In this section we will focus on the games of the selves and in the following section we will focus on the dramas of the selves. The distinction between the two is somewhat artificial because the selves often uses dramas to justify the games, and they use games to create dramas. For many people the two are intertwined in a tangled web. The reason for making the distinction is to describe two levels of how you rise above the selves, namely the personal and the supra-personal level.
A game is directly related to you and what you do as an individual whereas a drama relates to what you do in relation to some greater – seemingly impersonal – consideration. We might say that a game is what people normally see as egotistical behavior, namely what revolves around your personal desires or needs.
A drama goes beyond your personal level and relates to a greater cause. A drama is something you pretend to do for others or even for God, yet it is simply a camouflaged offspring of the selves. A game is often obvious selfish behavior whereas a drama is selfish behavior camouflaged as unselfish behavior. A game is what you do in relation to other people who are also focused on themselves. A drama is what you do in relation to a greater cause, even to God or to other people who are also pretending that their selfish behavior serves an altruistic cause.
Let us make this less abstract through a concrete example. Throughout history and even today you can find many people who have taken great personal pride in being good warriors or soldiers. They enjoy having a weapon and the training and skills for how to use it better than others. They take pride in going into combat and being able to kill the enemy.
These are often the people who serve as soldiers or lower ranking officers in an army. They see themselves as being soldiers who do not make the decision to go to war and do not necessarily need a justification for doing so. They will fight any enemy that their leaders command them to fight because they enjoy the fighting.
You will also see that throughout history there have been an elite of people who rarely go to war themselves but who either make the decision to go to war or who command the soldiers from relative safety behind the front lines. There are cases where leaders have decided to go to war out of purely personal motives. As an example, consider the many times where groups of people or even armies have attacked others purely for plunder. Examples are the Vikings and the Huns who had no motive other than enriching themselves.
Beyond this you will see that in many cases nations have gone to war with what they saw as a higher motive or justification. An example is the Crusades where many people who enjoyed being warriors found a justification for ignoring their religious teachings about not killing under the pretense of liberating Jerusalem for the only true faith. The Muslims who fought the crusaders likewise felt justified in killing in the name of their God.
There are those who are warriors and who take pride in being better in combat than others. They kill, but they need no particular justification for doing so. They do not necessarily enjoy killing, but they have accepted it as part of being a warrior and they often barely reflect upon it. This is a game. These people are clearly focused on themselves and doing what they want to do. They are not actually reflecting on whether killing is right or wrong. If you are a warrior, you kill your opponents as a lion kills its prey.
Then there are those who see themselves as leaders who are serving some greater cause. These people rarely if ever do the actual killing, and the main reason is that they have actually come to the realization that killing is not right. In many cases such leaders would find it very difficult to directly kill another human being, yet these same leaders find it relatively easy to make decisions that result in the killing of millions of people.
How can you explain that a person can know that personally killing others is wrong but can still justify decisions that lead to the killing of millions of people? It is because these people have risen above the games of the selves but are now trapped in the dramas. They have used some philosophy to define that killing certain groups of people is necessary for a greater cause.
The first group of people are in a sense honest and simply do what they want to do. The second group are dishonest because they pretend that what they do is not something they want to do but something they are doing for a greater cause—or because circumstances are forcing them to do so.
In reality, those trapped in the dramas are still doing what they want to do, but they need a justification that this is not ego-based behavior but is sanctioned by a greater authority, such as fate, necessity or God. This is why Jesus called the Jewish religious leaders hypocrites and accused them of putting burdens upon the people that they were not willing to bear.
The levels of spiritual growth
The importance of the distinction becomes clear when you consider that the spiritual path has levels. In a previous section we discussed the fact that it is possible for a human being to be at 144 different levels of consciousness. The spiritual path can be described as a process where you rise towards the 144th level until you are ready to leave the earth behind permanently and ascend.
There are three main levels of the spiritual path, namely from the first to the 48th level, from the 48th to the 96th level and from the 96th to the 144th level. A new lifestream will take embodiment on earth at the 48th level and this lifestream has not yet created any selves. In an ideal scenario, it is possible for a lifestream to maintain its contact with its spiritual teacher and work its way up towards the 144th level without ever going into the consciousness of separation and duality. The earth is not an ideal scenario so all people currently in embodiment did at some point create dualistic selves.
There are two main reasons for creating selves and they relate to the two main purposes for which the conscious self was sent into embodiment:
- The higher self wanted to experience the material world from the inside.
- The higher self wanted to help co-create the world from the inside.
When a lifestream is climbing from the 48th to the 96th level it is going through the seven spiritual types of energies, learning to use its co-creative powers through the qualities of each ray. There is a temptation related to each level, namely that you can decide that you want the experience of using your co-creative abilities as a separate being.
For example, the first ray is the ray of power and some lifestreams decide that they want the experience of being able to express personal power. This might cause them to create selves that make them see themselves as warriors who have the ultimate power to defeat an opponent in hand-to-hand combat.
Others might take the initiations of the second ray of wisdom and decide they want to experience what it is like to be smarter than others intellectually. The colleges and scientific institutions of the world are full of such lifestreams.
We might say that between the 48th and the 96th level you are raising yourself as an individual being, seeking to expand your individual abilities. Your temptation is to avoid going into the game of the selves and if you have done so, your task is to rise above these games.
When you rise above the 96th level, you start using your co-creative abilities for the good of others, even the All. This is when you must face the more subtle temptations represented by the desire to work for the good of the whole by forcing other individuals. This is what gives rise to the dramas, namely that you use some greater cause to justify what is truly ego-based behavior.
The dramas are far more subtle and difficult to expose than the games of the selves. However, we will leave the subtlety of the dramas for the following section and here we will focus on the games of the selves.
Quite frankly, many spiritual seekers have risen above the most primitive or obvious game of the selves. Yet do not let your selves talk you into believing that you can skip this teaching or ignore its points. A drama is often a disguised game of the selves, and until you have fully seen the games of the selves at the personal level, it can be virtually impossible to expose the fallacy of the corresponding drama.
Realizing that you have risen above the more primitive game of the selves should be a source of encouragement because you can realize that you can surely rise above the rest as well. Rising above the more obvious and primitive behaviors related to a game of the selves does not necessarily mean you have completely risen above it. As mentioned in the previous section, it is quite possible for the selves to use a spiritual teaching to camouflage themselves, meaning you can still be playing a game, only it is now camouflaged as spiritual behavior. For most spiritual people their selves would love to make them think they do not need to study this teaching or can ignore some of its points. This would be non-constructive for those who want to make true spiritual progress.
Where the games of the selves come from
A game of the selves is a set of outer behaviors and beliefs designed to keep you trapped in a pattern. The purpose of keeping you trapped is to ensure the fulfillment of the selves’ goals. As explained in the previous section, the selves are born from duality and duality always has two opposite polarities that seem like contradictions.
The selves are full of contradictions. The goals of the selves are also contradictory, which means they can never actually be fulfilled. Sooner or later the selves will have created such a mess in your outer circumstances and your mind that the conscious self will be forced to wake up and start taking back charge of your life. The selves will seek to delay this for as long as possible but for most lifestreams they cannot delay it forever.
What are some of the goals of the selves? The overall goal is that the selves realize that they exist but that they are mortal, meaning they have no permanent existence. The selves’ primary goal is to ensure their own survival, yet even this has an inescapable contradiction.
The selves know that they were created by the conscious self making a decision. The selves know that if the conscious self became conscious of the decision that created the selves, the conscious self could instantly undo that decision and the selves would begin to die. In one sense, the selves know that in order to survive, they must remain hidden to the conscious self. From this perspective, it would seem to be best for the selves to keep a low profile and seek to remain small and unnoticed.
The selves are born from duality, and in the duality consciousness anything seems possible. As explained in the previous section, the duality consciousness thinks it has the ability to define reality. The selves can never see that this is a fallacy, and the selves are firmly trapped in the illusion that if they could only do something spectacular enough, it could get God to accept them as worthy and they would be immortalized.
You now see the inescapable dilemma of the selves. On the one hand they must seek to remain unnoticed by the conscious self that created them. On the other hand, the selves want to set themselves up as being so important in this world that God simply has to acknowledge their value and immortalize them. Obviously, the more the selves seek to make themselvers noticeable in the world, the easier it becomes for the conscious self to see the selves—if the conscious self is looking and knows what to look for.
We can say that the games of the selves are designed to keep the conscious self trapped in a certain pattern. You are so focused on individual trees that you never have the awareness to step back and look at the forest—meaning the selves. Dramas are designed to give the selves such a status in the material world that God will let them into the spiritual world and immortalize them.
Understanding what games of the selves do for you
In the previous section we saw that the material universe can be compared to an experience machine that is designed to give the conscious self any experience it wants until it has had enough of it and wants more. With this in mind, a game is not simply something the selves have created in order to keep the conscious self trapped. A game can also have the function of giving the conscious self the experience that it decided it wanted—the experience you can have only as a separate being.
Take the previous example of people who take pride in being good warriors. You cannot have that experience through the Christ consciousness where you see yourself as part of a whole. You can have it only through the consciousness of separation where you can believe in the illusion that you are separated from the whole and can harm others without affecting yourself. You can believe that if you are a warrior and kill other people without being hurt, then your killing has no further consequences for yourself.
A game originally had the function of giving you an experience that you wanted. Once you have stepped into the perception filter defined by the game, it colors the way you see life. The selves will now seek to use the game to keep you trapped in that pattern indefinitely. In doing so, the selves might be able to use even a spiritual teaching.
In the East, there are many lifestreams who in the past have risen above the more primitive version of wanting to be a warrior who kills with weapons. They still have a desire to be warriors who fight others, perhaps in non-lethal combat. That is why the East has seen the emergence of several systems that merge spiritual teachings with a form of combat, sometimes non-lethal combat.
Some people have started to rise above the need to experience the lowest aspects of being a warrior, but they have not fully risen above it. Their selves have created different versions of the warrior game where you see yourself as a spiritual warrior. The selves can even create games where people see themselves as warriors who are not fighting other people but fighting non-physical forces. Such games can actually be helpful to a lifestream’s spiritual growth, but there will come a point where you will be free only by completely leaving behind the game and the experience it facilitates. Those who are open to this teaching should consider that they are either at that point or close to it.
Take note of how this relates to the previous discussion about LIFE decisions. Some games define who you are, for example that you are a warrior. Once you step into that perception filter, it seems as if the conscious self does not need to make LIFE decisions related to its identity. After all, you see yourself as a warrior and the selves will never question the validity of this identity. It seems like you could not be anything else and that there is no reason to question that you do what a warrior does.
Of course, being a warrior means struggling against other warriors, and over many lifetimes you might have had enough of this struggle. Many lifestreams have indeed made the LIFE decision that they no longer see themselves as warriors. Others can become stuck in the pattern, thinking they are forced to be warriors because other people attack them or oppose their ultimate cause. They have to keep fighting until the cause is fulfilled, and this is the essence of the dramas.