Decades ago, my first husband and I threw a party on December 31st. The theme, which he thought up, was Janus–the back-to-back masks, one facing backward toward the old year, one facing forward toward the new. Sometimes they are depicted as one black and one white, or one happy and one sad.
It dawned on me tonight that this was a lighter interpretation of a deeper truth–the sage looks both inward and outward: he or she rests inwardly in and as awareness, while at the same time engaging in the world. Hence the old saying, being in the world but not of it. I came across an old quote today (source unknown) which describes this so beautifully:
talk with their companions while all the time remaining intent on the
water above. Similarly, when a sage engages in activities, they do not
disturb him because his mind abides in Brahmin [awareness].