Go East Young (Okay Well not so Young) Woman… to a More Ludic Way of Seeing
Imaginal Monotheistic Monolog
The whole One God concept of the big three monotheisms, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam seems too limiting and rigid. I imagine a kind of monolog by Jay Leno discussing this subject that might go something like this:
Leno: Yahweh’s behind all of these religions, and let's face it, He’s got an anger management problem and seems to be very capricious. And that wager with the Devil over Job—what was He thinking? I mean if you’re “all knowing,” why bother to bet? What’s the point? Was He having a senior moment, or what? Not to mention that it was a bit sadistic, which you wouldn’t expect from God, but on the other hand, it might explain all the suffering in the world. And, then we’ve got another problem, if Jesus is only all good, where does that leave us, all bad? That’s not good and it smacks of splitting, which is a defense mechanism. So it seems that even God has “issues.” Imagine being God’s therapist. That would not be a fun job, if He got mad at you, He might just smite you or turn you into a pillar of salt, especially in depth psychology where they are very fond of backwards glances! And these guys like Moses and Mohammed—these prophets are seeing things and hearing things when they have an encounter with God? All of this fighting over the same god, well quite frankly, it's asinine [which was very likely true--seeing as how Palestine was named after the Roman god Pales, who was portrayed as an ass (Robbins, 1995)]. No wonder the world’s such a nutty place, God’s crazy, and it seems to be contagious!
Avoiding the Middle Eastern Mess
So, we will skip over the monotheisms of the Middle East, because aside from Yahweh betting with the Devil, and Christ reminding us that we cannot get to heaven unless we become like little children, there is not a lot room for play in them. It seems that polytheisms, like blondes, have more fun! For the truly ludic cosmologies, where play is more than momentary, we have to go farther east, to the Far East—India. Although we will not be examining them, it is worth mentioning that Buddhist and Chinese cosmology are both ludic in nature. And coming around full circle, California and Esalen in particular could be considered the Far Far Far East, for this is where Watts, Bateson, Campbell, and Grof all, at times “lived by the sea,” all of whom have had a playful influence on this dissertation at some point.