The World is but a Show

Thank you for your responses on my last blog post: ‘The Purpose of Tests’.  Many of you shared your thoughts privately and sent them to my personal email account – totally understandable as this can be a sensitive and personal subject.  I asked a couple of my friends if I could share their insights on this blog and they kindly agreed… One friend shared a powerful dream they had had about learning to be a ‘hollow reed’ after being severely tested and having been stripped from one of their most prized possessions – their musical instrument.  Another friend shared that tests and difficulties really make you become detached from your ego…they humble you and bring you down to your knees….   Thank you to my friends who shared their responses on the blog too – I really enjoyed reading your insightful comments.
One of the reasons I wanted to make the CD, Fire and Gold, is precisely because it is on the theme of tests and difficulties and is a subject we all experience.  Because it’s a a common thread in all our lives, everyone can identify with it.
Below is one of the quotations that I chose to set to music for the CD on a similar theme of how this world is just a show.  It is the title song from the CD, Fire and Gold.  You can listen to the song below:

“The world is but a show, vain and empty, a mere nothing, bearing the semblance of reality. Set not your affections upon it… The world is like a vapor in a desert, which the thirsty dreameth to be water and striveth after it with all his might, until when he cometh unto it, he findeth it to be mere illusion”.  -Bahá’u’lláh

This quote has such depth in meaning and when I reflect on it I understand that the world is not real.  It’s just an illusion and it’s passing.  Anything that passes ultimately cannot be real.  To give you an example, it’s like watching a movie – it has a reality in that moment when we’re watching it, but then it’s over.  Thinking of it in symbolic terms, it’s as though we are the actors in the movie.  We’re here in this world observing a movie but when the movie’s over, we leave the theatre.  What we do in the movie dictates who we are when we leave the movie.  What we’ve done in this world and what we’ve developed are who we are.  I believe that when we leave this world we take two things – our good deeds (what we’ve done) and our virtues (who we are).  The only things we get to keep eternally are things that we give away, ie. our service to others.  When we are of service there is an element of sacrifice.  We give up that time to help someone else.  That act of service is ours forever and that’s what we take with us when we leave this world.  The reason we take it with us is because we gave it away.  I believe, however, that one has to be of service with a pure motive and with true sincerity otherwise I don’t think it translates as true service.  Of course those we aid will benefit but I don’t think our soul could fully benefit unless it’s done with the purest of motives.

The phrase that echoes in my mind from the above quotation is: “Set not your affections upon it…” – a warning sign not to get attached to this world.  I would love to hear your thoughts or any inspirational stories you would like to share…

The world is but a show

8 Comments

    peter April 1, 2009Reply

    Thanks for posting that quote! I’m working on a new project with a theme that this is the “Nether World” like Plato’s Cave… a mere shadow of something profoundly more real… that quote is EXACTLY it! We have noooo idea, yet the good news is — we’re all gonna find out soon enough when we “shed this mortal coil”!

    hisoka April 1, 2009Reply

    Thank you for sharing ur insights, very inspiring as always ^_^

    Elika April 1, 2009Reply

    Hi Peter – thanks for sharing your thoughts. Good luck with your new project! Look forward to hearing more about it.
    Thanks Hisoka for reading the blog and for your kind words.

    Varya April 3, 2009Reply

    Thank you for sharing, dear. I can just hear the music in my years with these beautiful words :o)

    Marilyn April 3, 2009Reply

    What strikes me in considering this spiritual fact, is that one then needs to approach life like an actor on a stage. The stage with all its props and trappings is just a venue for playing out a drama. It would be foolish for the actor to think the purpose of being on the stage was to possess as many props as possible, and to spend his or her time piling up the props. Rather, the great actor considers how to play his or her role with excellence. This requires attention to how to express the virtues in the character role they are given, and to be as true as possible to the purpose of the Playwright. One walks on stage with only ones heart and wits – and leaves the stage having delivered a message with as much heart and subtle depth as possible. Satisfaction is in the exercise of the role given by the Author.

    jaleh April 4, 2009Reply

    What great insights! Thank you for this wonderful blog our dear one Elika!! It is a great reflection helping us bring ourselves to account each day realizing the priorities of life.
    love you

    Sherri April 5, 2009Reply

    Lovely words of wisdom, Elly joon.

    Elika April 5, 2009Reply

    Marilyn – I enjoyed reading your response and how you elaborated on the analogy. Thanks for your brilliant insights!
    Thanks Jaleh, Sherri and Varya – so glad you appreciated the blog and the quotation.

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