I canceled my World Of Warcraft subscription, and I quit playing Hearthstone yesterday. I love the game, but you have to “attack the face” of the other player to win.
I used to play tournament chess, and attempting to “beat” someone made me uncomfortable even back then. I always took a draw (tie) if the opponent requested it.
It’s a common play if you’re losing–to lamely offer a draw, hoping the opponent is an idiot and accepts, despite the fact that you deserve a loss.
I gave away important games at least three times, to the detriment of my team and our tournament score. Some of those opponents assumed I was an idiot, and I was by their value system.
No, I’m just an elf.
Elf In Real Life: Week Two
This week I went back to the lake on my Gnomish mecha-roller (bicycle). I resisted the urge to take a photo at the place where I had the vision of all-life-as-one last week. Elves treasure memories, not photos.
So I was going very fast, and I had a “flat tyre” as the gnomes call it. A passing Wood-Elf (Latino guy) tried to help, but his gnomish re-inflator didn’t function, and his Repair skill was a fat zero just like mine.
So I walked home.
I’ve always considered transportation failures to be ominous portents of your life’s journey. Like a dead bird in your path, a mechanical failure isn’t a good sign.
I chalked the problem up to speeding. I was moving too fast, as Simon And Garfunkle would say.
In the 1970s, not long after Simon And Garfunkle’s observations on life, the prodigious Buddhist lama Chogyam Trungpa came to the United States to teach. He coined a spiritual term called “Speeding”.
Speeding is what we Americans do. We speed from one goal to the next. We always need something to fill the time and emptiness, which is how video games become an addiction. That’s my super-simple novice interpretation.
So how do we cope with speeding? This week I tried a stillness meditation. I just stopped, like a child’s game, and remained completely motionless. The faster you give up and start moving again, the farther you are from basic sanity. I’m pretty far.
So how do we deal with speeding? Here is a quote from p. 163 of Trungpa’s The Lion’s Roar. Note this was transcribed from a lecture that took place forty years ago.
Student: What influences you to slow down if you find yourself speeding?
Trungpa Rinpoche: Hopelessness, obviously. The more you speed, the more frustrated you get. So there’s no point in speeding. It’s hopeless.
Student: Could you distinguish between hopelessness and despair?
Trungpa Rinpoche: Despair is still hopeful, and hopelessness is utterly hopeless. There is no ground to hang on to. You are completely wiped out, therefore you might hang on to your basic being. Despair is a resentful attitude. You…have a sense of retaliation against something or other. Hopelessness is a genuine, beautiful, simple act. You’re hopeless–it’s a fantastic thing. You really are hopeless then, you know. There’s no trips about it. It’s clean-cut.
Student: Rinpoche, does this mean that a person has to experience a lot of suffering before he becomes really hopeless? Or could it just happen on the spot?
Trungpa Rinpoche: Both.
Trungpa’s lecture transcripts are extra entertaining because of his efforts to “get down” verbally with the alt crowd at his lectures. I always have to be accomplishing something, and I’ve noticed and interesting pattern. I’m more relaxed, more in the flow, and more productive, ironically, after I give up.
“No deeds to do, no promises to keep.” This is a nice place to be, just watching the flowers growing. Plants have to make a tremendous effort to survive, flower, and reproduce, of course. So do I. There are practicalities of life.
I can cancel my subscription to Pandaria, but not to my soul-sucking job for the corporation. On that note, here is some “elfspo”. Here is a lot more.