In a theatre the stage is often decorated with props and screens. At least enough to create a context for the drama, a believable backdrop, so that the audience can easily enter into, and enjoy the performance.
I propose that this is exactly what the material world is to us. Something we can readily accept as real, so we can get on with exploring the variety of sensual and emotional enjoyments facilitated by our existence in this world.
The main backdrop here is our body itself. By identification with it, we believe that we come into existence at some point and then cease to exist at another. Much as a play on the stage has a start and end time.
Against the backdrop of our body, and all the other props of the material world (for example, family, land of birth, society … etc.), we act out the short drama of our life – seeking enjoyment and fulfilment from an endlessly mutable spectrum of flavours that are available here.
And just as when the theatre production is over we leave the theatre, similarly we move on to another body when this lifetime is finished. After all, our existence doesn’t cease when we leave the theatre … perhaps we go home to our ‘real life’. Likewise when the drama of this lifetime is completed, we start another drama, or perhaps even go home to our real real life. More about ‘real life’ here.
Whether or not we go home to our real life really depends on if we want experience another production or not. It’s as simple as that. This is my personal conviction.
What play are you in?