Saturday, August 26, 2017

Why I Stopped Playing the Lottery

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



“Keep on scratchin’,” says Gus, the groundhog representative of the PA Lottery.

Maybe I’m mistaken, but when I see pictures and ads of Gus, I often feel him to have a sneery, condescending facial expression, like, You dumb jackasses. How ashamed you would feel if only you knew the god-awful things we’re doing to you with your money.

“Normal” Does Not Equal “Okay”

For years now, many people I know have been regularly playing the lottery. And until a year or two ago, I’d played right along with them. I don’t think I’d ever have played had it not been embedded in my environment, but I didn’t think much of it when I did. Like drinking alcohol or watching porn, I'd thought gambling to be a vice of sorts, but if maintained within a "healthy" margin, then they're "okay"; they’re “just another part of life.”

I've since been shown how detrimental all these “just another part of life” vices are; how just because they’re so “normal” doesn’t in any way make them “okay.”

Void of Self-Value. Savior Seeking.

The greatest reason, yet the most subtle, that such a bastardization of wealth can perpetuate is because people have been taught over and over, in generation after generation, that they are unworthy.

Unworthy of what? Anything and everything. It somewhat depends on the background one has grown up in, but it’s unworthiness all the same.

For instance, in a heavy Western religious culture, there’s going to be intense unworthiness of everything. How can one justify being worthy of having a satisfying income or being happy if individuals are programmed from Day 1 that they’re not even fit for God’s love? Or if someone had been a child during a time such as The Great Depression, it’s almost a given that they’d be carrying beliefs such as, “There’s never enough.” The mirrored external experience must follow, and the issues must, if unhealed, pass on to any children. Or, thirdly, suppose even that a child had been born into prosperity but had never been able to live up to her mother’s stringent, elitist standards. She therefore became an adult who views herself as an “unworthy failure,” not realizing that her mom's cruelty was no reflection of her true self.

Before all this, however, there lies an even deeper chunk of conditioning which states:

Your life/soul value is based primarily on your financial and material worth.

Being programmed in this way, being programmed as unworthy, yet society saying nothing about the issue nor offering ways to resolve it, people go out into the world seeking means by which to experience worthiness.

The seemingly rational thing to do is therefore get a lot of money; buy a lot of stuff. But what’s involved? The lack mentality: I’m unworthy of a job that pays me beyond my immediate needs, or I’m not good/smart/rich/young enough to get a degree, so I can’t get a better job or higher income… But I do have three or twenty dollars per week that I can justify as “extra” and spend them on lottery tickets. Just as Gus says: “Keep on scratchin’.” I might just get lucky.

What’s so ironic about this but remains unseen is that people are so absorbed by yet blind to their unworthiness beliefs that they will, in time, sink hundreds and thousands of dollars into the lottery (and likely other forms of gambling) but rarely if ever win. Why?

Because:
  1. The game is stacked against them.
  2. Life is reflecting their “I’m a loser” mentality.
Yet even if people do win big externally, they lose big internally: The money doesn’t satisfy—indeed, cannot satisfy—so they either flush it down the almighty toilet of gambling addiction, or they use it to buy a bunch of shit they don’t need but think will make them happy and effectively lose it all anyway.

This all stated differently, people are "buying hope," they're looking for a savior. Money is going to fill me up. Money is going to complete me.

No. Loads of money simply allow one to experience much more of what they already are. If your perceived void was, say, $50,000 dollars wide previous to winning, then winning will merely open the void another $40,000,000 wider.

Negative karma is the savior of no man.

The Game Is Rigged, the Ads Support Addiction, and the Funds Are Misappropriated

That the game is rigged should be obvious to anyone—it’s gambling—the house has to come out on top.

That aside, to think that those who run the game—the state governments—have any shred of decency is a sorely mistaken idea. The fact of the matter is, the lottery (and the majority of the gambling industry is probably no different) is wildly unethical.

When I regularly played scratch-off tickets, from about the year 2000 or earlier to 2016, the odds of winning were low, to be sure, but there were still a fair amount of few-dollar wins. Around the time I had stopped playing, I noticed a ridiculous uptick in percentage of losers, which is to say: nearly all tickets sold at $1 to $3 dollar denominations were losers except for a potential increase in “FREE” winners—that would almost inevitably lead to more “FREE” or losing tickets.

Add to this also that, at least in Pennsylvania, they stopped airing the daily drawings as witnessed by an “older Pennsylvanian” (i.e.: who the lottery claims to benefit). They’d just post the numbers on their website and in the newspaper the next day. Which should lead anyone with at least half of a brain to question: “WTF is going on? Who’s picking the numbers, and how are they doing it?” Well, the number that was selected the least for tonight’s drawing is 3-4-2, so we’ll get the most profit by telling the sheeple it’s 3-4-2. Those fluoride-drinking dimwits will never see our books anyway.

Also, consider the following 2 examples, of many:

Winning LOTTERY Ball Appears Before Its Drawn - Powerball EuroMillions

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Lottery

I can only imagine that the noted behaviors above only scratch the surface. No one ever really says where the billions of misappropriated dollars are actually being directed.

Otherwise, do your own research, something I hope you’re doing anyway and not automatically taking what anyone else spoon-feeds you as truth, including me—learn to feed yourself. “Winning” the lottery is the proverbial “shit on a silver platter”—it may look great on TV and in your mind but, oh, God, does it taste awful.

Post-Awakening

After having begun to see the tragedy of the lottery system, it took me a year or so to finally tell people, people who get upset because you don’t want what they want you to want, that I’m not interested in playing anymore.

It was uncomfortable at first when I'd begun speaking up as I knew my truth yet had to build up some confidence and conviction. But it then became easier in the sense that it’s like I had to actually be sure that I was sure that I was done, via action, for the universe to give me the right words at the right time.

For example, this was an experience for me that brought up a fear of criticism and rejection. Naturally, in these situations the mind wants to figure everything out in advance and cover all imaginable scenarios and all justifications in order to feel safe.

Well, I knew I’d be offered tickets by people who didn’t know I’d quit and there’d likely be several others around who accept the lottery as “what you do.” But I had no idea how it would play out or what I’d say. The only thing I could assume was that I wouldn’t have time to give a dissertation; maybe a sentence or two, but no more.

So, as expected yet differently than any previsualized scenario, the lottery tickets came out. Someone placed several tickets in front of me and said, “Pick one.” I said, concisely, “No thanks. I don’t play anymore. It’s a game of ‘the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.’ I don’t want to support it.”

For one thing, I don't think beforehand that I'd decided to say this; it came out spontaneously. And second, after I'd said it, I felt free, lighter.

And Now?

Although other self-help has been undertaken to achieve these results, I see that life provides me with what I need when I need it, when life deems I need it, no matter what that may look like to anyone else’s perspective. I ask or intend that something be in my life and life either gives it to me quite flat out, guides me to it, or guides me through the internal blockages I carry so that I can have it.

I do not buy hope.

In my family, there are two individuals who give out tickets very, very regularly. When they give out tickets nowadays, it’s accepted that I won’t take any. So they just hand me cash! I win every time!

If someone else wants to play and hope that eventually all their losses and “post-scratch’em” depression will pay off in a big win, that’s their business. But I choose to drop the lottery, even if people are handing me tickets freely, and trust that the universe is abundant and will reward me as I do what I came here to do—be myself, in integrity.

Maybe. Just Maybe.

If I had an intuition or something, yes, I’d get a ticket. Or, if a situation seems to me that it’s more appropriate to accept a ticket from someone than turn it down, I would do so.

And if friends or family ask if I want to buy in on the Powerball, I say no, and then they win $90,000,000? Would I accept any money should they chose to share it with me anyway? Again, it depends on the circumstance, but I’d not ask for any nor expect that they should give me any.

My intent is to flow with life, not live in a stubborn always-never mentality.

The Player Is the Played

To those who think they’re playing the game: The game is playing you!

The game is there, and there are heartless vermin behind it because you’re willing to empty out your pocketbooks to support them. You are the cause of the very injustice you wish would end!

It thus cannot end until you end it.

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