A Continuing Overview of the Literature
Because play is tricky, many categories overlap and lead into each other. Sometimes a category is betwixt and between other categories. These topics surround and circumambulate the central theme of play. Before reviewing the literature, I will give a general idea of the scope of my dissertation. I began an exploration of cosmic play, or lila—the play of consciousness—play at its most cosmological and ineffable level. Related to this is maya, the Hindu notion of all creation being an illusion. I also explored play as a nonordinary state of consciousness. This focus on cosmic play is consonant with the Telesphoros leading us to the land of dreams.
From there, I explored play through the trickster nature of Hermes, his liminality, synchronicities, and the transcendent function, as well as other tricksters, including Prometheus (Tarnas, 1995). I also explored other related archetypal aspects, including the divine child (Jung & Kerényi, 1963/1993), the eternal return, and the death-rebirth aspects present in play and creativity. Finally, on a more biological note, I reviewed the more instinctual aspects of play as it relates to humans, animals, and the world around us. I also looked at ideas of play from ancient cultures (Hindu, Native American, and Chinese) and modern science such as chaos and complexity theory to gain a more informed view of the nature of play. .