Oneness is a theme that has filled the philosophical pools of my being and creativity: We came from ONE, we will return to ONE. What is between is Life, Existence, Now, Being.
“Came?” “Return?” That implies a direction, a time line, a beginning, perhaps an end. There is an interesting analogy I have made in looking at this “ONENESS” concept and how the myriad of belief systems, gurus, religions, and just plain thinkers have approached finding the answer(s) and how such answer(s) might be applied.
Picture a Grand Central Oneness Station (“GCOS”). It could also be a Central Airport, or the Ultimate Website – a place or space where all tracks, routes, inquiries arrive. Humor me and stay with GCOS. Let’s also picture that a variety of people converge on the information desk at the GCOS, each wearing an identification tag from a different religion or belief system. Each claims to have the “truth” and is looking for the train out that will take him or her to the ultimate destination.
Is there but one ultimate track that leads out to this ultimate destination? Does it matter on which train you came into the GCOS? If our scanners can pierce the feathers, bells and whistles, specialized languages, hierarchies, practices, basic books, artifacts, and so on that each adherent and proponent is wearing or promulgating, and we can get to the naked basics revealed, could we not put each and every person in the station on the same train out?
James P. Carse, a seminal thinker and N.Y.U. professor, in his book: “Finite and Infinite Games – A Vision of Life As Play and Possibility” (1986) posits games (and life) are made up of two kinds: finite and infinite. “A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game is entered into for the purpose of continuing the game.” To me, this is a basic way to hold this life, this existence. In each moment, or set of moments, we are involved with “playing” a finite game. There is a beginning, middle, and an end. We win, or we lose. Be it in school, the work place, athletic contests, romance, parenting, politics, the community – wherever and with whomever – the ‘game’ we play, the game we are in, is finite. In many games, we enter not expecting to win, but where we nonetheless compete for the highest possible ranking we can achieve.
Infinite play is different. The game is played for the sake of play. The game is the game! There are no spatial or numerical boundaries to an infinite game – anyone who wants to ‘play’ may play an indefinite game. Finite games are externally defined. Infinite games are internally defined. The time of an infinite game is not world time but rather time created within the game itself – opening players to a new horizon of time.
In the infinite game, we are here to experience – to be all we can be. It is not whether we ‘win or lose’ but rather how we play the game that counts. If we are aware, open to each and every experience, willing to allow that, in life, everyone can, perhaps should be a winner, then perhaps we have “got it,” and understand the “bottom line” that is the basis of the spiritual aspects of all religions.
Thus, for infinite players, the only purpose of the game is to prevent it from coming to an end, to keep everyone in play. Is this the game you are playing?
Fortunately – or unfortunately – this game of The Eternal Sea of Creativity has drawn to an end. It is not infinite. I hope the time and focus you have spent and invested in this sharing has and/or will add something to this life you are now in. It would be a delight for me to hear from you.