As this course goes on, it becomes more and more clear that the philosophy behind it is the same as much of the positive thinking movement and the law of attraction, just with a physical twist. Many of the concepts discussed swirl around the ideas of moving your life in a direction toward positivity, rather than away from negativity, and the instructors specifically bring up the notion of what you focus on expands.
Within this third week’s lecture (which was over a week ago, I just haven’t gotten around to writing about it until now. I’ve been tied up in the 50 Shades books!) they continue on the trajectory of cultural differences, and settle on western culture, and our predisposition to the Puritan Ethic – pay first; pleasure later. Why do we torture ourselves with the idea that we must pay a penance prior to experiencing any pleasure? It’s an odd concept, really. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not suffered. Any spiritual or philosophical leader will tell you that. But we work for one year before we are granted a week of vacation. It’s acceptable to have pain. It’s heroic to be a victim. There is a collective viewpoint that pleasure would be fatal; that pursuit of pleasure is non-social. It’s very strange!
Several other points were brought up in this lecture, the most poignant of which is the fear we all have of losing. The Welcomed Consensus maintains that the only reason people lie, say no, or refuse to experience something is to avoid loss. There may, very well, be some validity to that point. Collectively, we tend to function with the viewpoint that in order for someone to win, someone else must lose, and we all hate to lose. But, what if we had a consciousness shift? What if one win equals all win? If you’re willing to create a situation in which the other person wins, then you are a part of that win, because you were a part of the setup for the win. Being willing to “lose” in order to create a winning situation for another isn’t necessarily a loss, as we typically think of losing. You’re part of the win, so you win, too!
“Games are problems we enjoy playing. Problems are games we deny enjoying.” This turns everything on its head! If the problems you face in your life are merely games, how horrible can they be? The ingredients of both games and problems are the same: player, goals, obstacles for the goals. So, what if, instead of contemplating the obstacles in our lives, and fear loss due to problems, we simply transferred that emotion onto the idea of playing the game of life, and simply making it to the end of the game? How much more fun would we have? How much more joy would we experience? Of course, not every single moment will be full of sunshine and flowers. Negative emotions are part of the human experience. But a negative emotion is perfect the way it is, and accepting it, rather than resisting it, will allow it to flow more smoothly and advance to the next emotion.
While there were other concepts brought up in the Week 3 lecture, they all point back to the Puritan Ethic, and the idea that we are living in a pain-oriented society, whose goal is to overcome the pain of life, in order to later experience pleasure. And the point is, maybe we should be focusing on the pleasure all around us, and seeking more of it, rather than always trying to get past the pain. Maybe we should consider living life as a game, rather than a problem.
I’m up for a game of life! Are you?