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The Game of Life

Jacob’s ladder of evolving consciousness

After reading the Group’s latest article, “Dimensional Dooways,” Peter comments: “Is this how our existence here is viewed, as a game? Are others playing a similar game elsewhere? It’s good that at long last we’re learning the rules, is it not?”

Yes, you could say that all of life is a game, Peter. Hindus call it a “divine drama” or lila. There is no mystery about it. It’s just that very few people are interested in the subject.

And of the few who are interested, fewer still take that interest and play the game consciously, achieving the purpose of the game – enlightenment – which is not easy to achieve. (I have not achieved it.)

I’ve listed below where you can read about the game of life. Here let me just summarize it.

Briefly put, the game of life was begun so that the Formless could have a means of experiencing Itself. Said Ramakrishna, himself an Incarnation of God: “The Godhead … has become these two [God and the devotee] in order to enjoy Its own bliss.” (1) He made Himself manifest so that He might know Himself and enjoy His own Bliss, His own Fullness, through Self-Knowledge.

Albeit in metaphor, Sri Ramakrishna once delightfully depicted God, or Shiva, meeting Himself in the moment of illumination: “When Siva realizes his own Self, He dances about in joy exclaiming, ‘What am I! What am I!’” (2)

Sufi master Bayazid of Bistun also evokes the blissful moment when God meets God (3): “I went from God to God, until they cried from me in me, ‘O thou I!'” (4)

The Formless is one without a second. There is none other than God. If there were none other than me, how would I experience myself? Please understand that, when I say there is none other, I mean no other person but also no other thing or item. So there is no mirror, no camera, no pen and paper. There is no way or means by which the Formless can know Itself.

So the Formless created a game. It created what we could think of as finger-puppets – life forms, us – which, when they realize their true nature, experience themselves. When one of us realizes who we are, God meets God. For the purpose of God meeting God was all of life made.

How do I know this? Because God granted me a vision in 1987 (at least I think he did) which is described here. (5) You could say that this is all I know and, in a sense, you’d be quite right. After that vision, I remember saying to myself, “I now know one thing – that the purpose of life is enlightenment.”

The active Mother (Shakti) stands on the inactive Father (Shiva)

The entire process of life goes on in the physical or material domain. Matter = mater = Mother. The Formless domain has been designated “the Father” by Jesus. In doing so, he was referring to a domain full of bliss, latent energy, wisdom, etc., but devoid of matter, sound, or movement.

The domain characterized by matter, sound, or movement was called the domain of the Mother by Lao Tzu (and by Hindus and others).

“Nameless indeed is the source of creation [i.e., the Father],
“But things have a mother and she has a name.” (6)

To Lao Tzu, who I think was a devotee of the mother like Sri Ramakrishna, (7) the Formless was nameless but the Phenomenal had a name.

In the Gospel according to Thomas, Jesus recognized this relationship when he responded to a request from a disciple to give him a password by which the other disciples could know each other safely and secretly. Jesus agreed and gave him the password: “A movement and a rest.” (8) Movement is the Mother; rest is the Father.

The creation of life

The Mother is the phenomenal realm, called the Holy Spirit by Christians and Shakti (energy) by Hindus; Buddha referred to it as Dharma, the Natural Law. Since only the phenomenal, and not the transcendental, is characterized by natural law, it’s a good name.

That the Formless is not subject to law is the point of John the Baptist saying ” the voice of one crying in the wilderness.” (9) The voice, or sound, is the Mother; the wilderness, which is lawless, or rather “beyond the law,” is the Father.

The Mother’s realm includes all that has form, substance, sound, movement. Only the Formless lies outside it. Everything else – angels, elohim, Melchizedeks, ascended masters, Sirians, Andromedans, Pleiadians, planets, stars, black holes – all lie within

We created sparks left the Father and went out into the world (10) in order to acquire knowledge of who we truly are and, when we attain it, God meets God. When we finally and fully know who we are, we merge again in God, which is the end of our journey, the return Home. This journey away from and back to God is what is illustrated by Jacob’s ladder of consciousness or the Muslim stairway of existence.

Ascension is one step on that journey. But even the Seraphim who stand in the face of God, very, very far down the road from us, still exist within the phenomenal realm, still have form, and still are separate from God, if only by a very thin line. After all, who is it that stands in the face of God? It must be a “separate” being.

The whole of the game of life can be reviewed in the book called The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment or in the various essays under the pages tab called “The Purpose of Life.” Here are various books and essays that discuss it.

Other aspects of the game of life, including the nature of the Trinity, are covered in the following essays on this site:

As for the rules of the game, they are called “natural laws,” and it’s wise to know about them. They are discussed in:

So that is a thumbnail sketch of the game of life. No need to be in the dark about it. The question now is: What will you do with that knowledge?


(1) Swami Chetananda. They Lived with God. Life Stories of Some Devotees of Sri Ramakrishna. St. Louis: Vedanta Society of St. Louis, 1989, 126.

(2) Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 393.

(3) My wife, D’Arcy, first used this phrase.

(4) Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy. New York, etc.: Harper and Row, 1970; c1944, 12.

(5) At

(6) Lao Tzu, The Way of Life. The Tao Te Ching. trans. R.B. Blakney. New York, etc.: Avon, 1975, 53.

(7) “Alone I am and different,
Because I prize and seek
My sustenance from the Mother.”
(Lao-Tzu, WOL, 72.)

(8) Jesus in A. Guillaumont et al. The Gospel According to Thomas. New York and Evanston: Harper and Row, 1959, p. 29.

(9) Matthew 3:3.

(10) “I came forth from the Father, and am come out into the world: again, I leave the world and go to the Father.” (John 16:28.)

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