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CHAPTER 3: The Cosmic Game

I know of no other manner of dealing with great tasks than as play… in this world only the play of artists and children comes and goes, builds and destroys, with an eternally even innocence and without being moralistic. 
Nietzsche  (D.L. Miller, 1970, p. 97)

The universe is a strange place and
the dice are always rolling…
Tom Robbins (1995), Skinny Legs and All (p. 280)

Einstein: I cannot believe that God would
play dice with the universe.
Bohr: Einstein, quit telling God what to do! (AIP, 2005d, online)

Game Plan for the Cosmic Game

In "The Cosmic Game" chapter, we will consider play at its most cosmic level, looking at different cosmologies, the different stories people have told about how the universe works, and we will see where play fits into the picture.  Our major focus will be the ludic cosmologies of the East, where play is a top-down affair, and we will take a look at some gods who do play dice. Next we will consider the notion of the eternal return and see how the eternal return relates to this idea of the Cosmic Game.  We will get an ouroboric perspective and then see how the eternal return keeps on returning again and again in different places.  Then we will get a crash course on chaos theory and re-iterate what we have learned in that light.  Finally, we will consider Grof’s (2000a) Psychology of the Future, where the eternal return returns in the form of a new cartography of the psyche.  

  • The Mind of God

  • But Why Bother?  The Divine Motive

  • Its All About Play: Lila 101

  • The Magic of Maya

  • How Do You Do It?—The Nuts and Bolts of Creation

  • Inquiring Minds Want to Know: Is It Just One Big Divine Oops?

Gods And Games?

  • The Play’s the Thing—A Persistent Pervasive Notion

  • Ludic Cosmologies

  • The Games of Some Gods


Eternal Return

In this section, we will explore the eternal return, and see how, appropriately it keeps on returning. First we will look at this nonlinear perspective which is more cyclical in nature. We will examine its relationship to paradox and how it shows up in Nietsche's notion of eternal recurrence of the same. Finally, we will see how this notion plays out in depth psychology.


A Crash Course On Chaos

In this section, we will examine chaotic beginnings, from chaos as it appears in myths to cutting edge science. We will then look at chaos theories and explore the concepts of iteration, bifurcation, sensitive dependence on initial conditions, and the ideas of strange attractors. Then we will seethe similarity between archetypes and strange attractors and finally see how the eternal return fits into the chaotic scheme of things

Grof’s Psychology Of The Future

In this section, we will explore Grof's (2000a) Psychology of the Future, and see how it relates to this cosmic play pattern and other schools of depth psychology. We will examine how Grof's COEXes relate to Jung's notion of complexes and will see that Grof's initial inspiration to become an animator was realized in his becoming and animateur. We will then consider Grof's cartography of the psyche, and then take a playful look at my game, Monomythopoly.


Passing Thoughts on the Cosmic Game

The notion of lila, especially as seen through Shiva’s dice game, shows us an archetypal pattern that is at the base of the many different subjects we have been considering. The Cosmic Game is the birth process, and it is at heart of all creation, a literally universal pattern that pervades the entire cosmos. 

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