Life Is A Video Game – A Powerful Metaphor for Spiritual Growth

What metaphor do you use for spiritual growth? Try thinking about life as a video game. Here’s how Angela & Donald view it.

The internet fascinates me, for the opportunities it has in store for each of us. One such opportunity I’ve had, is to connect with a lovely soul, Donald Lee. He too, is a new spiritual author who’s learning how to gracefully step into the role. This week, he wanted to share this interesting metaphor with you and me, to enhance our spiritual growth.

Here’s what he has on his mind.

I love metaphors. I use them to describe and explain spiritual reality. As a musician and a teacher, I often use a music or teaching analogy, like “Life is a school”, “Life is a band”, etc.

After all, how can we understand spiritual things except through metaphors, analogies and paradox? 

With all our modern developments, there are many more possibilities. “Life is a movie”, is another great one.

Here is a metaphor of “Life is a video game”. I wish I’d come up with it. But I didn’t. I’ll share it with you anyway because it’s great. Let’s see how it resonates with you.

Life Is a Video Game—Here Are the Rules

This metaphor will help in our spiritual growth, because it has some profound truths nestled within it in the utmost simple yet impactful way.

#1 – The Rule of Accountability

You can only control one player, and that player is you.

accessory buttons console control, life is a video game, metaphor for spiritual growth

#2 – The Rule of Purpose

You will have challenges presented to you. The purpose of these challenges is to help you grow and progress to the next level—to master the game.

#3 – The Rule of Smart Living

You will have limited resources, both internal resources and external resources. You will not know the level of resources assigned to you until you begin the game.

Players who figure out how to best use their resources will do better in the game. Having more resources does not guarantee success; you must learn how to leverage your resources.

Players who can create new resources/tools (both internal and external resources) will do better in the game.

#4 – The Rule of Change

Players are responsible for their own experience in the game. If you are not happy with your experience in the game, you are the only person who has the power to change it.

Other players will come in and out of your experience in the game.  However, you will enter and exit the game on your own.

#5 – The Rule of Choices

Players will have many options in the game; choose wisely. Your choices will impact your experience. Your choices will also impact who you become as a player in the master game.

The more you put into the game, the more you will get out of it. Within the master game, there are a multitude of game modes and avatars you can choose.

#6 – The Rule of Virtual Reality

You may identify with the game mode and your Avatar, but neither the Avatar nor the game mode is the real you or the real reality. You are only playing a character in the master game. 

person wearing black henley shirt and white vr goggles, metaphor for spiritual growth

#7 – The Rule of Replay

If you fail a lesson or a level of the game, the particular challenge at hand will continue presenting itself to you repeatedly until you successfully figure out how to master that challenge.

Some players may never master all their challenges. Those players may opt to change the gameplay—a new game, using a new Avatar.

#8 – The Rule of Success

The game should be fun, challenging, and fulfilling; the goal is to help you learn. The more you learn, the more successful you will be at the game of life.

The more you can align who your Avatar is with the real you, the more successful you will be at the game of life.

The goal is to create your Avatar into the best version you can make it, given the context, resources, and challenges you have in the game. 

#9 – The Rule of Failure

There are no winners and losers, only those who were able to make the most of the opportunity, or less of the opportunity this time.

Players who do very well typically opt to not continue playing new games, since they got the development they needed.

Whatever happens in the game, the real players are safe. Avatars may get hurt but the actual players behind the Avatars are simply watchers of the game.

photo of man touching his head, metaphor for spiritual growth

#10 – The Final Rule

You are already in the game.

Created by Angela Cotellessa.
Used with permission of the author.

Does that give you a new perspective on life? I hope so.

Is it Disrespectful to Use Such Figurative Thinking?

It might seem irreverent to think of life as a game, but on the other hand, most of us take ourselves too seriously. 

Most of us think to ourselves, “Why is God doing this to me?
Why is my husband doing this to me?
Why is it just my fate to be unhappy?”
And similar thoughts.

This metaphor helps our spiritual growth because it encourages us to take the perspective of,
“I wonder what I am supposed to learn from this?
How could I change my avatar and my results in this game?”
and so on.

As you may have already realized, changing our perspective changes our experience.

You could also consider that, if you’re happy with the level you’re on, you can just stay there for a while. But the game always has other levels to explore—whenever you are ready to go there.

So, this analogy helps to dissipate fear. There really is nothing to fear. We, that is, the spiritual self that is our true self, can never be hurt. We are eternal beings of light. This avatar we currently inhabit will one day pass away.

All of us know that. Yet we still fear it. We fear getting old, becoming feeble, death, and a hundred even more minor events.

When we perceive our true self, our immortal and invincible self, then all fear passes away.

Concluding Thoughts

I hope this metaphor is an inspiring and enlightening perspective in your own game of life, for your spiritual growth.

Oh and I have a spiritual gift for you, before I go! Here is an abridged version of my book, “The Band Director’s Lessons About Life”. You can download it right here.

God Bless You!

Donald Lee
Donald Lee

Donald Lee is a spiritual author and speaker. His life and my website are dedicated to helping people everywhere understand that we are spirit. His first book of modern-day parables, “The Band Director’s Lessons About Life” is available here.

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Reiki: Facts, Myths & Honest Experiences, by Jim Schmidt

What is Reiki? What can it do, and what can’t it do? Here are some facts, myths and candid experiences by Jim – Level 2 Reiki Practitioner.

What is Reiki? What can reiki do, and what can’t it do? Today, Jim, a level 2 Reiki practitioner is kindly sharing his experiences with us.

What IS Reiki?

Reiki is an intelligent energy – it will only go where it’s sent, and only where it’s wanted. It has some very practical applications. And it also has limitations.

Mikao Usui was the first person to channel this energy. I have seen online that he “developed” reiki.

Reiki was not developed by a person. It was first channeled by Mikao Usui. I wanted to clarify that fact.
sage smudge stick in bowl on marble shelf near buddha head, reiki room preparation

Reiki was not developed or invented by any person. It existed long before Mikao Usui and will continue to exist for a very long time.

But I’m not going to write about the history of reiki. I would rather write about my personal experience with reiki.

How I Got Into The Practice Of Reiki Healing

I knew people who had reiki attunements but I was never interested. Then years later, I became more inclined towards it. I felt called to it.

But like most people, I was too busy. I ignored it and went on with my life. Then, I met someone who had recently received a reiki attunement.

After a few weeks we didn’t see each other for a while. To my surprise, I missed her very much. How could I miss someone I had only known for a few weeks? After thinking about it, I realized it wasn’t her, it was the energy. I knew it was time to find out more about reiki.

I began to search online for more information. There were many people in my area that offered attunements. Some people made wild claims about it.

frequently asked questions about reiki
There are many different ideas about what reiki is and what it can do. So I did what I usually do, I continued to search and learn with an open mind and heart.

After a month or so of searching, I finally began to feel drawn to a
teacher whose website I had visited several times. I was hesitant because she lived 75 miles away from me! But I was feeling more and more sure that she was my reiki teacher.

Some teachers will do a reiki attunement on your first visit. I called her, and she scheduled me for an informational class. In that class, we learned about this form of energy healing.

Then she told us to go home for a week and think about it. If we felt we wanted to move forward, we should call her in a week and tell her.

I went back and received my level one attunement.

With my level one attunement, I could give reiki energy to someone very near me through my hands. And with my level two attunement, I can send the energy over any distance to any person in the world.

Other Facts & Myths

I want to be clear about some more things.

I have read that people learn reiki, or develop it.

You do not learn or develop reiki. It is a mystical and powerful energy that exists independently of any person. You are only attuned to channel that cosmic energy.
cosmic energy, reiki healing

I have seen articles online trying to discredit reiki because it would be
impossible to learn how to heal someone in one or two classes. Of course that is true. But you are not learning how to heal.

You are only becoming a conduit, a vessel through which the energy flows. The energy will do what it can to help, heal, and even comfort the receiver.

It’s important to remember, however, that this healing energy that will only go where it is welcome.

So, you cannot force reiki on anyone. If you try to send it to an unreceptive person, it will go somewhere else it is needed and welcome.

Now for the topic of what reiki can do and what it cannot do.

I’m sure there are many undiscovered and subtle benefits. It would be impossible for me to state here everything it can and cannot do. I am only going to share my personal experience.

As for the wild claims that it can cure cancer, and many other physical,
emotional, and mental diseases, please do not substitute it for proper medical care. While it may supplement standard medical care, it should never be assumed that it will replace it.

drawing with the text thank you doctors
A disease may be a natural learning experience for us or even the natural way we transition from this life to the afterlife. Reiki may give us more insight and understanding into this, rather than cure a disease or illness.

It should not be assumed that it will change the course of a natural part of our life.

Benefits Of Reiki Healing

And in my experience, the most practical applications of reiki are for burns and stress.

Reiki For Burns

You can’t use reiki to walk through a burning house without getting harmed. But sometimes we burn ourselves on a hot stove or take a sip of tea or coffee that is too hot. As soon as it happens, if you immediately use this healing energy, I often notice the burn will not be as bad as it otherwise would have

person holding hand

I will usually use cold water and reiki immediately. But again, if you seriously burn yourself with a second or third degree burn, seek proper medical attention immediately. I’m talking about minor first degree burns.

Reiki For Stress

I think the best practical use for reiki is for stress. This is the kind of stress you get from a bad day at work, peer pressure at school, or angry people in traffic.

There are many kinds of energy that claim to deflect negative energy and stress. Many of them work very well, but it works far better than anything else I have tried.

It is an intelligent energy, but you need to ask it for what you would like it to do.

If I know I’m going to be stuck in traffic, or have a difficult phone call at work, I will ask reiki to repel negative energy from the people and situation, and to send that energy to a higher dimension and let it dissolve into light.

traffic, reiki for stress

I notice this especially helps to stay calm in bad traffic. Again, this has its limitations.

So, if you have a job where you are constantly under severe stress and are stuck in traffic jams for hours every day, I would suggest trying to make some big changes in your life.

Reiki can help to improve a bad situation, but it cannot make you completely immune to stress.

Stress, like many other things in life, is healthy in the right amounts at the right time. Like stressing our muscles in the gym, emotional and mental stress can help us to learn, grow, and mature.

If you tried to lift heavy weights all day for many days in a row, you would collapse from exhaustion. Think of reiki like an energy drink or a protein shake to help you with your workout.

It can help with normal amounts of stress, but cannot completely shield us from chronic, severe stress.

If reiki shielded us from all the stress of life, we would miss out on those opportunities to learn, grow, and mature!

Does Reiki Really Work?

Yes, I have some crazy stories. One time I was driving a truck for work and I made the mistake of letting the truck run too low on gas before I pulled into a station to fill up.

I did not know that if a truck like that runs out of gas, you need a special mechanic to come out to the truck and prime the fuel pump.

woman looking at the map

Facing a long wait and an expensive bill, I remembered reading a story where a woman claimed that reiki made her washing machine suddenly start working again. I was skeptical but desperate.

I had tried to start the engine many times without success. Then I mentally intended to send healing energy to the truck to help it start again. And when I turned the key – it started immediately!

I was surprised and have no explanation of how the truck started. Having said that, I do not walk around every day asking reiki to fix my car, reveal tomorrow’s winning lottery numbers, and fix every ache and pain I have.

It won’t work. This intelligent energy assumes that I know what is best for my life path.

Concluding Thoughts

Life’s joys and challenges all help us grow if we face them with the intention to learn and grow from all of it. This has been my experience with reiki. I hope it helps you to know what you might expect, if you feel drawn to it.

Jim Schmidt
Jim Schmidt

Jim has published his first novel about memories of his past lives. It’s the first in a five book series. He seeks to help people better understand the universe around them by sharing his unusual perspective.  


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Oracle Cards: How to Use Them For A Life Transformation, by Anja Ferk

What are oracle cards? How can they help you in your spiritual journey? And what are the steps, tricks & tips to use them effectively? Read to learn more.

Oracle cards found me when I was looking for guidance. Life was not easy, it was full of struggle. And the pain I felt inside me – I did not know how much more I could take it. I was lost and I knew it. I had to change something, yet I had no idea where to begin.

After signing up for an online woman transformation program, life got better. But real transformation for me happened after the author of the program organized a card reading for attendees.

And the magic happened. There was so much truth in her words – even if she never personally interacted with me before. She was talking about my path, about how much I am struggling and judging myself. 

I could identify with every word she was saying. Up to the point where she told me I am on an adventure, and I can either take it and enjoy my transformation I am going through, or fight it and feel more and more pain.

I cried while she was talking to me through the screen, typing back to her to say thank you for her message and encouragement and my body was shaking. And after that call, I started noticing changes in my life – in moments of struggle I remembered her words and started to take action.

That short 5 minutes cards opening had a big impact on my life. And soon enough, I bought my first deck of cards and started using them myself.

Since then, I own many tarot and oracle card decks, and I am trying to find time to ask for guidance and take a moment for yourself as often as I can.

What are oracle cards?

There are many card decks out there. The first thing to know is that there is a difference between oracle and tarot cards.

Tarot cards have a specific structure, termed as major & minor arcanas. And to read those, you will need deeper knowledge about tarot reading to really unlock the potential of the cards.

difference between tarot and oracle cards
Oracle cards are freer in their structure and allow for more intuitive work. Which means anyone – no matter how much experience – can get guidance by them.

Oracle cards can be used to recognize patterns, connect with your spiritual guides and ancestors, connect with your higher self. You can use them as affirmations, or for daily focus.

What exactly you get out of them depends on your interest and the purpose for which the oracle cards were created.

There are multiple decks you can buy, each coming with a specific intention behind them, and usually coming with a booklet that can help you familiarize yourself with the cards.

How to Use Oracle Cards

Here’s a 7-step process to find an oracle deck that works best for you.

1.     Find the right deck for you

As there are multiple card decks out there, you will need to find the deck that resonates with you.

Even if you are interested in getting into oracle readings for yourself (and others). The more aligned you are with the messages of the oracles, the better experience you will have with it.

For your first purchase, try going to a book store or any place where you can buy the cards so that you can look through the pictures and read the text on the cards, feel them and decide to take home the deck that you feel most drawn too.

bookstore, purchase oracle cards in person

2.     Get to know your deck

After you get the deck, make sure to take time before the first use. Read through the booklet that is added to most of the decks. And also take time to go through all the cards.

take time to read the guide for how to use oracle cards

Observe the pictures, read the messages and pay attention to everything you can see and feel while browsing through the cards. Familiarize yourself with the deck.

3.     Set the environment & select the time carefully

Do reading when you feel calm, and you have enough time at your hands.

Set the environment by lighting a candle, put on calm music and maybe burn some scent. Create a ritual about using the cards and taking that moment to really connect with yourself. Make it a treat for yourself.

woman meditating with candles and incense

4.     Set intention & question(s) and decide on a spread

When using cards, always think of an intention.

What information are you seeking for? Is it a daily inspiration? Maybe something that you need to focus on for the next few weeks. Prepare a question or inquiry that can help you move forward.

thoughtful woman writing in notebook at home

A little word of caution here: Oracle cards are not intended to tell you the future. Future is of your own making.

So, if your question is starting with: “ Will I get married/got a job etc…” the answer will probably be very confusing. The real answer to this is something that you are actively creating every day and it actually depends more on your decision.

For best reading experiences you should ask open-ended questions on what you can do to overcome something, or what you need to pay attention to.  

Depending on what kind of question you are dealing with, you will also pick a spread. Most common spreads are 1 card pick, or 3 card picks on past-present-future. For more information, check your oracle booklet.

5.     Shuffle and pick

Then it is time to shuffle and pick cards.

shuffle oracle cards before use
Shuffle in any way you want, while repeating the question in your mind. Sometimes some cards “jump” out of the deck. If those are 1 or 2 cards put them aside, and interpret them alongside the cards you will pick.

When you feel cards are shuffled, pick as many cards as you need for your spread by taking a deep breath and selecting the cards you are drawn to.

6.     Interpretation

And as you lay down the cards in front of you, observe them.

And observe your thoughts. If needed, write them down. Refresh your mind with interpretations from the book, or follow your intuition based on what the cards are telling you.

note down your thoughts when you interpret the meaning of your oracle cards
Take time to notice the similarities in the messages if you pick more than 1 card.

Quick note: Some of the card decks differentiate between upward & downward turned cards. Upward card (turned towards you) usually reinforces the message, and downward turned card (turned away from you) makes the meaning opposite.

Refer to your oracle deck booklet when in doubt.

7.     Say thanks

After you got the message and you are concluding the oracle reading, do not forget to say thanks!

thank you signage

Say thank you to yourself for taking that time, and say thank you for the guidance you have been given.

Concluding Thoughts

The biggest advice I can give you on working with oracle cards is to have fun and follow your feelings and intuition.

You just read about the 7 guidelines for the best experience, but if something of this does not resonate with you – change it and make it yours.  You can’t go wrong as long as you listen to yourself!

Anja Ferk
Anja Ferk

Anja is a spiritual blogger and psychologist, finding the answers to curious questions and inspiring you to live intentionally. Check out her blog Weaving Life’s Web!