Some time ago I was trying to make sense of the notions or game A and game B. In a nut shell, it is a discourse in the sensemaking community that advocates the need to shift from old structures to a new modality of our collective being. Game A represents the default mode of society that led us to the existential risks of climate change, consumerism, warfare etc. Game B is an alternative proposition for a future which is non-rivalrous, decentralised and complexity-sensitive. It is an interesting proposition that challenges the way we think about ourselves not only from individual perspective but also as being part of a larger context. It emphasises our interconnectedness and collective entanglement with each other. For me, personally, thinking about my individual presence in relation with others in the world, it opened up a lot of doors for wider thinking, more connection and the ability to surrender to uncertainly. An important aspect of this way of thinking is to be able to look at any occurrence from multiple perspectives. While thinking about hypnotism and trying to find a way for a good relationship with it, I could see that thinking in terms of game B helps me play with hypnotism in a healthy and productive way.
Before I elaborate what I mean by that, let me bring rule omega into the picture. Rule omega is a principle that enables to listen to multiple perspectives in order to get access to a deeper truth. For example, remember the story about the elephant and the blind men? Each person gets to touch a different part of the elephant and they all claim their own truth when describing it. They start arguing and defending their reality but all descriptions remain equally incomplete. Without combining multiple perspectives, the ability to know what is an elephant is limited. Accepting the possibility that in each individual perspective there is an element of truth, speaking game B language, having the ability to see a signal in every noise, is rule omega. It is a powerful, yet challenging, way to engage with the world.
The only way to get to a deeper understanding what truth is to be in constant dialogue with each other, exchanging our individual truth that constitutes the bigger picture. But how do we do that? Overcoming cognitive biases, personal weaknesses and ego-driven impulsive reactions isn’t an easy task. Yet, it is not impossible and with the right attention we can start making changes in our everyday conversations and see immediate effects of this type of engagement. There are two aspects that can help to practice rule omega. First, when a person is explaining something difficult or incomplete, give her the benefit of the doubt. Instead of assuming what we think we know and stay in the space of familiarity of our knowledge, we quickly shift our thinking: there is always a signal within the noise, so what is it? Can I detect it? Getting curious in signal detection can be a really fun activity and when it is fun, everything becomes much more relaxed and, as we know, a relaxed state of mind is great for new ideas.
When we don’t understand what the other person says, ask to clarify or help to formulate in a better way. By helping each other to deliver our thoughts in a better way, we are not only creating distributed responsibility but also create safe psychological environment, free of competition and superiority. Remember that our perspective is also incomplete. Daniel Schmachtenberger brilliantly said that perspective is a reduction of the information that is being perceived. Isn’t it liberating? Which bings me to the cultivation of hypnotism virtue. The main mechanism of the hypnotic state is to narrow down our attention to one specific thing, be able to include kaleidoscopic vision on the world. By practicing rule omega, we automatically expand our view. And not only we are able to include the perspective of other “hypnotised” entities but also the perspective of hypnotism will be included, enabling us to see its underlying intentions.
I am trying to practice rule omega in day to day situations, and I must admit it requires quite some effort - active engagement and the ability to confront my biases. But imagine the possibility that we are all able to exchange our perspectives, whatever they are, in a judgement-free way, building new forms of thinking together. Enriching our understanding of the world and connecting what is real. I noticed that keeping the image of the elephant in mind helps me practice. Perhaps, next time you feel that you are absolutely right about something, think which part of the animal are you seeing in front of you, and what is there more to find?