For some reason, this all reminds me of two things—
“Israel” literally means “one who wrestles with God”, not one who submits.
The story of Santa Theresa de Avila standing knee-deep in muddy water, trying to get her cart unstuck, and shaking her fist at God, shouting: “If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few of them!”
I quit playing rated games on here, not because I was losing a lot or that my rating was going down, but because I discovered that my own ego-weakness was tuned into the rating. (Not only a weakness, but an irrational one to boot, I admit.) I decided to play the game just for the game, and see if I could do that with the same focus and not lackadaisically. I could. (Though I am playing very little right now, for other reasons.)
What happens if one takes concepts like “rating”, and even “winning/losing”, out of the spiritual/religious game altogether? What if one chooses to play it with just as much focus and verve, no matter the outcome? Is there any better way to play it?
Perhaps that’s very Zen—or very Zorba-esque—or a bit of both. Miguel de Unamuno, in his The Tragic Sense of Life wrestled with the question (as both a Christian and an existentialist) with more square-on honesty than most.
Jaywill, when all the dust settles from the theological argument, is not so far from Unamuno. It is in that sense (in part), even though we tend to disagree about almost everything else on here, that I once called him a “rare bird.” I meant it as a compliment.
Kirk, who understood the metaphor here, is another rare bird—and I mean that as a compliment.
I have had some ugly relationships with a few people on here (some of it likely my fault, some of it theirs)—jaywill has not been one of them. And, as you can see, his chess metaphor and his use of the word “tragic” has given me, at least, some stuff to think about...