English playwright William Shakespeare is credited with the quote, “All the world’s a stage” that began his world famous comedy play As You Like It. Perhaps, he had no idea how succinctly true this description is, of this vast and complex world that we live in and continue to visit life after life, era after era, like well-seasoned travelers on an infinite road. Eastern cultures believe that reincarnation continues for every soul that decides to take birth on the planet, till the karmic bank balance is finally exhausted and the soul is said to attain liberation — finally transcending this vast, multi-level, sophisticated and interactive game called Life on Earth.
As Level 1 Beginner players, we are like babes in arms, seeking to understand the rules of the Game, viewing and experiencing closely, the kaleidoscope of enticing colors, sights and sounds with round-eyed fascination. While we are eager to sample every bit of the beauty, divine music and pleasures that are on offer, challenges in the form of misery, poverty, disruptive emotions and violence shake us like hapless bamboos – in equal measure. We are as yet tender saplings struggling to put roots in the ground and learning to claim our own space on this planetary checkerboard. As a Beginner, we believe very strongly in the power of a pre-set destiny and planetary alignments determining our present and future. We are firmly entrenched in the rules of society, allowing others to guide our actions and finding solace in referring to destiny as the ultimate and unchangeable cause of shortfalls and unfortunate experiences. Free will is an instrument we have heard about and dreamt of – but have not as yet determined how to use.
The Cosmic Game is never played solo. Born with us, is our team of helpers and friends in the form of parents, loved ones and soul mates, who provide us with the fertile environment needed to thrive, succeed and earn bonus points. On the other end of the board are also lined up a seemingly menacing array of “Snakes” in the form of challengers, opponents and competitors who will provide us with the difficult experiences that we should strongly face and transcend to be able to advance to the next levels. In short, they are the dices of growth that can allow us to jump several spaces and climb the ladder to the next level. Our interaction with these people in our life, whether made with the currency of compassion, love and patience, or through the weapons of strife, jealousy and harmful actions, determine if we climb upwards, or fall back into the mouth of a Snake. In a way, that constantly criticizing boss or the garrulous, difficult aunt, can be some of our greatest teachers.
As we continue to play differing permutations and combinations of the Game, we are born again and again, reacting endlessly to the same old emotional triggers, disliking the same Snakes and adding new karma with each birth. As the Divine Wirepuller we call God, is an infinitely loving energy, there are no penalties to pay whether a soul takes one lifetime to learn its life lessons, or a million ones. Inevitably, as we begin to master Life, we learn to act differently in the face of the familiar provocations that besiege and challenge us in every lifetime and start progressing towards more intermediate levels of spiritual growth.
As Level 2 Players, increasingly, we become “The Watcher” of our life-script scrolling across a movie screen. The realization that along with actions, thoughts generate karma too— make us watchers of our thoughts, deepening the good ones and discarding the unsavory. Helplessness, jealousy, rage — our unwanted companions for eons, begin melting away. Love, compassion, serenity and self-acceptance come more easily to us. The lines of difference between you and me are blurred. Rigid ideologies and self-condemnation give way to tolerance and an expanded world-view that accepts diversity and variety. The fog of indecision and ignorance that had overwhelmed us and become a way of life starts to lift away to reveal crystal blue skies of clarity and a joy with all Creation.
As Level 3 players of the Game, we begin to comprehend the value of the instrument of free will and how to utilize it. Every thought and action becomes an exercise of free will, unhindered by compulsions or fear of what society will say — to steer our life in the direction we want it to progress. We alone are accountable for our actions and the incidents we experience. Judgment towards others is suspended. Live and let live is the mantra. We become the creators of our own destiny and every wish and desire sailing across the serene spaces of the mind manifests into reality. As the physical, karmic and subtle bodies of our being purify, thoughts are geared more and more towards the greater good and advancement of all living creatures. Power, that usually merits the limited definition of being the exercise of aggression and authority, acquires a new meaning in a truer sense — of unconditional love and greater manifestation. Though messages from our guides and Ascended Masters have always been available to us, as newbies to the Game, we failed to comprehend them. Now, as awareness of subtle energies and the invisible increases manifold, the guidance and infinite wisdom of the Masters is received consciously. As we progress more and more on our evolutionary path, we acquire a state where the reality of the Higher Self and the inter-connectedness of the universe are revealed to us. There is nothing more to do. There is nowhere left to go. The destination was always inherent in the beginning of this Game called Life. It is the journey that truly counts.