The moment we accept to take part in the game of life, we must play by its rules… sort of.
Living in a society implies that we live in harmony with each other, at least we respect or tolerate others around as, for the sake of our own liberty. Living in a society means also adapting our human nature to the finite rules it entails, some of which lead to the creation of fears: what will happen if? what will “they” say? how will people react if?
Some of these fears are not as explicit as others, yet the subconscious still may work under these lines if not looked at carefully.
Ok, we all have fears, that is also part of our human nature. And it is fine to have fears. But it is also fine, and actually great, to be able to shed light into our fears, and once in a while destroy them, and free from them. Releasing fears actually means exposing yourself, loosing your shield. And that is one of the biggest fears that any human has – loosing the game. In fact, all these small fears (and plays) relate to the greatest fear which we all share, and which is fear of death. All fears are a sort of shadow or a facet of fear of dying. But what if I consciously decide to die, to die everyday, to die into life, to die out of the constant play of fears? If I consciously decide to die in a form which kills my finite self, I lose then the finite game, which means that I lose the fear and act more openly and consciously, playing an infinite game.
Emotions, the same way, take part in the finite game: “Am I not entitled to feel this way?”, “But what I feel also counts!”, “Why should this I feel be wrong?”… Its all part of a drama that has nothing to do with emotions themselves. Emotions are calls for attention, something in me feels something, whether it is pain, love, etc. (I am over-theorethicising a theme which should not be over-theorethicised, I admit!) Yesterday I was feeling very sad and lonely and dragged. Today I am not. Now some psychologists may say that I have built a shield around myself, which may be partly true, but the main thing is that emotions are fleeting. If we just allow them to be, without taking part in their game, they will just pass in their due time. Just let them be, they are ok, but they are they, not me.
Another story if we identify with the emotions, as in the example of “I should not be feeling this or that”. We fall into the game of right-wrong, which is basically an imposition of an ethical societal rule: that I consider this to be right, and that to be wrong, has to do with what “society” has taught me to, or what is accepted within this particular circle (for example, family, friends, city, world). This societal impositions of judgement, impose a boundary into the game of life. These boundaries are needed – as all rules in games – to play together. The boundary, as part of a finite game, is the same as the fear of exposing yourself, creating a shelter not to lose yourself, dying as the character that has to sustain a role. Play in this theatre, but do not belong to it. Yogi Bhajan said “in this world, but not of the world”. I describe myself using words and titles, yet aware enough of their use, and I expose myself as I am – a soul.
When I lose those boundaries (which are paradoxically needed) I enter my full consciousness, that of seeing the whole universe at play. It is a funny thing indeed, which can be seen through the body itself: when I contract myself (close in, shut myself out, gather myself, constrict, tighten, in physical or mental levels) into a fearful-me, I fill myself with boundaries for protection, shelter, roof, properties, friends, titles, money… It is my protection against the acceptation of who I really are. In one word, I make myself small. And it is because I make myself small that I can be made small, pushed down by others, because as humans we read the code and decipher that “she wants to be made small” and so the pushing-down hits in.
Boundary imposition is self-inflicted. Imposing myself boundaries has become a tendency, a habit. But it is also a sign for a division in myself- it marks that I recognise a fear, a “weakness”, a doubt, a conflict with myself. So therefore I chose to be partial, serious and safe instead of full and exposed. Whereas the paradox lies exactly in this! the more I expose myself, unchain myself from all these boundaries, fears, etx, the spell of finiteness is broken and I am able to laugh of myself, which can bring the best of healings!
To live in this world implies boundaries. We all the time create them ourselves, yet we very seldom decide consciously to break them. Sometimes situations lead us to break them, and very often life brings us back the same teachings over and over again, until we learn the lesson fully, rendering the finite game obsolete and opt out of it. Today I had (again!) a revelation of my own behaviour. I realised that I am taking up again that role of being “against doctors”. Whereas by taking that stand, I am completely agreeing to the role that they are playing. I am engaging them in a finite game, and all the drama that comes along. If I look at the broader picture, and see myself there, with my arms ready to fight, shoulders tight, blood boiling through my veins, fighting against all the doctors in this pea-sized country, I just have a great laugh! Tomorrow I will be gone from here, they will be gone somewhere else, life will be different. Yes, sometimes someone has to play the role of the antagonist, yet I dont want to take part in that game, not again. I decide that with my future children, I want to play as an infinite game. As a person, I can definitely do it, but as a family, we must also take part in the finite games of officialities, checkups, controls… which hardly allow for an infinite player. My meditation upon this habit I have is far from over, yet the realisation of it has brought a huge light into my day. Tomorrow, I decide again to die into the fact that I am a player, and I dont want to fight anyone. I just allow them – or at least tolerate them – and move on with my own game.
The initial thoughts of this post were written in a piece of paper, in a rush of creativity which at the time of transcribing it was gone, while reading Finite and Infinite games by James P. Carse