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Total Immersion in Games

– There is one more type of game that has captivated hundreds of millions of people: gambling games, such as casinos and cards. Their popularity is constantly growing. Why? And what is dangerous about these games? In your school of integral, global upbringing, is there a place for venturesome games? And if not, why?

– Competition is a good thing. It doesn’t matter with what or with whom you are competing—a roulette wheel, a slot machine, or other people. In any case, you enter a contest. That is, you wish to rise above a certain circumstance, phenomenon, or incident. You want to ascend and affirm yourself.

It’s very interesting to observe people who play. I spent an entire week in Las Vegas observing my wife, who went crazy over the games. At home she is a regular, normal grandmother. But when she found herself among the “one armed bandits,” she lost her head.

When a grown up woman with two university degrees, living at the other end of the world, very far away from Las Vegas, finds herself in this place, something unclear ignites in her, some strange force draws her to the risky game.

Together we decided that we could spend $50 an evening to play a game that costs 10 or 20 cents a shot. She played and I observed from the side, watching the human being in her disappear and turn into the same “one armed bandit.” A machine ends up playing with a machine, they compete, and there’s nothing more than that.

I use my wife as an example because she is a normal, level-headed woman, without any particular vices, very grounded and balanced. It’s simply astounding what takes place inside of us. A person has a need to rise above chance, above himself, above this machine, meaning to affirm himself.

And if we give a person the opportunity to compete for something that is good and useful for society, then he will be able to satisfy this necessity. It exists and it cannot be suppressed. Therefore, it’s necessary to give a person the opportunity to reflect, create, participate, win, and affirm himself. This is possible in the integral society because there, every one of us is a distinct individual.

At the same time, every one of us is just a cogwheel that is very small and has nothing special about it. But sometimes it starts to slow down or changes direction, causing itself to stand out from the others. By spinning harmoniously with everyone, it expresses itself to the utmost, and at the same time experiences fulfillment and satisfaction.

Integral upbringing will give a person the opportunity to find himself in the game called life. We will feel that we are constantly moving forward, and that like children, we are acting out and realizing a higher state, and behind it a new, higher state emerges. This enthralling adventure, a never-ending ascent, will be felt by every person.

People are looking for drugs and gambling games, ready to jump off a bridge into an abyss in search of intense sensations. A person will find all of this in the integral interaction with others because it holds astounding opportunities for self-realization. Then, today’s extremes won’t be something that really fulfills people.

– If I understand you correctly, we will be able to realize the quality of risk-taking precisely through the constant change of states?

– Nature has built us in a way that the only way for us to fully and harmoniously realize ourselves is in integration. Then we won’t have to “let out steam” by getting drunk, getting into fights, or throwing stadium frenzies because there won’t be any unrealized necessities left. We have to see the real field of our activity in the integral connection. This is the field we were created for, the venue where we reveal and correct our innermost, darkest instincts.

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