The 1up is all about nature’s distinction of standing out from the crowd. It also creates a sense of belonging in animals and humans who then dominate the habitat in either a subtle or obvious way. In non-animal species, I only have to look in the garden to see inferior offshoots outgrown over and over by other foliage. This tells me that such competition is hardwired into all living things.
Humans love to get the 1up on each other since it’s in our blood. When I find, capture, or unfold something that I feel gives me a particular advantage, or the edge, I draw strength from it and become alive as I make it known to you. Throughout life, I play 1up with friends, family, strangers and whoever else I bump into while enjoying every moment of it on high ground.
But soon what follows is a sure gravitational reality check pulling me back down to the low ground as I compare myself to someone else who projects something stronger. This is the dreaded 1down.
When I am consumed in positive feelings from a sense of belonging, it means I’ve raised my 1 UP HIGH and showed it off to the world. While in the meantime, I have forgotten all about those opposite negative feelings that are far, far away from me. Yet, it’s only a matter of time before someone else in line bumps me off the better side of the 1up-1down playing field.
Yes, eventually the 1ups I project into the world are reflected back to me by someone else, cancelling mine out like they had never existed to begin with. While at the same time, I also feel the effects of an ugly 1down in a reprimand. Littleness, shame, envy, jealousy, anger, and resentment to name a few of them. Though, I suppose I shouldn’t expect anything less since I live in a playing field where the winner is destined to always change.
Still, being consumed in the never-ending spiral between pleasure and fear, King and Peasant, constantly reinforcing my position on the better side of the playing field, is what makes me stand out from the crowd and feel fully alive. Without this involvement, I risk living a mundane existence, remaining totally uncharged forever to the point of feeling purposeless.
New 1up-1down Optimisation
However, do not fear as I’ve finally found a workaround to help alleviate the excessiveness or unnecessary weight that a 1up-1down carries. Observing the movement of 1up-1down energy between parties is what’s needed for a better outcome in terms of conserving emotional energy. In other words, the more I observe the system, the less I’m consumed by the perpetual cogs of the system.
Another reason that helps alleviate the smackdown in a significant way and takes the weight off my shoulders is knowing that I’ll always fall short of a permanent win the moment I’m on the field. You see, serving a 1up is forever bound to project back at me. The moment I hold my 1up UP, it attracts attention and eventually loses value to an opposing force. Therefore, even the most illustrious win is fleeting, with a cosmically balanced defeat lurking just ahead.
And when I register a loss, the pressures of having to work even harder to gain back my advanced position on the field can now be a thing of the past. They say it takes far more effort to stay king than it does to become king. But this new optimisation means I no longer have to play to win. Instead, now I can play simply for the sake of playing as there is no hope of staying king.
Can you believe that we are actually all in this over a fight for psychological territory, hoping to gain space and energy in the real world as well? Fortunately, once you realise the nature of this eternal game you can remove yourself from it, or at least reduce the stakes.