THE EMPEROR BECOMES THE ACTOR
The mind is the Actor significance.
The Actor is not one playing a role, but rather one who performs acts. The Actor does not enact; as representative of the mind, he performs acts.
The mind performs acts to bring about change. The mind is the artful hypnotist that makes seemings seem real. Rather than being “the slayer of the real”, seemings seem real for a purpose: to change the outer form in accord with the movement of One. A single purposeful act – from striking two objects together and creating fire to inventing an atom bomb – affects the entire illusion the mind has manifested. The shadows of the Actor, of his throne and the stars around him are cast onto an endlessness. The rest of his paraphernalia cannot affect the whole projection because they are meaningless glamours.
The Actor – the Mind – is the Emperor. His throne is real, he is real, and the effects of his performed acts symbolized as stars are real. All the rest is show to keep the audience intrigued, amused.
The Actor is the persona. He holds up a mask. He is the Knower but pretends to be a role player. He can be entrapped in the play only when he believes himself to be the persona or ego, lured on by the world. For the Actor is the creator of sensation through forms.
In the other hand, the Actor cradles a golden sphere. This is the mysterious globe later seen beneath the Changer’s feet. It represents the unknown, the incalculable factor. It is related to right timing. The mind must perform acts at the right moment to produce change. Synchronization depends on right timing. Hence, he holds the royal lion of the emotions asleep beneath his foot.
The Actor stands in a false light – the footlight the mind has invented. It is night, but the stars – rather than being in the sky – are about his feet. He is a black man and proceeds from the unconscious, but he wears the white mask of the conscious. He is the antithesis of the Doer who stands in the Sun and whose actions radiate from being-ness and openness.
The Actor on the world-stage signifies the function of the Mind as the creator of all acts in the form-world, both lasting and real, and egoistic and artificial. The Mind can deceive itself as to the meaning of the play and often deepens the illusion, but a true act on the mind’s part can produce change and clear the stage of artifice.
In the Book of the Actor, the Actor has left his throne; he has temporarily abandoned his role as the Emperor, but his throne still awaits him. Should he choose to, he can call off the faithful dog that guards it, put on his crown, retrieve his cloak and sceptre that the blue birds hold aloft and awaken the sleeping lion. For the moment, however, the Mind chooses to perform acts and is seemingly involved in yet a deeper masquerade. For he wears the mask of the conscious for all to see, yet his skin is black – and, paradoxically, his hair and beard are yellow.
In the former Emperor trump, the throne was often emblazoned by a rampant lion, signifying royalty. The sleeping lion states that the Actor is royal but has detached himself from responsibility. He takes no thought of the fruits of his actions. He is one who performs acts.
Along with the Feeler, the Actor is a door-keeper to the Royal Maze. It is he – the mind – who is responsible for its bindings and enmeshments. The structure is woven by the Feeler – the “prime mover” – but it is the Mind that manifests the illusion and sees the seemings in terms of acts rather than in terms of beingness.
Both acting and feeling are subject to change. There is no final statement to forming or moving. The Royal Maze is structured of the moment and that moment is constantly becoming – now. Once involved in the Maze, therefore, there is nothing one can do but perform as the Actor and move as the Feeler. The way in is the way out for the Seeker who senses the fire at its center.
The royal couple – the former Emperor and Empress – beckon him onward toward second birth.