“All the world’s a stage” as Shakespeare put it. “And all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.” These words contain great insight into the inauthenticity of what we consider ‘reality’. Most of what we consider to be truth is merely an unconscious charade, dictated to us by society and automatically placed on us the moment we are born.
Many people claim their religion is the correct one; misogynists believe a woman’s place is in the home (or worse- “the kitchen”). There is inequality within class systems, with the lower classes often looked down upon by those with a higher status. Some races believe they are more superior to others; and xenophobia results in distrust amongst nations. All of this division is in fact, ego created. To be too identified with one’s ego, i.e. ‘a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance’ creates an illusion of separation which as a result leads to animosity, and on a far greater scale, war. Your name, occupation, place of residence, likes and dislikes is not actually you, per se. They are an extension of you, but ultimately who you really are is the awareness behind these fleeting forms (whether form be thought or physical). Apart from the fact our conscious awareness sets us apart, human beings are no better than animals. We shit, piss, eat, drink, procreate and ultimately die. Although personality types differ due to individual neurology, we are all intrinsically one with one another as we all derive from the same source. As the physicist Brian Cox said, “We are the cosmos made conscious”.
Having structure is important as it enables us to make sense of the world, so we’re not all floating around in chaos. However, if we identify with these roles too much, hostility will arise when one tries to step outside the predisposed boundaries. I shall use homosexuality as an example. Fortunately, we have seen a great progression for gay rights within the last decade. In 2013, gay couples were officially given the same rights to marriage as heterosexual couples. Despite this, many still face ridicule for not fitting within the ‘normal’ boundaries. In many cultures, homosexuals are still persecuted. Those from the transgender community also face struggles. Using a crude example, who initially suggested that a man should wear trousers and women skirts and high heels? And why can’t a man plaster his face with make-up (the way many women do) without the fear of being judged? Although there are a large number of open minded individuals, there are an even greater number of those who are intolerant and ignorant. It’s these people that make it hard for those who don’t necessarily conform. They may argue that biology dictates certain factors, but ultimately, we are all players on a stage, all performing roles. Therefore, a transgender’s performance is no less authentic than a heterosexuals.
-Rebecca A Underhill