Are We Just Pawns on the Chessboard of Life? (and if so then what?) By Shari Sachs

“My Love considers not individuals or personalities; they are but pawns on the chess-board of life which I move as I deem to best accomplish My purpose – the full and complete expression in Humanity of My Divine Idea.”

The Impersonal Life (channeled by Joseph Brenner)

(Authors Note:  By happenstance I picked up a little book called “The Impersonal Life” which I was inspired to read by a video  I watched by Wayne Dyer in which he mentioned it.   The day after I wrote this piece I saw this quote.  To me, it seemed to affirm the thoughts I am presupposing here)

When I was little I used to imagine that we were all pawns in a chess game being orchestrated by God. It was the best way I could comprehend the little I had been told (or not told) about Him/Her/It.

As such I guess I was somewhat of a fatalist before I knew what that meant,  a child contemplating that the movements of our life were preordained or at least not entirely in our control.  From the start only a select few were gonna get to be the queens and kings, a few more the knights but for the most part unless you were lucky , most of us would wind up literally as pawns.

On this vast gameboard played out over our lifetimes, it followed that the predicaments we found ourselves in whether we were checkmated or checkmating or just unable to make the most desirable move were part of a game being played out by bigger, invisible hands.

Maybe it wasn’t “fair” nor did it leave one with a whole lot of control, except perhaps the illusion of it. But to me in my youthful innocence, back then, fairness just didn’t seem that big a deal. Understanding there was something so much bigger than I and believing it was in control actually provided more comfort than my small self needing to be responsible for it all.

It was all just a game you see. Just like me and my friends played the game “Life” by moving little plastic cars around a board and adding little pink and blue baby pegs along the way, so God and his posse were doing this with us just with a lot more pieces and a much larger playing field.

As I got older I was introduced to the concept of free will. Everyone seemed to think we had it so I went along not giving it much thought.   Anyway, it appeared without it, as individuals, we’d be awfully powerless so it seemed like a good idea to agree.

But secretly I kept thinking….

“Who is putting the thoughts in our minds that cause us to think one way or another to begin with?”

“Why is it that some are able to change those thoughts and others stay stuck, even when they know they need to change, even when they believe they have the free will to do so?

Why do some people do good and others do evil? “

“What force is behind all of this? Is it really the indiviudal to blame for coming into the world the way they did? “

“Who allowed Jesus to be Jesus and Ghandi to be Ghandi and Oprah to be Oprah and Michelangelo be who he was. The same goes for any great master, athlete or artist. It just seemed to me they were destined to be who they wound up being.

Was that because of their own ” free will?”

Were they really that much in control?  Or – was it this invisible game player’s hand guiding them with “IT’S” will all the time. 

Could it be possible that we are no more in control of our choices than the ocean deciding to swell or ebb, the moon deciding to be new or full, or the trees deciding to turn crimson.

Could it be?

I’ve been pondering this state of things we call “existence” ever since I can remember, sometimes to the point where my mortal brain, exquisite a machine as it is, simply could not wrap itself around it anymore and I would have to force myself to stop lest my head implode from the intensity of thought.

Many times I have asked the REALLY BIG QUESTION – “Why are we even here at all?” . Trying to answer that one I think could annihilate me.

Maybe if I was a Stephen Hawkins or an Einstein I could keep pushing the envelope of my incessant existential thinking but my threshold seems to come to a grinding halt with this question.  I start to tremble and waves of anxiety overcome me. It’s just too vast a question for me to grasp.

There was a period in my life where my fascination with spiritual speculation and the meaning of Life kind of stopped.   I was busily attending to all the responsibilities that come with adulthood.   I confess to many years of either wallowing or celebrating in self-absorption, taught or duped or both into thinking that it was all “about me.”

Being in a body full of dense matter and on this planet, trying to get through adult life as mother, wife and ex-wife and wife again, career person, bill payer and provider, there were many years I just didn’t have the time or energy to be attending to my soul. Or for even asking questions anymore.

When I did start seeking again, initially after my first divorce and then again after leaving and losing the career I built over a 30 year span, I was still focused mostly on my individual part in the whole scheme.

“How do I make a difference? Why aren’t I making a bigger difference?   Why is it so hard for me to make the difference I say I want to make? And if I can’t or I’m not making a difference what’s the point of being here?”

 But no answers came. All I got was stuck, stuck, stuck. Then sick for awhile. Chronic ailments would come and go ( a sure sign of stuckness). And more stuck.

Lately though, in my stuckness something has begun to shift. Or more precisely “expand”. I’d been tauting this concept of “oneness” for a while now. Intellectually, I had already come to believe that we all emanate from the same Source and that we are all Divine no matter how much we might not like some of us within our own species and especially the harm we seem capable of doing to one another and our beloved planet.

But stuckness and sickness gives you time and an altered perspective. In a way, it creates space for an insidious transformation.

Little children know some things. They are so much closer to God than we are, having arrived from there more recently. Why would a little girl have visions such as I did – of people as chess pieces? Why would she even care?

In the years since my stuckness, I have been learning to move away from the notions of spiritual growth as becoming well and happy myself. Instead, I have come to believe happiness and peace are by-products of our living our lives by simply being loving, kind, compassionate and forgiving to ourselves as well as others.

 I am reading and learning from the great sacred teachings for the first time in my life – the Bible, the Yoga Sutras and yogic philosophy, Buddhism. I’m hungry to know what all the great ascended masters knew and preached.

And what I am discovering is this.   They all say essentially the same thing, the thing many people in this Age are starting to understand.

We are here to learn to Love. We are all Divine. Our bodies and our egos are not who we really are. We are all part of a much greater and infinite intelligence – a consciousness that includes animals, plants, minerals and oceans, all alive.

Simple truths that are so difficult to administer.

This is what I have learned.

It’s really “not about me” at all.

Rather, I am absolutely sure that we are here to be merely instruments of Divine energy. That’s the best answer I got to “Why are we Here?”. Plain and simple.

But we get mixed up starting at a young age with all the labeling and categorizing we get taught to do and we start to think we are our bodies plus all our thoughts racing around in our mind.

We start to make it “about us” and take life and what happens to us personally.

It’s almost like God wanted us to get confused so that in that process of sorting out the confusion we get clear. Yes, even the messiness is guided.

When we wake up to this new understanding of our connection to each other and a single consciousness, we change. We begin to think like God thinks, then act like God acts. With love. Pettiness, lack of forgiveness, maybe even wars stop. Or could stop someday.

Because God is what we are all a part of. A piece of it in every single one of us, each of us a spark.

And God is Love.

And so are you.

With Grace,


Sharipic 4Shari began her journey as a wanderer, dreamer, and an idealist who wanted to write stories, poetry, and save the world. Meandering sets of circumstances led her away from that calling and toward a long career as a business executive which she loved – until she didn’t.

Lurking underneath the thick skin of corporate identity that camouflaged her true essence was a soul waiting to be reborn.

In the last several years, Shari has been on a renewed journey of shedding this skin and reinventing herself as a storyteller, sage, stirrer of souls and overall humanity embracer. Shari’s mission in her writing is to show us what it means to be both human and divine.

Her newest venture is captured in the birth of this website, giving voice to the stories of people awakening in midlife.

Shari’s works have been published in Some Talk of You and Me, The Tattooed Buddha, Rebelle Society Women’s Voices Magazine, Women’s Spiritual Poetry and others.

Graceful After Midlife is the sister site to my original blog Graceful Under Fire, Embracing Being both Human and Divine.

2 thoughts on “Are We Just Pawns on the Chessboard of Life? (and if so then what?) By Shari Sachs

  1. Magical and divinely written, this story is one which resonates very deeply. I feel you’ve explained in such a beautiful way how simple yet incredibly difficult our lives are, yet… Simple answers lead us to one true heartfelt word, then that word becomes our reinvention discovery and… We are found….. LOVE.



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