All The World’s a Stage

6

Posted by Jill Whalen | Posted in Miscellaneous, Spiritual Teachings, Spirituality, Thought | Posted on 02-28-2018

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[Jill’s Note: If you prefer to listen rather than read, please scroll to the bottom of this post for the audio version.]

Shakespeare once said, “All the world’s a stage.” While he was talking about the various stages of life we go through, the short tale you are about to read is in reference to the kind of stage in which plays play out… 

Once upon a time in a faraway land, there existed only a stage.

All the world's a stage!It wasn’t your everyday stage. It was a grande, regal, magical one. What made it so special was that the entire universe consisted solely of this omnipresent stage.

The stage had no name, nor did it need one because there was nothing else but it. However, in the universe in which this story is told, labels are useful, so we’ll call it “Mo.” The stage also had no specific gender, but again, for purposes of this story, we’ll use “he” and “him” when referring to Mo. But in reality, he was more of an “it” than a “he.”

Mo’s magicalness meant that he continuously created an infinite supply of scenery, props, costumes and actors to perform within the stage that was him. This provided an endless variety of shows playing out for his enjoyment, amusement and entertainment.

All sorts of scenes and characters came to life within the stage/universe that was Mo.

The cool thing was that Mo got to experience all of it as it was happening. There were happy stories and sad stories. Stories of intrigue and surprise. There were melodramas and tales of suffering. There were love stories, war stories, and every other imaginable (or unimaginable) stories that unfolded within Mo.

All of the plays featured a constant stream of ups and downs. This kept things exciting for Mo, because he never knew what was going to happen next.

Mo enjoyed being witness to, and a part of the parade of personalities and plays, coming and going in a pulsating, natural rhythm. He loved it all. And he deeply loved each and every character that had sprung forth from within him. He knew they were all necessary parts of the magnificent whole.

The actors, however, didn’t see it that way.

They had no idea they were acting! Because they had their own individual thoughts, they believed they were separate from Mo and from each other. Yet they were actually no different than the props, the scenery and Mo, himself.

In other words, they were all simply “stage stuff.”

Interestingly enough, their mistaken belief of separateness was usually what fueled the drama within the plays. Because their heads were filled with their own thoughts, they assumed those thoughts were important, and acted accordingly.

Yet in “reality,” (i.e., within the context of the plays themselves) their individual thoughts weren’t the least bit valuable.

In fact, their thoughts were generally more of a hindrance than a help. 

You see, there were no scripts or specific plot lines for Mo’s plays. They were improvisational. The story lines could go anywhere based on each actor’s own unique mix of characteristics and traits, as well as whatever thoughts happened to be going through their head at the time. Which meant no two storylines were ever the same.

Because of their individual thoughts, each was quite sure they knew what was right and wrong, good and bad, and generally what was what. Yet one actor’s “right” was very often another actor’s “wrong”!

This created confusion, as it didn’t make any sense.

It also caused fighting, anger, fear and sadness.

Which of course didn’t feel very good from the actor’s point of view. After all, they believed their character and role they were playing was who they were. But to Mo (who knew better) it kept the plays interesting and intriguing.

Please don’t misunderstand. It wasn’t as if Mo didn’t empathize with his characters.

He most certainly did.

It’s that he knew the plays weren’t real.

But even with his knowing, Mo’s empathy sometimes got the best of him. When an actor was really sad, for instance, Mo would do his best to convey that everything was really okay. He’d whisper over and over that they were fine and would always be fine. Unfortunately, the actors usually didn’t hear his whispers. And when they did, his words of encouragement were often dismissed out of hand.

With no idea that they were acting in a play, the notion of “always being fine” made no sense.

Yet, once in awhile, an actor would catch a glimpse of what was really going on.

Mo LOVED when this happened!

He’d do his best to encourage them by cheering them on in the background shouting, “You’ve got it, you’ve got it!

Sometimes Mo was so exuberant in his cheering that an actor could hear him quite clearly. They may not have realized what they were hearing, but it seemed to give them a feeling they were on the right track. And the more they felt that, the more they had glimpses into their true nature. Which, in turn, caused Mo’s cheering to become even louder and more clear.

Mo wanted nothing more than for all his actors to learn the truth.

This was his desire from the very beginning, when the plays first started. Having all the actors see that they were “stage stuff” just like Mo, was always the goal.

Even if it meant an end to the stories that he loved.

You see, once an actor realized that they were not who and what they thought they were, the gig was up. There was no way they could carry on with the farce while knowing the Truth. It just wouldn’t make sense to them anymore.

Epilogue

At the time of this writing, nobody knows if Mo ever got his wish.

What’s your guess? Did the actors finally see through the illusion? Or are they still dutifully playing their parts?

Either way, it’s all fine with Mo!

–Jill

P.S. If this post resonated with you, please consider joining our ongoing discussion group that explores the “Illusion of Me.”

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Jill is the author of Victim of Thought: Seeing Through the Illusion of Anxiety


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For the past 20 years, Jill has consulted with companies big and small, and spoken at conferences all over the world. She is currently a transformational speaker and mentor to businesses, individuals, coaches, leaders, groups and organizations. She helps them uncover their natural well-being and happiness so that they can operate from a clearer state of mind and take their lives and businesses to a higher level.


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Hi Jill,
I’m fairly new to your blog and I really enjoy your inspirational stories. But, this story about Mo, sad to say I dont get it. Please know I read it a couple times. What are you trying to say?

Best regards,
Kristi

Hi Kristi,

This metaphor was definitely not for everyone!

Basically, what the story is saying is that our life, is like a big play we’re all just putting on. But we don’t know it. We think it’s REAL. And so we act accordingly. With all our real life dramas that ensue, and all our anxiety and worries. But when we know it’s really just play acting, we can simply have fun with it.

You may resonate more with the metaphor life being a game. Or a dream. All the same thing, IMO.

Hi Jill

What a fantastic piece of work. Many people have written lengthy books on the same subject and failed to get their point across. Then along comes yourself to simplify everything. Magnificent.

Jill, I hope this will lead to a book on Non-Duality? Thanks for sharing your immense wisdom with the world.

Warm regards
Brian

Wow, thank you, Brian! I have to admit this came “through me” rather than from me, as I don’t actually get it myself! But I do know that what I wrote has the Truth in it. Writing it did help me see it a little more clearly. Not sure I’m ready for a non-duality book yet, however. Once I unravel my “self” completely, that will be first on my list

I’m so glad this spoke to you in a clear way!

Hi Jill,
I loved this story I think it sums up what life is all about really well and I had a similar idea a while back that we are all just puppets wearing different fancy dress costumes and playing our parts according to our individual characters while being overseen by the puppetmaster (God/Source or whatever name we want to use ).
Another time I thought of God as the hypnotist on the massive stage of life with everyone else. We are all doing different things and actions while in an induced dream state for God’s entertainment until we naturally “wake up” and realise that in reality it was just a game show and we are actually all “one” with God. I hope you can get what I am trying to say lol.

Best regards

Kathy

Thanks, Kathy. Glad you liked it!

Interesting metaphors you have! I have think a lot about it being a dream, for sure. Just makes sense to me.