Life as Theater vs Life is Theater

I have chosen Lifeastheater vs Lifeistheater as the title for my blog for particular purpose. I have chosen the simile over the metaphor for a particular focus.

“Life is theater”, implies that is it. Life is a dumb show, a Punch and Judy show, an existential nihilistic theater of the absurd. Whereas, “life as theater” implies that there is that, but there is also something else. The “as” suggests that there is something beyond the theatrical version of life. That life is not just a series of “performances” that we enact over days, weeks, months, years and decades. Rather, there is something beyond or beneath the surface of “life as theater”. For those of you who have been reading this blog or my book “see my book“, you know that that other life is one of “authenticity”. Life as theater and authentic life are the two opposed levels of living, elaborately discussed and analyzed here.

The Authentic Life is the one to which one should aspire. The inauthentic life is the one commonly given to us as a variety of “scripts” that are written for us by family, friends and society as large, both current and historical. To be able to discern the difference between the simulacra of false narratives and scripts that others would have us live, and the true script of our own authentic self is the purpose of my book
see my book” and blog. To achieve that clear-eyed status is no easy endeavor. To maintain it, if found, is equally hard. Everything, and most everybody, conspires against you. First, one has to achieve the clarity of mind to see the difference. And once having that, one must work diligently to maintain that clarity and use it to transform oneself into someone who is true and authentic.

A word here about selfishness. Much of this search for personal authenticity and the battle against others for your own selfhood might seem a trip toward and final residence in selfishness. That is the beginning of the search, but not the end. Having fought the battle for your own identity, the next level is to find within that authentic identity where you now belong in the world around you. Sans scripts, you now need to find where you belong and how you interact with your friends, your family and your society. This is the final task. Once free of scripts, your value is enhanced. Your contributions are more vital and honest. There is less subterfuge. There is more truth. This is the opposite of selfishness. This is where you want to be, and this is from where you can be a more successful and useful member of the world around you.



6 thoughts on “Life as Theater vs Life is Theater

  1. “To achieve that clear-eyed status is no easy endeavor…First, one has to achieve the clarity of mind to see the difference.” This definitely resonated with me. It is hard to find that clarity in the busyness of life. I’m hiring you as my clarity coach! This also made me think of a beautiful quote I heard for the first time last week … “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” // Marianne Williamson. Thanks for writing!


    1. An excellent riposte! Some of yours, and some of M Williamson who I don’t know of. Yes…you are right…once we achieve authenticity….how do we use it? We can play modest…but ….we don’t want to play small. re: how to achieve clarity:……with vigilance and skepticism. And then trust one’s good instincts. We all have them, and we circle back to your quote above…”fear not your power or your light” Use it to defeat the narrators, the script writers, the purveyors. Thanks for reading!


  2. It’s funny because in M. Williamsons quote it says ” we are all meant to shine as Children do…” I think that due to the pressures and fears of society or the many imposed “scripts” as we mature we often lose our ability to trust in ourselves and “shine.” It seems this can happen during our teens and early adulthood. I think as we gain life experience and enter middle age we begin to authenticate and trust ourselves again. We go full circle and begin to shine again , as we once did without care of judgement when we were children.


    1. Yes, I think you are right. Authenticity comes when we take ourselves beyond judgment. A kind of unaware Self. Like a child’s. And yes, it’s a midlife process that can get us to that point.


    1. Hi Juniper…..thanks for putting me on to Goop. It took a while to peruse it. It is wider and more elaborate than at first glance. You are right, there are similarities and crossovers. The main difference is the way in which language is used to “educate” the reader. Sites and books like Goop use a somewhat traditional and spiritual orientation in their concepts and language. It is more Eastern than Western in concept. It is very “inner” oriented. I made a choice when conceiving this book and blog of mine to avoid that avenue. I chose a new metaphor: Life is Theater. It is more “outer” than “inner”. It is more transactional than spiritual. That doesn’t mean one is better than the other. They are just two roads to an end. Our current times and cultural bents are more receptive, I think, to my road toward “enlightenment” than the deeply inner and Eastern road. Both roads have value and the readers should embrace that which sits comfortably within.


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