Playing A Bigger Game: The Way to A New Paradise
"AS ABOVE, SO BELOW"
It strikes me of late how things that are happening on one level of reality tend to be happening on all levels. "As above, so below," it's said.
The physical, the mental, the emotional, the spiritual, the societal, the planetary, the universal...and on and on...
In the end, it's all one...
A BIGGER GAME
As my late 20s came to a close this past January, I took a moment to reflect on my memories and to find gratitude for the gifts I'd been given over the past 10 years: the people, the experiences, even the challenges.
I also took inventory of where I was, examined my current way of being and broke down what has been working and what clearly hasn't. So many unconscious behaviors to reprogram...
It wasn't too long after the inventory that I was surprised by two realizations.
The first was that so much of my life has been spent unconscious.
The second was that I had finally arrived at the feeling of being an adult. I suppose it makes sense to label someone in their mid to late 20s as an "adult" by default, but the title never really resonated with me before January. Then, at the 30 year mark, I dropped into it.
"I am a man now...Yeah, that feels right...Huh! Alright. Here we go."
Over the past 60ish days I've been challenging myself to make actionable, incremental change in my life (or sometimes dramatic change, if necessary) to move towards a more sustainable, nourishing way of being. I am trying to reprogram the behaviors that weren't serving me, to function with more awareness and more love. I'm training for a larger goal.
I've decided: I'm ready for a bigger game.
THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS
I have been blown away recently by this podcast called Hardcore History. In each episode, host Dan Carlin explores a different historical subject, and in the episode I've been engaged with for the past week, titled "The Destroyer of Worlds," Dan grippingly examines the history of nuclear weapons and the ways they affect/affected our culture.
I couldn't get away from this podcast. It's 5 hours long and I couldn't wait to get back to hear more of it. It revealed to me so much I didn't know about the nature of international politics and our world history.
The two things that struck me the most were these:
EINSTEIN'S ULTIMATUM: EVOLVE OR PERISH
Once nuclear weapons were unleashed upon the world at the end of World War II, many thought-leaders believed humanity had two options in response to their cataclysmic invention: evolve or perish.
Reality shifted in an instant when the bombs dropped on Japan. All of humanity came to understand that total, near-instantaneous self-annihilation was a real possibility for the first time. Many believed that man was never meant to have this amount of power.
As the years passed and more nuclear weapons were amassed, it was clear that our past pattern of using violence to solve conflicts was leading us on a path akin to "walking a tight-rope over an abyss." (Gromyko) The clock was ticking, and the longer we fought wars with one another, the more likely we were to destroy our species.
That's why in 1955 Albert Einstein and philosopher Bertrand Russell released a statement to the world, the Russell-Einstein Manifesto, that plead:
"Here, then, is the problem which we present to you...Shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war?...There lies before us, if we choose, continual progress in happiness, knowledge, and wisdom. Shall we, instead, choose death, because we cannot forget our quarrels? We appeal as human beings to human beings: Remember your humanity, and forget the rest. If you can do so, the way lies open to a new Paradise; if you cannot, there lies before you the risk of universal death."
Einstein died days later. This was his last message to the world--an ultimatum for our survival.
NUCLEAR STRATEGY IS
A COMPLICATED, DEADLY, SINGLE PLAYER GAME
The second thing that really struck me about the podcast is how intense and complicated nuclear strategy is.
In the podcast, the allusion is often made that the dynamics of international nuclear policy are similar to that of a very high-stakes chess game. Each player has certain pieces on the board, and they strategically move them in response to the other players in the game in order to protect their interests.
So, who are the current players in this game? Who makes the decisions around nuclear policy?
As a result of the expediency and the severity of the weapons themselves, we as Americans have chosen to entrust one person on the planet with the ability to play this highly complicated, highly dangerous nuclear game on our behalf. The one person with the legal authority to launch a nuclear attack on our behalf is the President of the United States.
That person is currently this person:
This person and his campaign/cabinet have been indicated on many occasions now to have colluded with Russia during their election campaign to get elected in return for favors to Russia. Members of his cabinet have had to resign because of it.
This is a big deal because, since the dawn of nuclear weapons, Russia/The Soviet Union has been the other biggest player in the nuclear game, the only one even close to the U.S. in power. They were the first to get nuclear weapons after the U.S. (resulting in the Cold War) and they currently have more nuclear weapons than any other country in the world including the U.S. The U.S. and Russia have been vying for top position in the game for over 60 years. And now, it's looking more and more like our player isn't actually playing for us.
So, what do you do when the one person who is entrusted to protect your life, the life of your family and friends, in the most dangerous game of all time is most likely working for one of the other players?
PLAY A BIGGER GAME.
When you're walking on a tight-rope over an abyss it can appear that you only have two choices: to walk or to fall.
But if you look deep enough inside yourself you might realize that there was a third option all along:
Spread your wings, and fly.
...As above, so below...
We're ready for a bigger game.
The way to a new paradise awaits...