Friday, August 28, 2015

The Piece, the Player & the Passerby at... The Game

I had run down an heuristic model for a friend in an attempt to clarify our levels of awareness of The Interpersonal Game (as per Berne; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transactional_analysis) (aka "social exchange theory;" see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_exchange_theoryon the Karpman Drama Triangle (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karpman_drama_triangle) from pretty much none whatsoever... through aware but still engaged... to aware and disengaged. I called those levels Game Piece, Game Player, and Curious but Disengaged Passerby. She asked for further explanation. 

Her: It's all a game. Okay. But -- and I asked you once before -- what is out of the game?  

Him: The Game does not exist at all for the Game Piece. Totally distracted and "conscious" (in Jaynes's sense) but not aware, the Game Piece is the I-Eye whose ego is totally under the control of the Players. 

[I-Eye and other the ego state concepts used here are described at I's & Eye's: Three States of Cognitive Consciousness.]

The I-Eye ^ (hijacking) I+Eye Players may or may not be aware of The Interpersonal Game itself, but they are attached to and focused upon winning The Game as they unconsciously define "winning" (e.g. getting the attention and approval of the other Players; getting the other Players to do what they want them to do, such as fuck or fight with them to make sure they feel secure or distracted from the situations in their lives than make them anxious and in-secure). 

Only the Eye>I Passerby is truly aware of The Game as a game. This is because the Passerby is not enmeshed with the other players nor attached to the outcome of The Game. While the Piece and Player are attached to The Game and the other Pieces and Players in The Game -- because they live in the Past and Future, not in the Present -- the Passerby lives only in the Present moment. The Passerby is the pure, unadulterated observer who has no stake in The Game.

Her: To do all this but without naming it with judgments and values that we were taught to? To live a life that Rousseau dreamt of?  Isn't it... well... utopian?

Him: Of course. It is totally conceptual and actually impossible. The Social Construction of Reality (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Social_Construction_of_Realityrequires interpersonal interaction for the purpose of getting what we want from infancy. There is No Other Way. We will play The Game, and we will be wholly unconscious I-Eye Pieces and only partially conscious (and un-aware) I-Eye ^ I+Eye Players to interact with others because there isn't another way to do so. We will be sucked into The Game. BUT...

One can do one's best to spend as much time as possible in the observing frame of mind of the Passerby. So doing makes it possible to get up from the seats around the game table -- as well as get up off the Game Board -- as the result of observation-driven awareness and truly free will.

Her: Talking with that guy is so frustrating. Makes me want to pull my hair... literally. 

Him: Are your Pieces and Players involved? What do you think?

Her: "I cannot allow myself to give a shit about anyone" he said. I asked him, "Is sanity equal to indifference?"

Him: Isn't that equivalent to trying to get him to get up off the Game Board as well as out of the chair at the table? But, also, isn't that being a Piece and Player at his Game Table? (I am not saying being a Piece or Player in his or anyone else's game is "bad," "wrong" or "stupid.")

Her: It is so funny. You are trying to enlighten me, and I'm trying to plant those seeds in his mind.

Him: Have you moved "up" to Passerby and asked yourself why? And, "Given that your lover suffers from a very severe psychopathology, is it actually possible for him to integrate into a single, reliable persona that can be reasonably expected to observer to notice to recognize to acknowledge to accept to own to appreciate to understand to digest what is?"

Her: Really, I know all this stuff. 

Him: So do I, at the level of I-Eye ^ I+Eye Player. But the Eye>I Passerby may not retain the complex conceptual awareness of that from one Game to the next because it exists only in the present moment of observing >>>>>> understand. The second that awareness moves from Eye>I to I+Eye, it is being invaded, hijacked, contaminated and corrupted by I-Eye Piece and I-Eye ^ I+Eye Player. It is the Great Cosmic Joke. Can you see that now? 

Her: I understand that we live in the culture of competition, of forced fake happiness, culture of simulations and entertainment, and that we are nothing more than little children seeking an approval from the Big Other (in Lacan's sense). We are prisoners of common sense from the moment of birth. From the moment when we get our gender and name label. And to the death when we will land in a very particular part of the land.

Him: Exactly. But is keeping that in mind to trigger the Eye>I to observe to notice to recognize (etc.) it's manifestations automatic? I wouldn't think so until one has practiced that mantra enough to build sufficiently dense neural circuitry to condition, accustom, habituate and normalize the brain to the process. (Which, when normalized, can be incredibly edifying and comforting in the face of all the challenges life throws at us.)

Her: How many of them do you know who have managed to obtain the benefits of society while escaping the costs?

Him: None. Including myself. As a very wise young boss of mine told me in 1980, "it's all about trade-offs." But I can say this: The ratio between the cost of getting that 10 StEP mantra (see http://pairadocks.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-10-steps-of-emotion-processing.html) down vs. the cost of not using it improves (at least for me and others who use the thing) every single day. 

© 2015 by Rodger Garrett; all rights reserved. Links are permitted. Please contact not.moses@outlook.com with comments or questions. Thank you.

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