand why the lion, at his feet, slept.