Sunday, April 25, 2010

Infinite Players are Everywhere (but hard to spot)

Everything you do in life is a game. 

From war to marriage, education to career, parenting, religion, wealth, birth, ownership, intelligence, violence, sex, entertainment, death, pride, love, crime, Tiddlywinks, etc, etc, etc.

You might agree that Tiddlywinks is a game, but all the others are also games because, like Tiddly Winks, they all have rules. Like Tiddlywinks, to win at war players must follow rules. To win at marriage or love players must also follow rules, just like winning at wealth and parenting require adherence to rules. For instance, a rule of war is that there must be an enemy, while a rule of parenting is that children must obey parents and to play at wealth requires one “accumulate.”

Rules are everywhere and some we are conscious of (taxes, speed limits) while others remain tucked away in the unconscious (love, death). Nevertheless, you can always tell a game by its rules.

Rules exist for one reason only and that is to limit play. Limits are necessary in a physical world. If you didn’t follow the rule of existing in a body, you would not exist. If you weren’t limited by a body, which in turn was limited by gravity, you would have NO centralized coordinates for which to locate and reference a fixed ‘self.’ This would make you some form of floating plasma or gas constantly breaking apart and you’d never actually knowing which part of you was where, at any moment.

Yet, although some rules appear necessary, others can be cause of much suffering. The very fact that the ego-self requires a body for which to locate and reference itself can be very painful, particularly as the reference point (body) begins to deteriorate over time resulting in more rules and limits to what can be done. Yet, we’ve pretty much unconsciously accepted the rules of the “aging” game and, therefore, we accept suffering as a rule of that game. At present, we’re much too fixated on social/cultural rules to pay much attention to the unconscious rules of our physical experience.

However, there is a growing group of people out there who are beginning to question even the rules of physical existence, simply because they have found a way to play WITH, and no longer suffer through, social/cultural rules. These people are referred to as infinite players and they are everywhere. But, although they exist among us, they are hard to spot primarily because they play the same games as finite players.

Nevertheless, there are some clues available from which finite players can detect the presence of an infinite player:
  1. Infinite players absolutely love to play because they recognize the nature of life as engaging in an unending series of games. Infinite players are fully engaged with others in playing life’s games. We could say that they “live” for it.
  2. Infinite players can be very “engaging” and, although they love to play games, they have NO desire at all for winning…just playing. Like a bad car accident, finite players are both repelled and attracted to infinite players, but are completely baffled as to why that is.
  3. Infinite players laugh at themselves frequently and this is primarily because infinite players are not seriously attached to a finite sense of self, which requires games be won in order to better “actualize” the self. Even games like death are not taken seriously (although still played) because an infinite player recognizes that games never end, even though they do realize the rules will change and look forward to such changes. However, this aspect may be the hardest to detect, since finite players are not very likely to discuss this with infinite players, because finite players are very serious about the game of “fear.”
  4. Infinite players engage fully and deeply in the game of suffering, but because they do not conform to the world’s ‘seriousness,’ they are NOT restricted to the rules of this game and come from a place of authenticity that finite players rarely access.
  5. Infinite players genuinely like and trust people, even though this makes them appear easy prey for those who play “victimization” games. But since infinite players do NOT take rules seriously, they tend NOT to make good players (victims) of that game. However, because infinite players recognize the games are infinite, they seek to bring as many players into the game as possible in order to keep the games in play which, ironically, tends to reduce the number of victims (kinda like “the more, the merrier” I suppose).
  6. Infinite players convey an infinite desire to play WITH rules and are never unconscious of the rules they choose to follow. They don’t complain about rules, but tend to reveal and expose rules from all angles, thereby, provoking others to play with rules as well (since the more players the greater the likelihood rules will change so that outcomes are avoided). Throughout centuries, infinite players have provoked rule changes. However, because infinite players have no desire to be known (declared a  “winner”) they tend to influence change anonymously, while allowing finite players to be rewarded in recognition that this is the only reason finite players, play. Infinite players recognize the infinite nature of all games and see achieving outcomes as not rewarding at all, since that tends to bring the game to a conclusion.
Infinite players do acquire rewards, but they are not comparable to the rewards of finite play because they require no special knowledge or preparation in order to be experienced. Infinite players are rewarded through “surprise.” Yet, they do not seek to surprise others by specific finite moves in the game, but to experience surprise WITH others through moves that keep the game in play...infinitely

Everyone plays and even to choose not to play is still a form of play.

Artwork by Mark Ryden - "The Magic Circus"


  1. The first rule of infinite players is, "You don't talk about infinite players."

    You will now suffer the suffering of toenail fungus, apostate.


  2. But seriously, lad, what is the point of differentiating between infinite and finite players? You never make it.

    Are infinite players happier than finite players? Do infinite players suffer less? Do they win more of what they play to win? Do they attain Enlightenment and pass into Nirvana sooner?

  3. Heck yeah. "An infinite desire to play with the rules...". Oh yes. Step back, question, step back, question it (whatever "it" is) some more. Love love love to play!

  4. "But seriously, lad, what is the point of differentiating between infinite and finite players? You never make it."

    Like I always say, the problem with Barking Unicorns is that they're always looking for the "point."


  5. "Love love love to play!"

    Yeaaa! Go team go!

    : )

  6. I think I just spotted one! my dog!

  7. "I think I just spotted one! my dog!"

    Dude, you've been readin' too much Jed McKenna

  8. Isn't having no rules the whole undercurrent of Carroll's Wonderland? A place of no meaning, no rules, just a walk through. The realm of infinite imagination, no rules, no attachment and things are never as they seem, because what they seem is always based on expectation born from some reference point.

    Infinite play seems to me to be the ultimate Tao, Mike. The imagination turned inside out. No need to write or analyze the story, just go where it flows. Anything is possible.


  9. Hey Nahnni,

    It isn't actually being without rules or having NO rules, but more about being fully aware of the rules one plays by and whether or not one wishes to continue to play by those rules or if one might wish to change the rules.
    It seems to me that there must always be rules of some sort and we can never be without rules. However, we needn't be bound by rules and suffer through rules if we choose not to. The chief problem is that we feel we have no choice. One can choose NOT to live at all, which is also a game called "suicide," but that does not end the games merely alters the rules. The games never end.

    Any way, that's the general gist of it...


  10. omg how do you know?

  11. oh also i just buyed : After the absolute, is it the same kind of stuff?

  12. I guess ill find for myself, HA!

    did i used that well?
    You know every atoms belongs to me too, dont know if a tought is one thought, probably not, hard to say whitout gooing nuts. Just kidding I might make the effort of getting my own keyboard frivolities one day, im not THAT scripted, at least i hope :S.

    Ok I really need to get a life, cya later and nice website btw

  13. Great response, Mike.


    Blessings :)