Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Infinite Play: “A Joyful Participation in the Sorrows of the World”

The ego-self is one serious dude, yo!

Egocentricity thrives on taking life seriously through some heavy duty serious beliefs, cause if “you” weren’t serious about what you believed, then what the fook would you be?


Egocentric seriousness demands accurate predictions from which to adequately prepare for every eventuality.

“You” went to school for umpteen years, learnin’ all manner of serious sheit, as a means to better negotiate your “world,” and everything you learned was to aid you in accurate “prediction.” Hence, an ego-self that can accurately predict expected outcomes is more capable of winning the egocentric games required to give "life" meaning. Accurate prediction of outcomes results in more efficient “preparations” for achieving the desired outcome . Of course, the ‘desired outcomes’ always conform to egocentric perception (whether or not that perception is “true” has been historically open to debate).

Clearly, egos don’t like SURPRISE. 

This is because “surprise” does NOT conform to predictability and, thus, does not allow for adequate preparation. You didn’t finish 18 yrs of mind-numbing "education" to further your capacity to be “surprised” by life. Your mind control was facilitated with the express purpose of adequately preparing for what “you” were taught to predict, based on what was predicted in the past (with adjustments made for specific "time" periods), so as to accumulate as many ‘desired outcomes’ as possible. How else would you realize your "aliveness," if you weren't out there grabbing all that "gusto" you were taught to "grab."

However, you’re now fooking bored outa your wits with experiencing everything you expect based on preparing for your predictions. Now you're startin' to wonder if the games are worth playing

In fact, I know a “transgender” teenager, who can look forward to incredible “surprises” throughout life, if able to detach from expected outcomes and predictable desires. However, if the conditioned expectation of “happiness” continues to rule the mind, then this teenager-come-adult will struggle and suffer through preparing for the seriousness of the games and NEVER attaining the expected outcomes as taught. The problem is and has always been the egos need to conform to achieving outcomes the world informs are very serious. If this teenager can learn to play infinitely, he will fooking fly! However, if he chooses to become victim to a world that demands conformance to finite expectations... he will suffer.

Your experience of “desensitization” is a direct result of your incessant avoidance of SURPRISE due to your FEAR of experiencing the 'Meaninglessness of Nothing.' The egocentric self-construct demands all perception fit the appropriate boxes so that the outcomes arrive as predicted. This often involves years of very SERIOUS WORK.

I have a friend who claims to be a Buddhist and he takes that claim very SERIOUSLY. He works very hard at preparing for what he was taught to predict based on the ideology he chose TO BELIEVE. Years of meditation and other spiritual "practices" (mostly to deal with his guilt for every time he had swatted a fly) are his means of preparing for his 'learned' predictions. As the prediction states, one must adequately prepare for dissolving karma, else one can only predict (expect) further suffering through the cycles of birth and death (he really wishes I would take this stuff seriously, rather than giggle all the time).

Egocentricity thrives on the serious preparation that comes from adequate prediction and all religio-spirituality is entirely constructed on predictive models of “success.” Without an expectation of “success", egos would not seriously play the games the world prescribes as necessary to seriously acknowledge that “you” seriously exist.

However, there is a way to play all “life” games in which seriousness is completely trumped by the expectation of “surprise.” Unfortunately, this is difficult for finite players because there’s actually nothing to DO and serious egos are easily identified by all the finite things they DO that are supposed to make “life worth living.”

In my ongoing study of the infinite player, it’s clear they lack the expected “seriousness” necessary to demonstrate a desire to “win” in the egocentric games they play. Yet, what is also clear is that they tend to expect “surprise” by detaching from all outcomes, but still continue to play in all the games you and I take seriously.

Infinite players tend to exhibit a “joyful participation in the sorrows of the world” (Joseph Campbell).

The infinite player realizes the incredible power of the mind. By tapping this power, they realize that any THINKING that merely serves to reference and reinforce an “outside” world is powerless, because you have been taught what to believe about an “outside” world that reflects ONLY the past. Infinite players realize the essential non-existence of past thinking and need NOT be victimized by a "world" that is neither "inside" nor "outside." Yet, for the finite player the "world" seems to determine ALL thought, and not the reverse, and it must always remain rigidly "outside" the mind.

This makes THOUGHT very serious indeed, demanding your victimization to the nothingness of all meaning.

Nevertheless, eventually, one day you will finally ask yourself "why do I take NOTHINGNESS so damn seriously."

It seems that this is, undeniably, the first step in playing infinitely in a finite world.

Are you up to it?

 Artwork by Travis Louie


  1. Fabulous choice in artwork!

    Perhaps this infinite player is the closest thing to enlightenment (freedom) that can be achieved in this life. Since I do not seek the big E, I couldn't be the one to say, but it does seem to be so. Also, I don't think it is a matter of things being right or wrong, but what is allowed and disallowed. Perhaps, too, this is where the dilemma of seriousness comes in with everyone playing on the grand chessboard of allowances and dis-allowances, which is perhaps what you are ultimately saying.

    And I suppose it is good to discover what one does take seriously or does not, in order to not take any of it serious at all nor ever more. Man's search for meaninglessness. Or something.


    Your Friend,

  2. hello mike.
    hello nahnni.
    i hope you are both well these days!

    ummm... in all the conversation of ego and infinite playing and finite playing - what i don't see is taking "habit" into account. that conditioning of living in particular ways,or relating in particular ways - superhighway neural connections that become "default positions" ... pathway is so well established that it seems to be a lot of work to make another choice., - where one needs a sense of awareness around it - and then requires discipline to create another neural pathway - so one is not governed by habits. physical habits, mental habits, habits of expression.
    so - when your friend the buddhist may be working actively with this. trying on a new ego story to dismantle previous habits...
    as long as there is awareness around it - then that sounds quite skillful to me. especially if the newly adapted ego story opens up other posibilities to perceive and relate.

    seriousness is created by conditioned mind - as all thought forms are. but non-thought is not a remedy for seriousness. what i like about surprise - is not the surprise itself - not a new choice or experience of something... rather i like that it breaks up the constructs of habit, of fixation, of thought and intentional nonthought... and points to another sort of perception that is easier to see in that moment... a space-like freshness, always present but seldom noticed. a moment when mental chains fall away.

    the question that arises for me at that point - is what will one's ego story then do with that degree of freedom?

  3. Hey Nahnni and Arpita,

    Glad to see you guys are still out there and still thinkin' about this crazy stuff..


  4. I am just popping in to comment on the art work you posted, fantastic stuff. Sorry mikeS...I didn't read any of it. Now if I say, "I don't care" about this stuff as you say, it is not that I don't care...but I really don't think I care.

    Most pleased to see all 3 of you alive. I think of you often and really hope all is well for everyone.

    Life is...grand!


  5. couldn't one say that the search for enlightenment is the finite game of trying to become an infinite player?

  6. "couldn't one say that the search for enlightenment is the finite game of trying to become an infinite player?"

    Indeed! Well put.

    So best to change the rules...