Ah ha, I got you now

Jun 16, 2010 by

Ah ha, I got you now

Or do you have me? I play this game all the time with my son. We wrestle and roll doing Jiu Jitsu and he’ll get me in a hold and say “Ha, I got you” and then a moment later “uh oh, or do you have me.” And in the daily chess game of human relationships, who has who is almost impossible to tell.

So if it’s so hard to tell who is holding-on to whom, who controls whom, who seduced whom, why do we struggle so hard to come up with a final answer? Maybe it’s our ego looking for acknowledgment of dominance. Maybe it’s our ego looking for acknowledgment of power … Maybe it’s our ego …

I’ve said that I can’t hold on to something that doesn’t want to be held on to: a job, a client, a personal relationship, a situation. So maybe the object of our attention has the real power, and not the pursuer. That’s a tough one to swallow.

There’s an interesting book called “Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility” that really pushes on this concept. It talks about finite games as being a single pursuit (the hunt for A job, the chase of A romance, the tactics of A sale) but it very clearly states that the pursued is complicit in the game. In fact it goes so far as to discuss things in which we think there is no choice (ie. slavery) and to make the statement that the pursued (the slave) actually has the power (ie. the person being enslaved can always figtht). It’s a tough one to wrap your head around. But at some level if your being pursued, you have to surrender and be caught. So the pursuer has absolutely no power. Now that’s unintuitive.

So here’s my question: “What are you chasing, or what is chasing you, and what would it take to surrender … on either side of the chase?” What would the world look like if we stopped playing finite games (the world of one single game) and started playing infinite games (the world of many games). What would the world look like if you immediately surrendered, knowing that in the surrendering you gain all the power. Think about it the next time you play a game, a chase and … stop running

See you on the wire

— Steven Cardinale

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