[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Re: rules and games (reply to Chuck)

Nov 12, 1997 07:06 AM
by Eldon B Tucker


>As long as I am willing to break my own rules as well, which I do quite
>often.  And one of the joys of being predictable is that when one breaks the
>pattern it can have fascinating results, usually in the minds of people
>around me.

Being true to the style of living that you've created for yourself
is being predictable. And you do, I hope, mostly follow and participate
in the rules and games of society. When you go into a restaurant,
for instance, you'd sit down at an empty table, order from a menu
when the waiter appears, eat the food, and pay the bill before
leaving. This is all in accord with the rules of an "eating out at
the restaurant" game. You wouldn't break the rules without good
cause, or unless you were making an effort to change the game (e.g.
make a new game for people, "eating out at the restaurant according
to Chuck". You wouldn't go into the kitchen and cook your own
food, eat it on the floor of the restaurant, take money from the
cash register rather than paying a bill, and perhaps shoot some
people there with a shotgun! 

>For example, for years I would make at least one afternoon trip out to Olcott
>to dig in the library, invariably on Wednesday.  But then I decided to change
>and went out on a Tuesday.  For several days the Olcott staff could not
>remember what day it was!

Little changes like those can help wake us up! But we all have our
routines, our ways of doing things in our lives, which include even
the smallest things in life like how we get dressed in the morning
or schedule our daily routines. There's nothing wrong in this. It
lets parts of our lives continue automatically, allowing us to
devote our awareness and intelligence to more significant things.

Once something has become routine, it is easy, and we can devote
our efforts elsewhere. We can even see this in brain studies. A
subject's brain lights up when faced with a challenging task. If
someone knows mathematics, and is given a math problem, their brain
won't light up much, compared to the brain of someone struggling
with the same math problem. Our whole childhood is to learn how to
function in society, so that commonplace things become routine and
we're not challenged by simply things like tying our shoes in the
morning or keeping the food on the spoon as we try to feed ourselves.

Much in life becomes routine because we need to master it and make
it simple and easy so we can devote more of our energies to subtler
things. Someone could get lazy, stop thinking, stop learning and
growing, and sink into a sort of unconscious existence, where they
do entirely routine things *and nothing else*. In that case, what
you mention -- being unconventional to them -- make serve to wake
them up. But this is only useful to other people if you're aware
of their situation and are acting in response to it. Acting as the
trickster when it's not needed is not being helpful, it's rather
a plea to be noticed and loved and appreciated by people unaware
of one's existence. The point here is that one's actions should
be dynamically responsive to the other people and the current
situation, and not always the same way. We put on different hats
at different times, and are not always stuck in a single role.

-- Eldon

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application