|It is interesting how SURVIVAL is a basic games condition. Suppose we were having tea
and a group of armed enemies barged in. And they say, "We are going to murder you and
rape your spouses and take all your things." And we said, "All right,
So they say, "You can't say that!" You've got to jump up and start fighting and drag us off to the gallows and hang us for the criminals we are. You can't just say, 'All right, then', you've got to want to SURVIVE" So we say, "All right then."
"Nor," they say, "can you say that. You've got to oppose us. You've got to struggle and resist. We can't have fun if you just agree! We must have OPPOSITION (How else can we win or lose?)" So we say, "All right then".
"That does it," they say. "There's no point in raping and pillaging
unless people resist. How can we WIN?"
"Leave the stick insects out of this!", we say, "They haven't done you
any harm ..."
"Actually," we say, "we haven't got any stick insects (and don't
particularly like them) but decided to assign IMPORTANCE to them so we could play this
We regard SURVIVAL as very important, but it derives its IMPORTANCE from the desire to have a GAME. No survival, no game, no fun. So why do we SURVIVE (or wish to SURVIVE)? We want to have a GAME because we want to have fun! GAMES require SURVIVAL and PERSISTENCE (which requires OPPOSITION).
There is no inherent reason why we should want things to persist except that PERSISTENCE is essential to having a GAME. And having a GAME is essential to having FUN (or ATTENTION and ADMIRATION).
Some GAMES do not seem to be FUN at all. For example, the GAME of sickness, the GAME of poverty, and the GAME of war. But would we really play them and continue to play them if there weren't any FUN at all?
And what about the GAMES of I-can't-help-it, It's-not-my-fault, It's-your-fault!, I-am-not-the-cause, I-am-not-responsible, and I-don't-have-any-choice? Aren't these some of the basic GAMES needed to play the others?
How can we play the game of victim if we don't also play the game of I-can't-help-it?
One view of Buddhism is that we try to stop playing games. We extinguish desire and wants (which are based on SURVIVAL, IMPORTANCE, and PERSISTENCE) and achieve a state of nirvana.
The game of war is extremely popular, at least as a spectator GAME. Any politician who wishes to be popular should start a war. The majority will love it. A minority will start a wonderful GAME of opposition. Everyone will watch television!
Yet at the most mundane levels too we play our GAMES for fun. When we are hard-up for a good GAME we will play a bad one. I suppose it may be that GAMES are played not only for FUN, but also to gain ATTENTION and ADMIRATION. These are certainly qualities of the GAME of war!
At the mundane level we play the GAMES of making-someone-look-stupid, wind-up, leading-someone-on, flatter-and-get-what-you-want, etc ....
As spiritual beings we are great GAME players. And at base, GAMES involve SURVIVAL (or PERSISTENCE), and gaining ATTENTION.
Let's create a GAME and get everyone watching or participating! (Must be our motto!)
Most Recent Revision: 4-Apr-99.
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Ken Ward,
All Rights Reserved.