The game world, as Leary called it... the world of human society and human interaction. Easy to forget its only a tiny slice of life, the universe, and everything. Our conditioning teaches us to myopically focus on human society. We read the newspaper, watch TV news, and stay up to date on "current events". We fret and worry about the doings of far away people. We become enraged by the actions of leaders.... we bemoan the state of "the world". We feel these events are important... vital. But perhaps they are less significant than we imagine. Thoreau considered all "news" to be gossip and nothing more.
Easy to forget. To become lost in language and symbols. Its easy to be a pessimist if human gossip consumes your mind.
But other worlds and other worldviews exist. In the vast, cosmic, Carl Sagan sense.... human society appears barely significant. Could there be far bigger, and more intimate, issues than what's happening in Iraq? As a society, Americans tend to shun big issues. They steer away from questions of life and death. They avoid thinking about disease, impermanence, interconnectedness. They strap on the blinders and firmly avoid a wider perspective.
But while scary..... there are practical, game-world benefits to contemplation: thinking about the nature of life and death, detaching from human society for a while, taking a respite from language.
These activities put the game-world in perspective... allow us to be less emotionally tied to its outcomes. Optimism tends to flower when this occurs...... because its easier to be an optimist when humanity is not your only benchmark.
Quite amazing, really, how narrow and backwater our perspective is. Scientist and philosophers have given us a glimpse into the infinite: billions of galaxies... each with billions of stars and planets. Infinite, non-local connections. Awesome internal vistas of the mind.... infinite sky mind at large. Matter and energy dancing, flowing... winking in and out of existence. Our own species... spinning in a millions-of-years evolutionary dance.
But what occupies our minds on a daily basis?
How many widgets can we sell? How many numbers are in our bank account? What some jackass in Washington is doing?
Avoidance and escape-- the roots of America's tragedy.