#117 – To Be Or Not To Be

To be or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or take up arms against a sea of troubles

Shakespeare was a pretty intuitive guy. He had some very profound insights into the behavior of his fellow thespians and we are all actors after a fashion. But in this theatre piece called “life” what is our role; are we supposed to be acting in a tragedy, a farce or a comedy of errors? What is our identity? Until we know the answer to that question we will not know how to act. We will not know how to be.

As he strode the world stage as do all of us (“all the world’s a stage”) Hamlet’s challenge was not whether to be or not to be but how to be and why to be.

Furthermore, Hamlet was plagued by indecision. So are we. Time is running out. The final curtain is about to come down on the last act of our performance. Will our descendants in the audience of future time feel inclined to applaud or throw rotten tomatoes?

We have raised a number of questions which all boil down to one dilemma, namely, why are things so rotten in Denmark? Our friend C. G. Jung had the answer. Jung labeled an authentic performance on the stage of life “individuation.”

“The key element in individuation is to develop one’s own personality [True self] as opposed to living collectively [conforming to a paradigm B identity]. Jung was particularly concerned about the plight of the individual in modern society, for he observed that the moment the individual combines with the mass, his or her uniqueness is diminished and blurred.” (1)  In other words don’t accept the role that demands the pursuit of plenty, pleasure and power.

For a more complete script about how to be or not to be click on the link below.

Insight # 117:

O what men dare do! What men may do! What men daily do, not knowing what they do!     Beatrice in “Much Ado About Nothing. (IV-i-19)



  1. Zweig, Connie and Jeremiah Abrams. Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 1991, page 255.

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