You’re Out!

From the world of baseball comes the conversation among umpires on their personal criteria for calling strikes.

Umpire #1: “I calls ’em da way I sees ’em.”

Umpire #2: “I calls ’em da way dey is.”

Umpire #3: “Dey ain’t nuttin’ til I calls ’em.”

Umpire #1 has a worldview common in the world today which holds that our senses can be trusted to tell us what is happening, what is “real.” Many of us trust that our experience is what it “appears” to be. At the beginning of the 20th century physicists began to make discoveries that called into question our reliance on Newton’s classical physics to define reality. Insights relating to quantum mechanics and Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle among other concepts have made the first umpire’s approach to creating order out of chaos untenable. We will have to “throw the bum out.”

Umpire #2 shows that he has a somewhat naïve faith in the narrative that he lives in. He trusts in the absolute truth that others have told him since childhood, that the world in which he lives makes sense. When he makes a call, he sticks with it and finds it impossible to consider that reality might change over time. Rejecting the possibility that he lives in a changing world guarantees that the game will outgrow him, and he will end up bewildered as to why the “game” left him behind.

Umpire #3 is taking responsibility for his role in the game. He, along with the others on the field are co-creating the experience they are having. Whereas the first two umpires were reacting to the illusion of the game, he is in response to the power that he has in shaping his own life but also that of others in his community.

If we think that life is throwing us bad pitches, then that is what we will get, and we will be in a continuous “no-hitter.” If on the other hand, we respond by “calling” the pitches that life throws us acceptable, then that’s what they will be. We will hit the balls whether in the strike zone or not and find our experience of life satisfactory and our batting average impressive. If we speak our word and call life wonderful, no matter what, then that is what it will be.


Find a much more in-depth discussion in books by Roy Charles Henry.

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