Level Three of the Higher Ed Game invites us to play a Mystery Game. Our own curiosity drives our game play. We no longer depend on what we're being taught, assigned or required to do. We become self structuring by living our own questions. In this game, it becomes a mystery:
- what level of the game each person we know is playing at
- how we can help them advance to the next level in their games
- what lies beyond this third level in the Higher Ed game
- how to complete Level Three and advance to that fourth level
We can advance to Level Three by our own heroics. After that, our own progress depends on nurturing others' progress. Their interests become our interests. We seek to understand them better by approaching them as mysteries. We lose our "know -it-all" attitude cultivated by our success within the previous Power Game. We experience getting more value out of our questions than our answers. We learn more by wondering, not-knowing and exploring unfamiliar terrain.
The Mystery Game rewards us for what we don't know, unlike the testing, grading and Power Games which make it pay to know everything. The Mystery Game challenges our assumptions, dismantles our fixations and exposes what we don't know yet. This game makes the condition of others far more interesting to us. We wonder what we can say and do to serve as a catalyst to their own growth processes. We regard situations as organic cycles with lives of their own which defy mechanistic attempts to fix them.
We succeed in this Mystery Game as we acquire better questions to ask. We refine our outlook by scrutinizing our blind spots, considering the flip side of what we do know and complicating whatever seems extremely obvious. We approach the world with more humility as our prior conditioning, categorizing and conclusive observations no longer serve us.