Because the activities of producing and consuming require space and time, a happiness transcending space and time, by its very nature, is neither produced nor consumed. Thus, when the Buddha reached that happiness and stepped outside the modes of producing and consuming, he was able to turn back and see exactly how pervasive a role these activities play in ordinary experience, and how imprisoning they normally are.
He saw that our experience of the present is an activity—something fabricated or produced, moment to moment, from the raw material provided by past actions. We even fabricate our identity, our sense of who we are.
At the same time, we try to consume any pleasure that can be found in what we’ve produced—although in our desire to consume pleasure, we often gobble down pain.
With every moment, production and consumption are intertwined: We consume experiences as we produce them, and produce them as we consume. The way we consume our pleasures or pains can produce further pleasures or pains, now and into the future, depending on how skillful we are.
This reflection by Ajaan Geoff is from the book, Purity of Heart, (pdf) pp.35-36.