Connection – we all need it. But what constitutes a connection with other people if we can’t touch, can’t stand or sit too close, and maybe can’t even be in the same room together?
I’ve played a couple of Higher Thought Zoom games over the last couple of weeks. I hosted one, and my friend Mark Welch hosted the other. I felt surprisingly connected with others in the “room.” I felt like an ethereal head connecting with other heads. Though that may sound a little cold and disembodied, it felt very sweet and warm and human! And yes, I was stoned.
Mark calls the Higher Thought game a form of “counterprogramming against the doom scroll.” I think I know what he means. We’re all (well, most of us anyway, I think) so focused these days on what we’re afraid of:
- The possibility of Trump being reelected
- Runaway climate change
- A reactionary Supreme Court
(I mean, I don’t know about you, but those are some of the things I’M afraid of.)
The Higher Thought game reorients our attention to other matters that – though seldom discussed — are highly relevant to us. These topics remind us of the infinite mystery at the heart of our lives, rather than the illusory walls closing in on us.
And people say amazing things. For example, Mark and Autumn were on fire last Sunday (though they weren’t the only ones):
Mark: “Growing old is a clarifying influence.”
Autumn: “Frustration is the distance between what reality is and what I expect it to be.”
Mark: “We never have a perfect map of what’s really going on.”
Autumn: “Going out in nature is like the Rainex or Windex for shit-covered glasses.”
Mark: “When I feel the energy getting ungrounded, I say ‘Let’s all take a breath.’”
Autumn: “When is a breath ever a bad idea?”
I’m very happy with the places the game seems to take me and other people lately. As Autumn noted, “Some of us may wind up in altered states with or without substances.”
I certainly hope so. Because I think we may need altered states right now almost as much as we need connection.