Why do I believe Life is a game?

So many people have asked me, over the last couple of months, what this book of mine (Life: A Player’s Guide) is all about.
“Is it fiction?” they ask hopefully.
When I tell them it isn’t – that it’s stuff I really believe – they often look a bit confused.
“But you don’t actually, er, believe that life is a game, do you?”
I nod. “Yup. I do, actually. It’s the only way it makes sense to me. Why else would we put ourselves through all this?”
Their confusion grows.
“How exactly do you reckon that works then?”

Telling them they’d need to read the book seems a bit of a cop-out, but it isn’t easy to explain my whole philosophy of life in a couple of sentences. I’ve tried. People tend to glaze over or back away hastily.

That’s what led me to create the ‘mini ebook’. It’s only a few pages long and lets anyone who is vaguely interested dip their toes in the water of the whole Janonlife idea. After reading it, if they want to know more, there’s always Life: A Player’s Guide

The mini ebook is available on Amazon Kindle for $0.99 or equivalent (about 77p in UK) It’s called Life Is A Game: You Created It by Jan Stone. Alternatively, there’s a link to the free PDF version on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/janstoneauthor.

Maybe a few of my friends will be slightly less confused now.
The mini ebook might even help some of my blog readers to understand some of the ideas I mention in my posts.

Incredible Hulks

Everything has its shadow side. That much is obvious. After all, we are participating in a game based around polarities.

It helps to think of it like a set of balance scales. Some of our experiences just wobble slightly either side of centre, but the huge ones have an equal and opposite reaction.

Today I’m thinking again about those special young people I talk about so much – the ones who are labelled indigo and crystal on one side of the scales; mentally ill and disordered on the other. I call them the Version 2.0 kids. You’d need to read Life: A Player’s Guide to understand why.

These people are NEVER in balance. They swing from one polarity to the other. Those of us privileged and challenged to be close to them witness the astounding wisdom, insight and light they are bringing to the world. We also witness the fury, frustration and terrifying outbursts of aggression and violence. They are two sides of the same coin.

At the time of writing, the world has just witnessed a particularly extreme example of the latter. Most of us may try, and fail, to comprehend what was going through the mind of young Adam, as he gunned down little children and their teachers. I’d hazard a guess that most of our Version 2.0 young people can understand.

At the weekend I ‘happened’ (no such thing as coincidence) to meet two people who had young adult sons on the autistic spectrum. Both described how their boys spend most of their lives holed up indoors, needing support and supervision and prey to massive swings from being brilliant, eloquent and enlightening to being abusive, angry and out of control. There are countless other families sharing this experience in silent desperation and praying that their kid doesn’t become the next mass killer.

As I’ve explained in other posts, these young people are stress-testing LIFE. They (and, of course, those of us who are close to them) are seeing how life plays out if there are no limits to the levels of enlightenment and ‘endarkenment’ that can be reached. Each of them is an incredible hulk, shutting themselves away for our protection until they can find a way to move beyond polarity and into unity.

When is a prank call a wake-up call?

The 14-year-old boy was trying to put his vision of December 2012 into words for me. He was clearly shaken by what he was seeing and as confused as anyone looking into the future might expect to be. He didn’t make a habit of this, but he was one of those special, Version 2.0 kids and sometimes he just ‘saw’ things. I was used to him picking up a book I’d been reading, for example, and without glancing beyond the cover, summarising the information it contained. This was a bit different, though.

“How can you possibly see the future?” I was asking. “Surely it’s only potential as yet.”
“Oh yes,” he agreed, readily. “There are infinite possibilities… It’s just that they all seem to lead to this one point.”

So for the last seven years (the conversation happened in 2005) I’ve been watching with interest as one after another of his predictions has come true.

“It will all start with finance,” was his opening line. He explained as best he could that the financial world would go through a drastic and sudden change. He saw a deep polarity between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ developing and said it would have an effect on everyone. We would all have to re-think our relationship with the financial world.

In 2008 I texted him. “U predicted this.”
“Yep,” he replied.

The financial crisis, which still rumbles on, was the first of these events – the ones that take accepted aspects of our daily life and shake them to the core, until we wake up to what’s going on and decide to make some drastic changes.

Here in the UK, we’ve followed up with the MP’s expenses issue, the media intrusion debate and the maelstrom unleashed over allegations about a deceased DJ’s sexual behaviour. Other countries have had their own political, financial and social awakenings – the so-called Arab Spring being the most wide-ranging and important. Quite suddenly, shabby, unpleasant but long-tolerated practices cease to be acceptable. Dirty linen is hauled up for public inspection and washed very thoroughly.

The changes are happening at a personal level, too.
“It will be a bit like Noah’s Ark,” the boy told me. “Not the same as that, but something like it.”

Watching pictures of people’s homes, cars and livelihoods being washed away by the extreme floods this year has witnessed in many parts of the world, I can see what he meant.

The Chinese glyph for ‘crisis’ is, I learned recently, a mixture of two others – ‘disaster’ and ‘opportunity’.

The loss of life, given the huge amount of devastation, has been relatively small, but the changes at neighbourhood, family and individual levels have been massive.

Based on what my prophetic young friend told me, I’d suggest that this World Shift – the much-heralded 2012 End of Age – is not about mass destruction so much as mass transformation.

What if you’d always indulged in some rather dodgy work practices because everyone around you did, and then found yourself at the heart of a massive scandal? A disaster for you, but an opportunity to become more authentic in future. What if you’d dreamed of giving up your job and ‘following your bliss’ but been held back by knowing you had to keep up the payments on the car and the house? Suddenly they’re both washed away in a flood. Where does that leave you?
With both a disaster and an opportunity.

So, then, what if making prank calls to innocent victims had been a seedy but accepted part of your professional life? No one could doubt, after watching the interview, the depth of horror, remorse and pain those people in Australia are experiencing, or the deep changes the recent tragic event will make to their lives. Perhaps, though, they – and others engaged in similar forms of ‘entertainment’ – are being given an opportunity to make some core changes.

Our individual and collective wake-up calls to live a more honest, authentic and transparent life, free of subterfuge, sleaze and unkindness began with a tap on the shoulder. If we ignored that, the taps became more insistent… and if we reach the end of this Great Age without heeding that call, surely we can expect the kind of sledgehammer blow we are seeing around us.

Why is my life so rubbish?

About five years ago, a ten year old child in my class wrote me a letter.

‘Why is my life so rubbish?’ it asked.  The writer went on to assure me this was a serious question, to which she really wanted an answer, because she needed to understand.

Let me say for a start that she wasn’t exaggerating.  By most people’s standards, that little girl did have some hugely challenging issues in her life and they kept coming, thick and fast.  I understood, sympathised and promised I’d get back to her as soon as I’d discovered the answer.

I’m still not sure where the answer came from, when it arrived.  All I know is that I took some quiet time to sit down and wait for it, trusting completely that it would come to me, and in a form that a child could understand.  My muse just works like that.

Those of you who have read Life: A Player’s Guide will recognise this explanation as the analogy at the beginning of Part 2.  For those who haven’t, it goes something like this:

Imagine that you were spending a whole day at a theme park.  You could go on as many rides as you liked.  As you entered the park, you noticed a kiddie roundabout playing jingly music and revolving very slowly and safely.  Further on, there were all manner of white-knuckle rides, promising to throw you around, drop you from great heights, scare you witless, soak you to the skin and turn you upside down at considerable speed.

I asked the little girl what she would choose to do.

Her eyes shone.  “I’d want to try out all the scariest rides I could find!” she exclaimed.

“Not the kiddie roundabout, then?”

Her lip curled derisively.  “Wouldn’t bother with that!”

Next I asked her to imagine how her greater self had felt when planning her present lifetime – before she was born.  For that Self, I explained, the game of life is like a trip to the theme park.  Would it choose a lifetime of simply chugging around the kiddie roundabout in a safe, unthreatening existence, or would it be looking for all the wildest, most uncomfortable rides – ones that would test it to the limits, leave it shaking and trembling, allowing it to experience the ultimate in thrills and gain all manner of new experiences?

She nodded, slowly, understanding why some multi-dimensional part of herself had elected to expose her to all those white-knuckle experiences.  They don’t feel too great while we’re in the middle of them, but ultimately, we’re going to stagger away, feeling sick and dizzy, perhaps, but incredibly proud of ourselves for getting through it.

It really does get easier if we can remember that life’s a game.