I recently started playing Tetris again.
This time on my iPhone instead of an old school Game Boy. It’s amazing Tetris is still popular as ever before since it was invented by Alexey Pajitnov in 1984.
In Tetris, there are six different shapes and sizes of blocks dropped from the top of a rectangular empty box to start. You can put the blocks in any way you want but if you put them in a way that one row contains all blocks without any empty space, you clear that row. The law of gravity would drop the blocks above onto that cleared row. Of course, you can stack and clear multiple rows together in one go.
It had dawned on me one day while I was playing Tetris how similar the game is to our lives. The objective of a Tetris game isn’t about clearing rows as much as it is about not stacking the blocks past the rectangular box on the top. It’s about staying alive to keep playing.
Imagine each block dropped from the top as an event or experience you had encountered in your life. It is up to you to either choose to let it go or cling onto that experience and hold it inside of you.
If you don’t align a block correctly, you might not be able to clear it until later. The more you stack up this way, the more likely your Tetris board will be cluttered with disorganized blocks. Soon enough, it will be game over for you.
Just like in a game of Tetris where you’re clearing blocks in order to keep playing, you need to clear the experiences you have clung onto from the past. Your stored up experiences are creating the unnecessary frictions in your life. These experiences are changing the way you interpret new experiences as they come in.
In Tetris, when you stack a block in a poorly placed spot, it creates a chain effect to the blocks after it. One block that could clear all those rows blocked by a previous poorly placed block so you have to find a new spot to place this one.
When you don’t let go of the experience that hits you at that moment, it becomes harder and harder to let it go later. It will take real work to slowly brush away that stored up experience later on.
These awkwardly placed blocks create deep layers of disorganized rows on the bottom. It becomes harder for you to clear those rows as you struggle to keep up with clearing the row you are currently on.
In a way, we want to create harmony on the board by keeping it nice and simple as we also would like to do in our own lives.
How do we do it?
In Tetris, it’s simple. By focusing your attention on the game, you will eventually hit a state of flow. You become merged with the game as you try your best to clear the rows. Remember the objective of the game and enjoy yourself. It helps that you can keep playing over and over again.
In life, it’s still simple but much harder to put into practice since we are still playing the same game since we were born. Those poorly placed blocks are still stuck deep inside of you. You have to do the necessary work to clear them.
Events in your life will unfold in a way that will trigger those experiences you have stored up. These are the perfect time to do the deep work to clear this experience. This will have a cascading effect to slowly chip away at the patterns buried deep near the bottom inside of your life's game board.
The work is the same as Tetris. Turn your attention inward to your true self, the consciousness, the soul, the atman. Your mind and body might be acting up in the heat of the moment, but you are the observer witnessing all of that. It’s up to you to pull back and away from the attraction of the other energies vying for your attention. Don’t get pulled by them. Remember, you are always there in the center.
Breathe, first. Step back and relax. Release away from the situation.
Remember, every moment had to have happened in the exact order for this event to have happened. Honor it. Maybe it’s a lesson from Life because of your stored up energy inside of you. Time to let it go.
There is harmony to Life. Sometimes we are taken out of harmony and things just don’t flow right. We can instinctually feel it. It’s up to us to do the work necessary to merge back into harmony ourselves.
In the end, realize it is all a game either in Tetris or in life. Enjoy both games in a holistic way.