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Games are our Defence against Eternity

Games are our defence against Eternity. They are our only defence against Eternity. Eternity is a pretty hard thing to run away from (where can you go from Eternity, after all?) but with our non-stop games we manage remarkably well, all things considered. The efficacy of games in helping defending ourselves from Eternity is when it comes down to it truly astonishing and the proof of this – if any were needed – is the fact that we come across Eternity so very rarely in everyday life. We pretty much never come across it…

 

 

This is turns out to be a very good question – how often do we come across Eternity during the course of everyday life? How frequent an occurrence is this? How often can I say, “I saw Eternity in my cereal bowl today as I was eating my cornflakes?” or “I stumbled across the Eternal this morning on my way to work?” William Blake may have been able to see a world in a grain of sand, or hold infinity in the palm of his hand, but this is not how it works for most of us. For most of us, infinity is just a word. For most of us, a grain of sand is only a grain of sand, a bowl of cornflakes is only a bowl of cornflakes. For most of us, Eternity is just another concept, one concept amongst many millions of others.

 

 

The reason that Eternity is just another concept for most of us is because we are so well defended against it. We have a mechanism in place that very effectively protects us from any chance of ever encountering the Eternal. We can go through day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year without even getting the slightest whiff of it. The mechanism that we’re talking about here is the mechanism afforded us by our games, as we have said. The way our games work to protect us against Eternity is very simple – they cannot get rid of Eternity but they can postpone our encountering of it indefinitely. We orbit around Eternity without ever actually reaching it, despite the fact that we are forever thinking that we’re getting closer, forever thinking that it’s ‘on the cards’. We pretend (in a kind of a way) to be actively looking for the Encounter with Eternity, whilst really we are keeping it very securely at arm’s length!

 

 

With our games we are keeping Eternity very much on the long finger. As Alan Watts says, what we do is that we keep on saying that ‘it’ is coming, that ‘it’ is just round the concern, that ‘it’ is on its way, whilst really it isn’t at all. This is a promise that is never delivered, despite all the hype, despite all the talk, despite all the endless publicity. The Big Event is always just around the corner, and it never does come. The thing about this is that we have to keep on working towards it, we have to ‘keep the faith’. We can’t ever doubt the story that we have been told. The bottom line is that we ourselves are personally responsible for making it happen: in a game we have to perform well enough in order to win. It’s down to us. If we don’t perform well enough then we will of course lose instead; if we don’t perform to the required standard then winning will be something that never happens for us. We will be forever denied the Big Prize….

 

 

So we are waiting for ‘it’ to happen and ‘it’ will only happen if we put in the required amount of skill and expertise. ‘It’ will only happen if we make the grade. This is a strictly mechanical business – it is as we have said our personal responsibility to ‘make it happen’ (to see that it happens) but at the same time we can only discharge this heavy responsibility by operating strictly within the prescribed limits, the prescribed parameters. We can only win by obeying the rules correctly in other words, and so whilst it may be said to be our ‘responsibility’ to successfully achieve the desired outcome, it is also (by the same token) our responsibility to conform to the system. We can only win (within the framework assumed by the system) when we adapt unreservedly to this framework, therefore. We can never achieve the Great Prize unless we wholly commit to playing the game and ‘wholly committing to the game’ means losing sight of the fact that it actually is a game! ‘Wholly committing the game’ means taking the fiction that ‘it is coming’ seriously…

 

 

This so-called business of ‘winning’ is therefore merely a lure to entice us to conform to the strictures of the system since this is the only way – by the logic of the system – that we can ever stand any chance of succeeding. If we want what the system has to offer then we have to play ball! Games are an exercise in postponement therefore –they postpone the ultimate fulfilment (which is the ‘highest good’) until we have satisfied the strict requirements of the mechanical set-up that we have adapted ourselves to. We are told that “It’s coming, It’s coming, it’s coming’ but the thing is that it never actually does arrive and this ‘non-delivery’ is what keeps us tied into the game. The game is really just an indefinite postponement based on a lie, based on a deception…

 

 

What is being offered by the system is a lure – what is being offered is an analogue of Eternity. It is a given that a game, a system can’t deal with Eternity in any sort of an honest way since that that would falsify the whole show, the whole pretence, so that what it does is to deal with a safe surrogate instead (the safe surrogate being winning or ‘succeeding within the terms of the game’). Winning (the ultimate goal of any game) is ‘the best possible thing’, the best outcome that can be conceived of within the terms of the game, within the terms of the system. But there is a problem with this because the best possible thing that can be conceived of within the terms of the game / system is of course still going to be that same game, that same system and this means that ‘the best possible thing’ isn’t really going to be that great at all! The game is just the game, no matter what we dress it up as – it’s always just the same old game, the same old system, and what that game/system is in itself (when it isn’t dressed up) is infinitely dull. The system is like a dreadfully tedious, dreadfully oppressive old bureaucracy – it has no actual value in itself at all. It is just ‘something we have to do’.

 

 

The system or game is of course only of value because of what it can offer, and yet – as we have just said – the only thing it has to offer is itself. Games are always self-referential. Logical systems are always self-referential. Everything (the integrity of the whole operation) rests upon a deception therefore – the deception that the game can provide us with something that is not itself, the deception that the system can take us somewhere that isn’t it, relate us to something that isn’t it. It carries out this deception with masterful effectiveness – the manoeuvre seems to work every single time. We never seem to see the trick that is being played on us; we somehow keep on believing that it is still going to work out for us – we keep on gamely going through the motions, time after time. When it doesn’t work out for us we don’t see that this is because the whole thing is a con – we just think that we aren’t doing it right. We either blame someone (or something) else and get angry at the obstruction or we direct the blame at ourselves and think that it’s our fault that we can’t get it to work; we think that there’s something wrong with us. Both of these mechanisms (externalizing or internalizing the blame) are ways of ‘protecting the illusion’.

 

 

The game can’t ever provide us with the genuine article because even supposing that it could do this (which it can’t!) that success would instantly render itself redundant. This is the whole thing about Eternity, after all; this is what Eternity does – it makes games instantly redundant. Let us suppose – just for the sake of the argument – that there was a particular logical sequence of steps (a ‘method’) that could lead us unfailingly to Eternity, that could deliver the Big Prize. We follow the steps in the correct manner and the reward for carrying out the procedure correctly is that we reach Eternity. But the thing about this is that as soon as we successfully complete the final step we are bound to realize that:

 

[1] There were no steps in the first place (since there is no sequence of steps, no ‘seriality’ in Eternity)

 

[2] That the so-called ‘steps’ were actually not necessary at all (since we were in Eternity already; we were in Eternity already because there is nowhere else to be other than Eternity!)

 

The point is that once we admit that there is such a thing as Eternity (if we may be forgiven for calling it a ‘thing’) then this necessarily falsifies everything that isn’t Eternity since if we are always in Eternity then what need is there for anything else? What need is there for any gimmick, any type of clever business? What need is there for methods or procedures?

 

 

Eternity unfailingly falsifies all structures, as we have said. It renders all games redundant. All finite games get revealed as being the Infinite Game in disguise. All plans, all goals, all ‘forward thinking’ become instantly ridiculous, instantly absurd. All thinking becomes ridiculous, becomes absurd, because thinking is always about trying to obtain something (some outcome) that we don’t already have…

 

 

The system will never be party to its own falsification, however. The game will never admit to its own redundancy – it will never do itself out of a job. Instead, it keeps on making promises; it keeps on postponing Eternity on an indefinite basis. Even though Eternity is all that there is, we never know anything about it. Even though Eternity is all that there is, we never get to taste it. All we get to know about, all we get to experience are our games, and their empty promises…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Nick Williams

Nick Williams works and writes in the field of mental health and is particularly interested in non-equilibrium states of consciousness, which are states of mind that cannot be validated by standardized experiments or by reference to any formal theoretical perspective.

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  • Rashid

    The ‘self’ has a repetitive need to be validated. Eternity is the state of ‘Being’ which is independent of sequences of moments (what we call time in the Western world). This state of ‘Being’ is divine and infinite. As a part of the whole (you can’t ever NOT be a a part of the whole!) you are already involved in eternity, despite your experience of events in sequences (time). The ‘self’, however, because it is not real and because it has no objective existence of its own, needs persistent pain triggers (fear triggers) which leads to relief (pleasure, ”acceptance”). Without this duality of fear intoxication and relief from the same fear there is no validation for the self. Because, we are so attached to the relief state (the pleasure, the ‘Yes’ status) we imagine that the intoxication state (the ‘No’ status) is something completely different. But they are parts of the same cycles, just as every coin has two sides and every stick two ends. The ‘Yes’ we project on perceived pleasant ‘treasures’ and the ‘no’ we project on objects/people that seem to hinder the ‘treasures’. This is also the foundation of nationhood and the ‘us’-herd mentality. There’s nothing objectively wrong with an ‘Us’ and a collective mindset… but if this collective mindset is based on an extension of the ‘self’.. things get dangerous. Especially, because in groups people often lose any sense of their own being.

    Eternity consciousness is consequently perceived as a dangerous threat to our ‘everyday mind’ (rational mind) and all its attachments. Most people prefer being haunted by their inner ‘demons’ than to even admit eternity. The dread for eternity (in other words: the strong adherence to the ‘self’ and its projections at all costs) is really loving death and chasing death because of a persistent rejection and hatred of life itself. Even though most will never notice nor realize that this is what they are doing.

    October 21, 2016 at 8:35 pm Reply

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