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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

  • An Ouroboric Perspective and the Limitations of Linearity

  • Here We Go Again—The Eternal Return

  • Paradox to the Rescue

  • Nietzsche’s Notion

  • Depth Psychology’s Preoccupations and Praxis

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A Crash Course On Chaos

  • Chaotic Beginnings

  • Here We Go Again—Iteration

  • Two Roads in a Yellow Wood—The Perils of Bifurcation and SDIC

  • Taffy Pulling Apart

  • The Attraction of Attractors

  • Fascinating Fractals

  • Archetypes and Strange Attractors

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Grof’s Psychology Of The Future

  • To Freud and Beyond—A New Map Needed

  • COEXes and Complexes

  • Animateur after All

  • Brave New Map

  • Monomythopoly—Eternal Return Edition

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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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