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fwd by jem-- Murray's Drama and the Cure (to JHE)

Feb 06, 1995 10:11 AM
by John Mead

Hi - the following is the truncated message from Murray S.
I don't think the original ever got through in one piece.

probably there is a line that begins with "from .." which
terminated the listserv transmission.  I have a fix for this bug
(I think) and will be changing the catmail routine to force
a ">" before each message line (if it works as documented).

john mead (

(Murray's message follows - the part which was clobbered:)

> MS> I'd like to see the means of communicating theosophy and its
> > values extended more often, for instance to drama.
> > .....            It makes for a nice alternation of modality
> > and group dynamics that keeps interest at a very high level.
>                                The idea of doing occult plays has
> held my fascination for years.  It has been a dream of mine that
> an opportunity will come to revive this.

I have a similar hope, too.  The New Zealand TS conventions
sometimes have a drama piece, whether adapted from a known author
or put together by some of the members.  Typical themes are
scenes from a theosophical leader's life, or extracts from some
more-or-less "occult" play.  Wellington Lodge created and put on
a delightful and fun-filled pageant for a Convention about 8
years ago, tracing the history of the TS from Neanderthal times,
through to the business world of today and its false gurus.  The
basic purpose of all these has been basically "entertainment for
a TS audience".

Beyond this, however, there is the intentional use of drama for
teaching or expanding awareness, or even modification of
behaviour patterns.  These are the areas I'd like to see more
energy put into.

The little readers' theatre pieces I mentioned before are for
teaching, providing a vehicle for introducing some of the key
ideas of reincarnation and having a discussion about them.  The
process involves participation and some fun along the way.  A
Wellington member and I wrote the scripts, basing them on some of
Edgar Cayce's readings, carefully chosen to highlight some facet
of karma.  In fact that's the title of the whole presentation:
Facets of Karma.  (Otherwise known as karma drama!) Each piece
lasts only a few minutes, to illustrate a point, and is followed
by disussion.

You probably get a lot more information across, and better
retention, this way, than you'd get by doing a lecture on the
same topic.  There are some times when a lecture is more
appropriate, of course.

Another way of using drama that I have only dreamed about, is to
use it to present alternatives in inter-personal relationships.
For example, two short pieces (perhaps only a minute long each)
showing how the lead-up to an argument could be de-fused if one
or both participants had a more love-infused approach, and/or
used certain techniques.

There could be a whole range of applications like this, for
instance showing how attitudes and behaviour patterns vary with
specific deficiences in each chakra, or blocks in the psyche, how
resolution can be brought about, and how people behave
afterwards.  The power of the role model, in miniature.

You'd need people with real insight coupled with the ability to
crystallise it into drama, to write this kind of stuff.  A
workshop or group to create this kind of drama would probably be
a highly illuminating experience in itself.

> working on Yeats, who wrote and produced several occult plays.
> But that is another story.

Can you give us the names of some of them to look out for?

> MS> Indeed. Sometimes, obviously, the wound is extremely painful
> - ie threatening to a world view or a deeply-felt loyalty. We
> need to have more than one way to open wounds, perhaps, and use
> the one best suited to the case.
>      For those who are willing to "take the cure," I propose
> therapy through "talking it out."  For those who are in the pain
> of denial--I haven't got a clue.  I think they just need a lot of
> time to put themselves into a place where they can deal with it.
> Any ideas?

I think talking it out, and taking the time it takes, are two of
the key elements.  A third person acting as a mediator can be
important too, if there are two parties in some kind of
confrontation.  Good will is important, and sometimes overlooked.
We can let loose "nasties" unconsciously, sometimes, in our
fight-or-flight reaction.

It's probably easier to do this face-to-face than over e-mail,
but in any case, trust is required.  There are Alternative
Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques around, I gather from talking
to someone who practises and teaches ADR techniques to business
and industrial clients.  I don't know about them as such, myself,
but could possibly find out.

I have felt the anguish and loss of a world view.  I was twelve
and had been reading Christian Science for about a year, feeling
very excited about it - a real sense of discovery and
enlightenment.  Then, one day, I picked up a Catholic book which
was all about exposing the faults in other religious systems, and
it had a section on Christion Science.  Now, I didn't agree with
the Catholic view, but nevertheless just reading it somehow
punctured my CS world and let it sadly deflate.  I probably had
this coming anyway, and this was just the trigger for it, but the
pain and loss were deeply felt at the time.

I'll come back to this post of yours, Jerry.  There's more I'd
like to respond to another day when there's more time.

Murray Stentiford

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