The Game of God

The Game of God

Postby KathleenBrugger » Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:51 pm

My husband and I originally published The Game of God in 1993. Basically its a model of the universe as a game that God is playing—a universe-class roller coaster that provides God every shade of experience possible from a quark to a creature capable of interstellar travel—for the inexpressible joy of being alive. In order to have those experiences, God must forget that It is God. In its original print form it had a cartoon on every left-hand page with sparse text on the right (total of 142 cartoons). We got some nice plugs for the book in the 90s. Tim Allen listed it in the recommended reading section of his book I'm Not Really Here, writing, "If you really have your s*** together, read The Game of God.” Mr. Allen then sent a book to Oprah, and one time when he was on her show they discussed the book briefly and Oprah called it, “A great book about God.”

We've just finished revising the book, updating some of the ideas to our current way of thinking, as well as putting it into ebook formats.

Here's some more about the book, a promo blurb from one of the book's sales websites:

A God for the Twenty-first Century. Does life have any meaning or purpose? Does God exist? How can you reconcile a loving God with cruelty and suffering? This book makes the radical claim that the universe is literally a game of God. One purpose of the universe is for God to enjoy the vast array of experiences that God, as an unlimited being, cannot experience: life and death, joy and pain, beginning and end, fear and hate, happiness and sorrow. In order to have a realistic experience of limitation, God must forget that She-He-It is God. The universe is a game in which God forgets His-Her-Its identity and in the process of playing remembers who She-He-It is. We are not separate creatures who are victims of existence. We are expressions of God experiencing limitation and overcoming it. We are God in disguise. Human suffering comes from the erroneous belief that who we really are is our personality, or ego-identity. Our lives are a constant battle for the survival of a mistaken identity; we spend most of our time either flighting from reality or fighting it. Love and transcendence lie in the cessation of survival behavior, in the acceptance of reality (what is). Love is the experience of unconditional acceptance of what is. With a cartoon on every page illustrating the text, these ideas are presented in a light and humorous manner.

If you're interested in reading more, check out our website, http://www.gameofgod.com, where you can read the intro and first chapter (complete with cartoons!). If you'd like a coupon for a free ebook copy, send me a pm and I'll give you the link and code to use. It is also available in print from Amazon (link on website).
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Re: The Game of God

Postby Webwanderer » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:54 pm

I like the promo description. The only thing that gives me pause is the suggestion that it is a game. Maybe, but I lean toward the perspective of Life in the universe(s) being an exploration of experience, and a gift of relationship.

It's just as likely I'm splitting hairs and the 'game' tag is better at enticing more readers. Good luck with the new release.

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Re: The Game of God

Postby KathleenBrugger » Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:57 am

Webwanderer wrote:I like the promo description. The only thing that gives me pause is the suggestion that it is a game. Maybe, but I lean toward the perspective of Life in the universe(s) being an exploration of experience, and a gift of relationship.

It's just as likely I'm splitting hairs and the 'game' tag is better at enticing more readers. Good luck with the new release.

WW

Thanks WW. We definitely went with "game" for its reader-appeal. :D But our theory is really all about experience and relationship. The universe is a way for the unlimited One to experience all the varieties of limited experience possible, and also a way to experience relationship. When you're One it's kind of hard to have relationship, since relationship requires at least 2!

The main change we made in our rewrite was removing the concept of creation, and replacing it with Self-awareness. Iow, instead of suggesting that God created the universe, we say, maybe the universe is the mirror for God; the universe is the self-awareness of God. In order to have a sense of self there must be the possibility of an objective perspective back towards your self. The One as the One has no ability to get that objective perspective. The universe is an aspect of God that provides that perspective.

We say there are 3 purposes of the universe, and they are all about experience:

1. For the unlimited to experience limitation. This is the unconscious universe unfolding.
2. For the limited to experience the unlimited. This is the experience of awakening to your true identity.
3. For the unlimited to experience the unlimited. This is the self-awareness of God.
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Re: The Game of God

Postby Webwanderer » Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:12 pm

KathleenBrugger wrote:Iow, instead of suggesting that God created the universe, we say, maybe the universe is the mirror for God; the universe is the self-awareness of God. In order to have a sense of self there must be the possibility of an objective perspective back towards your self. The One as the One has no ability to get that objective perspective. The universe is an aspect of God that provides that perspective.

As Jen would say, "Yum". I like this a lot. It goes quite well with my mantra over the last few years of each 'one' of us being a unique perspective within the One Being, creating infinite perspectives available to the infinite perspectives in and as the All. Has a nice feel to it.

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Re: The Game of God

Postby karmarider » Sat Dec 13, 2014 6:09 pm

Kathleen--it sounds like a great book.

It seems that the paradigm you're proposing in the book is the paradigm many of us come to see through awakening. This is how I see it--that we are non-physical beings (or being or God or consciousness or intelligence) who is experiencing itself through the physical universe. This is amusement park we have created to experience what we are as an experience and in relation to what we are not, and thus the duality of love and fear, sorrow and joy, pain and pleasure. If you exist now, you have always existed and you will always exist. Time and space are our creation.

I see it this way--though it is hard for me to separate whether this is a knowing or a belief. This is not something I can prove or articulate as an argument; and yet, I know it. In any case, whatever it is, it's a pretty good paradigm to live by.

Good luck with the book!
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Re: The Game of God

Postby KathleenBrugger » Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:31 pm

karmarider wrote:Kathleen--it sounds like a great book.

It seems that the paradigm you're proposing in the book is the paradigm many of us come to see through awakening. This is how I see it--that we are non-physical beings (or being or God or consciousness or intelligence) who is experiencing itself through the physical universe. This is amusement park we have created to experience what we are as an experience and in relation to what we are not, and thus the duality of love and fear, sorrow and joy, pain and pleasure. If you exist now, you have always existed and you will always exist. Time and space are our creation.

I see it this way--though it is hard for me to separate whether this is a knowing or a belief. This is not something I can prove or articulate as an argument; and yet, I know it. In any case, whatever it is, it's a pretty good paradigm to live by.

Good luck with the book!

Thanks karmarider. Yes, this is something we can't prove, and for me it has been a meaningful model of the universe over the years. It has given me a lot of comfort and understanding. I wrote a synopsis for my teen-age niece recently, and I ended with this short list of "what it means to me":

1. Everything in the universe is AEOGIA, An Expression of God in Amnesia. (amnesia = God has to forget She-He-It is God while in the universe-game.) How does this impact my interaction with others, when i know they are aeogia?
2. You can’t mess up. The universe exists so God can experience every shade of limitation possible. Have you ever looked at a computer color wheel that gives you an almost infinite number of colors to choose from? God wants to live every shade of color, every possible variation of life. Your life, exactly as it is (and exactly as it isn’t) is the reason the universe exists.
3. There’s no way to lose. God’s playing the Game and God will win. You may hurt and suffer sometimes, but you can’t lose completely because you’re God.
4. People who don’t believe in God fear death because that means oblivion—the end of existence. I don’t believe there is an end, because there is only God.
5. It has also helped me with envy, because I understand that everyone has her or his part to play in the Game. We fantasize being the “girl who has it all” and think that would make us happy, but that’s impossible.
6. There is no reason to rush out of the Game--it's all about experience!
7. The Game exists for experience, and understanding this means you can love and appreciate all of life, not just the good times.
8. The more we recover our true identity (God-consciousness) the more we love.
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Re: The Game of God

Postby KathleenBrugger » Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:49 pm

Webwanderer wrote:
KathleenBrugger wrote:Iow, instead of suggesting that God created the universe, we say, maybe the universe is the mirror for God; the universe is the self-awareness of God. In order to have a sense of self there must be the possibility of an objective perspective back towards your self. The One as the One has no ability to get that objective perspective. The universe is an aspect of God that provides that perspective.

As Jen would say, "Yum". I like this a lot. It goes quite well with my mantra over the last few years of each 'one' of us being a unique perspective within the One Being, creating infinite perspectives available to the infinite perspectives in and as the All. Has a nice feel to it.

WW

:D

I was thinking some more about the use of "game" last night. It's easy to think of competitiveness and winners and losers when you hear the word "game." Another thing we did with this rewrite is address that; we included these dictionary definitions of game: An amusement or pastime (Dictionary.com); A physical or mental activity or contest that has rules and that people do for pleasure. (Merriam Webster Dictionary)

When you are asleep, or unconscious, and believe you are your ego-identity, it is hard to hear that all experience is equally valid. As you wake up, what you discover is that even the worst experiences are part of the whole, life couldn't exist without them. Then, and only then, can you laugh at it all. Enlightenment doesn't just mean light-as-opposed-to-dark, it also means light-as-opposed-to-heavy. We become light-hearted, see the perfection in everything, and can thus take pleasure in everything, can laugh at everything.

The thing to keep in mind is that even when you see it that way, the people around you don't. They're still asleep and suffering, and if you laugh or make light of their pain they won't understand it. In the Bible, when Jesus saw others suffering he wept with them. At that stage of enlightenment (not that I have any personal experience!) you can balance the paradox.
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Re: The Game of God

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:47 am

KB said: We become light-hearted, see the perfection in everything, and can thus take pleasure in everything, can laugh at everything.

The thing to keep in mind is that even when you see it that way, the people around you don't. They're still asleep and suffering, and if you laugh or make light of their pain they won't understand it. In the Bible, when Jesus saw others suffering he wept with them. At that stage of enlightenment (not that I have any personal experience!) you can balance the paradox.


I might tend to think of it more as our sorrow and our joy are two elements of the same thing, as Kahlil Gibran said in the Prophet, they are inseparable, what creates our experiences of sorrow are born in the experiences of joy, and vice versa. We do not grieve for that which has brought us pain, we grieve for that which has brought us joy (either in the experience or in the potential). We do not be joyous for that which has brought us no pain, we rejoice for that which has (either in the experience or the in the potential).

Hence laughing and crying in awareness is of the same 'energy' frequency - two expressions and experiences of the same thing - that of love, that of honesty. Not a paradox at all. (imho/awareness/experience).
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Re: The Game of God

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:09 am

:wink: I don't want to too quickly overshadow the 'angel-expression' above, with the 'devil expression' below - it just is - please forgive me KB - may I .... ask irky questions that may be felt as irreverent - I mean no disrespect - I'm just 'playing the game' :wink: .

I understand the 'game' notions, I'm wondering about the 'God' notions. Do you think of God in the way that Karmarider expressed ---
This is how I see it--that we are non-physical beings (or being or God or consciousness or intelligence) who is experiencing itself through the physical universe.


That there is no 'separate' entity God - just 'us' 'all' 'everything' being?

Did/do you get any flak from those who see it differently?

Karmarider - It's interesting for me to notice (joyfully -- with absolute awareness of the associated sorrows as above) the fluent way you embrace it all more seamlessly - I'm thinking of the resistance you used to have about 'God' being used in the title of Conversations with God - and how 'sweet' it is now that that is no longer there.

I was musing in another topic that the story of the 'fall from grace' has it all upside down, we humans were not 'kicked out' (of Eden) for doing any 'wrong' --- we were 'kicked out' so that we could (perceive it so).

And now I'm wondering if I'm really saying that the nature of 'all' is more aligned to a sociopath - in terms of no guilt/blame etc and that it's all a game.
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Re: The Game of God

Postby KathleenBrugger » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:47 pm

smiileyjen101 wrote::wink: I don't want to too quickly overshadow the 'angel-expression' above, with the 'devil expression' below - it just is - please forgive me KB - may I .... ask irky questions that may be felt as irreverent - I mean no disrespect - I'm just 'playing the game' :wink: .

I understand the 'game' notions, I'm wondering about the 'God' notions. Do you think of God in the way that Karmarider expressed ---
This is how I see it--that we are non-physical beings (or being or God or consciousness or intelligence) who is experiencing itself through the physical universe.

That there is no 'separate' entity God - just 'us' 'all' 'everything' being?

Did/do you get any flak from those who see it differently?

Karmarider - It's interesting for me to notice (joyfully -- with absolute awareness of the associated sorrows as above) the fluent way you embrace it all more seamlessly - I'm thinking of the resistance you used to have about 'God' being used in the title of Conversations with God - and how 'sweet' it is now that that is no longer there.

I was musing in another topic that the story of the 'fall from grace' has it all upside down, we humans were not 'kicked out' (of Eden) for doing any 'wrong' --- we were 'kicked out' so that we could (perceive it so).

And now I'm wondering if I'm really saying that the nature of 'all' is more aligned to a sociopath - in terms of no guilt/blame etc and that it's all a game.

No worries, Jen, I would have been surprised if no one had taken issue with what I've written here. It seems to me you're reading the idea of separation into the words I've written. God is a loaded word, it's been so misused, so it's not surprising that people hear "God" and think what's meant is some separate entity like the Christian God in the sky. God, as we use the word, is just another name for the All. God is the universe, and possibly more. I say possibly because I have no idea--when we're talking about things on this level I think it's a good idea to keep a little perspective and admit the profound limitations on our knowledge. There are lots of words for this concept, the One, Brahman, the Ground of Being. I just looked Brahman up in Wikipedia and it says this: "'the unchanging reality amidst and beyond the world' which 'cannot be exactly defined.' It has been described in Sanskrit as Sat-cit-ānanda (being-consciousness-bliss) and as the highest reality." That resonates with me, except I wouldn't say "amidst the world" because again that sounds like separation. In the book we describe God as "absolute reality." Whatever actually is, in its absolute totality, is God. And we say the entire universe is God in disguise. The subtitle is "recovering your true identity." The true identity of everything is God.

As to your mention of fall from Grace, Ken Wilber's seminal work (as far as I'm concerned) is called Up From Eden. There was no fall. No doing anything wrong. The allegory in Genesis is a beautiful way of telling the tale of the development of the human mind. Humans ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which means our thinking ability advanced past the animal level of tool-making to be symbolic and abstract. It is this ability that separates us from animals, the ability to see things that don't exist in the physical world, like right and wrong. But this wasn't a mistake, it was an inevitable part of the awakening process. If we couldn't think abstractly we'd never be able to escape the realm of flight-fight physicality.
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Re: The Game of God

Postby smiileyjen101 » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:00 am

:D Angel wings fluttering in the breeze Kathleen :D

It seems to me you're reading the idea of separation into the words I've written.

More I was asking to understand your 'premise' for the use of the word - you're right it is soooo loaded a word.

I like the 'Brahman' definition, even 'amidst the world' what is within is without, what is above is below - so I don't see a separation in it.

Thanks for sharing :D
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Re: The Game of God

Postby KathleenBrugger » Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:42 am

smiileyjen101 wrote::D Angel wings fluttering in the breeze Kathleen :D

It seems to me you're reading the idea of separation into the words I've written.

More I was asking to understand your 'premise' for the use of the word - you're right it is soooo loaded a word.

I like the 'Brahman' definition, even 'amidst the world' what is within is without, what is above is below - so I don't see a separation in it.

Thanks for sharing :D

Not sure what you mean by "premise" in this context.
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Re: The Game of God

Postby smiileyjen101 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:24 am

premise = what it means for you.... premise = 'base'
Asking to understand your perspective of what it means for you

like this ... from the movie A City of Angels
Seth: What's that like? What's it taste like? Describe it like Hemingway.
Maggie: Well, it tastes like a pear. You don't know what a pear tastes like?
Seth: I don't know what a pear tastes like to you.
Maggie: Sweet, juicy, soft on your tongue, grainy like a sugary sand that dissolves in your mouth. How's that?
Seth: It's perfect.


I was curious what the word God means ... to you.

(as gently as Seth would :D )
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Re: The Game of God

Postby KathleenBrugger » Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:18 pm

smiileyjen101 wrote:premise = what it means for you.... premise = 'base'
Asking to understand your perspective of what it means for you

like this ... from the movie A City of Angels
Seth: What's that like? What's it taste like? Describe it like Hemingway.
Maggie: Well, it tastes like a pear. You don't know what a pear tastes like?
Seth: I don't know what a pear tastes like to you.
Maggie: Sweet, juicy, soft on your tongue, grainy like a sugary sand that dissolves in your mouth. How's that?
Seth: It's perfect.

I was curious what the word God means ... to you.

(as gently as Seth would :D )

What's with all the angel wings and "gently"? What are you trying to say?

As to what God means to me: I've already listed some things above. I think of God in this way: "The Tao that can be named is not the Tao." God is undefinable, ineffable, beyond our capacity to comprehend. I do not subscribe in any way to a personal God that you can have relationship with; so I can't talk about some kind of relationship or feelings in the way the woman talked of the taste of a pear.

The premise of the theology espoused in the book is that there is nothing but God. God is all. So we can surmise some things about God by what we see around us--since all we see is God in disguise. The principal things I see are love and consciousness. The more a person becomes aware of their true identity, the more they love, and the more conscious they are. So if I had to ascribe attributes to God, they would be love and consciousness.

And this actually brings me back to something you wrote earlier:
Jen wrote: And now I'm wondering if I'm really saying that the nature of 'all' is more aligned to a sociopath - in terms of no guilt/blame etc and that it's all a game.

A sociopath is diametrically opposite to the experience of love. Sociopath is defined as "a person whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience."

This is an absurd description of someone who has attained the spiritual perspective of detachment, and to attribute it to the "all" is quite a statement. Because in order to get to the place of understanding the universe as beyond good and bad, you must have also opened the door to love. They are absolutely connected. If you aren't experiencing love for everyone and everything as a component of your detachment, then you are not seeing the way it is clearly. You are still confused.
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Re: The Game of God

Postby smiileyjen101 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:05 am

What's with all the angel wings and "gently"? What are you trying to say?

My curiosity that fed the questions was light in intention. When you explained your definition of God it was enough for me to put that understanding into the 'word' in the 'title', no nefarious intentions Kathleen. Once done my curiosity wandered away.

For me this is preferable, and more respectful than assume the word means the same to you as it does to me, or to others who use the same word with many varied interpretations.


The point from the quote of the movie was not (per se) the character Maggie's experience of the pear, as Seth's respectful curiosity. The word God means things to many people, I was lightly curious as to what it means in terms of the title The Game of God - to you.

The 'thought' I had about sociopathy
- for me sociopathy is a biological limitation that has chemical and sometimes behavioural consequences flowing from it - a person unable to process oxytocin does not experience love as you describe - not through unenlightenment or unwillingness but through sheer biological incapacity. No different to a blind person being biologically unable to see, or a deaf person being unable to hear, or a person with the inability to process or uptake insulin being unable to regulate sugars in their body.

The reference to God was a 'light' musing thought ran as a consequence of the sentence above it --- that is
I was musing in another topic that the story of the 'fall from grace' has it all upside down, we humans were not 'kicked out' (of Eden) for doing any 'wrong' --- we were 'kicked out' so that we could (perceive it so).

And now I'm wondering if I'm really saying that the nature of 'all' is more aligned to a sociopath - in terms of no guilt/blame etc and that it's all a game.


If 'God' is forgetting
as you said in this description -
Basically its a model of the universe as a game that God is playing—a universe-class roller coaster that provides God every shade of experience possible from a quark to a creature capable of interstellar travel—for the inexpressible joy of being alive. In order to have those experiences, God must forget that It is God.


It stands to reason that the experiences of a sociopath (or any 'thing') is just a 'shade' of experience. By the biological definition then the potential to have/know/experience no love (no oxytocin uptake) is no different to any other.

Why then 'absurd'? - it stands to reason that there could be no rules in the Game that exclude this from being a shade of experience.

I look to this pointer -

2. You can’t mess up. The universe exists so God can experience every shade of limitation possible.


What you're interpreting as 'absurd', I merely see biological cause and effect.

Re:
Kathleen said:
No worries, Jen, I would have been surprised if no one had taken issue with what I've written here.

I didn't actually 'take issue' - I was lightly curious.
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