Q1: We have a teenager who spends far too much time than is helpful for him on computer games, and we’d love him to consider the negative impact it’s having on him and the family. I’ve thought a lot about what you said about reading him, and I am aware I have to cultivate other resources within myself to see this in its many forms.
John: As you awaken, you come into your own much deeper interior. When that matters the most to you, you begin to see the same in your child. If he’s really caught up in computer games, he hasn’t discovered his own interior. It takes him outside of himself, so he’s interested in what he’s playing. If you’re able to read what’s taking place in his interior and give him feedback on it, then that is more fascinating for a child or for a teenager than what’s outside of them. The reason they have such fascination with what is outside is because of how much there really is inside. When they become taken with what is outside they become lost, with their awareness being consumed by what’s outside of them. The ability to go out comes from within and they’re not seeing where it all comes from. They become fascinated with something instead of being fascinated with how they move within, and how that interacts with something outside of themselves. As soon as they awaken a little bit, they’ll want more and more.
Q1: So this is parallel to the process in me?
John: Yes. You’re starting out with concern for him going so far out into computer games and you’re not reading his interior while he’s playing them. Read him in what he’s doing and then bring attention to what is occurring within his interior while he’s playing. If you can connect the two for him, he’ll be wide-eyed inside. That introduces an entirely different dimension to his playing computer games. Once he realizes that, he’ll be able to realize that with everything else outside of him.
Q1: How would one draw the attention to the inner workings when he’s looking at the computer game? Would it be just grasping what’s going on for him and why he likes the game? What’s happening inside when he’s playing?
John: If he’s consumed with computer games, he’s not reading his own interior. So while he’s playing, you can go into some measure of appreciation of what he’s in, and then you read your interior. As soon as you can see that, you’ll see it in him. Point that out to him and he’ll be fascinated with it, because you’re talking; you’re talking about something in him that he’s never realized before. As soon as he awakens to that a little bit, you really have his attention.
Q1: So I would look inside at how I feel about what he’s doing?
John: No, it wouldn’t be about how you feel about what he is doing, but what takes place in your interior when you’re freely responding to what’s taking place in the computer game. In playing the game, he’s apprehended by something. So you realize what is apprehending him by appreciating some of the meaning that’s taking place in the computer game, and then notice what is taking place in your own interior that enables you to realize that meaning. As soon as you see that, find the same thing in him, and point it out to him.
Q1: I see.
John: Then, while he’s playing a computer game, he’s realizing himself instead of just his awareness being consumed outside of himself.
Q2: I’ve had a similar thing happen with my son being involved in a computer game, and not quite understanding. It was complete absorption and I could see there was something very engaging, and then tried to see and feel the benefits of that, because there’s usually some sort of wish for love or some connection.
John: There’s a deeper level taking place than what appears on the surface. If you can realize that deeper level, see how your interior is responding to that deeper level, and point out the same in him, then you are a complete step ahead of him, within what he’s doing. As soon as he realizes that, you really have his attention and he’ll want to listen because he’ll want to have more of that.
Q2: Not trying to control it but evaluating the meaning in it.
John: If you’re able to reach him in a little thing like that, then his perception of you is going to change. You are no longer what he thought you were because you were able to come from a deeper place than what he’s realizing, and you’re able to see and open it in him. He becomes in some way wide-eyed about you.
Q2: So that means it’s about the connection and deepening between the two of us?
John: Yes. Then you’re not against what he’s doing, you’re really for a level of meaning that he’s already connecting with, and not realizing how deep that meaning goes.