What a computer game taught me about life:
The computer game in Yoshok that came out in 2007 is a wonderful game in which the player, who controls the main character in the game, gets to know in his adventures an amazing and rather creepy and distorted city that was established underwater (pictures below for illustration). Fighting all sorts of cool monsters, there is a creepy atmosphere of little girls pumping blood from people and the place where the game takes place, the underwater city “Rapture” is really scary and I really would not want to visit there!
I did not expect it and I do not think it was actually done on purpose but at least I connected with a certain twist event in the plot that this game story has a pretty interesting message to tell us about life and what activates us and what happens in our brains (spoilers later continued at your risk!).
I do not want to dig too much into a 12-hour plot however there is a summary in which the main character named Jack did full of tasks for a man named “Atlas” and it was not really explained why he agrees to all this. What is revealed at the end is that Atlas brainwashed Jack so that every time Atlas starts a sentence with “Can you please….”, Jack does what Atlas asks him to do. This brainwashing happened in events that happened before the game started and as part of the brainwashing also made Atlas Jack forget who he is. This creates a situation where Atlas asks for ridiculous things like – “Can you please bring me money? Kill full of monsters for me? Help me take over an entire city?”, And Jack just does. The funny thing is the truth is that I never noticed during the plot that every time Atlas asked for something from Jack he started the sentence with “can you please” and that was pretty surprising.
As soon as Jack heard these magic words (that moms, grandmothers and maybe even little girls who want chocolate are also really good at using them like for example: “Can you please make tools Daniel”), straight Jack acted automatically, he had no awareness, time to stop , Think or choose otherwise. He heard these words and as a pabulum comment (for those who do not know about it you can look at Wikipedia) he immediately responded automatically.
What does it remind me of in life and what lesson can it teach? Our brain is very, very exposed as of any living creature to these pavlovian conditions and we sometimes tend not to look or pay attention to them. You see, Atlas in the story gave Jack an offer, he started with the magic words of “can you please” and then continued with his request and Jack straight believed. Our mind is not that different, it constantly offers us thoughts, beliefs and opinions according to its conditions that have developed over the years. We have the choice, whether we know and notice that it exists, to believe them or not. If we do not know that we have this choice and that the brain only gives suggestions, we will simply believe and act automatically according to the conditioning of our brain as honestly as almost like a zombie. Once Jack found out how brainwashing worked, he was no longer exposed to it. Our brain mostly, and also sometimes other people give us all kinds of suggestions, opinions and ideas, we are the ones who choose what to believe or not to believe. No belief is ultimately the right and ultimate belief, no belief is really true or true. The closest a faith can be to truth is when it is fact, in other words when it directly points to the truth. All other beliefs, and especially opinions are entirely fiction.
The question is, are we aware. Are we aware that our brain is doing this? With other people we are more aware of it but it is also important to pay attention. Are we aware that the opinions of our mind and other people are just “suggestions”, only opinions and only thoughts and are we aware that we have a choice as to whether we will believe them or not, once we are aware of something and see it clearly it ceases to control us in the same way.
I very much connect to the 2 laws of the writer “Don Miguel Ruiz” for spiritual life:
Do not believe in yourself but learn to listen
Do not believe others but learn to listen
The meaning of these “laws” is not to be detached from others or ourselves, but to understand that our minds and those of others tell stories, and by the nature of stories they are not true. We will still listen and understand, be empathetic and express compassion. But we will also understand that in the end every story is a lie, it is not the real truth and therefore there is no need to believe it. There is no need to truly believe, the truth survives even if we do not believe in it, a lie cannot survive if we do not believe in it anymore. Gravity therefore existed even before it was discovered and believed to exist but a false belief we have about ourselves or the world will not be able to survive the skepticism and power of truth.
So my question to you now is, what words does your brain use to make you believe what it has to say? What triggers do you have to believe him automatically? For me it’s usually when he starts a sentence with something like “this is the truth….” Or “it really matters …” that I tend to believe. What about you? Get rid of it.
May we all have a good and blessed week and be more aware of what our minds and the minds of others are saying so that we have free choice