Health is wholeness, and healing is a process of making something whole. There is no state of total wholeness except the Tao, the All That Is, in its primary, unexpressed state. Therefore, it is not possible to achieve ultimate health or wholeness on the physical (or any other) plane. Healing is the movement toward it, not its achievement. You cannot achieve perfect health or wholeness at some point and then freeze it. You can approach it, coming ever nearer to the goal, but you will never attain it until you finish the universal game and reunite with the Tao. This is one reason perfectionism is a neurosis — it is an attempt to freeze a state of wholeness.
The Tao plays in the seven planes of creation. The physical plane is the first. Since the Tao is whole, in and of itself, it must have a playground that is not complete so it can have the opportunity to do something. What is whole is in a state of equilibrium; it takes imbalance or incompleteness for there to be movement. For example, when you walk, you are off balance, falling forward, much of the time; when you are sitting, you are in balance.The point of playing a game is not to complete it as quickly as possible. If that were your attitude, you would not begin it in the first place. You play because you want to play. Although it would be a bit much if the game never ended, you enjoy its duration. In fact, without an end, it would have no shape, so it would not be a game.
This universe is a playing board for the Tao, containing infinite smaller boards. As part of the Tao, we are all playing a vast game, and smaller games within the game. Each has a beginning, a middle, and an end. You could say that the smallest game on the physical plane is a single day. There are various larger games that can take any number of daylong games to play. You could see every lifetime as a single game as well — it has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Some feel that the end comes too quickly. If you are a contestant on a game show and the bell rings before you win the trip to Hawaii, that is the game! If you were always sure how the game would turn out, you would have no motivation to play it. However, there is always another game.
Every player helps create her games and agrees to play within their parameters. The games are not always easy, but they are ultimately fair, in spite of temporary unfairness along the way, because everyone is playing by the same rules.
The object of the largest game is total wholeness. Everyone will, at the end of it, reach this goal. In other words, everyone will be completely reabsorbed back into the Tao when he finishes the game. If you were to reach the goal now, however, you would miss most of the game.
Each of the smaller games within the larger game has its own object. For example, before every lifetime you choose a life task and see whether you can achieve it, or how much of it you can achieve.
You are not, in any of these games, actually competing against someone else. The whole idea of competition in this regard is illogical — you are part of the Tao, which is a unified whole. It is true that you are in the universe “pretending” that you are not whole so you can have new experiences and expand your wholeness. However, how can you compete when there is really only one thing?
Here is an apparent paradox. You are individual — you have a separate physical body. Yet what divides you from others? Can you really be divided from others? Could you exist without the presence of other human beings? Where does the skin of your body end and the air next to it begin? There is no space between your skin and the air. The most external molecule of your skin is adjacent to a molecule of air. They are only slightly different; they are made from the same elemental substance, expressed a little differently. It is rather like one color in a rainbow being adjacent to the next. If you move your awareness away from your skin through the molecules of air, you find another person, the Tao in a slightly different shape. Conveniently for you, the air molecules are transparent and lightweight. This allows the game piece that is your body to have flexibility of movement, which makes the game more fun.
The movement of your game piece moves the air and affects the other game pieces, and vice versa — in other words, you affect others, and they affect you. However, you are not in competition with them. During the game of life, you may think it is about “me against them,” or “our team versus theirs.” Apparent competition can sometimes challenge you to play your best, but when the game is over, everyone goes back to the same locker room.
You do not need competition with others to challenge you. You can “compete against yourself,” as they say, which is not really competition, because when you win, no one loses; you are seeking the highest possible attainment for its own sake.
It is not a contradiction to seek perfection without being a perfectionist, without trying to have total perfection now. As with wholeness, total perfection exists only in the Tao, but the goal of perfection can motivate you to play the game as well as you can.
Many people play the game unconsciously. Let’s say that you are competing in the Olympics in track. Track is a good example because it is an individual sport and is not competitive except in scoring — the activities are not in opposition to other players. In any case, you are not going to do the pole vault as well as you otherwise would if you are drunk. You might learn some things about it from attempting it drunk, but you are likely to ram into the crossbar. That is rather like playing the game unconsciously, without having your full faculties of alertness available. Often people’s goal is to sleep as peacefully through the game as possible, occasionally using external substances to that end. Those who rock the boat are not usually welcome because it makes too much noise when people are trying to sleep!
More and more people, however, are realizing that they are playing a game. When that occurs, two things happen. One is that they play the game more seriously. The other is that they take the game less seriously: it matters, but at the same time it does not. This perspective gives you detachment and the ability to accept things as they are. You cannot do anything about the present score of the game — that is the way things are — but you can play your best game now. No one other than you is keeping score, but there are times when the game seems to be going better than others. There are days when you feel well and days when you do not. There are days when you win the lottery and days when you lose your job, but such events of themselves do not constitute winning or losing the game. Eventually, you will win. You cannot lose — there is nothing to lose, since you are already indivisible from the Tao, joined to all things. Winning a particular game is reawakening to that truth within a specific context through achieving understanding, joy, and love.
It seems that you are making light of the world’s suffering by referring to life as a game.
There are, of course, games played purely for recreation. Even those sharpen skills. But perhaps you could think of what we are discussing here as being more akin to educational games.
The more skill one has, the more one’s lessons come through joy. However, pain can help you learn to play the game more skillfully. It might be telling you that you are not playing the game in such a way as to bring pleasure. The pain is important but it is not the point; it is simply information. Let’s say that you were driving and were not alert, so you had an accident and ended up in the hospital. Your pain gives you a vital piece of information — if you felt euphoria instead, it would be confusing. It would be telling you that when you play the game less well, you feel wonderful. So pain can be valuable from this standpoint.
You are not necessarily playing the game poorly now if you experience pain; in fact, sometimes pain increases when you are healing because buried problems from the past come to the surface. But as you increase harmony, you eventually reduce pain, which shows you that you are moving in the right direction. Resisting pain increases it. The more you accept pain, the more quickly you benefit from it.
If the Tao is complete, why does it want to play the game?
Completeness and incompleteness are two ends of one stick. Let’s say that you build models and you have completed one. You might call that completeness perfection. All the pieces are now together and you know everything you want to know about that model from having gone through the process of constructing it. You may then wish to embark on a new model, something different that teaches you things you could not have learned from the previous model. The new model is incomplete but as you work on it, it moves toward completeness. Every time you complete a new model, you have expanded yourself.
The Tao is the part of all of us that has assimilated the lessons of the previous model, you might say. It is whole and complete. However, there are an infinite number of new models that could be built, each one potentially more sophisticated than the last.
The completeness of the Tao is one end of the stick; the incompleteness of the universe is the other. Together they balance one another and allow for orderly progression. Everything springs from the Tao. If the Tao were not complete, there would be no stable foundation from which the incompleteness of the universe could spring, ultimately bringing a larger completeness. It is like a gymnast having an internal state of balance, allowing him to be unbalanced externally and bring new movement into that balance.
You are a dynamic part of the Tao. You are responsible for the Tao’s expansion. You are not an imperfect little twerp crawling back to the Tao on your hands and knees, hoping that when you get there the Wizard will open the door and let you in. You are the means by which the All extends its completeness. All your experiences are new ones for the Tao. Their exact conditions have never existed before and never will again. New games allow for new understandings and different types of creativity. The Tao is the creator. Every artist seeks new forms of self-expression. If this is true of an individual, how much truer is it of the core creator? Being the All That Is without an opportunity to express itself would be like being a king with no kingdom; he would just sit in his castle. It would be boring for the Tao to stay the same for eternity. The universe is the way the Tao expresses itself and thereby avoids the boredom of “early retirement.”
All things have consciousness, and all consciousness is expanding, even the consciousness of a blade of grass. By being what it is, it is gradually becoming more, thus able to express itself in larger, more sophisticated ways.
Virtually all people are at least partly asleep, somewhat functional but not fully aware. Awakening sleeping aspects of yourself is part of the game you are playing now. Living life asleep makes it harder. Sometimes athletes train by carrying additional weight; when they remove it, they are stronger and their task seems easier. Actors sometimes place marbles in their mouth to learn to enunciate; when they remove them, it is easier to speak with clear diction. When you remove the limitation of sleep, you live with more ease and power. Illusion and false personality are what cause consciousness to sleep. They function like the marbles and extra weight — they make it harder to play the game. The process of experiencing and then lessening and removing them strengthens your ability to play the game.
The ultimate object of the game is agape, or unconditional love. Playing the game expands the Tao, which is love, by giving it more opportunities for self-discovery. Encasing yourself in greed, stubbornness, or another fear-based pattern, and getting out of it, like Houdini getting out of a box at the bottom of a pool, gives you more consciousness of agape because you have vividly experienced what it is not. Expansion occurs through actions motivated by love, but the experience of being motivated by fear is not wasted — it contributes to your knowledge of love. You experience as much fear as you need to in order to see it clearly and awaken to love. Once you “get it,” you transcend the polarity of love and fear; neither is an issue. You develop the capacity to simply be.
The game we, the Michael entity, play on the causal plane is not primarily about polarities such as love and fear, or positive and negative. We have already played that game, and have integrated both positive and negative into our consciousness. We therefore transcend polarities and almost completely experience the essence of things. You usually do not complete lessons about polarities on the physical plane. You continue them through the upper astral plane, where a new game begins. You could not begin a new game if you had not played the previous one.
Although the Tao has no beginning or end as you think of them, you could say that in the beginning the Tao built and completed one model. By now, it has completed several models. This universe is its current project. The Tao may later decide to do something other than building models. What that might be is beyond our ability to conceive, but it is the nature of a creator to create. How can a creator not create? At our core, we are each a part of the creator. We are also part of the creation. The creation part of us is becoming complete through the creator part of us playing the game.
Everything you create teaches you something about yourself because a part of you that was previously merely potential is now reality and you can see it. It is not merely a possibility or even a probability — it is there. When it is complete to your satisfaction, you can move on and create something else, building on your previous creation.
In playing the game, you draw from an infinite pool of possibilities. The way you play the game impacts which of those possibilities become probabilities, and which of those probabilities become realities. If the game you are playing is not as much fun at the moment as you would like, bear in mind that it keeps moving and changing. As you play the game the best you can now, you increase your pleasure and joy, at least eventually if not immediately. The better you get at the game, the more fun you have. This is partly why it pays to be on a true spiritual path; it helps you learn the rules of the game and improve your skills.
So have fun. Enjoy the game!