“You will see that this earth life is just a show. It is nothing but shadows and light!” –Paramhansa Yogananda
Yogananda tells us that existence with all its beautiful and unlovely compositions are only pictures that God has painted on the canvas of this life. We add our own designs and illustrations here and there, but they are only shadows on the backdrop of His eternal Bliss. Master says that, “Immortal Soul children are sent to make pictures or to watch pictures of Life, both tragedies and comedies, with an unruffled equanimity.” If we can embrace this perspective, we can view this cinema of life from a safe distance and calmly watch, as he puts it, the movies of pain and pleasures, health and sickness, and life and death.
We learn that if we truly want to free ourselves from this show at the time of death, we will have to strip the canvas clean and let go of any scenarios, people, or things. Any residual attachments or desires will make the entertainment continue and ultimately cause us to suffer needlessly. In the theater, when the play is over, the characters immediately drop the roles they were playing, and so will we. We will have to take off our costumes and walk off the stage to return to our true Self and our original role as part of the Infinite.
This life is our rehearsal. We need to practice our lines and stage business to prepare for the penultimate role. We will need to make a strong effort now and play our parts heroically and graciously – memorizing our lines and our teachings so thoroughly that when Death signals for us, we will not forget our parts and a lifetime of preparation and practice. When it is time for us to go home, we should gracefully face the applause of all of our loved ones and those who have played a part with us. Then we will be ready to leave this stage of life and walk off into the wings of God’s eternal love and light.