|Book: New Slant on Life|
|Life is a Game|
Hubbard lectures on life as a game.
THE REASON WHY
Life can best be understood by likening it to a game. Since we are exterior to a great number of games, we can regard them with a detached eye. If we were exterior to Life instead of being involved and immersed in the living of it, it would look to us much like games look to us from our present vantage point.
Despite the amount of suffering, pain, misery, sorrow and travail which can exist in life, the reason for existence is the same reason as one has to play a game—interest, contest, activity and possession. The truth of this assertion is established by an observation of the elements of games and then applying these elements to life itself. When we do this we find nothing left wanting in the panorama of life.
By game we mean a contest of person against person or team against team. When we say games we mean such games as baseball, polo, chess or any other such pastime. It may at one time have struck you as peculiar that men would risk bodily injury in the field of play just for the sake of “amusement”. So it might strike you as peculiar that people would go on living or would enter into the “game of life” at the risk of all the sorrow, travail and pain just to have something to do. Evidently there is no greater curse than total idleness. Of course there is that condition where a person continues to play a game in which he is no longer interested.
By studying the elements (factors) of games (contests) we find ourselves in possession of the elements of life.
Life is a game. A game consists of freedom, barriers and purposes. This is a scientific fact, not merely an observation.
PLAYING THE GAME
The highest activity is playing a game. When one is high-toned, he knows that it is a game. As he falls away down the tone scale, he becomes less and less aware of the game. The greatest ability of thought is DIFFERENTIATION. So long as one can differentiate, one is sane. Its opposite is IDENTIFICATION.
The legal definition of sanity is the “ability to tell right from wrong”.
Therefore, the highest ability in playing a game would be the ability to know the rightness and wrongness rules of that particular game. As all rightness and wrongness are considerations and as the game itself is a consideration, the playing of the game requires a high ability to differentiate, particularly it requires an ability to know the rules and the right-rules and the wrong-rules.
When an individual is prone to identify, he is no longer able to differentiate the right-rules and the wrong-rules, and the right-rules become wrong and the wrong-rules become right, and we have a criminal. (p. 101)
—L. Ron Hubbard
Scientology A New Slant on Life
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