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The Game of Life

Café-Salon Philosophique #69

October 7, 2001

No. of Participants: 10

Topic of Discussion: "The Game of Life"

Samuel welcomed one and all to our Café gathering and then asked participants to introduce themselves and share their reasons for coming to the evening's discussion.

Debra "saw it in the paper." Sonya was "visiting Cindy and decided to come with her." Alexandra "hadn't been to the Café in a long time, so she decided to come."

Our discussion began with Sonya asking, "Do we really have a choice in life? Or, Do we live by rules and other people's expectations?"

Sonya has been struggling for years trying to establish her "sense of self" and is looking to establish a new role and stability in her life.

She has played the role of being one of the "tough" ones, the "warrior," and "amazon" woman. She stated that she has been this way all of her life. She shared a couple of stories, one, of how when she was in high school, she would step in and play football for the coach because, "there were no other guys to play."

And, at her work as a machinist, she was always doing extra work because she could "handle it." She found she was not only doing her job, but three or four other people's jobs. Naturally, she got tired of this, and decided she no longer wanted the responsibility of being overworked. She was tired of having to tell other people what to do, and making the decisions all of the time.

She then asked, "Why do we accept these roles? What is our real role, and why do we sabotage our selves from getting there?" "We stay hidden inside because our Society is so quick too judge," said Steve. And because of cultural values, beliefs, and norms, we never learn why we are really here.

Samuel then asked participants to share why they thought we were here on this planet?

Cindy says she is here to "bring peace, find more happiness, maintain her health, have friends, and to interact with people and nature." A couple people said they were here to "learn and experience life."

Someone asked, "Why are we never satisfied in life? Why do we always want more? Why do we never change?" Karyn says, because of conditioning of Society.

Debra said, "maybe we never change because memes have invaded our brains!"

Everyone wanted to know what memes were?

"Memes are supposedly ideas that act like viruses and invade the brain. Theoretically, they are bits or patterns of information that eventually evolve and turn into form. Memes then, supposedly, induce people into repeating patterns of behavior.

Typical memes include individual slogans, ideas, catch-phrases, melodies, icons, inventions, and fashions. People become hosts for mind-altering strings of symbols.

In fact, this is what human culture is all about. This is what memes are all about." ("Memes: An Introduction" by Glenn Grant). From the website: http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/MEMIN.html)

Sonya says, "Doesn't sound like these memes things are far from the truth." "People on this planet don't know how to think for themselves and make choices."

Karyn wanted to know, "Well, just how does one go about changing the patterns and evolving?" How do we get away from being a sheep?

"It depends upon the path that you are comfortable with," says Sonya. "You can't be a control freak." You have to learn to be in control and not be controlled at the same time.

Most of us would not know what to do with our selves if we didn't "follow the crowd," "do what everybody else is doing." "We are social animals," said Steve. "We are afraid to be alone," said Cindy.

"It's a matter of balance in your life," said Karyn. "We need to learn to be with people without being needy, and to be alone without being lonely."

"You have to know what your boundaries and limitations are when relating to other people versus wanting alone time."

"Fear is what stands in the way of not being able to change or remove the obstacles," says Alexandra."I've lived with fear all of my life." "Sometimes I've had to be pushed to act in certain situations, and then I found out, it ain't so bad."

In Samuel's work, he calls this "The Edge." The Edge is the point to where one goes before realizing they can take the next step or plunge. One learns to move the mind and body through space creatively, while at the same time being aware of the effect that gravity has to play on the body.

When this physical understanding and awareness is embodied, we are able to navigate the body container more efficiently and effectively. Life seems easier, less complicated. (What is BodySpeak™?)

The group then "bounced back" to discussing fear, and how it keeps one from changing their behavior. "Fear can paralyze!" It can make us feel as though we are trapped. We can then become suppressed, depressed, or concealed.

"We learn in this Society to fear the,"what ifs?" says Samuel. What if this happens? What if that happens? We learn to give fear-based thoughts power, and in turn we use them as excuses for not living."

Samuel said he does not live his life based on fear. Essentially, he stated that he was a fearless person. Well, when Alexandra and Sonja heard this, they freaked out! Alexandra told him that "he was lying." "Everybody fears something!" she exclaimed. "Who do you think you are, Mr. High and Mighty?" she asked. "I live with fear every day of my life!"

"Yeah," said Sonya. "I see what you are doing here.You entice people to come into this circle and then you try to manipulate us into staying because you are scared that we are going to leave." "You wanted to make sure me and Cindy didn't leave. Well, we're still here."

"You don't fear anything?" asked Debra. "I find myself fearing and worrying over the littlest things."

Samuel just remained silent, and let everybody "talk." After a few seconds..... of silence....., Sonya exclaimed, "Its the memes! It is the memes' fault! Fear has been spread by those damn memes! They've invaded our brains!" This broke the tension and we all had a good laugh.

There are many different perspectives on how to react in any given situation to fear. Steve offered this example. When he goes hiking with one of his friends, he's observed that while he is enjoying the activity of hiking and climbing, his friend is fearful of falling.

The group then discussed the "what ifs" of not having various forms of insurance. Steve strongly believes one needs to be prepared for "unknown" and "unforeseen" disasters, accidents, catastrophes, etc. As did many of the other participants.

Insurance is a premise for instilling fear into people of our Society. Insurance companies have been built on the belief that you "might be risking everything, if you don't have insurance." "You better have insurance, or you just may pay the consequences."

"From, where does fear come?" asked Cindy. "From within us?" From our environment? Is it visual or auditory? Remembered or learned?

Someone commented on the fact that there are many kinds of fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of accidents or diseases. Fear of being alone. Fear of nothing. Just to name a few.

"I think the real fear is in accepting who you are," said Steve. And really, does any one really know who they are?

We all agreed that it is hard to be your self when we have been programmed by the media, marketing and advertising to be anything but your self.

We learn to "mimic" the movie stars, entertainers, TV personalities and the models. We grow up believing that we have to meet other people's expectations. We learn that money, power and material wealth is what is important.

Steve thinks the problem is, we learn in Society to want more and more material things, and believe this is living." "We have to realize individually when enough is enough," said Debra. "It takes discipline." One has to learn how to live simply. She pointed out how the Zen-Buddhist learn to do this.

Cindy says, "the only one who can ruin your life is you, and, you are the only person who can put it back together again." Beliefs can trap you. You've got to know that growth and change are possible, and, that new ideas are possible. "If you believe change can happen, it will happen."

It it is merely "mind over matter," says Mabel. "It depends on how you think."

We have to stop the memes! exclaimed Sonja. Those damn memes!!! And then there was silence.....

Our next Café gathering will be held October 21, 2000 at the Boulder Bookstore, 1107 Pearl St., Boulder, CO. Start time is 6:30 p.m. Please join us for our next exciting Café gathering. Thank you for your participation!

Reported by Alessandra

"Samuel brings awareness to the soul of people and gives the artists who work under his direction the need, dedication, and love for the world of silence and the beautiful art of movement."

 

- Marcel Marceau, BIP 1961

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LCDS is an independent school for self-discovery through the human Arts.  The school offers seminars and workshops teaching the concepts of Theater, Mime, and Movement.