Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Endgame is not the Goal


The desire to win any challenge, say in a sport, is what exactly motivates every competitor to train really hard. Coaches will demand that every member of their teams must give all what they got at every practice. Setting an objective lesser than winning the top spot is not a good way to start. Winning the top, knocking all the rest who once coveted the same, is what matters most.

However, if winning is calculably impossible, the competitor is expected to give a good fight so that in the end when he look back, though lost the fight, is still considered a winner in a different sense apart from that of the one holding the winning bag.

Looking at it in subtlety, there lies the intent to reach the goal or the endgame not just merely to win it rather more importantly to reach the finish line with high spirit intact knowing there is contentment as to how ample effort has been well executed.

Apparently, the only reason to fight is to be fulfilled. That is the apparent goal, is it not? To be fulfilled. Not necessarily winning it though winning it may come as a big bonus in itself. The closest motivation is to have that sense of fulfillment at the end.

But there is a problem. If the goal is expected to be found at the endgame, why is it still necessary to spend an effort in competing while under the regulation of time, ie. 4 ten-minute quarters for basketball? Why not just use the classic head and tail game to determine the winner? The reason is perfectly simple that the Endgame is not really the Goal. Much like in an orchestra which is not aimed at banging the last note but rather playing the entire music beautifully, the goal is not found at the end of the game rather the goal is the game while it is being played.

In all wisdom, there is no goal at the end of every challenge. The goal is itself to remain playing as long it is required to go on playing. And because playing is itself the goal, the execution is always perfectly fulfilling because it comes as it is so spontaneously.  That is when the true winner emerges. The dance didn't aim for the last step. The dance number is aimed at the dance itself.

Same thing is true with Life. That is why the Buddha emphasized his teachings not on desires and goals rather on the present play of the moment That is the beauty of realizing that the goal of life is never at the end of the tunnel; never when men will find out where they came from or where they are headed; never when Higgs-Boson particle confirms the Creation or Big Bang; or never when String Theory of Everything  is confirmed to be true.

Now is the Goal. Now is the Endgame. Nothing else.