“The more you know, the less you understand.” Tao Te Ching
We live our lives as experts. We know why this person does this or that. We surround ourselves with things that make us comfortable and look at life from our fortresses. The walls we have constructed are impervious. They let neither good or bad in. It is living with a safety net and it is boring. Acting with a safety net is deadly.
Let me be totally frank for a moment. We do not know anything. We cannot be sure of what will happen one hour from now. How can we be totally sure about what will happen one second from now? Why act like we do?
You may ask, “Hey, Dumbo, doesn’t writing a book make you an expert?” All I can say is “Mu.” The book shows a point in my development, in your development. Is this the be all and end all, of course not! Can it help you down the correct path? Of course maybe. That is up to you.
Getting back to the saying at the top of the page, do not live life as an expert. Do not think you know the answers. Explore the possibilities. Nothing is ever exactly the same as before. Every experience is a new experience that may reveal truly miraculous events to you.
There is a poem by Ekai:
“In spring, hundreds of flowers; in autumn, a harvest moon;
In summer, a refreshing breeze; in winter, snow will accompany you.
If useless things do not hang in your mind,
Any season is a good season for you.”
Any season is a good season. Any experience is a good experience, if we view it as such. See the joy. See the good. Anticipate each moment of your life. Live life as a child, open to the possibilities, and you will find peace wherever you go.
In acting, keep your mind open to the possibilities. Experts shut off all possibilities but one because in their way of thinking there can only be one right answer. There are no “perfect” answers in the theatre or else we would have been done with Hamlet a long time ago. Somebody must have gotten it “right” by now. The fact is that many people did get it right, for them, for their moment in time. But you are not them and that moment is gone. Life has gone on. And their truth is not our truth.
You might never find your truth but you need to keep searching. Experts don’t search because they know the answers.