Day 807- Lessons from Big Brother

Emmanuel Swedenborg was always writing about correspondences. Correspondences, according to Swedenborg, are things in the physical that reflect deeper spiritual truths. Water, light, clouds, trees, all of these things can teach us spiritual truths if looked at through the right eyes.

I’m a big fan of games. I’m a sucker at watching people compete at anything.  One of my favorite TV shows is Big Brother on CBS.  The casting is awful.  They intentionally put in a bunch of crazy, horny, young people.  They’ll throw in a homosexual and a fundamentalist Christian on every season, anything to make for exciting TV. But, I love it anyway.  The premise of the show is they take 16 total strangers and put them in a small house on the CBS recording studios property. They have zero contact with the outside world. No internet, no television, not even letters from home.  One by one people are voted out. The last person standing will have been in the house around 90 days.

What’s interesting is how quickly the people in the house become detached from the outside world. Inevitably, one or two weeks in someone will be bawling because they haven’t heard from their families.  Petty things cause the biggest blow ups as everything in the house takes on greater meaning with no contact from the outside world. As an observer watching on television I’ll find myself yelling at the TV “Come on. It’s just a game.  I know you haven’t seen your family in two weeks. But, you know you’ll see them soon.  You know they’re watching you. Worst case, it’ll be 90 days. Buck up, buckaroo.”

Last night as I was watching the partner of one the contestants was unexpectedly voted out in what is called a “blind side”. It’s an individual game, but people pair up to take each other farther.  The pair was led to believe they were safe. And, then the knife was stuck in their backs at the vote. Suddenly, Jason was out.  The person left behind was beside herself.  I said to the TV “They didn’t take him out and shoot him.  He’s just left the house. You’ll see him soon enough.  What’s with all the tears?”  At the next competition, she played her heart out.  A perfect score secured the competition for her.  As she celebrated her bittersweet victory, having just lost her partner a few minutes before, she pointed skyward and said “This one’s for you, Jason.”

Hold on. Wait a minute.  Jason’s not up in the sky. Jason’s not dead. Jason literally is in the next room.  He’s just left the house and is probably sitting in the studio audience outside watching the completion  Jason has literally just left the building. But, here she is pointing skyward like Jason’s up in heaven.  Silly girl. Come on. This is no big deal.

That’s when it hit me. This is a correspondence for our lives here on Earth. When our loved ones die, we think they’ve gone far, far away. We forget we’ll see them again soon. We don’t think about them still peeking in, still interested, but not too concerned because they know soon enough, the game will be over and we’ll be home, too.

From the vantage point I have of sitting outside the Big Brother house and peeking in a couple of times a week, it’s obvious to me this is just a game and the contestants that get voted out are just fine.   They are better than fine. They’re out of that crazy place of constant bickering and backstabbing and competition. They’re back home with their loved ones continuing their lives. They can tune in and watch on TV. For the contestants who have been voted out, they know they didn’t cease to exist when they walked through that door.  But, for the contestants left in the house, it’s as if they are literally gone.

As I pondered this, I thought about a dream Kayla had after Shayna had passed where Shayna told Kayla that she can watch us on TV. I believe that Shayna is still watching. I’ve had several mediums (professional and otherwise) tell me that Shayna is still right here with me. It may be a little longer than a season of Big Brother before I see her again or it might not. It depends on when I get voted out. But, the game will end and we’ll be together again.

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