Alan Watts Teachings: What Game Would You Like To Play?
What’s our idea of Heaven? What do we like to do? Whenever we have free time what do we do?… We have fun! Right? We do whatever we want to that gives us an enjoyable experience. People have different ideas of what that may be, but Alan goes into this by explaining that most of us tend to “get together to sing and dance! And we tend to enjoy this because that’s what our hearts are doing, our eyes, lungs, ears, veins, and intestines… It’s natural, and THAT’S THE POINT…” To just wiggle along through this experience and do YOU! You ARE your eyes, heart and lungs doing that dance and everything around us is doing the same dance all the time. The plants, animals, mountains, the planet, and the whole UNIVERSE! So the question is, why isn’t this allowed for humans? Why can’t we ALWAYS be singing and dancing? What stops us? “Because…. We have been brought up in a cultural context in which the universe is presided over by somebody or something serious.” We are playing a game that says “NO…. deep down there is something that you should respect… this is serious… don’t you laugh…”….. Why not!? hahahahaha. Are we all insecure about what we should be doing? About what game is the “right” game to be playing?
We come up in a cultural heritage where there is a power that demands reverence and respect, and if anyone is to challenge that power they are to be punished. And because of this heritage it makes it extremely difficult to “accommodate our common sense that life just MIGHT basically be playful. That it MIGHT be something saying “wont you come play with me?”” Our hesitation has been conditioned to be “no, I don’t feel like playing today I have to go do something “REAL.” What’s something real? Like go and wash the dishes for mother? Ok… BUT isn’t the whole point of washing the dishes supposed to be playful? Washing the dishes isn’t serous. Right? There is a purpose behind washing the dishes. We like the table and dishes to look nice so we can enjoy a nice meal without our remnants of breakfast on them. We ENJOY having it look nice. Therefore washing the dishes should in fact be playful. It has a purpose that satisfies. But we have turned doing the dishes into a DUTY. A DEBT. We OWE it to our family, parents, or someone. And that is where the “game” comes in.
We confuse doing something that should be playful as being a duty. When parents have a child they tend to go right into playing this game with them. The rules are “we’ve made such sacrifices for you, we’ve done so much for you and you’re an ungrateful little bastard! Go wash the dishes! Look at all the trouble you’ve caused us. You have no rights. Your just goofing off but we’ve sweated blood and tears to bring you into this world.” The children then feel permanently indebted to them and go wash the dishes with their head down. And if the parents don’t play that game with them like good parents should, then someone else will do it. Other family members, schoolteachers, or government… Like when a police officer comes to the door you automatically think, “Oh no what on earth have I done?!” Police are especially good at making you feel guilty. Why is that? It’s because they have told us that we must follow the rules of the game. And this game causes Ontological guilt. We all feel like we OWE our lives to someone or something. Because life is SERIOUS! It’s how we’ve all been raised for hundreds of years and the cycle continues all throughout society. It’s a huge “GAME!” Deep down we all don’t want to believe the game that life is serious. It’s common sense that’s not what life is. But we are so conditioned into thinking that is the way it is. And most of us don’t even realize it. Are we all so INSECURE about what the “right” game is that we just stick with the one that’s been taught to us, and make sure others follow, because if he/she is not playing my game then my game isn’t as real?
Another game were playing: “the only thing you really know is what you can put into words. Tell me in words what you believe, then its real.” “It’s not real unless it’s in the newspaper.”
WE DON’T KNOW WHAT THE RIGHT GAME IS! WE DON’T! Everyone’s purpose is to play his or her own game, to enjoy the experience of existing in a human body on this planet, do it their own way, don’t throw your game onto others if they don’t want to play it, and respect the game others decide to play. That’s my game HAHAHA. Don’t play if you don’t want. Look out for those tricksters who think they know what the “right” game is. HAHAHA. That’s their game. Don’t be guilted into it. You know what’s right for you. Decide for yourself! 😉
Listen in Alans Words: