Many years ago, a business consultant, who specialized in military transitions, took an interest in me. She started a conversation with me as I waited for a friend in the Family Support Center of Andrews Air Force Base. Part way through the conversation she jumped in and said, “INTJ or INTP”. Being unfamiliar with the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator, she had to explain to me that she thought that I was one of those personality types. She went on to say that she did not think I belonged in the military. She asked that I take the MBTI to confirm her suspicions and if it turned out she was right about me, she would invite me to her house in DC and explain to me why it was in my best interest to leave the military. I took the test and she was correct. I came out as an INTJ/P. In fact, my J and P were so close that I had to take an additional step to determine which one I was more inclined toward–judging or perceiving the world around me. Surprised that she could figure me out so quickly, I took her up on her offer for lunch and listened to what she had to say.
She explained to me that were I to get out of the military, I would, in time, figure out what my true calling was. But if I stayed in until retirement I might never discover my calling. The other thing she said to me was that I had to learn to not hate “the Game”. Out of everything she said to me, that one really showed that she got me and that I could trust her. She said that she could tell that I could see the subtle manipulations that people do to each other on a daily basis and she could see that I was managing my life in such a way that I could participate in it as little as possible. She was right. She said that she could also tell that most of the trinkets that get dangled in our faces in order to sway us one way or the other mean very little to me and that I get annoyed when I feel people want me to take these attachments seriously. She was right again. Finally, she said she could tell that I feared that if I participated in “the Game” intentionally and started “winning” I would either get sucked in, at some point I would not be able to take it anymore and would have to leave it all anyway, or worse–I would get addicted to “the Game” and turn into one of the people I thought was using the system to take advantage of others. Again she was right.
At first I thought she was some kind of psychic, but she assured me that she had just been studying people so long that she could figure out most people in a single conversation. She offered to teach me and to help me learn how to play “the Game” without feeling like I was compromising myself. She was going to teach me how to play “the Game” in a way that could serve people and unity rather than simply capitalizing on people’s fears and insecurities. I told her that as far as I could tell it wasn’t possible because Jesus had taught that his students could not serve both God (the reality of Eternal Oneness) and the material/phenomenal world (the illusion of separation). Even though I was trying, I didn’t know how to do better than what I was doing–which was basically trying to do as little harm as possible. She said she would teach me how to do good.
Over the next couple of years, we would talk and she would help me get clarity as I bumped along in my post military awakening. It took several years for me to get the clarity I needed to get past some of my blocks with “the Game”. By that time, I decided to go to seminary and see if I could learn something there that would help me get to the point where I felt like I could do some good. One day, I called Kaye to let her know that I was getting closer to understanding what she was trying to teach me only to find out that she had died.
Since her death, I cannot say that I have gotten any closer to reaching that place she spoke of. In fact, in some ways I feel like I may be regressing. Recently, I saw online that a famous rapper was going to get an endorsement for an ungodly amount of money and I was saddened. It wasn’t that he was making so much money, but rather the recognition that a society that would pay him that kind of money clearly has some value issues. Another thing that challenges me is seeing the formerly and currently oppressed using the same logic used to oppress them in their efforts to oppress others. So many examples… Just so many examples. (Sigh) And the thing that gets me is that I don’t even think we realize that we do this. And I won’t even get started on the political landscape right now. All I will say is “Reality TV”. Enough said. If I look at it too long, I start wishing I could do a Richard Pryor in Brewster’s Millions and start a none of the above campaign.
The toughest part for me is that I think the world is full of sincere people. I think that we are all doing the best we can and this is what we’ve come up with.
So what do we do? What do I do? All I can think of is to go with the “Game Changer”. As I’ve told people, even if someone could prove to me without a shadow of a doubt that some people made Jesus up, I’d still follow the teachings that were made up about him, because as far as I can tell this “Game” has been going on a long time and the way they say he played it seems to be the only way out of it that meets me where I am.
Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if Kaye was still alive and had the chance to teach me whatever it was she thought I needed to know. It would be awesome if I knew how to play “the Game” in the way that she was able to. It was clear to me that she was very loving and gifted and generous. I aspire to be all of those things. Unfortunately, I still have a ways to go when it comes to “the Game”. I just can’t seem to reconcile it with what I’ve witnessed and what I see demonstrated in the the teachings of my discipline. And so here I am, loving the players, but still hating “the Game”.