The Theater of the Soul is the theater of truth, where a person experiences a growing ability to witness and act his life and relationships in a conscious way. Everyone can be an actor in the Theater of the Soul, without any previous knowledge or extraordinary skills. Paradoxically, the method works the best if someone does not want to perform, trying to meet presumed expectations, but rather, s/he is ready to give herself or himself.
Theater of the Soul is a name I gave to the integrated method I use, which is based on mindfulness techniques and classical psychodrama. The latter was created by Jacob Levy Moreno in the 1920-1940s years. Moreno was a psychiatrist and a social scientist, but essentially a real explorer, full of curiosity and creativity. He learnt a lot from children: partly from his own childhood experiences, where it felt natural to him to play God, and partly from the kids creating and playing fairy tales in the Augarten in Vienna. His method has been further enhanced by his followers and the results of modern psychology.
In the Theatre of the Soul, the body moves, and with it, also those layers of the consciousness, which are not accessible for the cognitive mind, trying to grasp itself in a „clever“ way. Experiences may become accessible which stem from the time of childhood before you were able to speak, or from the depth of the subsconcious. A source of intuitive wisdom opens.
In the Theater of the Soul the inner world comes to life, including all those forces which support a person in living a flourishing life and connect her to her joy and creativity.
In the Theater of the Soul, the inner roles will be played. The method enables us to meet the Free Creator living in us, and to inflame the passion arising from this encounter. We may increasingly trust our power, our ability to act. Or if not fully or not immediately, we become ready to be surprised about ourselves. We undertake the risk and vulnerability of experimentation and exploration.
In my experience, during the inner work striving for wholeness, next to the difficulties those parts of the psyche arise naturally which call for growth. The roles, which may have been little known before, such as the Free Creator and the Master of Joy, start shaping the everyday functioning in a way, that it will become less and less customary as we know it.
The group is powerful, as it makes people free to make mistakes, to speak freely of failures, and to explore these. „If you make a mistake, make sure, it is a huge mistake, so that it will be obvious for everyone that you made a mistake“ – said my master, Max Clayton, in his usual provocative and loving manner. In this work, the group members will become companions and supporters of each other. The role of the director is to support individual work in the best way he or she can, and for this, to ensure a secure and accepting group norm. The director does not write the script, but rather directs the script of the protagonist, the main actor.
As the process advances through the meetings, a new functioning, a new life emerges. It takes practice. The supportive and liberating group is a good space for this, where one can courageously explore and practice his new role. These exercises have an impact on the functioning of the brain and can lead to lasting changes: certain parts of the brain become more active, while the activity of some others drops. As argued by many spiritual traditions, the persistent practice of certain acts fundamentally determines our ability to live a flourishing life.
The Theater of the Soul, and the community experience inherent in it, empowers us to create new patterns to act as individual and as communities, and to tell and to celebrate new stories of success. In this way, we can create a new narrative of how to live a good life.