The Mad Idea and Games
Another reason the Sonship was attracted to the mad idea is their desire to play games. Maybe the old adage that life is a game has more truth in it than realized.
After all, there are no games in heaven, for there is no duality or competition and sons especially want to play games. The Course tells us that the desire to play games was one of the motivations for the separation:
“The dream of judgment is a children’s game, in which the child becomes the father, powerful, but with the little wisdom of a child.” T-29.IX.6
We are told that heaven is a “place where truth abides and games are meaningless.” W-pI.153.14 And heaven is a realm “where losing is impossible.” W-pI.129.4
It only makes sense then that there is always a percentage of the Sonship who want to play games which are not available in heaven.
Just look around you and witness the great attraction that we as humans have for games. We pay our sports heroes many millions and they are idolized by many. Most everyone at one time or another either plays or watches a game and finds it a source of great pleasure even though there are winners and losers – which the Course says is contrary to the order of heaven. It is also of note that various wisdom teachings tell us that we are attracted to the game aspect of material life and even call this existence “the playground of the Gods.”
Indeed, even many spiritual writers are avid sports fans and like to attend or watch games in their free moments. Many also play games with friends and family when visiting.
We enjoy games because of the limitations, for if we knew each move in advance it would be no fun.
I submit that it is the thrill of playing games was one of the main attractions that caused the separation. A large number of the Sons of God wanted to create a universe where we could struggle to win, and when we win with a risk of losing, we experience a positive feeling unlike any available in the world of non-duality.
Life itself with its limitations is like a challenging game. You set goals for personal achievement and then you set out to realize them, or to win at the game of life. Then when you are successful, you get a positive feeling that is not achieved any other way.
If you think about it, this giving up the fun connected with games may be the largest obstacle in the way of entering ACIM heaven for many. Part of the problem is that many students have not realized what the Course teachings are on this matter. Lesson 79 needs to be applied: “Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.”
If the desire to play games keeps us grounded in the illusion, then perhaps our attraction to them is something we need to focus on more than is realized. This aspect of the world may be the most difficult for many to transcend.
The Problem of the Happy Dream
Earlier I presenting teachings from the Course on why we chose to participate in the separation that led to a dream state of life in a world of illusion.
In seeing the answer as to why we made such a decision it is interesting to impartially examine how the Course portrays this world and the decision to come here. First of all, it calls the original decision a “mad idea” and us as being insane for going along with it. With few exceptions it emphasizes the negative aspects of this world, such as the pain, disease, fear, suffering and death that occurs here. It sums it up by calling our separation, “Your wildest misperceptions, your weird imaginings, your blackest nightmares.” T-13.XI.7
I can see why it does this as it wants to instill a desire in us to go home. If we are happy with the world then we will have little incentive to leave it. On the other hand, we are told this:
“Seek not escape from problems here. The world was made that problems could not be escaped.” T-31.IV.2
In other words, just reading about how bad this world is and seeking to escape, does nothing. Instead, we must find the truth and “the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
Standard thinking about escaping our problems does nothing to take us home. Instead, we must focus on the whole truth of the matter. The Course emphasized the negative aspects of the world to catch our attention, but sooner or later we must see the whole picture rather than the part.
Part of the whole picture is that there are a great many people who are happy with their lives and want to continue in the world as long as possible. They enjoy the beauty of the world such as, “Each bird that ever sang… And every flower that ever bloomed has saved its perfume and its loveliness for you.” T-25.IV.5
They enjoy their special relationship with their spouse, children and friends. They enjoy the beauty of the earth itself and go out of their way on vacations to enjoy it. Many enjoy their work, especially if it allows them to be creative.
Has it occurred to students that the way to escape or wake up is not to hate and loath the world for “The world was made that problems could not be escaped.” T-31.IV.2
Instead, we are to turn this problematic world into what the Course calls a “happy dream.”
“Your first exchange of what you made for what you want is the exchange of nightmares for the happy dreams of love. In these lie your true perceptions.” T-13.VII.9
Thus, if we develop true perception, we can see things as they are. So, even though this world offers much pain at times the student who has turned the dream into a happy one and is enjoying his or her life is steps ahead of one who feels he is in a nightmare and just wants to escape.
This creates a new problem. The student who has a horrific life is happy to leave, but first he must learn to perceive correctly, and when he does, he enjoys his life or the happy dream. But when one is happy in his situation, he has less incentive to leave. In other words, the student is almost home, but enjoys love, life and beauty and isn’t complaining about staying in the dream.
Think about it. When you dream a really good dream at night, you do not really want to wake up do you? I know that sometimes when I wake up before the good dream is over, I try to go back to sleep and continue the dream.
If your experience in this world is presently a happy one, this means that you have corrected many perceptions and are on the threshold to waking up.
But to go the final step takes a powerful act of will with a realization of the whole picture and that the true reality offers much more than the ups and downs of the world of illusion.
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