Play and Participation

Picture by Paul D'Amato
Picture by Paul D’Amato

When you’re regarded as tourist by locals, someone who provides them with an income, you’ve certainly become an object[i]. It establishes the rules of conduct. You have to turn a person into an object before you can use them as an instrument that you can play to your own profit, and that person’s loss. That gives us a measure for this behavior. Inasmuch as you can make an object of anyone or even anything, and thereby severe the connection with it/him/her by separating yourself from it as a subject, in that measure you can use others and turn them into your instrument.

As it is with horses: if you turn your horse into an object, an animal-object you know that you need to force it to do your will, and you’ll need a bit and maybe spurs. If, on the other hand, you simply participate in the man-horse relationship where both you are equal, be it with different capacities, than you can play – in peace and clarity.

Participatory reality is situated far, far away from the subject/object world. It is a reality full of play following a basic pattern mentioned earlier: receive > transform > give. And every being in this reality is involved and engaged, and the closer they are to humanimals the more ways to play they find. Many interspecies’ games on YouTube recently: Dogs and birds, cats and mice, dogs and cats playing with each other having fun, clearly.

Play requires participation. To stand aloof, to remark and comment on the game from the outside, on players and their moves as a spectator may be tolerated or celebrated by the players of competitive games played in front of crowds of paying guests, but really it is cowardly behavior. It turns games and players into objects and makes it very easy to celebrate using, abusing them with comments that know it all better, and suggestions whose only purpose is to show off your knowledge. But in the games of life all of this is without any merit. These games have no outside; no one can escape participation. Those that refuse to play are nevertheless fulfilling their roles as irritators or obstructers. Even those that do not appear to make a move serve life’s games, as orientation mark in a continual flow.

The real joyful moves are made by those participators that play with real abandon; those that dare to risk themselves and/or their safety and lose themselves in the game. These players are a surprise and will be in wonder, maybe by something really new, maybe by inspiration, maybe by a rattling insight, or maybe they fall in love, find best friends or simply celebrate the unknown.

There is an art to relaxing into the games of life, to trust the game and your own capacity to stay afloat if needed. There is a deep joy to loosening up the self-position without awareness subsiding, the self transforming from witness to withness. What first positioned itself outside and above all matter, as witness to it all, now becomes a participator, someone with a lot of capacity for withness…

[i] And as a man you may finally understand what it feels like to be a pretty woman anywhere on the planet

Enlightening the Passions – Day 26 (Presence of the Past)

The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and their destination. — John Schaar

1964-7There is a healing quality to bitter tears. When we’re moved into the depths of our despair there is a space for the traumas of the past to surface. One of these has surfaced yesterday.

Like every child under a certain age experiences the parents break up; I felt when my parents did separate that it was all my fault. My parents behavior towards me didn’t convince me otherwise. You could say they left me to believe there was something utterly wrong with me. Parents have to go out of their way to make a child accept his or her innocence. Mine didn’t.

Doing a lot of Hellinger-type family constellations I learned that children will often want to prove that their parents were right. From my present perspective I see that I proved my parents to be right by recreating difficulties, or by enacting what I think I inherted from my father, who in turn inherted it from his father – and who knows how many more generations.
When situations became too emotional he either turned cynic, sarcastic, aggressive or he withdrew in an inpenetrable castle of arrogance. There is a lot to my dealings with highly emotional situations that I seem to have inherited.

Coming from another perspective one can say that my father, by leaving, was the “doer” in my parents divorce, and that out of misinterpreting the reasons for that divorce I started to manifest behaviour in line with the larger pattern of the masculine family line.
But whichever way I have come into following a destructive tendency at important junctions of my life not only I but others as well have reaped the consequences. I needed to go to deep despair to come to realize this. I am not guilty of my behavior, nevertheless the consequences are here, and I accept needing to respond with the expanded life I now live.

jurgen-mai-19581Accepting this freely and willingly is obviously the most “reasonable” thing to do. Having come to be the way I am now, through now almost 55 years of intense living and experiencing a character has formed. Denying and avoiding feelings, repeating the ancient stories from my family album doesn’t seem like what I’d want to be doing.

By the grace of the experiment so far, which is turning into a practise, �both an understanding and an expansion into what I call feeling-field have occured. This is far from stable and it needs continual care so I can establish a new type of relating. Being feelingly open and at the same time authentic. Part of that is being open to the consequencesof all of my behavior and manifestation, knowing that I’m not guilty but responsible.

This enables me in a more compassionate and maybe also powerful way to participate in life more fully; regaining trust based on deeper and more naked realities about myself and others. Participation, trust and surrender, as much as clarity, penetration and courage have been the qualities that have carried me through an eternity these last weeks – for as much as I have been destructive, a nuisance to myself and others, for as painful and horrible all of this has been, the qualities I mention above are probably those that played a role in getting me this far; the alchemical essences that started a transformation on a level I have no control over, whatsoever.

And having told so much about myself you might ask, “But what about those people around you? What about your partner?” I can only express my deepest gratitude for when it really, really mattered she and my friends have given me the support I needed to be able to come this far.
And I want to thank those who’ve commented showing their own heart and soul. This is the world I want to live in. To see and be seen on that level is wonderful, it nourishes the soul.


Starting up the experiment
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4 (Powerlessness)
Day 5
Day 6 (Jealousy)
Day 7 (Guilt & Jealousy)
Day 8
Day 9 (Shame)
Day 10 (Interlude)
Day 11 (Under Pressure)
Day 12
Day 13 (Clear Delight)

Day 14
Day 15 & 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19 (Dark Waves)
Day 20 (Time Out)
Day 21 (Splash)
Day 22 (Understanding)
Day 23 (Fear & Imagination)
Day 24 (Vulnerable)
Day 25
Day 26 (The Presence of The Past)
Ending the Experiment – Day 27 (Intentional Vulnerability)

Learning to Fly

A most beautiful video with fantastic music by Sigur Rós (and it’s even HD; so if you have enough bandwidth you’ll find it at my video Inner Space Station…)

Learn To Fly from Christian Letruria on Vimeo.