THE GAME OF COMPREHENSION
A game that has no winners or losers, but rather participants who are more or less aware or unaware.
As a teenager I had a friend called Juan Carlos, to this day I have not met anyone as intelligent and poetic as him. He was the one who taught me to think in a logical, mathematical and organized way, as well as to express myself poetically. A step-by-step intelligent procedure requires of a great knowledge, which he had. From him I learned to study, memorize, calculate and plan every movement, both in chess and in the game of life. To read or write in a poetic way requires of a sensitive procedure as well, and Juan Carlos did this perfectly.
Suddenly we found ourselves in a situation comparable to a game of chess, where a master move was needed to defeat the other. We were friends, we both made our move and this broke us apart. We were capable of talking for hours at age 17. Never again had I the honour nor the pleasure of conversing with him. An authentic sensitive genius that marked my life forever.
At some point of my life, being 18 or 19 years old, I abandoned the path of the rational mind, which might seem to be the only possible road to transit through life, but I chose the path of the heart. My master move was to escape logic and thus surprise, bursting into my life with an intuitive move, driven by my feelings.
I have not known any other way of acting ever since. I am playing the same game as everyone else, but my technique consists in waiting for the game to get complicated, unconditionally supporting every rational statement made and acting suddenly, mysteriously, and unpredictably from the heart. This master move played over and over at different moments and circumstances of my life is never previously calculated, it spontaneously surges when the situation calls for it.
I am not talking about how to play chess but about life.
Chess proposes to perform a series of movements through theory and memorization, but as Bobby Fischer–one of the greats chess-players ever– said, “following that road you’ll arrive nowhere”.
The game gets suddenly complicated for those who are surprised by that which is irrational.
The next move is the most important one, but who can guess what the following move of someone not driven by reason will be? It is impossible to know what is going on in the mind of someone that takes a logical and mathematical course to reach the point where he finds himself self-cornered by the irrational and thereupon be able to jump once again into the unpredictable.
The other player gets unsettled by an irrational move. What can be inside a head that has no idea of the risk of losing?
The ones playing and attacking believe they are on the right path, just because memory and theory lead to the right thing, but when they find themselves in front on someone doing “the wrong thing” they lose any control over the game.
I have discovered that, in a world afraid of losing, full of people who need to secure everything before they act, the “wrong thing” to do is to act driven by courage and trust.
This is how Bobby Fischer won the world championship a few decades ago. He was unknown to the world of chess, and suddenly, in just a month, he was a world championship finalist. He went from an unknown man to the author of a master move that clearly stated who the best chess player in history was.
His opponent Boris Spassky stood up and merely clapped, harder each time and without stopping. All those present joined the clapping, before a Bobby Fischer who stayed put, thinking for a few minutes and then left and disappeared from the world stage of chess. It is said he ended up living as a vagabond.
Perhaps he was unable to integrate into his life what he learned on the board. It is pretty common for most intelligent people to be really brilliant on the board but not in reality. Logical, competitive, and rational intelligence knows how to move over the map, but gets lost when it needs to walk through home turf. Unless we dare to follow our intuition and our heart, every single step we take will be followed by the shadow of fear and insecurity.
The spiritual, therapeutic and shamanic worlds are getting increasingly closer to impulse the inspiration of millions of people that are in need of a master move in their life. In the organization that I have founded, and presently direct, I devote myself to creating the necessary conditions for every person accompanying me in this game of comprehension to wake up and become aware of the game, therefore being capable of drawing from the depths of their own comprehension the master move needed in their life.
I am watching this. I am enjoying it. I am feeling it in my heart, and it is this presence and observation of the ones around me that fulfils me; starting with my partner Paula and Hugo–which are presently by my side–, my six children, the managers of Inner Mastery, the facilitators of Ayahuasca International, the students and teachers of the European School of Ayahuasca, and the participants of the retreats we organize. I cannot leave out the ones criticizing and condemning me, since they play a fundamental role in the performance of this wonderful chess match, in which neither the game pieces nor the players hold the power, since it is a game directed by and for consciousness itself.
As chess masters say, it is a game for the seekers of truth, won by those who stop searching; those who surrender themselves to the mysteries hidden by life. It is at this point that the king is taken down by the choice of the one defending it, declaring a defeat that anticipates an entire life’s victory.
Commitment and surrender open the doors to a new and astonishing reality.
Here I am, in an Indian hospital, trying to address a health issue. In between doctor’s visits and studies, I had the time to write down these lines for this blog’s readers and to surrender once more to the checkmate with humour. This game of living appears to be serious, but it is actually a laughing matter.
Fischer represented the United States and Spassky the Soviet Union, at the time of the Cold War between these two world powers. In this same way, behind every match lie hidden interests and intentions that go beyond a simple showdown, and behind any everyday match we play with life and with others lies the possibility to become more aware, especially of the sense of humour of the one that created this existential game.
Greetings to everyone.
Alberto José Varela