Notes on Books : Finite and Infinite Games #2

What role do I play in life? What masks do I wear?


employee – ex-lawyer – intellectual – daughter – sister – friend – Board member – French speaker …

“The issue is whether we are ever willing to drop the veil and openly acknowledge…that we have freely chosen to face the world through a mask”

In playing a role, I suspend complete freedom to be whomever and whatever the situation faced requires. I do this because I have been conditioned to – that is what society expects …

When I was a lawyer, the role that was required became too distinct from the person that I am … the daily application of a mask took too much effort … I chose to stop playing the role …

If I have freely chosen to step into any role, then I can choose to step out.

Infinite players enter into finite games with all the appropriate energy and self-veiling, but they do so without the seriousness of finite players … they freely use masks in their social engagements, but not without acknowledging to themselves and others that they are masked … they regard each participant in finite play as that person playing …

If I am playing a role – others, too, are playing a role … when this is remembered, actions become less serious …

… but no less irritating …

I understand the idea of the masked players … and the role-playing … but I seek truth …  that which lies beneath … I want an un-masked world …

But that doesn’t, and won’t exist – why want something that will not be, given that everyone seems to be playing a finite game without most acknowledging that they are doing so?

Possibly I could change my definition of ‘truth’ – to that which I see at any given time – there is ‘truth’ in the mask as much as there is truth in the unmasked – the mask has been chosen for a reason – it is the wearer’s truth at a given point in time.

They are playing their role.

‘Playing’ makes it sound much less serious … “the role of ‘mother’ being played” can be taken less seriously than “mother”; in separating the person from the role, the role becomes less important.


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