Archive for category Friendship
(Note: this is part 11 of a series called “Quantum Life,” in which I post the contents of a strange ‘guide book’ I found for a game called “Quantum Life.” It is in English, which the book calls a “Quantum Life language,” unable to capture all the complexities of the world as it really is. I’m not sure where this book came from).
Picking up where I left off, the next section in this ‘guidebook’ is “Mates”:
Quantum life creates the illusion of individual identity, hiding knowledge of the inherent unity of all existence. It is out of this alone-ness that players experience emotions, situations, and challenges that do not exist in the unified real world. However, as players overcome fear and start recognizing the inherent unity of all existence, they also have access to more knowledge about the real world.
A mate is different than the kind of agreement quantum life players make between rounds to meet as friends or choose parents. Mates are innately drawn to each other regardless of the context of the game. They are in tune with each other outside the game, and those harmonies penetrate into the Quantum Life reality. Most players are closed off from such connections, but advanced players can experience an enhanced level of joy in finding a true mate.
Recognizing Mates: For players caught up in the game – level one players focused on the material – mates are rarely recognized as such. Fear blinds the inner knowledge that they are connected, and at best their lives connect serendipitously at various points. At level two mates often meet to help each other see the importance of connection and spirit above material concerns. They can develop into true friends and grow closer during a given round of play, helping each other advance. Advanced players can have stunningly powerful relationships and generally have an easier time recognizing mates.
Empaths can literally feel the energy of a mate. The connection they share from past games and even in the real world is strong; they feel hit by a force beyond anything they’ve ever experienced, drawn magnetically to their mate. Most others intuitively feel a powerful attraction. Mates usually come together in three forms:
True Friends/Siblings: Mates often come together as friends who have a special bond and who can share with each other everything, helping them through Quantum Life’s challenges. True friends can be closer than most spouses, even if each has a loving relationship. There is something mystical about their friendship that both recognize. At times two siblings are also mates, and share an intensity in the family experience.
Chance encounters: Sometimes mates are not together for a long portion of their lives. Their particular game paths may have them going different directions in a given round of play. But they can manage to appear at a time when needed – to save a life, to help each other make a good decision, or to alter the course of an individual destiny in a given round of play. The encounter may be brief, but powerful.
Soul mates: Sometimes the mate is a spouse or life-partner, and the two build a life together and experience the joy of unity at a profound level. This is rare, but represents the closest experience in the Quantum Life world to the joy experienced through the unity of the real world. Soul mates tend to balance and compliment each other, teaching and learning together. However, to truly experience the bliss of unity, they have to avoid the temptation to build walls and be seduced by the culture around them. This means they may met later in life after working through a variety of challenges.
If they choose to be open and honest, sharing completely without fear, they’ll find themselves in a love profoundly deep and mystical. They will sense of taste a the true reality where all is united, and bring a bit of that into the Quantum Life world. It will reflect itself in their lives at every level – physically, intellectually, emotionally and with their families. Soul mates find their lives riddled with synchronicities they draw to themselves. Sex becomes more than a material, physical act, but a physical expression of a love transcending the Quantum Life world.
Choosing the path of total honesty and acceptance is harder than finding each other. Each has to risk bearing their soul and rejecting the protective walls and barriers that most individuals playing Quantum Life feel necessary to build. The risk is worth it; soul mates experience a level of pure joy that very few approach while in the game. It is a taste of the real world. If this path is chosen, both implicitly recognize that their true home is not the Quantum Life world.
What draws mates of any sort to each other is a deep connection at a core level; they are close to each other in the real world, just as they are in the Quantum Life world.
Honesty and Acceptance: Mates only develop a powerful bond and experience true joy if they are able to be completely open with each other. They must be honest about their own thoughts, experiences and emotions, and must accept unconditionally the validity of the others’ experiences, thoughts and emotions. They share secrets rather than keep them. They do not hide part of themselves out of fear of what the other might think. They do not judge the other, but understand.
That signifies the true meaning of Love. Love is a misunderstood term in Quantum Life, often connected with emotions of fear – jealousy, envy, pride or false desire. Mates love because they accept each other as they are, and do not hide who they are. Without such honesty true love is impossible. Mates – true friends or soul mates – can help each other awaken a powerful love inside the Quantum Life world that can ripple through the entire game, impacting every life they touch. It is the personal expression within the game of the love that defines existence in the real world.
OK, enough transcribing for today. Here are links to past entries in the quantum life series:
Quantum Life – August 3, 2010
How to Play Quantum Life – August 4, 2010
Why Play Quantum Life – August 5, 2010
The Soul in Quantum Life – August 20, 2010
Getting Started with Quantum Life – October 1, 2010
Quantum Life: Birth and Pre-Birth – November 22, 2010
Quantum Life: Childhood – July 20, 2012
Quantum Life: Obstacles – July 29, 2012
Quantum Life: Empaths and Extensions – August 8, 2012
Evil in Quantum Life – October 8, 2012
I am far behind in my correspondence to friends in Germany. I have numerous excuses. It’s difficult to write in German after being away from the language so long, I’m so busy I have even been late with birthday cards to family members, and Germany is so far away. Yet back in the days of snail mail I was much better; letters crossed the Atlantic and it seemed I kept in contact with my European friends. Because, the truth of the matter is that my closest friendships were forged in Germany between 1991 and 1992.
Making friends does not seem especially easy. It’s not that there aren’t a lot of good people around me, or that I don’t want to spend time to get to know people well. It’s just that time seems lacking. With kids aged 5 and 2, a busy work schedule, and others with their own commitments and interests, time to really build a friendship is rare. Instead I have numerous acquaintances, few real friendships. And that gets me to think about my year in Germany.
I spent one year living in Berlin and mostly Bonn, from September 1991 to August 1992, working my dissertation with the help of a DAAD (Germany Academic Exchange Service) scholarship which paid me 1400 DM a month. That was easily enough to live on, and much of the time I was in a dormitory in Bonn, on a “guest floor” on Endernicher Allee 17. The guest floor was for scholars or students in town for a short while, not full time students of the University of Bonn. Most were Germans doing practicums — Dorthe for the SPD, Ulli for the CDU, Volker in the press section of the Bundestag, and Claudia for law. Some people came for a short time and would become full time students there, like Eric, who studied meterology. We’d also get a few foreigners — no other Americans, but there was Helene from France, and Neil (a strange one) from Great Britain.
When I first moved in, most people were eating in their rooms (we had a kitchen for the entire floor, sharing cupboard space, a fridge, and cookware), and not interacting. Each room had a bed, desk, and sink, and the floors shared two toilets and two showers. I was in Germany not just to finish my dissertation, but to truly become fluent in the language. I decided I had to change things up. In early December I put up a sign in the kitchen: “December 9, 1991 – Pizza Party, all invited! Scott will provide pizza and beer!” Having worked in a pizzeria much of my student life, I know how to make a mean pizza from scratch, the only difficult part was lugging a case of beer (a case of 30 half liter bottles) from the local store. Not only did everyone show up, but that party changed the atmosphere of the floor. Every night a group of us — different people every night, but I was always there — would meet and talk for hours over beers. That was the way I became fluent in German, talking every night, day after day for hours. When someone left or joined the floor we’d have a goodbye (or welcome) party, and the new person would be welcomed into the very social culture of our floor. I found out later that after I left all that died, the head resident said the best times on that floor were when I was there because I constantly worked to bring the people together.
It was selfish, at first. I needed to practice German! But not since living in the college dorms had I spent so much time talking to people and getting to know them well. We’d go to the movies, take walks, and as people moved out, I visited them. Volker and Sonja in Muenster, Ulli moved on Dresden for government work (when I first visited him he was staying short term in a converted East German military baracks), Claudia In Goettingen, Eric in Saarbruecken, and Doerthe in Bremerhaven and later Sweden. I also made friends with Tina from Passau (who I met on the plane flying over there – September 5, 1991) and had old friends, pen pals from my time in Bologna in 1982-83 – Gabi from Ingolstadt, Annemarie from Munich.
So I got close with a lot of people, and realize that even now as I count my friends here at UMF, I’ve not had near the conversations and shared experiences with them that I had in that year with my German friends, followed by extensive travels across Germany to visit people in the summers of 95 and 96.
Why is it that I can’t find time to cultivate friendships here like I did that year in Germany? Part of it is that I now have family responsibilities — there I was alone in a dorm, with other people living right next door. That’s a very different context! But still, it seemed that during that year nothing was more important to me than the friendships I was building, the people I was getting to know. It bled over to building friendships with Tina after meeting on the plane (I long lost track of her), and Gabi (we still exchange rare e-mails), who I first got to know as a pen pal back when I was 19. That year was about friendships and thinking about life. I wrote an unpublished novellette, and even got dissertation work done. It was a special year, one of the most sacred times of my life.
Yet now, life is busy and interactions are brief and usually focused on a task. Perhaps two of my closer friends at UMF show how this works. I now co-teach with Steve, but until we worked together on a travel course to Italy, and were able to spend time in Italy eating and walking/talking with each other as well as students and other faculty, we had only brief conversations. Even now, I daresay we talked more about life and things outside teaching during the Italy trip than in a year afterwards. I also co-teach with Mellisa, who I got to know from Faculty Senate. We worked closely together there, and when Natasha and I had our first child, Mellisa was a natural confidante. Her oldest is four years older than ours, and she teaches Early Childhood; then she and Robert were having their second. We exchanged a lot of e-mails, and actually found time to build a friendship. But after that we each got busy doing other things, and though we still co-teach, we find it hard to find time to really talk.
And so it goes. I don’t think it’s just me. I think a lot of us in the US are caught up in that spiral of being so busy that we “don’t have time right now” to actually get together and just relax, talk, and get to know each other. It seems all time must be productive, and there’s an elusive point in the future ‘when things aren’t so hectic’ which we believe is just around the corner, but never seems to arrive.
And so I think back on that time in Germany. First, I have to catch up on my correspondence, with lengthy, personal letters that try to re-connect what we had. That year was important, and those friendships special. I know there is still something there, even after we’ve all moved on and in different directions. I also need to make this a priority with the people in my life now. Perhaps we’ll invite people over more often for just drinks or snacks, not having to have it be a full blown dinner or party. The artists are investing in an espresso machine, I’m going to buy a share and then walk across campus to their building next semester and try to socialize more there.
That year in Germany stands out as something special. Not just because it was an amazing year of travel, becoming fluent in a foreign language, and having a series of adventures. But that year was devoted primarily to getting to know others and making friends. The years since then have been a blurr. Family has been important, and family experiences are strong in my mind, but relationships with others, even my very satisfying job seem to have been passing pay at light speed, one year after the other.
I have to focus on making time friends. I need to make it a priority like I make taking time to write my blog a priority (and I probably blog because I need an outlet to communicate my thoughts beyond the daily work and family routine). I need to slow down. I need to really consider the people around me, take time to enjoy where I am, and connect with the people in my life now.
But first, I have some letters to write, auf Deutsch.