Excerpt 5: Planet Earth as the Game Board

So you wanted to play a game and you needed a place to do that. The three-dimensional planet Earth apparently looked like it would serve that purpose. So Earth had the privilege to be chosen by you as the game board for your game.

Just like a game board in any game, the planet Earth is a neutral place. The game of Monopoly, for instance, is a cardboard board. The League of Legends gameboard takes place in an online environment. For both games, the “board” is neutral.

On the game board of planet Earth there are only neutral events (which we can then value and identify with). In reality, nobody is attacking you or anyone else.

Although the wicked warriors may now scream out loud: “This is not true. Look at the world and all the people in it. They are constantly attacking each other. They are constantly attacking me! I need to defend myself!”

If you identify with that small part in you, then that is the only way to look at the world. And yes, if you look at the mass media, this image is only reinforced.

But is this what is really going on?

What I have learned from quantum physics on the science side and “The Way Of Mastery” and “A Course In Miracles” on the spiritual side is that we can also choose to look at the world in a different way to discover its real image.

Remember the “experience” model from Chapter 1 where I described how we create our experience? There we saw that everything is neutral until we identify with it and value it.

I invite you to look at the world as it is — a neutral playing field. Let’s look at it as the neutral game board it truly is. Remember, all events on the board are neutral. It simply provides us with a place to play our game and to create our experiences.

If you still have a hard time grasping this concept remember the story of the farmer and his son. Other people judged situations as good or bad, but the farmer was able to see all events as neutral events.

The invitation is: next time something happens that you deem a good or bad thing, take a step back and assume the position of the witness. Ask yourself:

  1. What actually happened? Can you describe it in neutral, objective words (non-emotional)?
  2. Did it trigger you? If so, why? Did you feel attacked? And are your wicked warriors triggered? Avoid identifying with them and keep looking at the event or person from the independent view of the witness.
  3. Is the other person triggered? Is it possible that he or she has another background or history (including emotions) that makes him or her look at events from another point of view? Is it possible that his or her reaction triggered something in you that is not related to the event? A good thing to remember: people and events can often be a trigger, not the cause!
  4. After looking at the emotional parts, can you look at the event again and describe it in even more neutral, objective words?

Of course this is not always easy to do, especially when one or more parties are emotionally triggered and their wicked warriors are in full harness and battle gear, ready to attack or defend.

Extra tip: when I become aware (which often is not at the beginning of this process) that I’ve stepped into a pitfall, or that the conversation has gone in the direction of a fear-based battle, I will ask for a time out. While in that time out I ask myself the questions above.

What typically happens is that I first become aware of the anger, grief, rejection or resentment I am feeling in the moment. These emotions are all weapons of the wicked warriors. Then I begin to look at the event in a more neutral way. Thereafter the emotions cool down a bit. Finally, I’m able to choose to open myself up and talk about what really happened without the wicked warriors interrupting and reacting. Most of the time I’m then able to act from a centered perspective. However, being able to stop reacting from the outpost is already enough to turn the situation around.

Let me share with you an example from my own life.

A few months ago, Gwendolyn (my partner) and I were having a conversation about where to live. Because there are many parameters involved (house, shop, us, children), this is a sub game that is rather complex. It has given Gwendolyn many days and nights of worry. When I threw in that I needed “my own space” in the house and that I didn’t see how that would work out, something was triggered in her. She felt hurt and went into fear-based survival mode. I was sucked in to that fear as well. After 10 minutes of a more heated and emotional discussion I realized what had happened and asked for a time-out.

Then I asked myself the questions:

  1. What actually happened? “We had a discussion about where to live.”
  2. Did it trigger you? “Yes, a monster showed up. The monster was the fear that there would not be enough ‘me space’ in the house. Or rather, that my desire for the ‘me space’ was not heard.”
  3. Is the other person triggered? “Yes, it looks like she was triggered because I made the situation too difficult. Or, she may have been triggered because she thought that her children were not seen enough. But these are guesses. I saw that she was triggered and I know that I was not the cause. So I don’t have to take it personally. I also don’t know all of her history and background, so actually I may be interpreting everything in the wrong way.”
  4. After looking at the emotional parts, can you look at the event again and describe it in even more neutral, objective words? “We are having a conversation on how we can live together in the best possible way for everybody involved. There are some old pains or monsters being triggered, but I know she is not the cause of my monsters and I’m not the cause of hers. I’m willing to look at things differently. I choose to leave the wicked warrior outpost.”

This helped me return to my center. Due to the fact that the discussion was not fed with more arguments or emotions Gwendolyn calmed down a bit as well. Besides being able to assess the situation from a different point of view from my center, it also allowed me to think about the bigger human game and my intention. So I said to myself: “I’m Love and you are Love. My intention is for everybody involved to be happy.” Then I apologized for having been in my outpost, playing the Phase 1 game. Without me pointing out anything, this made her realize that she had been doing the same thing. Suddenly the energy shifted. She was also able to quickly leave her outpost. This shift from her outpost to the center, together with my sharing that she had triggered me, but that she wasn’t the cause of how I felt, turned the situation around. The result was a constructive conversation in which we felt each other’s understanding for each person’s needs and the love that is between us.

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