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PLAY BALL - The Miracle of Children

Chapter 11
Playing Is All There Is

Children know life is a game and that rules are made up. Later on they will forget this.

As adults, we have forgotten that all of life is a game. We now have names (and thus concepts) for that which is supposedly not a game. We call these non-games by such names as "job," "relationship," "marriage," "education," "parenthood," and so on. These names allow us to forget that all we do in life is a game with rules for scoring and winning, consequences for losing, all played out in relationship to other players. From time-to-time I remind people that what they are doing is a game. "No itís not!" they say, in a tone of voice that protests such an insult. "This is real life!" Absolutely--real life is a set called "game" and contains many other games as subsets.

Children are not serious about it all — they know life is a game containing many other games. Houston is playing all the time, without let-up. Some of his games are "Flirting," "Bump-A-Head," "Kissing," "Carry-me-around," "Play Bored," "Mimicking," "Peek-A-Boo," "Take Things Apart," and a new one, "Running." These games are played with great joy and enthusiasm, even the ones that require crying which can turn into gales of laughter at any moment.

One of Houstonís games is "Playball," and it is my favorite because I get to play too. Houston is the proud owner of a large red, white, and blue plastic beach ball that is filled with air. The game is to get to the door and past Daddy with the ball and then throw the ball down the stairs and watch Daddy go get it. The rules read that Houston wins about half the time and that the entire game is conducted in the atmosphere of constant baby laughter. It is a miracle to behold, for the game comes out of nothing. It was not taught, it was created, and it exists for absolutely no purpose other than the game itself. It is a perfect statement of life itself, complete with the joy and enthusiasm that underlies all activity and all emotions. The joy and enthusiasm are the expression of Self, of Who One Is; the activity and emotions of life are the games which the Self is playing.

Without Spirit or Self, there is no life, and there are no games. What I am saying is that life and games are one and the same and the Spirit playing the games is You, but not the "you" you are accustomed to thinking of yourself as. Who you are used to thinking of yourself as are actually the pieces of the game, nor are you the whole game, rather you are the player who creates the game, the rules, and the components of the game such as the emotions ( the way you "feel" about it all).

When one searches for Who One Is, one must strip away all the "things," even the things one thought were not things, such as feelings and concepts. Even a thought is a "thing" in this sense and you are not your thoughts, rather you are the thinker. However the notion "thinker" is itself a thought and thus is not Who You Are either. It is the paradox of life that one cannot see Who One Is because one is the seer, not the seen. A wonderful analogy is the human eye. It never sees itself, although it sees all else. In the same manner, you will never see Who You Are, thus your search is hopeless until you realize that you are the creator, the player, hiding from itself by virtue of the rules of its game. And that realization is itself a creation, not the creator.

Houston is not the game Playball. He is that who dreamed up the game Playball, who has no name because any name is necessarily not the creator, but rather a production of the creator. You can never catch this as long as you think of yourself as a thing. Playball is the creation of a true God.

Nor is his name Houston — that is a word we attached to his body for convenience. Who You Are doesnít have a name, for if it did, then it would no longer be Who You are. That is the trouble with the word "God," for once having given it a name, we think we are a step closer to knowing who that is and actually we are a step back. And as we go on to define God, with each definition we are one step further removed from knowing God. Finally God becomes a thing in our minds so far from Who God Is, we may as well give up, quit thinking about it , and go back to brushing our teeth. So the word "God" has had grave damage done to it, perhaps irreparable damage. The same process occurs with any substitute word we apply for God. Some people, in search for God, make vows of silence and some go for years and do not utter a word.

So here is the low-down on God: God is the first one who said "Play Ball!" Your local theologian will not necessarily agree, but he or she is , like you and me, too smart to know better.

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