Sunday, March 7, 2010

Life, explained (My Sacred Life, Sunday)

Life. It's a game, isn't it? Or, to be a bit more specific, it's a game which involves folks who know they are playing a game, and folks who don't.

This sets up all manner of difficulty. Those who take life with deadly seriousness are not easy to get along with if you are one who knows we are here to have fun.

It's even a bit more complicated than that because even if you are one who recognizes the fun which life is meant to entail, you will forget from time to time. Those difficulties I mentioned? They take roost inside you when you forget. You have internal struggles between what you know to be true and what you think once you forget what you know.

When you are having those internal struggles, you will draw to you more of those folks who find life a terrible fight which must be won, and won by defeating others or defeating crises or...well, life.

Interestingly, in those quieter moments when you are fully present with your knowing, when you realize who you are, at least in the sense of knowing you have a place where you fit in this universe, you will discover more people around you who are also aware and at peace.

It's a clue, and a consistently solid one: what we see is a reflection of what we are feeling. So, if you are particularly frustrated by coworkers or fellow drivers on your commute or the long lines at the store, you are likely to see that frustration in the eyes of those around you. You are going to see traffic moving in fits and starts and those lines move even more slowly than you thought possible.

Let's recap.

In this life, being happy is facilitated by knowing that this is the Happiness Game. We draw to us people who feel similar feelings to what we are feeling and experiences which reinforce how we are feeling.

For many, I have just introduced another potential miscommunication spot. Happiness as I speak of it has nothing at all to do with stuff or prestige. Sure, stuff can be fun and prestige may get one a table when the restaurant is seemingly full, but neither are at the core of this.

Happiness is more about contentment, having a predisposition toward smiling and laughing, acknowledging the beauty and miraculousness of all that is, just as it is.

Another key attribute of our game: we don't play to win. We play for the sheer enjoyment that playing offers. For an elegantly simple explanation, read Finite and Infinite Games by James Carse.

Let's pause here for a day. I'll post the remaining portion of this tomorrow morning.


Mikeachim said...

You write well, sir.

It is indeed all a game. That's why we should all revert to being child-like (wide-eyed at everything, asking endless questions, getting into all sorts of scrapes).

And like children, we should enjoy the game itself, rather than the eventual anticipation of finishing the game and having beaten everyone else at it to make ourselves feel better (which is known as Being A Grownup).


- Mikeachim

Rick Hamrick said...

Thanks, Mike! I appreciate both your visit and your thoughtful comment.

Being a Grownup is not a game. It is a smackdown.