Most of us just loooove drama. In our lives, I mean. I’m not talking about film, TV, theater or literature, etc. I’m talking about the drama of relationships, career, money, power, beliefs, etc.
Your lover/partner/spouse is dropping you (or vice versa) and it’s a drama; one that can play out for months or even years in your lives. Or the kids – or indeed most of your family – are acting up, and you don’t know why or what to do, and it’s a drama. Or the economy has taken a turn for the worse, and your boss is firing people, and it’s a drama.
Or, in general terms, someone you’re close to is refusing to conform to whatever it is you and others expect them to conform to, and it’s a drama.
Maybe it’s actually YOU who’s considering not conforming.
See what I mean? Drama.
Drama has conflict, challenges, problems and a roller-coaster of ups and downs.
There’s even an element of merry-go-round to it, because until we let a drama go we get the same conflicts, challenges and problems over and over again in different ways and guises.
Most people have lots of drama in their lives. Sometimes we love our drama, sometimes we hate it. Sometimes we love to hate it, and sometimes we hate that we love it.
Contents of This Article (Clickable Table of Contents)
- 1 Had Enough Yet?
- 2 Our Dramas Aren’t Actually Real, so WE Control Them
- 3 The Big Picture – the Truth
- 4 Paradigm Shift
- 5 The Game of Human Life on Earth
- 6 Examples of Drama Games
- 7 List of Drama Games
- 8 How to Know If You’re Playing a Drama Game
- 9 Do We HAVE to Play these Drama Games?
- 10 Do We Need ANY Drama At All?
- 11 Freeing Our Consciousness Resources … or Not?
- 12 Viewing Drama Games in a Bigger Perspective
- 13 How to STOP Playing Drama Games
Had Enough Yet?
Perhaps, at some point, we realize we’ve had enough of the drama and we want it to stop. Just … stop. THIS is where things get really interesting. This is a turning point. Because then we’re ready for true change.
We might have this realization of “Enough, already!” in just one area of our lives, but one is all it takes.
What we will really benefit from at that point is realizing that it’s not just one area of drama we’re talking about, it’s ALL the drama in our lives. Because all drama is the same.
Our Dramas Aren’t Actually Real, so WE Control Them
Do you know what all drama is? (And I mean ALL the drama in your life).
It’s fictitious. Or, to use another term: Virtual. It doesn’t actually exist. It’s a game.
ALL drama in our lives is made-up. Fictitious. Virtual. A game of consciousness.
If you’re just starting out in personal development (or spiritual development, or conscious life design / life alchemy) this might come as a surprise. A shock, even.
You may want to deny it, and argue that you have some REAL problems that aren’t easy to solve. You may want to claim that the drama in your life has very little to do with you and a lot to do with, you know, other people, circumstances, the nature of things, and life as a whole.
Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but you’re wrong. The drama in your life has very (very!) little to do with anything other than you. In fact, YOU ARE IN CONTROL.
You, and you alone, decide the fate of the dramas in your life. How about that!
You most emphatically DON’T control the dramas in your life by worrying, scheming and trying to “fix” the problems, challenges and conflicts – that’s just pouring even more consciousness resources into the dramas, and guess what? That will simply strengthen them – make them even worse. No, you do the opposite.
You control the dramas in your life by depriving them of consciousness resources.
Only you don’t realize this … yet. Or, if you do realize it, you cannot yet prove it. Well, that’s about to change – but only if you want it to.
Let’s look into the true nature of some very fundamental things, check out what dramas really are and see exactly why and how you get to control all of the drama in your life.
The Big Picture – the Truth
First off, the big picture. Disconcerting though it may be, quantum physicists now agree with mystics, psychonauts and spiritually enlightened people:
What we call the world or physical reality isn’t actually there. It seems real, but it is actually virtual, like a virtual reality. This includes our physical bodies as well as our egos.
If you want to read more about that, I recommend this article, which is actually part one of an article trilogy (here are links to part two and part three). Here’s just an extremely short and compressed mash-up of a few main points:
A major paradigm shift is currently underway, which means we’re learning to think, reason and understand ourselves, life, the universe and everything in a new and radically different way. We’re leaving an obsolescent mechanical-physical paradigm in favor of a quantum-consciousness paradigm.
The Truth about the Physical World (and Universe)
We’ve known for a while now, that physical matter is actually a constantly vibrating swarm of particles, and that those particles aren’t even there half the time but can be either particles or waves.
We’re also realizing that those (all) particles are, basically, virtual particles that pop in and out of existence, so that the only constant seems to be an omnipresent quantum field which, incidentally, we’ve proven is susceptible to consciousness (probably because it IS consciousness).
Ultimately all this means that the only thing that’s actually there (and real) is consciousness. In other words: everything is consciousness …
The Ego … Et Tu, Brute?
Well. We can just about wrap our heads around all that. Maybe. With a bit of training.
But. The physical world and our physical bodies being virtual, and the only real thing being omnipresent consciousness … that’s one thing. But that our egos, too, are unreal? (Et tu, Brute?).
That’s almost too much, because here we were, thinking that our egos equaled not only who we are, but equaled our consciousness.
The Human Ego – and the Truth of Who We REALLY Are
Lots of people (at least in the Western world) – have this idea that their ego is their consciousness and who they are. This idea is so widespread and pervasive that (or perhaps: because) traditional Western psychology can’t seem to see beyond it (yet) – with transpersonal psychology as the exception that proves the rule.
Our egos, however, do NOT equal our consciousness. Nor are our egos who we really are. Not by a long shot.
The truth is our egos are simply software programs. We each have one of only nine basic types of ego, and they’re all entirely predictable, as indeed the Enneagram of personality will tell us in no uncertain terms. Basically, an ego is just a coping mechanism, a defense mechanism.
In other words, your ego is an artificial intelligence meant to aid you in problem solving, predicting consequences and keeping the physical body alive. That’s it. The ego is a kind of intelligence, sure, but again, an artificial and completely predictable one.
Your ego is not YOU, it’s just a tiny part of you.
Authenticity Is Only Possible in Light of the Truth
Being authentic is a powerful and wonderful way to live. Lots of people want to know how to be authentic or “how to be yourself” and/or “be all you can be”, but this is just not possible as long as we keep thinking, believing and experiencing inside the obsolescent mechanical-physical paradigm and the traditional Western psychological fixation on the ego. It’s all too small, much too limited.
The truth is much, much bigger, YOU are much, much bigger.
You are consciousness. As is everything else.
Inner Journeys to Find Your Own Truth
You can ascertain all of the above by going on inner journeys with the purpose of finding the truth and understanding who you really are and/or what the true nature of the physical world is.
Such journeys in consciousness are often used to help people heal (both emotionally, mentally, energetically and physically), but moving beyond that they are also great at helping us realize the truth about ourselves (who we really are) as well as the truth about the physical world, life, the universe and everything. They can also help us establish a working relationship with the bigger parts of ourselves, our higher self and intuition, which is very helpful indeed in our daily lives.
The point is: We have a head (and body and consciousness) full of old misunderstandings that have been passed down through generations. But having other people tell you what the truth is (like I’m telling you now) is ultimately futile. You need to experience it for yourself.
And I do recommend inner journeying.
Or, Experience the Truth by Letting Go
Alternatively, if going on inner journeys is not your thing, you can also use some method for letting go (like for example the Let Go Method, or The Release Technique, or The Sedona Method) to temporarily let go of everything. And I mean everything you possibly can, including e.g. thoughts, feelings, beliefs, habits, your physical body, etc. one area at a time, during one single session.
It’s an interesting exercise, and at one specific point it gets a bit scary, but it’s well worth trying, because once you’ve temporarily let go of everything you possibly can (and you have to make sure of that), what’s left will be that which is actually real. The truth. Reality in a more absolute version.
As far as you are concerned the truth that is left will be your core identity, or essence, or, if you prefer, your soul identity – that which I call the Home level of consciousness. From that vantage point (in that state of mind) you’re free to examine everything, including the true nature of what we call the physical world and everyday reality.
It’s great fun, and very instructive. And, as an added bonus, it feels really, really nice, too. You should try it sometime.
The Game of Human Life on Earth
Anyway, the physical world isn’t physical – or even absolutely real – it’s virtual; and we, too, aren’t who and what we thought we were, since our physical bodies and our egos are virtual, too.
The truth is we are consciousness, and so is life, the universe and everything else.
What does all this have to do with drama?
Very nearly everything, because it means that our life here on Earth is actually very much like a game, a consciousness game. (Part three of the aforementioned article trilogy focuses on reality creation – how we create our own reality, our own life experience inside this game, which is a four-part process I call “the choose-create-experience-grow game of living life“, so feel free to explore that article).
For us humans the game / process of living life is the primary game that we’re participating in during our stay in the virtual reality here on Earth. The game of life, so to speak.
But that game is huge, and inside it there are lots of smaller sub-games as well. These sub-games tend to cause a whole lot of drama for those playing them, so I like to call these sub-games drama games.
Examples of Drama Games
Remember how I started out by talking about the drama you might have with your lover/partner/spouse, or parents, kids and other family, or boss, career and money? Well, those are the kind of drama games I’m talking about, and the list certainly doesn’t stop there.
Our physical bodies, for example, are a great source of drama. So, we can play sub-games like these:
– The physical body game, where we can make a drama (a sub-sub game) out of which skin color the body has; or the hair the body has; or how “fat” or “skinny” it is; or how “beautiful” or “ugly” it is; or any other physical characteristics you care to mention.
– The gender game, with a collection of the sub-sub-games of being male, female, transgender, transsexual, agender/genderless (neither male nor female nor transgender), genderfluid, polygender, gender apathetic, novigender, maverique, etc.
– The sexuality game, with a collection of sub-sub-games, like being heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, demisexual, pansexual, etc.
Let’s say someone thinks something is terribly important – perhaps how the physical body looks – and they think about it, they worry about it, they talk about it, try to learn what they can about it by reading, going to seminars and workshops, etc., they spend time, money, energy, awareness, intention and attention on it … well, then odds are they’re playing that particular game – in this case the physical body game.
There are several other types of games to do with our physical bodies, too, like for example the ones that have to do with health: the physical health game, the mental health game, the emotional health game and the energetic health game.
And those are just the sub-games that have to do with our physical bodies.
List of Drama Games
Here are a few more examples followed by a list of some other sub-games (and sub-sub games) that we can – and do – play:
– The relationship game (relationship to ourselves, to life, to family, friends, bosses, co-workers; or being single, dating, living together (cohabitation), being soulmates, being codependent, being married, being in a group marriage, being divorced; or being in relationships that are polyamorous, or open, or monogamous, or you-name-it)
– The material possessions game (e.g. “collecting”, “hoarding”, “having the right brand”, “having the most expensive”, “having the most beautiful” and “having the most coveted”, etc.)
– The money game (“being rich” or “being poor” and everything in between)
In other words, are you rich or poor, do you want that, and how do you change it? It can be a drama. What’s your sexuality like? It can be a drama. Are you in a monogamous, open, or polyamorous relationship? It can be a drama … See what I mean?
Those are just a few examples. There are lots of other sub-games/drama games, each with their own collections of sub-sub-games, like for example …
– The identity game
– The power game
– The career game
– The fame game
– The fashion game
– The beliefs game
– The morality game
– The religion game
– The needs game
– The knowledge game
– The spirituality and spiritual enlightenment game
– The culture game
– The thoughts game
– The feelings/emotions game
– The personal development game
– The victim and perpetrator game
– The responsibility and blame game
… and so on (this list is nowhere near exhaustive).
Now, some of these drama games overlap or are actually sub-games of each other … (For example both the religion game and the identity game are sub-games of the beliefs game, but they’re certainly big enough in themselves to warrant their own mention) … but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that there are lots and lots of drama games for us to play.
It seems that most people think they loooove these drama games (sub-games and sub-sub-games), because they sure play them all the time and spend almost all of their resources on them.
How to Know If You’re Playing a Drama Game
Remember how I mentioned that drama has conflict, challenges, problems, a roller-coaster of ups and downs and an element of merry-go-round to it?
Well, apart from that these are the three most obvious signs that someone (including you yourself) is playing a drama game are:
a) the importance they assign to the subject
b) the resources they spend on the subject
c) the drama the subject causes for them
The resources we spend on drama games tend to be mostly “consciousness resources” like attention, intention, conscious awareness, energy and time, because they’re all consciousness games, after all, but typically we also spend money (which, of course is virtual, like all other things in the physical world).
At one point or another very nearly all of us have played one or several of these drama games.
For many of us these drama games are a huge part of what it means to be living life here on planet Earth, but as is obvious: when we spend our resources on playing sub-games / drama games, then those resources aren’t available for other things. Like conscious life design / life alchemy, or, even more importantly: having the life experience we prefer.
In other words:
When we get caught up in drama games we don’t have enough consciousness resources to play the choose-create-experience-grow game of living life in a conscious way and get the life experience we really want. We become disempowered.
What are your dramas? Which sub-games are YOU playing these days?
And, after you’ve given that some thought, it would also be good to know …
Do We HAVE to Play these Drama Games?
Short answer: No.
We most certainly do not have to play any of them. We can do any and all of the above things (e.g. take good care of our physical body), deal with all of the subjects (e.g. have relationships) without it being a game or generating drama. Which is a huge relief, and incidentally also frees up a lot of our resources.
However, playing these sub-games (drama games) with all their many ups and downs is what most of us choose to do. But how conscious, exactly, is that choice?
Is it more of a choice we’ve made because we’ve been conditioned to make it? Or because we think others expect us to? Or because most people around us are making that particular choice, and we don’t want to stand out?
Perhaps most importantly: Do we actually, truly WANT to play these games at all? Is spending all our resources and filling our lives with all those roller coaster dramas really what we want?
Or do we want our life experience to be something more satisfying and meaningful and pleasant … something better?
That’s all up to each of us to answer.
If you love one of these drama games, then by all means play it. Knock yourself out and keep doing it until you get tired of it. (The natural course of events is that at some point you WILL get tired of it, which is as it should be).
But we should be clear that even though we do have a physical body, and we are participating in the game of life here on Earth whilst living in some culture or another (where things are expected and assumed), we don’t actually have to play any drama games. We don’t need any drama at all. It IS a choice.
To use an example I’ve given elsewhere on this website:
“It is entirely possible to simply decide what your preference in each of the (game) areas is, and consciously design your life accordingly, with little or no drama.
For example, you can be a beautiful, fat, multi-cultural, non-religious, pansexual, powerful, self employed, genderfluid person in several polyamorous relationships … with no drama what so ever. It’s quite possible. And all up to you.”
~ Soren Lauritzen (yours truly) ~ (on the page Consciousness Explained, part 3: Our Reality Creation in a Conscious Universe)
We really can be who we want, believe whatever we want (or let go of all our beliefs), live however we want, and have whatever life experiences we prefer.
Other people may want to involve us in their dramas, for example by being judgmental or trying to discriminate us, but if we ourselves have completely let go of the corresponding drama such antics will have no effect on us, and, if those other people get no resonance from us they will lose interest in trying to involve us. That’s how it works.
That’s also how it’s supposed to work, because the actual, final end result of playing a drama game is, surprisingly: wholeness. We’ll get back to that in a moment.
Do We Need ANY Drama At All?
Again the short answer is: No.
In fact, very nearly anything is possible without drama, because …
Ultimately ALL of the drama in your life comes from yourself. You create it. Or, of course, you choose not to.
Which means YOU have the power!
As mentioned, other people may look at you, your choices and your lifestyle and make a drama for themselves out of that, but this has nothing what so ever to do with you, and everything to do with them. It’s their drama.
You can play along with their drama, and maybe try to fight their prejudices and discrimination (which may be worthwhile and something future generations may thank you for, but which is never the less a drama) … or you can accept it all and let them have their dramas while you live in peace.
It really is up to you.
Freeing Our Consciousness Resources … or Not?
The drama games are demanding. Very demanding. There’s no way any of us can play more than a few of them at a time. We simply don’t have enough attention, conscious awareness, energy, time or intention (consciousness resources) for more.
Most people give a lot of thought to what they spend their money on.
But for some reason they give much less thought to what they spend their energy, time, intention and attention on.
Which is strange, because if you ask me, our “consciousness resources” are much more important than any physical resources. What with consciousness being primary (the creator) and the physical world being secondary (the created) – as we saw in part 1 of this article trilogy.
How Much Have You Got?
It’s probably quite individual how much energy, time, intention, conscious awareness and attention each person has. It seems pretty clear, however, that as humans in a physical body the amount is limited.
Conscious reality creation and conscious life design (a.k.a. life alchemy) might not be drama games, but they are ALSO games of sorts, and they DO require consciousness resources, there’s no denying it.
Yes, we can and do reach a point where we let go of the control (micro-management) and it all becomes extremely easy (that’s what I call “step 3 in learning conscious reality creation”, which incidentally is drama free), but until then we need to choose what we spend our resources on.
Choosing Empowerment Over Drama
If you’re truly interested in conscious reality creation and/or conscious life design (or indeed personal and spiritual development) then you ARE going to need to free your “consciousness resources” – like energy, time, conscious awareness, intention and attention – from being tied up in the drama games. You’ve got to stop playing them. Sorry.
Happily, the drama-free life is going to release A LOT of resources for you.
If you choose to drop the drama games you’re going to get a lot of extra attention, awareness, intention, energy and time, (and perhaps money, too).
You can use those consciousness resources any way you prefer: to love, create, explore, experiment, learn, develop, grow, help others or whatever you feel like.
However, it’s your life, your resources to use however you prefer, and just as importantly, your life experience. It is, as always, your choice.
Ask Yourself This …
One question you migh ask yourself to make the decision easier is this:
Is a more comprehensive (“higher”) level of consciousness and a life with more inner peace, happiness, love and freedom more important to me (you) than drama?
Letting go of the drama games you’re currently attached to is like letting go of anything else – it’s just a decision. All you have to do is change your mind. Shift your priorities. (And, perhaps, to use one of several techniques to help you let go).
The thing is, of course, that you think whatever it is your dramas are about is IMPORTANT!
You actually think your life, love, happiness, freedom and inner peace depends on you spending all those resources trying to “fix” your problem(s) in that drama-riddled area of your life!
You are, in other words, attached to your drama. And quite confused, too.
Strangely though, the truth is this: your life, love, happiness, freedom and inner peace actually depend on you LETTING GO of that which gets you riled up (the subjects of your dramas and your attachement to them). Letting go is, in fact, the only way to get what you really want (on a more permanent basis).
So, the truth is just the opposite of what you think. And yes, I know that you’re just thinking and believing what you’ve been taught and told.
But let’s face it: the environment you grew up in didn’t exactly excel in a comprehensive (“high”) level of consciousness, now did it? If you want a higher level of consciousness and a better life experience you’re going to have to give it to yourself, because most of what you’ve been taught is incorrect, most of what you thought you knew to be true … just isn’t.
ALL of the drama games are unimportant. Worse, they’re keeping you from experiencing the love, inner peace, happiness and freedom you desire most of all.
But with enough free “consciousness resources” and just a bit of know-how we can all create the life and the life experience we prefer.
Which brings us to the last thing I want to point out before we wrap all this up and look at how to create a drama-free life for ourselves in practice. It’s quite an important point, though, because it allows us to see what’s going on on a bigger, more comprehensive level.
Viewing Drama Games in a Bigger Perspective
Seen in a somewhat bigger (“higher”) perspective those who are involved in a drama are having their dramatic experiences because they believe in non-wholeness (and act accordingly).
You see, drama only occurs when we think, feel, believe and act as if there’s something WRONG. (Which there isn’t).
Whenever you believe something (including you, yourself) is not the way it should be and act accordingly, you are creating an experience of non-wholeness for yourself.
Since wrongness and non-wholeness is not only unreal but also unpleasant, you are in fact creating an unpleasant experience for yourself.
Sending Out a Signal …
In this “quantum-energy-based” virtual world (Earth) where everything is connected that particular behavior (the thinking, feeling, believing in and acting from a belief in wrongness and non-wholeness) corresponds to you sending out some sort of non-harmonious, jarring signal (energy).
What you are “saying” with your non-harmonious signal (energy) is that you want experiences that “prove” your belief in non-wholeness and wrongness. You want drama! (Which is roller-coaster-like, non-harmonious and non-pleasant, sure, but certainly dramatic).
You are broadcasting that signal (energy) awake and asleep and everywhere you go, and other people pick it up and respond to it. In fact, the whole world, virtual that it is, picks up your signal and responds to it.
So, you get your drama.
A Nasty Example
If you’re sending out a signal that says (to pick an extreme example), “I am fat and ugly and lonely and stupid and sick and powerless and poor and unemployable and underserving of all good things”, then other people and all of this virtual world in which we live will do their very best to accomodate you by giving you what you are signalling that you want – the experience of all those not very pleasant things.
As indeed they should, because to you those nasty things you believe are true … and in a virtual world where you create your own experience that highly dramatic and very unpleasant experience is the one you’re demanding.
It’s kind of like sifting through a collection of movies, each of which can be your actual life experience … there’s romance, action, adventure, musical, comedy, crime and so on … and then picking a horror movie.
With a belief in wrongness and non-wholeness, you’ll keep on creating a dramatic and unpleasant life experience until you tire of it, and simply stop. Because, and this is extremely important to remember, …
Wholeness Is NEVER Far Away
We’ve all been indoctrinated with the misunderstanding that the drama of our lives is real. And since we create our own experience in this virtual choose-create-experience-grow game of living life, what we believe is real, becomes real – to us. That’s why it’s good to know that:
When we let go of our belief in wrongness and non-wholeness, and instead trust that everything is as it should be (which is how things actually are) plus act accordingly, then there is no drama.
There is free will and choice, and corresponding action, but no drama.
Wholeness is drama-free. And a very, very pleasant experience, full of love, harmony, happiness, playfulness, humor, freedom and inner peace.
Which choice are you currently making? And which choice are you going to make from now on?
The Real Kicker
Here’s the absolute kicker, though: There are two options, but they both produce the same end result – eventually, it’s just a matter of time and timing:
You can believe in and indulge in the drama. The drama isn’t real, and if you just believe in it and indulge in it enough, eventually you’re going to realize that, get tired of it, and finally just drop it. Maybe one area at at time, maybe all of the drama at the same time.
Which will change your experience back to the wholeness and harmony that was there the entire time (a.k.a. absolute reality or that-which-is).
It’s just that there are a lot of potential drama areas in life, and this indulge-until-you-throw-up method is not very fast, so you setting yourself free might not happen in this particular physical lifetime that you’re having right now, or even the next one, but it WILL happen eventually.
With or without the help of a technique for letting go you can choose to drop the drama games right now, in this physical lifetime, and return to a pleasant experience of wholenes and harmony (a.k.a. that-which-is or absolute reality).
So either way, no matter what you choose in your physical lifetime, at some point the real you (your essence or “soul”, the Home level of consciousness, which is timeless) is going to “break through” and return to an experience of wholenes and harmony (that-which-is).
It’s just a matter of either time or timing.
You, of course, are alive in a physical (albeit virtual) physical body right now.
So, how do you prefer your life experience to be?
– (Apparent) non-wholeness + the ups and down of drama
… or …
– (Actual) wholeness with no drama but lots of pleasantness in the form of freedom, love, happiness, inner peace, etc.
The choice is yours.
How to STOP Playing Drama Games
As previously noted, most people looove their dramas. Perhaps you do, too.
But then again, perhaps you’re about to reach a point where you’ve had enough (which just might be the reason you’re still reading this long text). Enough with all the drama and all the ups and downs and merry go-rounds it causes.
In short, you might decide that you like inner peace, happiness, freedom and love without attachments MORE than you like the drama games.
At that point you might consider stopping. Just … stopping. Which you totally can. It’s just a decision, that’s all. You can make it at any time. Like, right now, if you want. But you can’t fake it. You can’t pretend, you actually have to really want out of the drama. The moment you really, truly choose to drop the drama, it’s dropped. Just like that.
If You’re Stuck …
There is, however, a process that will help you get clear if you’re tired of the games and dramas but don’t know how to stop, if you can’t quite make the decision wholeheartedly, or if there’s one or a few areas of your life where your consciousness is particularly stuck in old, unconcious patterns, and therefore muddled.
It’s the process of letting go.
All you have to do is examine and find the things that are keeping you in the game(s) (which will typically have to do with why you think the subject is important) – and then let go of those things, e.g. using some method for letting go.
It certainly doesn’t have to be the method I developed, it can also be for example The Release Technique or The Sedona Method, both originally by Lester Levenson, or The Lefkoe Method by Morty Lefkoe, or The Work by Byron Katie, or indeed one of several other self improvement techniques – as long as they help you let go.
The main point is this:
Letting go is so very useful – and much easier than it seems.
You can set yourself free of any drama at any time.
After which you can consciously design and live your drama-free life as you please.
Good luck. Have fun! 🙂
Return to Homepage