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  • Writer's pictureKarey Pohn

A Look at the Layout

My dissertation is divided into two major parts, aside from the "Introduction" and "Methodology" chapters: the "Cosmic Game" and the "Kaleidoscope of Culture." The" Cosmic Game" part includes the "Prelude" and "Cosmic Game." This is where the cosmic play pattern is introduced through myth and this pattern’s eternally returning correspondences are demonstrated in detail from depth psychology, to chaos theory, culminating in Grof’s cartography of the psyche, and my original board game. After a brief "Interlude," the second part of the dissertation, the "Kaleidoscope of Culture" explores the different aspects of this archetypal pattern as they occur in different cultural pieces: Chicago (Marshall, 2002), Disneyland, Mary Poppins (Stevenson, 1964), as well as in culture at the time these pieces premiered.


The "Interlude" further explicates Grof’s cartography and gives important resources for the rest of the journey, along with insight into kaleidoscopes, as well as correspondences between Grof's cartography and Caillois’s (1958/2001) categories of games. It is here that we will see how different qualities of little “p” play fit into the cosmic picture.


At the end of the "Kaleidoscope of Culture," there will be a few "Parting Shots," where we will see how the whole thing fits together, as one big bricolage.

"Parting Shots" features a final conversation between Tele Sphoros and Rick O’Shea. These two have also been having a running commentary all along, which occurs each time a ∆RC appears. Their discussion is like color commentary at a sporting event, amplifying what is going on and giving tips on how to apply these ideas to your own life.



How the Web Site is Organized--Iconically Speaking


Welcome Bunny: Fittingly my first toy and blanket, what Winnicott (1999) calls transitional objects, welcome you into the world of play. Follow the White Rabbit as Alice and I have done into the Wonderful World of Play, featuring different Disney creations in the Kaleidoscope of Culture. We will go down the rabbit hole and see how far this really goes!


Ransom Note: This icon pays homage to the fact that Hermes hijacked my dissertation from the beginning as he clandestinely peered at me from the cover of Edinger’s (1984) The Creation of Consciousness, in the fall of 2000. It has been a wild ride! The two chapters—"Introduction" and "Methodology"— were the original dissertation proposal.

The Introduction contains the review of the literature, the statement of the problem, the organization of the study, as well as some of my experiences with play. The methodology chapter also contains sections on the bricolage method, as well as excursions into the three methods underlying the bricolage method: hermeneutics, heuristics and phenomenology. The method chapter also discusses the artistic method of this dissertation, and how it came to be a website.


Ouroboros and Jung’s Stone: This section, where we are right now, "Prelude: The Cosmic Setup," provides a broad overview of the dissertation, including what the different chapters are about, how to navigate the dissertation, and why the dissertation has such a different style—"why it is the way it is." The "Prelude" includes tips on how to skim through, to get the flavor of the dissertation. The icon is a bricolage composed of an ouroboros that I designed for a class t-shirt in 2001, as well as a picture of me and Jung's stone, a la Alfred Hitchcock, taken during my 2003 visit.



"Cosmic Game"— This chapter presents everything you never knew you wanted to know about lila, how the gods play. This is useful to know, because to paraphrase astrologer Laurence Hillman “either you play the game or the game plays you.” The "Cosmic Game" chapter explores the cosmic death-rebirth pattern in detail, and we will see it explicated in ancient myths and modern science, as it eternally returns everywhere. It seems that the Hindus had things right a long time ago. In many of their myths, Western society is discovering scientific truths. In exploring the myth of Shiva’s dice game we will see the significance of these stories. This chapter also introduces Grof’s cartography of the psyche and my game: Monomythopoply— Eternal Return Edition ™. The Monomythopoly game board is the icon for this chapter.


"Interlude"—This section explores the correspondences between Grof’s cartography and Caillois’s game categories, takes a look at kaleidoscopes, and discusses why I chose astrology as a lens. The Interlude also gives us other important information and resources, as well as an overview that is useful to a better understanding of the next part of the dissertation—the "Kaleidoscope of Culture." The antique map, which is the icon for the Interlude, reflects the ancient roots of Grof's cartography, and reminds us of the usefulness of maps.


"Kaleidoscope of Culture"—This part of the dissertation contains six chapters that explore the different archetypal aspects of play, as they "play out" in three different cultural pieces—Chicago (Marshall, 2002), Disneyland, and Mary Poppins (Stevenson, 1964)—as well as in popular culture at the different times of the cultural pieces. The first chapter is an introduction, which takes us to the turn of the Twentieth Century, and shows us the cultural confluence of the different ideas and innovations that we have been discussing during the dissertation, and we will be able to see how the world was gathered at this time. We can take an astrological excursion to see how the sky was gathered and thus see how the patterns that are being explored were actually mirrored by the cosmos at the time. Here we will be introduced to the planetary players who will play parts in the upcoming chapters.


In the "Chicago" chapter, we will see the shadow side of play, its pitfalls and its perils. In the "Disneyland" chapter and the "Extra Excursions" chapter we will see the promise of play. In the "Mary Poppins" chapter we will see the transformative power of play. The "Parting Shots" chapter, will wrap it all up with a final conversation between Tele Sphoros and Rick O’Shea, and we will see how the method was the message after all. To quote Rick O'Shea: “It's all bricolage, baby!” The kaleidoscope icon consists of a collage of pictures representing the different chapters of the "Kaleidoscope of Culture":


Alice In Wonderland for the Introduction to the Kaleidoscope of Culture, Billy Flynn in "Razzle Dazzle" for the "Chicago" chapter, Sleeping Beauty Castle for the "Disneyland" chapter, the "Haunted Mansion" poster for the "Extra Extra: Disneyland’s Optional Excursions" chapter, Mary Poppins for the "Mary Poppins" chapter, and Bert from Mary Poppins returning Admiral Boom’s volley for the "Parting Shots" chapter.



"Odds and Ends": In this part, such things as the table of contents, and in this case, the site map, the reference list, along with various tables and other miscellaneous items of interest can be found. "Odds and Ends" also includes the very important Dedication and Acknowledgements sections, where you can find out more about some of the important ideas and people who contributed to my journey. As psychologist and musician Byron Metcalf would say, I've had many Helpers Allies and Guides along the way and in these sections, I will give credit where credit is due. The Cheshire Cat and Tinkerbell yin/yang symbol icon provides something odd, the ineffable Cheshire Cat--hinting at play's elusive nature, and Tinkerbell symbolizing the imagination and neoteny—some of play's greatest ends.


Final Warning:


One last word of warning, before we go onto the "Cosmic Game" chapter. With archetypes, Jung tells us, clear-cut distinctions are impossible. In the conclusion of “the Psychology of the Child Archetype,” Jung (1951/1990) attempted to “stake out the possible extent of the problem raised by our archetype and to describe, at least cursorily, its different aspects.” This is also my plan is for cosmic play. Jung warns:


Clear-cut distinctions are quite impossible in this field, seeing that a kind of fluid interpenetration belongs to the very nature of all archetypes. They can only be roughly circumscribed at best. Their living meaning comes out more from their presentation as a whole than from a single formulation.” (p. 179, para. 301).

Since we are dealing with the archetypal aspects of play, we will explore and experience these archetypes as part of the larger wholes of which they are a part. That being said, to quote Jackie Gleason: “And awaaay we go . . . .”


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