By Cathy Eck
Great Lessons in Simple Events
A few days ago, I faced a simple but meaningful challenge. Returning to my condo, I noticed two Jehovah Witnesses reading the Bible to my neighbor. They saw me, and I could almost hear them say, “There’s our next target.”
I went into my condo and started to think about what I might do with these two young men. Certainly anything out of my mouth would rock their world. But I really wanted to avoid their manipulation.
I actually have no problem with religion as part of the illusion. I have a problem with people calling it the truth. Everyone has the right to choose as much or as little religion, politics, and education as they want. Sadly, without the ability to let go; these choices have always been permanent. Once programmed, you couldn’t escape the false self’s grip.
I suspect the idea of selling religion with manipulation came from the notion that there’s power in numbers, which is the reality in the false world. If you want your religion to be the One, you need followers.
I could hear the young men reading verse after verse. So I thought, “What do I know about them?” Ah, I know they are highly obedient. So I put a sign on my door, “Do not disturb.” They came up to the door and obediently walked away. Problem solved, and conflict avoided.
The Art of Manipulation
There was more to let go because they did come to my door so I’m equally responsible. I recognize a little, “Oh shit” pass through my mind as I saw my neighbor’s eyes meet mine in a plea for help. I could have let that go, and yet it never occurred to me. My True Self backed away because I needed to see the deeper issue.
I followed my feelings back to my former marriage. My husband had rigid views of life that didn’t work for me. He couldn’t see that his views were beliefs because they sounded true in his mind.
I realized that early in our marriage, he became as transparent to me as the Jehovah Witness boys; and I could have used manipulation to control him. But I never did. I had the winning card, but chose not to play it. Manipulation requires grabbing the masculine role, and giving the opponent a taste of the feminine. I’d watched other women do that. When they didn’t manipulate, they got bitchy. Those were the two options available in my memory; and I avoided both to the point of exhaustion.
Fighting Back or Manipulation
When the Jehovah Witnesses presented me with these familiar options, I could see clearly what I could not see earlier in life. I was always trying to please my husband’s false mind and not rock his world. But that meant I had to honor his beliefs, and honoring his beliefs degraded my life experience.
His beliefs worked fine in the illusion, because he didn’t acknowledge that his mind had power (his True Self was buried in beliefs); but I know my thoughts count. If I listen to beliefs and act like I believe them, my body will be screaming with emotion for weeks. If you step into the illusion, you need to have your game face on.
The Manipulation Game
The illusion was devised as a game. Granted the rules were top-heavy, but it was still invented using gaming strategy. If these young men were at my door, then I had the right to use my best gaming strategy, and I did without realizing it. Likewise, my husband’s moral code and nice guy personality was simply his gaming strategy, and he fully deserved to be manipulated or bitched at.
I played games in business like a pro, but I didn’t want to game full-time. I truly desired real love. I knew deep in my heart that you don’t play games with those you love except for mutual entertainment. I wanted my home to be a place where my True Self felt welcome, where unconditional love was the norm. I didn’t want to live in a boxing ring playing match after match. Gaming is fine, but it isn’t love. The illusion is fine as long as you don’t confuse it with the truth.
This Old MAN
In order to gain a power advantage, ancient leaders would take a game and relabel it something else. This is now considered normal, and people don’t even notice. Sex, romance, and caretaking are all relabeled love; when they aren’t. They are sex, romance, and caretaking. Religions are relabeled spiritual, but spirituality is void of beliefs and religion is ripe with them. Slavery for the MAN is relabeled virtuous hard work. Killing for the MAN is relabeled patriotism and heroism.
We will never beat another at their own game if we think they are spiritual or loving or virtuous heroes. We’ll submit effortlessly. But if we take off the blinders and see that they’re asking us to play their game, we can play to win or deny the request. We won’t feel guilt or shame for beating their asses. Gaming is only fun when everyone has the same rules.
My Jehovah Witness experience was simple, harmless, and packed with insight. In the true world, there are no games. Living in this world requires us to undo our level confusion. We can’t confuse the true world with the false one because the rules are 180 degrees apart. If we keep them separate and know where we are in any moment, we can allow both worlds to coexist while keeping ourself safe and sane. When we dip into the illusion, it’s time to play to win. When we finish, we need to shake off the illusion and relax in peace and love.
“The Good Shadow of Bad Pirates” was one of my most popular talks on the cruise ships, but maybe that was because Johnny Depp is so damn cute.
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