The cloak is a metaphor for ego – each person’s individual separate identity that is woven during a human lifetime.
This one-act mystery play is set in the land of spirit and depicts an encounter between an unborn spirit and a recently dead woman.
It explores the relationship between love and fear as the unborn spirit eagerly awaits birth and the dead woman is faced with the dilemma of letting go of her cloak. Will she have the courage to discard it? Will the unborn spirit have the courage not to wear it?
Writing between the two World Wars, playwright Clifford Bax, along with many London intellectuals at that time, was fascinated by Eastern philosophies like Buddhism.
The Angel speaking to the Unborn Spirit
The Angel -
I am waiting here to guide
The footsteps of a woman who has just died –
For when they slip their bodies and, as men say,
Are dead, all human spirits pass by this way.
From heaven they go forth simply-clad, like you,
But, as years pass, they let the whirring brain
Weave no thoughts but of self-glory and self-gain.
These, though not visibly to their mortal view,
Become a cloak, a richly-patterned cloak….