Once upon a time, there was a group of Very Powerful People. They lived in a place where everything was beautiful and perfect, and everyone loved everyone. In fact, it was so perfect, that they started to get a little bored with it. So they decided to play a game.
The Game, they decided, would have to be Difficult, so that it would challenge these very powerful people. They would make tough Rules and Gigantic Obstacles. But they were still very powerful, so they decided to go one step further: on top of it all, they would hide their true powers from themselves and each other, and go into the game with Limitations. This would make the game very interesting, and would provide a unique Experience for everyone.
As the game progressed, the people forgot their true identities, and became the characters that they created for themselves. Stripped of their powers, they became very frustrated with the Gigantic Obstacles, and most of the people could not keep all the Rules. So they created Penalties for the people that broke the rules. They judged each other, and punished each other, and soon, Hate was born.
Strangely, Hate was one of the things that they were not allowed to do according to the Rules of the game, but it was also an inevitable result of trying to keep the impossible rules they had made, given the Limitations they were under. As the game progressed, and got more and more insane, some people started to realize that something was very Wrong. The feeling that something was Wrong meant that something else, beyond their world, must be Right. Soon, some of the players even figured out the Truth – that their true identities were not just these little characters in the game, but that they originally came from somewhere else that was perfect and beautiful. It was the only way to explain the homesick feelings they had, and the feeling that this crazy game could not be the Ultimate Reality.
When these players “woke up” and started talking about the Perfect World “out there” that they had come from, the other characters got very scared. By this time, they had set up complicated Systems to keep the Rules and keep everything Under Control. A lot was invested in these Systems. They did not want to find out that they were Wrong about their Reality because then the Systems would become obsolete and they would lose their Investments. So, the scared characters attacked the waking players, and “killed” their characters. (Unbeknownst to the characters in the game, “killing” a character only kicked the player out of the game.) One character named “Socrates” was forced to drink poison if he did not give up his theories about the “ideal world.” Another named “Jesus,” who talked about being a powerful player and not just a character, was nailed to a wooden beam. Still others were exiled, beheaded, imprisoned or shot to death, sending them out of the game.
After a long, long time, more and more players started to “wake up.” It got to the point that they could no longer ignore this idea of being Real People with powers beyond what they could see within the Game. But they also could not give up their Investments in the Systems. So, most people tried to integrate these new ideas into the small reality they had designed for themselves, keeping the limitations and rules of the game, with the fringe benefit of believing that there was a Perfect World waiting for them after the game was over – as long as they managed to keep the Rules. This created a requirement that there be an alternate “world” of pain and suffering for those who did not support the Systems, because obviously, the rule-breakers could not be allowed to go back to the Perfect World.
But some people continued to play outside the Systems. And when they realized that their big, scary obstacles were only creations of their own design, and that they were the ones who had made up the Rules, everything looked different. Thus, Forgiveness became possible like never before. Because, if these were only limited characters in a game that was impossible to win, then should they not have Compassion for each other? Should they not try to help each other overcome the pain and dismantle the obstacles?
And then the players discovered something even greater: that the purpose of this painful game was to experience themselves as Compassionate Beings of Light in the middle of a Great Darkness. Not in the Perfect World of light, where it was easy to love, but in a world where misery and anguish and fear had made Love almost impossible. And in the midst of that dark world of terror, the players started waking up to powers beyond anything they had ever known – the powers of Compassion for the people they had feared the most.