This morning I’ve had a stunning non-verbal thought experience. Clear like water, very simple, and intense like a blast. Unfortunately my verbal description appears to me like a terribly flawed approximation, but I will give it a shot. Let’s start with the rather simple part:
The game of life that we (humans) are currently playing can be seen as a game of – and “played” by – atoms, quarks and beyond. Viewed as such, our experience is therefore obviously
(1) not-self (anatta),
(2) impermanent (anicca) in the sense of ever-changing, and
(3) stressful (dukkha) in the way as we currently play it.
Buddhist principles derived from game theory? Unfortunately I know very little about the latter. Maybe the related terms should be paraphrased differently, but I will keep using them for now.
I suppose that the third conclusion is least obvious, as it probably requires a glimpse of knowledge about dukkha, which is not everyone’s cup of tea. I have also included the assumption that consciousness is part of the universe and its laws. Our universe along with its laws could be regarded as “higher-level” player.
So far, so simple. Now it becomes complicated. :-)
After this initial thought I reflected upon the benefits of Gotama Siddhattha’s teachings, which somehow involve centering yourself in the here-and-now (“easily” observable through direct experience). Then I wondered whether such a path is ultimately leading your consciousness one level (like a “dynamic” or an abstraction level) upwards? Maybe, if enough human beings perform this task, they will “pull” the rest with them as the critical mass is reached? (this seems difficult to explain, as it was more like a “structural vision”)
I suppose we cannot yet speculate about similar tasks for other species and whether they will accomplish them as well (or have already done so, probably with a different set of rules?!), since we (humans as a “unified player” with “unified consciousness”) have not yet been able to “stand there on top and look around in all directions”. Nor can we speculate about what comes next (structurally something similar on higher levels, I suppose). But with this “pulling effect” arising from those “enlightened” ones who have reached the top, cooperation (involving active and passive teaching) would be a property of the game. The goal of any individual player might thus coincide with the goal of the unified player! And maybe this vast “journey upwards” is what the game of life is all about. :-)
I would not be surprised if these speculations contain numerous flaws. But I have no doubts about the intense non-verbal insight itself that gave rise to them. Maybe with growing experience I can create more fruitful and compatible conclusions.
I have no idea whether all of this makes any sense to anyone of you, but obviously I could not resist sharing my thoughts. As usual. :-)