Inside-Out performance project

Seeking for the meaning of life is an inherent aspect of the belief in separation. Through affiliation with the thinking function a much smaller identity is carved out of the whole. A person is miniscule compared to the whole of life.

The belief that you are this tiny entity, separate from life as a whole creates the yearning for reunion. It is as if you are standing on shaky ground or thin ice. A lot of energy is spent in propping up this personal identity in an attempt to feel more solid. The mind feels incomplete and needs to fill the gap but it proves insatiable. There is a bottomless pit of wanting.


The Ancient Greek, mythical character of Tantalus is symbolic of our craving. Tantalus was the son of Zeus, king of the gods and the nymph Plouto (her name means riches). Tantalus was king of the primordial world. He had three children, Broteas meaning mortals, Niobe and Pelops. Tantalus stole ambrosia, food of the gods, to reveal their secrets to his people. He dismembered his son Pelops and offered him as food to the gods to trick them into committing a crime. He was the founder of the house of Atreus whose members were born cursed because of his misconduct.

Tantalus suffered eternal punishment as a consequence of offending the gods. He was cast into Tartarus, the deepest part of the Underworld reserved for evildoers. There he found he had an insatiable thirst and appetite. He stood in a pool of water with a fruit tree above his head. Every time he bent to quench his thirst, the water receded and whenever he reached for a piece of fruit, the branch swung the fruit just out of reach.

Like Tantalus, in seeking we are never satisfied. The world is full of tantalizing prizes and temptation lies around every corner. When we reach our goals we do not remain content but set our sights on the next goal.

Tantalus was also guilty of hubris; jealous of the gods he wanted to take their power and be better than them. The mind is also guilty of trying to control ‘divine power’ or the energy that we are made of. With the belief in being the separate person we immediately try to claim the energy of life as our own. Tantalus dismembers his son, like the mind which breaks reality into pieces, creating separate parts. But the act of dismemberment leads both Tantalus and the mind to be constantly wanting.

Losing self identity is like being turned inside-out. It is a shift from being a separate person to ‘Being’. It is seen that everything previously held to be the world outside is actually a unity with what appears as this body. What ‘I’ am is everything and the silence from which everything comes.

When selfhood develops then everything has been turned ‘outside-in’ as the illusionary authority figure in the head or controller attempts to grasp and label life. An inner landscape grows in the brain mirroring the world outside. More and more we identify not with the real world but with the map in our heads. This seems to distance us from what we are, we disengage through thinking.

In turning this around again intimacy of being is restored- life is vibrant and spontaneous.