STEPPING OUT OF THE BOX 
 
STEPPING OUT OF THE BOX: You have read books, been 
taught, and played Bridge. You have, maybe even 
unknowingly, developed a sort of Bridge belief system. As 
with any belief system, there is always some heresy afoot. 
And the heretics might prove you wrong and they in turn 
become the mainstream belief system. So be open to new 
ideas and methods. Be ready to step out of the box of your 
own particular orthodoxy. 
        The Eastern approach to learning is with empty pockets 
and an overturned cup. That is, enter the arena with a tabula 
rasa, a blank slate, ready to receive. Do not approach the 
game with locked in, preconceived ideas. Watch out for 
hardening of the categories. Diet and Lipitor won't help here.
        There are moments in life, and in Bridge, when we have 
to say or do something that is totally at odds (or orthogonal) 
to what we hold to be certain truth. But absolute truth is 
relative (Rob's paradox #1). So be ready to change. Remember the status quo is in a state of flux (Rob's paradox #2). So it might be correct to overtake dummy's King; or trump your partner's Ace; or not win the trick; or win a trick with an unnecessarily high card; etc. That is, go counter intuitive: against what you deeply believe is correct; against your first impulse; and against what you would normally do. Step out of the box that keeps you locked in to one particular consciousness.        
         There are no shortages of rules or maxims in Bridge. But 
for every rule there is an exception; and even an exception to 
the exception, which is back to the original rule. Though it is 
crucial to know the rule, it is also important to be flexible 
enough to know when to break the rule. When you do go 
counter make sure you have a good sound reason for doing so. For if your partner is not quite the tolerant or understanding type, you might encounter objects flying across the table 
aimed at your head.
 
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