GAMES WE PLAY
37Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: (Luke 6:)
11Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Rev 4:)
As extreme as the above illustration is, it is not uncommon, especially in the field of human repair.
Other such exact sciences such as weather prediction and medicine reveal their fallibility rather quickly, and often all too disastrously.
But the workings and the errors of the mind do not lend themselves so readily to exposure. The Psychologist can't just look in a patient's ear and make a misdiagnoses; he has to listen to the words the patient chooses to say to him, and then make his misdiagnoses.
Games, you see, are played by opposing (and supposedly equal) players. Sometimes there are many players on a side, even thousands in the game of War. Without opponents, there can be no game.
The game of Therapy is no different; Just the number of players being less, rather like a game of chess. Whereas most games played by humans are like those played by animals, for instance a wolf and a rabbit, the game of Therapy is played with the mind, much like a cobra and a mongoose.
To understand the game of Therapy one must think of it like the game of School. In School it is the teacher's role to instruct the Pupil. However, to keep his job teaching pupils the Teacher must also show evidence that he is doing a good job of teaching the pupils. To do this the Pupils under his tutorship must be making high grades. That is, they must be making high grades regardless of whether they are learning anything or not.
The Pupil's role is very much the same. The Pupil, in order to remain a Pupil and to climb higher on the ladder of success, must make high grades. High grades are achieved in only one manner, that is, convincing the Teacher, his or her opponent in the game of School, that he has learned what the Teacher is teaching. There are two ways in which this may be accomplished: intensive study and thereby miss out on the other games such as baseball, the dances, the bar fights, and TV, or the Pupil can cheat.
So then, in the game of School the only way for either player to win is for the Pupil to win, for if the Pupil loses, so does the Teacher.
But this is not so in the case of Therapy. The only evidence of the game therapy being played is the growing bank account of the Therapist, and the shrinking bank account of the Patient.
And like in the game of School, the Therapist (Teacher) has decided that a certain set of answers are the correct answers that must be given by the patient / student. It matters little if all evidence points to the fact that the answers to be given are unfounded (Evolution for example): give another answer than that which has been approved, and you do not win the game.
Whereas in the game of School all the answers are provided for the Pupil who must either memorize them or write them in small print on his sleeve; the Patient must guess what the Therapist has decided is the Patient's problem after asking him or her a few well-chosen questions. This is not as easy a task as it might seem. Although you, the Patient are the one who has the answer, since you are the one who has the problem, you are not allowed to be the one to discover your problem until the Therapist says you have done so. In other words, you may be the owner of the problem, but the Therapist is the holder of the key to your problem.
Again, the game of Therapy is like the game of School in that it requires much time to play. Finding the answers is not enough to conclude the game any more than knowing all the right answers will get you a diploma in School. It is not important that you have learned a subject, what is important to the School (or the Therapist) is that you are seen to have learned it from them.
For a year or so he saw this Therapist. In fact he became friends with this Therapist and even dated her on occasion. (I know, that's a no-no, but read what I say about rules a little farther on.)
After years of Therapy, and I don't know how much of the family's money (not his, he had no money) spent, the Therapist gave him a clean bill of mental health. In fact she told him that he had made so many tremendous improvements in such a very short time that she was interested in writing up a paper on his experience.
The Patient was ecstatic and proud as a peacock over the Therapist's acclamations and his apparent new-found mental maturity.
Isn't that an interesting story? But it's not over yet!
Pride, and having "won the Game" causes people to say things they would normally have had better sense than to say. In this case the Patient told me of the stories and exaggerations he told the Therapist. Now I hope he had enough self-awareness to recognize that what he told the Therapist was not true and thereby nullified her acclamation toward him, but it wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that he was in fact self-deluded.
The Therapist in this story, besides having broken certain other rules of the game, did not just sit back and listen to her patient, giving hints here and there as to what the "answers" were that the Patient was to look for. This Therapist told the Patient the answers, thereby allowing him to make a "quick" recovery.
Now, if you were to cheat your way through College, would you feel proud of the Diploma you ultimately received? Or would you feel confident that you were a skilled Doctor ready to perform surgery on the people of the world? I know many do, but I should hope you wouldn't.
The Patient in this story did not make any improvements in his life. In fact, as far as I can see, his situation grew much worse. Of course it might have grown worse without the Therapy, but at least he would have had a lot more money with which to feel worse with.
There is one thing I can say to the good about this Patient having taken Therapy. Even though he continued to have one problem after another, and his problems became more severe and in some cases devastating to him and those around him - he did feel better about himself and he gained an optimistic view of life.
An example of this is the game of War. When playing War, participants try to stay right on the razor's edge of acceptability in order to try and gain control of the game without causing those non-players who have not yet taken sides to align themselves against him. But we have seen what happens when one or the other side has overpowered the other (such as in WW2); all rules are disregarded because there is no one with power enough to enforce the rules.
During prohibition we witnessed the same thing. Once the "Gangsters" obtained power and the support of the masses, the "Cops" could only try and limit the activities of the "Robbers," those cops, I should add, who didn't surreptitiously surrender and cater to the winning side.
Most people when they "take" therapy know they have a problem. They may not be sure just what that problem is, but the fact that something in their life isn't working as it should indicates they have a problem. Rarely, however does anyone assume they have many problems, or that their problem is more than just a small one (like Mrs. Jones and her car). They imagine that with a couple twists of the psychological monkeywrench they will be as good as new and their life will be the bowl of cherries they believe it ought to be (but likely never was).
Rarely does this turn out to be the case. And if it does turn out to be just a minor problem the Patient has, the Therapist is highly skilled and well trained in techniques with which to convince the Patient he or she has much larger problems then they had supposed (again like Mrs. Jones.)
On the other hand there are those who have a huge problem, and know they have a huge problem(s), who end up convinced they no longer have any problem whatever.
Then there are those who are forced to take Therapy, either by a wife or husband who insists, or through the courts who insists. These Patients rarely seek help because they rarely recognize their problem. They are merely playing the game in order to get the game over with as quickly as they are able. They are Patients who know they are playing a game and are fully willing to cheat in order to get the game over with. In my opinion and experience, these make up the bulk of Patients playing the Therapy Game.
Therapists and Psychologists I found to be those most in need of Therapy, yet the least likely to be the ones to seek Therapy. It appears as if the "head knowledge" and the diploma they have received causes them to think they are better than those they serve, and beyond the need of help themselves.
But is this in fact true?
An example or two that I might draw is that of the plumber and the mechanic. Take a 50 year old mechanic who has been in the business all his life and is no longer hot rodding up his wheels. And take a 50 year old plumber who is in the business because it was handed to him by his father. Who, would you say is most likely to have the car that's falling apart and who would have the pipes that have duct tape wrapped around them and a bucket under the faucet?
When I was a child I tried to learn the piano, the steel guitar, the harmonica, and even how to sing. I tried for years, and failed at each attempt. My younger sister, on the other hand, learned to sing, play the piano, the accordion, and even the bassoon of all things. And she did well with them all.
Until I was thirty I was fully convinced I could do nothing right, just as my parents had so often told me. But starting at thirty I began to learn how wrong they were and that I could do anything I set my mind to.
I had no confidence that I could learn music, because I had tried so often and had failed, therefore I was afraid to try again.
Fear, any more, presents a wall for me that I must attack and break down.
So at 65 I learned to read music, play several instruments, and to record music. I haven't learned to play well, mind you, but well enough that I get satisfaction from the playing as well as the knowledge that I am no longer a failure.
I did not dream of doors. I dreamed of standing high on a ledge of a tall building with no way to get off, so I would throw myself to the ground because I saw no other way to escape the ledge and knew I would fall eventually anyway. I have acrophobia to this day which I attribute to the dreams I had as a child. And unlike the Patient, I did not have to fight the impulse to stab myself in the eye. I would never do that! No, I always had the strong impulse to drive off a cliff, or kill myself in some other way. But I feared someone finding my miserable body and them having to dispose of what was left of me. My ego wouldn't allow that.
That's me. And I assume, since you are bothering to read what I write, that it is you as well; that is, you study that which you are interested in, and/or that which will help you in life.
The problem, as I see it and as I have experienced it, is that many of those who study the subject, and receive some sort of diploma for doing so, now feel they are no longer vulnerable to the misgivings of the psyche, and they believe they have acquired the superhuman ability to diagnose and cure others in but a brief moment of time.
To witness an extreme of this attitude in action, listen to the Psychologists on the radio. Notice how in but a minute or so this "expert" has diagnosed and given the cure to a person they have never seen, nor from whom they have heard anything but what the person has chosen to tell them, having no hint of what the truth may or may not be. Consider how many of these callers are attempting a last ditch effort to correct a problem in their life, and have been tossed off like an old rag by this "compassionate expert" of human nature.
Consider that the Psychologist sitting along side the couch in an office or in the midst of a group has made the same snap judgment. And all too often they have already made their judgment before the Patient has hung up the phone when he or she calls to make an appointment.
Imagine if the courts worked in the same manner. Why, they could clear the court calendars in a month and all the judges could take their long well-deserved holiday.
I learned a lot about Therapy in my years watching Therapists. I didn't learn much about me from the Therapists. But I did learn a lot about problems I had (and still have) by witnessing the problems the Therapists have but were unaware they have.
Of course, I had a great advantage over the Therapists. I was a Patient. And as I said, the Patient can only win, and the Therapist can only win if his Patient wins.
I won because I knew I had many, and serious problems. I won because I learned to look at myself honestly and admit my problems. Doing something about the problems are a different matter. But like Mrs. Jones in the illustration above, I am aware that this is an old clunker of a body I am living in, and I know what some of the problems are that need repair. I don't have to wonder any more - I know.
But the Therapists never won. The Therapists never got me to say that their snap opinion of me was correct. In fact I found that very often I discovered what my problem wasn't by their judgment of what it was.
Of course all the other Patients learned the rules of the game very quickly and watched one another to see how best to play the game, and what sleeve the answers to the questions were scribbled on.
WRAP IT UP
Therapy, as I hope you know by having read other pages on this site, is not what I am concerned with. In the sense of our personal well-being therapy is a concern, but not necessarily the type of therapy one must pay dearly for.
Most of us do not live in the realm of the extremes, that is sandbox derbys and the instigating of national strife. However, even in our own little worlds winning or losing the game can mean life or death to us, like the Patient and his fear of failing.
However, in the game of life these same strategies are no longer accepted, although they are commonly practiced. When strategies are used in the real world, they are called "lies." And as lies, they are frowned upon at best. Non-acceptance does not keep strategies from being practiced; it just makes the concealing of them that much more important.
Magic is a game that is entirely built around the principal of strategy. The better the strategy, that is the lie, the more effective the trick.
Trick is the word we use when we do not want to be considered a liar. An example of this is when we are caught in a deceitful maneuver. Instead of admitting our surreptitious intent, we say: "Aw, I wasn't trying to cheat you, I was just playing a trick on you." Of course, if the "trick" is not discovered, and you walk away with that which you were "tricking" the other person out of, then the "trick" is never brought to the forefront.
We, as humans, are deceitful by nature. We want what we want, and we don't want to have to pay the consequences for our deceitfulness. It's not our fault that we are this way; our first ancestors before they were booted out of the Garden did that which they wanted to do, and when caught tried to toss the blame on everyone else. In fact everyone at the scene of the crime tried to blame someone else except the old Liar himself, the serpent. He took his punishment standing on his own two feet...... Well, you know what I mean.
The second area of human deception is in the world of romance. Again there are two players. (Of course there are times when more than two are involved, but that is beyond the scope of this page.) In romance the purpose of the game is win the girl (or guy) of your dreams by whatever means there are at your disposal. And with most of us, who have very little to offer, that means creating an illusion of having that which you have not. Of course we know that the other player in the game will eventually discover they have been "cheated;" but by that time it won't matter because you will have found out that you had been cheated as well. In the game of romance deception goes by another title: "Putting your best foot forward."
The third area of human endeavor is called "Politics." Included in this category are such things as Education and Investments. This world is so laden with deception and contrived manipulations that I couldn't begin to describe it, not even if I did understand any of it. There is one thing I will say, however, and that is, as far as I can see, not even the players have the slightest idea how to play the game. And as for rules; I think the only rule for the game is to see who can break the rules the best, the most, and without getting caught. Perhaps they should call this game: "The Garden of Eden."
The church, as with all activities on this earth, is made up of people seeking to win the game. In the case of the game of church that means getting as much out of the game as possible without having to sacrifice any more of what you have than absolutely necessary.
In the past, that is the Old Testament church of the Jews, it was required that you give sacrifice for any minor infraction of the rules. I say minor because the consequences for breaking major rules was death, which certainly is an effective way of deterring rule-breaking.
In the present the game has changed considerably, even though the Book of Rules has not. The rules are not altered as they might be in some other games that are played, but rather they are reinterpreted. This practice is not confined to the game of church, it is also actively practiced in the game of Politics where such things as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are reinterpreted. And it is practiced in the game of School where textbooks and history books are rewritten. In the games of Politics and School the result of having rewritten the rules is the total camouflaging of the original concept for both of these institutions. That is to say they are no longer at all, not in practice nor in result, what was originally intended. By appearance they are much the same, perhaps modernized a bit; but like a movie star or a harlot, what you get is not what appears to be.
At one time in this country, size was a second consideration after that of quality. Because of such an attitude "American Made" was a symbol that not only meant quality, but pride as well. This attitude is no longer prevalent in the U.S of A. It is now, and becoming ever more so, a matter of quantity over quality. This has caused us to no longer produce in this country because it is cheaper to produce quantity elsewhere than it does here. This new way of thinking has not confined itself to those things we own, or wear, or drive - but the things we eat and drink as well. So much so that we are now afraid to eat or drink anything we have not grown ourselves.
Madison Square Gardens or church, which will it be?
It's a part of human nature to want to be the first, the biggest, and the best. If we can't be the winner, we don't want to play the game. And it matters little how we win, just as long as we appear to have won.
The ones running the race are the ones trying to prove themselves the fastest; The one sitting on the sideline holds the record as the world's fastest runner.
The ones wearing the righteous clothing and carrying the Torah in the crook of their arm have the appearance of being the servants of God; The One wandering in the wilderness in a simple robe and eating with prostitutes and sinners is the Son of God.
Those who have, don't have to prove. Those who have not strive to appear as if they have.
The churches teach to the lowest form of Spirituality. They preach and teach to those who wander in from the street in order to keep them inside, and hopefully feed them a little milk in the process.
But feeding sheep's milk to goats will accomplish little, and the lambs need to be matured so they can be given meat. But I see very little to no meat given to the flock, and that which is provided is stale and often polluted. Meanwhile, I see the shepherds of the flocks no longer seeking growth for themselves or their elders, but have settled into a lethargic ritual of a base sort.
A large part of this kindergarten attitude comes from the principle commonly taught in the churches that those who have entered the door, and said a few words are now full-fledged members of the body who only has to wait until they are taken into a heaven in the sky where they will be fed chicken and ice cream for eternity. So the church becomes filled to capacity with carnal Christians and infant lambs with no knowledge nor example of the admonition to be a valiant soldier who is to stand fast in the battle, or to run the good race, or to follow Jesus to the cross, or to die to self. When these commands are read to them in church they are heard as nice words with no meaning, meanwhile they sit back and dream of the coffee and doughnuts awaiting them in the lounge.
God expressed it this way:
I did enjoy the Bible study classes, until they became more like a sermon covering the same fat and gristle provided at the Sunday sermon.
But I love studying the Word! And I love spending time with the Lord! But, unfortunately (a poor choice of words) I find very few people I can fellowship with (I can, and I do, but I have to keep quiet in order to do so) because everyone is still on the bottle and cannot bear having meat around them.
Yesterday I was walking along the docks and began to talk to an older man (about my age) who was working on his boat. The conversation started off simply enough, and then began to die. The topic came around to changes (politics I believe), and I told him about God telling me to shave my beard. The man came alive. We talked for over two, maybe even three hours about the Lord. I must correct that. Usually it's me talking, but in this case I was asking because he had such a fascinating experience with the Lord, and such an interesting way of expressing it.
What was particularly of interest to me was that he had a close relationship with the Lord, and it was easy to tell he was being led by the Holy Spirit.
Yet, this man could not read and knew little about the Bible (in the way many do), but he had an understanding of what the Bible was saying. That is, he understood the simplicity of the Gospel. He understood that this means giving up everything and following the Lord. He knew this means having the Holy Spirit, and that being led by Him is what the Gospel is all about.
He understood, and is living, what I am saying in thousands of pages, without having seen a single word I have written.
And in the tiny church I attend there is at least one lady (again, about my age - is there a pattern forming here?) who I believe is being led by the Holy Spirit and who has seen nothing of what I've written, and has heard little of it since I refrain from expressing anything serious with them, knowing their reluctance to venture from the doctrine of the church.
I believe a person can understand the Bible, God's purposes, and God's will for mankind down to the letter, and be just as lost as the worst sinner.
And I believe a native who is deaf and dumb and can't read a word, but who loves the Lord and desires nothing more than to please Him will be sitting right beside Him on His throne.
That's the simplicity of the Word. If you read more into it than that, or if you read less into it, you have not heard what I am saying.
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