… in the night. And that is, and isn’t sad. When we engage another human being, I think it’s helpful to imagine that there are three games being played, all at the same time.
The first is the game of life on earth, in which we are all ants, basically. Small units in a big, complex system. In this game, time is our mortal enemy. We are born, we grow, we senesce, and we die; all as a function of time. We wish we could stop time, but we can’t. To us, the present moment is all we have, and we live for those rare, perfect moments, and long to have someone in those moments with us. We collect those moments, and cherish them and turn to them in our memory over and over. Sad life, collecting moments.
On the next level up, we are playing the game of sentient entities interacting along interfaces. We seek out other entities and adopt forms and shapes that will please and interest them. Upon making contact, we morph and evolve our surfaces and boundaries to give pleasure. The game continues until we tire of it, or until time is up, or until we lose each other.
We see time as a river in which we are playing. We jump in, swim for a while, and then hop back out. We see the present moment as an illusion, and we strive not to be distracted by it. We see each other as beings that exist in time, where the past you and the present you are all the same creature. Rather than growing and senescing, we see ourselves as manifesting across a parameter of time, where “time” is seen as a key component of the exquisite pleasure of serendipity.
This is a fun game, with the only downside being, the risk of getting lost before we are done. Follow the eyes. Looking into the eyes allows us to see each other.
At the highest level is the game of coping with existence in the place where everything is one. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice place. Time does not exist there, so there is no fear of death. No lies, no betrayal. But it’s a lonely place. After a while we develop a terrible longing. We long for companionship. We long to be touched. We long to be caressed. We long to be loved. We long to be made love to.
So we go back to life on earth, and put up with the pain, and try to remember what game we are really playing. Where, ironically, the action is in the middle.
The image for this post is taken from the PS2 game “Journey,” which plays with this concept. Poignantly, and sometimes (rarely, preciously) with real people who join you in the game world.