Zen Tao gave the following talk back in February 1987. I came across it quite by chance the other day, sixteen years after it was received, whilst looking in my records for something quite different. I was struck by its relevance to the world in which we find ourselves today, and I hope that you will find it meaningful.
The title of my talk tonight comes in the form of a question. "Do you think your world is in a state of chaos or in a state of creation?" and when I use the term 'creation' I am implying that events in the world are following a blueprint, a divine plan. As you look around your world today, as you witness the violence and the bloodshed, the disease and the disharmony, as you read the newspapers and watch the television, it would tend to reinforce the viewpoint that you are living in very chaotic times. As personal relationships disintegrate, as respect for other human beings slowly slips away, so it would appear that your world is descending into a time of darkness, a time of chaos. Now the word chaos comes from the Greek, and in its derivative meaning it implies a time when Man is blown hither and thither by the wind of change, a time when Man is subject to random and haphazard events. But my purpose in posing this question to you now is to ask you to consider whether the events that you are witnessing in the world are the result of chaos and disorder, or whether they are a part of a divine plan, a divine creation. I, for my part, would like to assure you that they are all part of God's Plan for Humanity, that they do have meaning and purpose, and that they simply represent the birth pains of a new Age.
On many occasions I have likened life on this Earth to a drama being played out on the stage of a theatre, that is to say that the events of life that are being enacted around you are all following a predetermined script. The author, God, has written and produced the drama and only He can change it. Your only choice in the matter, therefore, is limited to how you choose to respond to the drama. The drama is simply an experience for you to observe. It is up to you as to how you react. Two people watching the same drama can react in entirely different ways. The important thing to remember, though, is that the drama of life, just like the drama on a stage, is not real. When you go to the theatre and watch the actors playing their roles, you choose the degree to which you will allow yourself to become involved in the action on that stage. It is the same with the greater drama of life. Although you might identify with the roles that the actors are playing and the emotions that they are expressing, still there is a part of you, a part that I will call the observer, which decides how much of the drama you will take on board. Yes, you may experience the emotions and the reactions of the actors on the stage, but at the same time you are also the observer of those emotions and reactions. This observer is reminding you that it is just a play on a stage, that no one is actually dying or suffering, that you should stay detached. If you choose to take on board all the emotions and reactions generated by the actors, then, you will suffer. That is your choice, but the irony of that choice lies in the fact that the actors portraying the roles are not suffering, they are simply acting! So the suffering is all self-imposed.
What concerns us of the spiritual hierarchy at this time is that so many of you have forgotten who, or what, is the observer in the drama of life. It is not your personality ego of this life; it is your divine, eternal, infinite spirit, and the spirit never suffers. It is essential that you recognise the role and purpose of the observer at this moment in human evolution, for truly you are approaching the time of Armageddon, a time when you will see events manifesting on the face of this Earth that will test your point of consciousness to the limit. It is therefore vital that you have the perspective of the observer on the drama of life that will unfold before your eyes. In one sense your physical life can be compared to a dream. When you wake up in the morning, after having a dream at night, and return to the 'reality' of life in a physical body, you gain a fresh perspective on your dream. Although the dream appeared to you to be real at the time, and you responded to it, you now perceive that it was unreal, based on your current viewpoint of reality. However, if you were truly aware, even when you were dreaming, you would note that the observer was still present, making you aware that it was only a dream, that it was not reality. Sometimes a dream becomes so real that you have to wake up in order to escape from it. This is true of life. When you die and pass over to another dimension of being, it is just like waking up from a dream, and for some people it can be compared to a bad dream, a nightmare, that they are happy to escape. From this new dimension of life you will gain a fresh perspective on the life that you have just lived, you will see that it was just a staged drama that gave you opportunities to transmute karma and to learn spiritual lessons. You will see that you have had many other dreams, many other lives, and that you will live and dream again. Always present, though, is the observer, your spirit, giving you true perspective, linking you to the oneness of all life. No matter on which plane of being you dwell, your spirit links you to Infinite Spirit at all times, in all states of being.
You are all aware that the world population, the number of actors upon the stage of life, is rapidly increasing. Each year millions of new souls incarnate upon the plane of Earth. Many of these are souls that have never incarnated on the Earth before. They are relatively unaware, unconscious souls, and their creations in thought, word, and deed create a morass of heavy, low vibrational energy. They are creating in their own image, and not in the image of their Creator. They are creating to fulfil their own pleasures, for their own self-centred ends, rather than for the benefit of Humanity as a whole. The concept of sacrificial service is unknown to them. Here, in the Western World, you are surrounded by so much material diversion that you cannot see the wood for the trees, as the expression goes. You have become so distracted and confused by all the actions of less evolved souls that you have lost touch with the reality of life. All this confusion in your outer life is leading to confusion in your inner life. You have lost sight of the fact that you are God-centred beings living in a God-centred world. Being aged souls, you should be sure of the reality of human existence, of the path of sacrificial service in love, of the oneness of all life. You should be able to see the hand of God in every creation, in every situation, in every moment of both joy and sorrow, of both bliss and tragedy. You should be able to be observers of life, to be in the world but not of the world. However, everywhere that we look, we see that you are allowing the drama of others to become your drama, that you are allowing other souls karmic lessons to become your karmic lessons. In this age of mass communication, when a disaster that occurs thousands of miles away is instantly transmitted by both word and picture all over the globe, you are becoming swamped by the drama.
In the ancient temples of, firstly, Atlantis and, then, Egypt, the ultimate test of a Master of the physical plane of life was for the initiate, whilst in his or her sleep state, to walk through a world of apparent darkness and chaos. In this world the initiate would be threatened in many ways, both physically and psychologically, by fierce animals and by terrifying spiritual forms. To survive such a test you had to have complete faith both in the power of your own being and in the understanding that the creations around you were just an illusion, another dream. In this way you could truly walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil. The observer was so present in your being that you could see the nature of the dream that you were in and have total confidence in your ability to walk unscathed through any life-threatening situation. In this way you would emerge in the morning as an awakened Master. Now, in a sense, you today are facing a similar initiation test. The world that you face at this time can be compared to the darkness that the initiates of old had to face. Your tests are just as real as the tests of those initiates. You see the drama around you with your physical eyes and to you it appears to be real. You seem to be surrounded by darkness, and because the world's communication media concentrates on darkness rather than on light, so every day that sense of darkness is reinforced. Everyday the inhumanity of other human beings is presented to you and you react to it, but it is your choice as to how you react and the thought forms that you create and send out into the world. Yes, you can be shocked by the bestiality, the immorality and the inhumanity of so many actions by kindred souls upon this plane of Earth, but also you can place all their actions in the right context, namely, that they are simply actors playing roles, playing roles in a script that was written by God. The script must therefore be perfect and what you are witnessing is not a world of chaos but a world of divine creation. It is important that you recognise this fact.
As you watch a drama being acted on a stage in a theatre, you must be aware that the actors have been trained to create the effect of the drama, to make it appear as real as is possible. They have probably rehearsed for many hours in order to create the scene that the director wants to show the audience. Even a scene that portrays great chaos on the stage has been planned and rehearsed with great concentration. Nothing is random and left to chance. Everything is done to convince the audience that the drama on the stage is real. Everything is done to involve the audience in the drama, to make them identify with the characters in the drama, even though the drama itself is an illusion. It is not real. So can you now begin to appreciate just how well planned is the drama of life, for there is a far greater Director in charge, a Director Who knows every aspect of the human soul. This Director, whom you call God, knows the point of consciousness of very divine soul, the nature of its karmic account and the evolutionary lesson that it needs to learn. This great Being has chosen to play the role of the Director of the drama of life and He touches every divine soul at its own level of consciousness, according to its unique note and vibration. What you also have to realise is that the Director does not get involved in the drama. That is not His role, His purpose. The Director directs, He observes, He does not take part in the drama. So prayers to God to change the drama are really a waste of time, for you are, in effect, asking God to run the drama according to your consciousness rather than His!
Your Creator, with infinite love, has created for you the life that you are experiencing right now, both on an individual and on a world basis. It is the perfect test, the perfect lesson, for your point of consciousness. That is why you are here in incarnation on the Earth. So I would not want you to think that the answer to all the challenges of the world is simply to ignore them, to retreat from them, saying to yourself "They are not real. It is all an illusion. It is just a dream." I am not asking you to live in isolation, to ignore the suffering of your fellow human beings, to say that it does not matter whether a person lives or dies. You should not become hard-hearted. Compassion is an essential quality of a human being. You must play your part in the drama, and play it well, to the best of your spiritual ability. At all times, though, you must be aware of, and listen to, the observer, your divine spirit. There must be times of quietness and meditation, when you focus on the divine in you, when you become one with the oneness of all life. If you are not rooted and grounded in spirit, then, how can you begin to understand and handle the drama of life that is manifesting around you? Above all, how can you help others, how can you bring comfort to those who believe that the drama is real, that the drama is finite, that birth and death are truly the beginning and the ending of life.
That many people are suffering in the world today cannot be denied, but that is all karmic settlement. They are reaping the harvest that they have sown, if not in this life, then, in previous lives. Do not take on their karmic burdens. Be strong in the knowledge that not even a leaf falls but that God wills it. There is no such thing as chance, bad luck or random acts of fate. Every death is destined and happens at its appointed time. There is not even a minute trace of chaos in God's creation, for everything is held in perfect balance. The apparent confusion and uncertainty that exists in the world today is caused, firstly, because no one understands the reality of the drama that is being acted and, secondly, because people look at the drama with their physical eyes and not with their spiritual or third eye. It is the eye of the soul rather than the eyes of the personality, the little ego, that sees truly the nature of physical existence. Look with compassion on the suffering of others, but do not suffer with them, rather, learn from their suffering. Recognise that you have incarnated to lead your life, to learn your lessons, and it is not for you to lead the lives and to learn the lessons of millions upon millions of other souls who are in incarnation with you. Do not become distracted by their acts of karma. Offer them your love and your support, remember them in your prayers, but do not let their suffering become your suffering. Above all remember that suffering brings a person closer to God. Think back in your own life, to your own suffering, and you will know that this statement is true. It is only through suffering that the mind turns inwards to self-inquiry, to self-realisation.
You should not allow yourself to be touched by the apparent confusion of the world around you. Do not become distracted by the glamour and the illusion of the world in which you live. Focus on what is essential in your life. You may choose to watch TV rather than to meditate, but which action will lead you to a clearer understanding of your self, of your life and of your divine purpose. All the books that you read and all the television that you watch are only second-hand knowledge and are only with you for this lifetime, but a spiritual insight is with you for eternity. It is spiritual energy, not physical or mental energy, that gives you the inner strength to handle that which you meet in the world. It is spiritual energy that gives you true insight into any human interaction, into any human suffering. Always be mindful of the Source of All Life, that Divine Energy of which you are a part and to which you are eternally linked. It is only when you separate yourself from that Source that you see confusion and chaos, that you see suffering and loss, that you can deceive yourself into believing that Man's will takes precedence over God's Will, that Man's law takes precedence over God's Law. Always remember that God is omnipresent, that God's energy flows through and impels every atom of physical matter. How then can Man say that he has free will, that he is the master of his destiny? Man also likes to think that he has free choice but, in reality, the only choice that Man has is in how he chooses to face the moment in time that is placed before him and, if the truth be known, that moment in time is an illusion too, for how can time exist in a dream?
When you know the true nature of your being, when you are a Master of this plane of life, then you can walk through the greatest darkness, you can handle the most challenging test, with complete certainty and understanding. At this point in time of the World's evolution, therefore, you need to see clearly the difference between the inner 'you' and the outer 'you'. The inner 'you' knows the reality of the drama. It knows that you are simply an actor, playing a role, as you have played many roles before. It knows that you were never born and that you will never die. The outer 'you', on the other hand, believes that the drama is real, is created by Man, that people suffer cruelly and unjustly, that God has no part of it and is distant from it. The glasses that you wear will decide what you will see. From my viewpoint I can tell you that you live in a God centred world, a world of creation not chaos, a world where God's love flows freely and fruitfully. Do not be deceived by the drama. Recognise that life on the Earth is not a reality but is a dream and know that when you open your eyes after death, and wake up, you will truly see the dream for what it is, just a dream. What is the purpose of the dream? It is simple. It is to bring you closer to God. It is so that you will know that you are no different from that God.