Monday, June 19, 2023

Lessons From the Chess Board

Lessons from the Chess Board


by Bob Peterson

One of my earliest life-lessons was when I learned to play chess when I was in elementary (primary) school. My older brother, Joe, taught me how to play, and he coached me and gave advice. I was hooked and couldn't get enough. Every day after school, we played game after game, as much as he would tolerate.

In spite of all his help, Joe had no mercy. He ruthlessly defeated me, beating me game after game after game. He kicked my ass bloody. But he also explained what I had done wrong. I'm not sure what he got out of it, but I know what it did for me: it made me a better chess player. My focus and determination grew and my chess skills slowly improved. After what seemed like years, I matched Joe's skills and won about half the time.

One day after school, at a friend's request, I visited a chess club that was holding a tournament for middle-school ("junior high") players. I played a few games of chess against their best players and I won every game. These kids were years older than me, and I went home undefeated, with a super-inflated ego. One of them said, "Next year, when you graduate to middle-school, you should join our chess club."

In middle-school I soon learned that if you only play against the same player, you may learn to defeat him/her very well, but you still may be no match for other players with different strategies.

Years later, when I got to high school, my interests changed from chess to computers. I started visiting the University of Minnesota for free "continuing education" computer classes. That's when I heard about an upcoming chess tournament at the University. A little scared and anxious, I scraped together the money and entered the tournament. 

On the day of the chess tournament I was very nervous, but defeated my first two opponents in close victories. My third opponent kicked my ass. He just took me apart, handed my ass to me, and I went home defeated, with a broken and defeated ego. It's a good thing I was good at computers!

Nowadays I play chess on my phone, and my phone usually kicks my ass. It's still fun.

What does all this have to do with astral projection or out-of-body experiences? It's all in the lessons.

My lessons from the chess board were:

  • You can't get better at chess or anything in life by playing weaker opponents.
  • You learn best by playing superior opponents and overcoming obstacles.
  • It's good to broaden your skills by playing different players, not just the same opponent over and over.
  • You only "lose" if you give up and stop working toward your goals.
  • Don't take defeats to heart: see them as lessons, or baby steps, and move on.
  • Don't take victories to heart either: there's always someone better than you.
  • If you hitch your value/worth to your ego, you will always be let down.
  • Never get discouraged: There is always time for another try.
  • We are never done learning. There's always something else to learn.

As it is with chess, so it is with astral projection, except you're only playing against yourself. Astral projection is a skill, much like any sport.

  • Don't be afraid of obstacles. Face them and overcome them.
  • Never stop practicing and never stop improving your skills.
  • You've only failed if you've given up, so never give up.
  • Learn from multiple people who have experiences, not people with book-knowledge, and not just one person.
  • Most importantly, try different strategies: many may fail but some of them might lead to success.
  • Don't judge yourself by your success or failure. Just work toward your goals.
  • The amount of effort you put into it will determine how much you get out of it.

And as it is with astral projection, so it is with life, too. Every one of the bullets above apply equally to anything in life.

It's all a journey and a game. We all learn and we all teach. We're just walking each other home.

Bob Peterson,
20 June 2023

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  1. If you're losing you can always tip over the board! 😃

  2. If you're losing you can always tip over the board!

  3. Thanks Bob that was a great reminder of how life really does work

  4. Thanks Bob, this was just what I needed at this point.