“Looking at problems in living from this point of view, it seems apparent that much of what goes by the names of "growing up," "becoming sophisticated," "getting treated by psychoanalysis" (and by other methods as well) are all processes having one significant characteristic in common: the person learns that the rules of the game -- and the very game itself -- by which he has been playing are not necessarily the same as those used by others around him. For example, he learns that others are not interested in playing the game which he has been so avidly pursuing; or, if they are, that they prefer some modifications of the game rules. All this, however, applies only to more or less ordinary persons in ordinary circumstances, and does not apply to persons of extraordinary influence. Individuals who wield vast powers can persuade, seduce, or coerce others to play their own games. This explains why such persons never consult psychiatrists and are never defined as "mentally ill"; and why, after they have lost their power -- in particular, after they have died -- they are often declared to have been "obviously mad."
In short, then, unless a person finds others to play his own game, according to his own rules -- or can coerce others to accept life on his terms -- he has a choice among three options.
First, he may submit to the other person's coercive rules and accept the submissive role offered.
Second, he may renounce, and withdraw from, many socially shared activities and cultivate solitary pursuits. These may be considered and labeled artistic, religious, scientific, neurotic, or psychotic according to various -- often poorly defined -- criteria. While we cannot consider here what these criteria are, it may be noted that the issues of social utility and the power to define what constitutes such utility play important roles in articulating these standards.
Third, he may become increasingly aware of the precise character of the games he and others play, and may try to accommodate and shape each to fit the other. This is an arduous and unceasing undertaking which, moreover, can never be wholly successful. Its main attraction lies in the protection it affords for the freedom and dignity of all concerned. However, because of the burdens it places on those who so try to conduct themselves, it need not surprise us if many persons prefer easier means leading to what they consider more important ends.”