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You are here: Index location Nonduality & Spirituality location Games

Games

People play games. Some of the more jaded of us might see this statement as a derogatory view of life. Children might see it as the spice of life. In truth, games are a fundamental part of inter-relationship. Sure, we can play solitaire with ourselves, but to make a game really interesting, it involves more than one person - thus - people. If we can become child-like in our views, we would also giggle and delight when the universe says to us: “Wanna play?”

Growing up, my father loved chess immensely. He wanted to teach us the game of chess. It was an intricate game for a youngster, but to please my father I learned a basic overview of the rules. I don't recall ever beating him. Later, I visited a spiritual teacher who also enjoyed chess. He requested a game, which I flatly refused. Told him I wasn't very good at it. But, he insisted and I trusted him enough to show him my weaknesses so I caved in. It was an amusing game, to say the least. In one moment of brilliant inspiration, I knew I had won the game. The game became almost “glass-like” to my view. I could see right through the pieces, understanding their roles and relationships. It dawned on me that it didn't matter what my opponent did, if my pattern was maintained, I would win. I would have hardly thought one could achieve a mystical revelation in a boring game of chess. My teacher excused himself and returned and sat down. He stared at the board, and the carefree, relaxed manner disappeared as his frame visibly tightened. In total stillness, his eyes flickered up to see the barely concealed smirk on my face. We both knew the game was mine. Now, it was my turn to relax and await my final victory.

And then the pawn stepped forward.

Yes, I had understood fully the relationship of the major pieces, but these meaningless pawns, what on earth are they for? The board seemed to tilt as I looked around and behind that pawn. They seemed like obstacles to my final victory, not pieces to salvage a foregone conclusion. What could he be planning? In the end, my teacher won. It was his persistence with a single pawn that won the game for him. And upon finishing, he admitted: “If you had been a more skilled player, you would have won. The game was over a long time ago.” “I know! I know!” I exclaimed, “What happened!” My teacher scratched his mustache and mused: “I thought you said you weren't good at this game?” “I'm not! It was in a moment of inspiration, I understood the pieces and I saw it all in front of me. And then you moved that bloody pawn!”

And like a victory you know was yours and should have been yours, I am continually re-tracing my steps. I want another chance. There was something mystical about that moment when I saw the game, not of chess, but of something so exquisitely simple as to make me want to laugh. The victory was mine, it always had been. It was mine because I moved first. I was white, therefore the victory was mine. The moment I had moved off the starting square was the moment I won the game. Spiritually, I knew that to be the case, physically I could not make it happen. And the reason, I could not make it happen was because I didn't know the value of a pawn, the most basic and lowly of pieces.

Learning the Meaning of The Game

There are several aspects to games that I believe define the keys to our multidimensional natures:

1. There is an arena set aside solely for play
2. Each game has its own rules.
3. Rules are first learned one by one, and later become intuitive.
4. There are patterns of play between people, defined as “strategies” which have proven to be either beneficial or detrimental through myriads of contests.
5. Each piece on the board has a specific function.
6. Each piece has intrinsic value, but every piece on the board holds a space, which is equal in value and sometimes more than the actual value of the piece itself.
7. Everything in the game has meaning, even though it may not be obvious.
8. Everything on the board is inter-related.

Chess appears to be a two-dimensional game, but in reality, chess is multidimensional. The board itself is reflective of 3D space, an 8X8 grid, signifying 64 possible permutations of the energy of play, the 64 possible combinations of DNA. The 64 possible spaces are divided neatly in half: 32 spaces on each side. One opponent is black and the other opponent is white. Polarity is one of the inherent rules of three-dimensional reality. You cannot have summer without having winter.

The major pieces all represent various spiritual energies as individual attributes. The pawns represent the unconscious state of matter before it's possible transfiguration into a queen. It represents all the energies as a placeholder, much like the value of zero in our number system. A pawn has zero value, but the place it holds gives it additional value. Thus, in a situation like my game where all the values indicated I win, I could still lose if I didn't protect the grid, the underlying manifestation of energy.

But, Claire, you are shaking your head, this isn't multi-dimensional! Where are the other dimensions? You've only talked about 3D space. Here is where it gets interesting. It's what you don't see that defines the other dimensions. The players themselves represent an oversoul consciousness, a constellation of energies that provide the impetus for movement of energy. The players represent the star system that defines time and space for the pieces on the board. They are the invisible firmament that spurs some energies to action and constrains other energies to stillness.

Science And Spirituality

Philosophically, the parallels are amazing. We can see that chess is indeed a metaphor for a three dimensional existence in a multidimensional world. Scientifically, does that make us a better chess player? No. We can still lose the game simply by not having an appropriate skill level to beat our opponent.

Chess is the meeting of science and spirituality. Within the rules of chess, are the rules of life. One can be proficient in the skills of chess, and yet the joy of play is undermined with a loss of spirituality. If one plays mechanically, knowing the rules one “takes advantage” of an opponent's weakness. The true game of chess, isn't about playing opponents, it's about realizing the game is really a game of self versus self. It is a dance of Oneness where beauty and pattern override personal foibles like character and human intelligence. It's a tango of science and spirituality, where knowing the rules doesn't make one more intelligent, but it helps us to transcend ourselves into another level of play. By embracing both science and spirituality, not as opposing forces but as long-lost lovers, humanity will open an era of unprecedented soul expansion and co-operation as never seen before in time.

For more writings on the merging of spirituality and science, visit my web site: http://www.PrismsofReality.com (site down?)

Copyright © 2003 Claire Moylan

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