Stop Playing the Game by Greg Calise


We have been unraveling all of the threads stemming from our need to control. We began with Shit Happens, and now this is the fourth thread, which we will use to wrap it all up. Only when we do wrap it up, it will not be the same as before. Once unraveled, it cannot be placed back in its original box.

Oh what an intricate weave we have woven. And now that weave is the net that binds us. Seemingly trapped in a morbid game of control, we barely take notice of it. Somehow we believe that we have freedom, but that is only a thin facade. We are bound in this game, where we are being controlled, and we try to control others.

It is a game that we have been playing for a very long time. As long as we have been believing that we are the false self, the little voice in the head, we have been playing this game. It is the way the matrix works, through hierarchal systems of control. Our civilizations, societies, governments, religions, finances, business and commerce, every aspect of our lives is governed by these hierarchal systems of control.


See it as it is and free yourself. The net has many holes, if one simply looks for them.

“To see the universe as it is, you must step beyond the net [the matrix]. It is not hard to do so, as the net is full of holes. Look at the net and its many contradictions. You do and undo at every step. You want peace, love and happiness, and work hard to create pain, hatred and war. You want longevity and you overeat. You want friendship and you exploit. See your net as made of such contradictions and remove them – your very seeing them will make them go away.”
– Nisargadatta Maharaj

Yes, once you truly see this predicament, you Will begin extricating yourself from its grip. But when you realize how deeply bound you have become, it may seem very difficult to actually Do this. That thought, or perception of it being so intricate and impossible is not true. It is another program that has been put into place to deter anyone from actually trying to do it. The false ego sees it as impossible; and for good reason, because getting free from this matrix of deceit will bring the false ego to its demise. That is not as scary as you might imagine, because the false ego is only a misconception, a case of mistaken identity. You do not die, but only get rid of a false notion. You simply wake up.


When you do wake up to this control game, the false ego immediately reacts by disempowering you. It shows you how intricately tied up you are, and that it is very important that you remain so. You have so many commitments, obligations and people that are depending on you. You cannot let them down. They would be very disappointed in you. It would be bad karma to untie yourself. From the perception of the false ego, we see how tied up we are in it.

To extricate yourself may mean very big changes in your life. You may see your job, your profession, your friends and family and so many others, all tied up in this net of deception. How do you change that? As soon as you try to stop playing the game, watch how many people freak out. They depend upon you to continue playing the game. Ask yourself, “Why are they so demanding that I continue playing? What is it that they want from me?” They will try to make it difficult for you to disengage. And perhaps you do have some commitments that you simply cannot walk away from. If that is the case, you may have more to experience concerning those commitments. That is perfect. But you will find yourself perceiving your entire life from this new perspective, so your relationship with life will dramatically change.


When you dramatically change your relationship with life, she will reciprocate dramatically as well. When people begin seeing your new perspective on, and relationship to life, either they will accept the new you, or they will walk away from you. A lot of times, you don’t have to do anything except just wake up to the game. When people see this, and how different you are, they will lose interest in having you around, as it makes them feel uncomfortable. Or perhaps because you cannot be manipulated by them, they simply reject you. You may find friends stop calling or inviting you places, your family may give you the cold shoulder, your spouse may even walk out. All disturbing changes. But be confident that life will reciprocate with you. You may find these newly vacant relationships become filled with people that resonate with who you have awakened to.

So why is it that we refuse to awaken to this madness? It is because we are attached to it, this wanting to control. Even though we may gain the insight to see that this game is causing so much suffering in our life and others, we are still attached to it. Somehow we would rather live under some tyrannical rulers, under the oppression of wicked people, just so we can also control. Somehow this morbid game has captivated all of us and is keeping us in prison, and, although this is completely insane, we have become addicted to it and want to continue playing.

“Once you have seen that you are dreaming, you shall wake up. But you do not see, because you want the dream to continue. A day will come when you will long for the ending of the dream, with all your heart and mind, and be willing to pay any price; the price will be dispassion and detachment, the loss of interest in the dream itself.”
– Nisargadatta Maharaj


It is our interest in continuing to play the game that keeps us from waking up to it. We don’t have a strong enough desire to walk away from it. We are captivated, and we cannot see an alternative. Somehow we have neither faith in life, nor do we have faith or courage in our selves, that we can break free. So we busy ourselves in succeeding in the game, but no one wins this game.

It is also fear that keeps us playing the game; the fear of losing the game, the fear of being annoyed, disappointed or even harmed. Remember, we want to control because we are fearful of external forces that may harm us. We believe that unless we remain in control, then something bad will happen. It is true, that as long as you do play the game, then you must control certain factors so as not to lose in this game. But when you stop playing the game, than you don’t have to follow the rules anymore. They no longer apply to you.

This game requires a lot of effort to play, and therefor we believe that it would take tremendous effort to break free of this twisted game. That simply is not the case.

“It has nothing to do with effort. Just turn away, look between the thoughts, rather than at the thoughts. When you happen to walk in a crowd, you do not fight every man you meet, you just find your way between. When you fight, you invite a fight. But when you do not resist, you meet no resistance. When you refuse to play the game, you are out of it.”

~ Nisargadatta Maharaj


Once you become aware of your predicament, you are already free of it. The problem is that the false ego sees this as an affront on its very existence, so it will quickly take control of the situation by filling your mind with thoughts that combat your epiphany. But if you can resist the little voice in your head, you can remain in your Presence.

“When you become aware that you are insane, you are no longer insane. So when you become aware of your mind, you are not identified with your mind anymore. A new dimension of consciousness has come in. The madness is caused by thinking without awareness, and thinking without awareness is how the ego keeps us in its grip.”
– Eckhart Tolle


We seem to have an incredible fear of letting go of control, as if we were actually driving the car, instead of just sitting in the baby seat with a plastic steering wheel pretending to be driving. We believe that if we let go of control, that people will take advantage of us and cause us harm. We will crash and burn. But when you change your relationship with life, life will show you how well she can reciprocate. This takes a giant leap of faith, and this action is not always passive. You don’t just drop the oars and go to sleep. Life will guide you through many experiences. Remember, you also allow life to take care of circumstances and events. you have relinquished your control of other people, and just as you allow everyone their freedom, you also do not allow others to bind you with their control and manipulation games. So sometimes you will find yourself taking a stand against tyranny.

All of this happens spontaneously and immediately when you wake up. You see the game as it is, you see how you had participated in the game your entire life, you see how everyone is still playing the game, and you extricate yourself from the game. It is like waking up from a very strange lucid dream, and you wonder what it was all about. But you are no longer a dream character living in a dream. You are perceiving the dream from your waking consciousness. So yeah, it’s a bit like that.


You will change your relationship with life. You no longer consider her as separate from your very Self. You will have no desire to control her, neither do you see her as a problem or an enemy. You wake up to your true relationship with life, and believe me, she Will reciprocate. Trust in this process. Allow life to guide you on your path. You will still have your preferences in life, and that is fine, but if circumstances arise that are not of your preference, you will find that you are not very disturbed by them. You see it as an experience you have arranged to encounter. Make life your friend, and see what a good friend she can be.

You will notice that when you wake up to all of this, that your preferences change dramatically. That which attracted your attention before will no longer hold your attraction. Instead, you will prefer kindness over selfishness. You will prefer peace to conflict. Conflict, just like anger, originates from the need to control. When you relinquish your control, you relinquish conflict. You will find that many dramas and things that held your interest before no longer interest you. Notice that you will naturally gravitate towards Nature and to people who exhibit genuine empathy and kindness. You will find that your preferences are now in line with life itself, therefor there is no more conflict with life.

As we let go of the desire to control other people, circumstances and events, we likewise awaken to our true freedom. You cannot have freedom as long as you try to control others. In the ancient Hindu Puranas, it is explained that this desire to control is the last snare of the illusion. It is the deepest seated illusion, and it is the last one to leave. This is the key to freedom, let go of the reins, the horses know where they are going.

– Greg Calise