A Life-and-Death Analogy

Death works similarly to how it does in a video game. However, there are some key differences.

In video games, the character you are controlling has a limited number of lives—usually that number is greater than one. When your character loses one of his lives, you either have to restart from the last checkpoint you reached, or you have to restart the level you currently are on. If you lose all of your lives, you may have to restart the entire game, depending on the specific game you’re playing (this is the case with older video games, such as Pac-Man and Sonic the Hedgehog). In some games- newer ones, in particular- losing all your lives and getting “Game Over” is almost no different at all from losing any one of your lives.

In real life, you have an unlimited number of lives. Each time you die, though, you get “Game Over,” and you have to restart the game with a new character. However, even though the character you control changes, the player of the game- you- remains the same. This is key.

What this means is that who you really are is not your game character, but the player of the game. This means that you are not your physical body and mind, but instead are awareness itself. Who you really are is the same as who I really am. We are God, divinity, awareness, universal consciousness, humanity, all the same. There ultimately is only one consciousness. We may appear to be separate beings who have distinct lifetimes. But, ultimately, there is only one of us—and there is only one lifetime to speak of. Therefore, who you really are cannot die.

Alas, the character you currently inhabit this world with can indeed die, and someday he will. When your character dies, it’s Game Over. You only get one shot with this character.

After you get “Game Over,” you are taken, as you would be in a video game, to the main menu screen. When you’re at the main menu screen, it’s clear that what you’re doing is playing a game, and you are choosing to do so. When you play video games you have no question about this. So too it is when you begin a new life.

The game of life is a role-playing game (RPG), like World of Warcraft, the Sims, and Earthbound. When you start the game you get to design the character you are going to play the game with. You select her physical attributes, character traits, and, most importantly, the quest or adventure that the character is to complete. You also get to choose where on the map (that is, the Earth) you will start the game. Not only that, but you also get to choose the specific set of people who will bring you into the game, so to speak. There are major choices to be made when you first start the game.

At some point while playing the game, it may occur to you that the game is bigger than the game world and game character you inhabit. You may remember that there is an entity controlling your game character and influencing how the game turns out. You may even consider that entity is you—who you truly and ultimately are.

Perhaps you are having such an experience right now.

Welcome to the game, my friend.

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