Organization of the Study
I addressed these questions through the creation of hypertext essays and images exploring various cultural creations, in addition to crafting my own custom methodology that reflects play. With a topic such as play, organization and structure are elusive and tricky, and yet the following structure has evolved:
Welcome, is the forward and introduces what the web site is about, offers tips on navigating the web site, and situates the work on the shoulders of the different giants who have allowed me to see further into cosmic play.
Chapter 1, is the Introduction and contains the Literature Review and Statement of the Problem.
Chapter 2 delves into methodology. As a twist on McLuhan’s aphorism, “the medium is the message,” Grosswiler (1998) has written that The Method is the Message. Based on the latter idea, I explicate a new methodology, which is an example of what it explicates. The method that I have crafted, bricolage, and my own artistic method, is a hybrid of different traditional methods. Throughout this chapter, play and depth psychology interweave, giving us many messages.
The Prelude is the “Cosmic Setup.” It tells us how the website and the dissertation are set up, and why it is the way it is. The prelude also introduces the notion of galumphing and reveals play’s tricky nature.
Chapter 3 is the “Cosmic Game,” which begins with cosmology and explores the essence of the Hindu notion of lila, cosmic play through mythology. This eternally returning pattern is traced from the cosmos through depth psychology, and finishes with my own version of the Cosmic Game.
The “Interlude” demonstrates the correspondences between Caillois’s (1958/2001) categories of games and Grof’s (2000a) cartography of the psyche and demonstrates how qualities of “little ‘p’ play” are related to “big ‘P’ play”—cosmic play. The “Interlude” also contains links to part of Victor Turner’s (1988) article “Body Brain and Culture” which captivated me in the first place, as well as Grof’s (2000c) astrology chapter from Psychology of the Future, and other important links and information, and an overview of the Kaleidoscope of Culture.
The “Kaleidoscope of Culture” consists of six chapters:
Chapter 4 is the “Introduction to the Kaleidoscope of Culture” and discusses the turn of the Twentieth Century when depth psychology, film, quantum physics, and chaos theory all had their beginnings. It takes us on an astrological excursion where we are introduced to the planetary players, and the planetary archetypal combinations that will be playing out in the remainder of the “Kaleidoscope of Culture,” and that were all present at the turn of the century. Lastly, this chapter discusses the idea that popular culture is a consuming passion in more ways than one.
Chapter 5 explores the movie Chicago (Marshall, 2002, motion picture), and concerns itself with the darker aspects of play, or the pitfalls and perils of play. This chapter explores the 1920s and the turn of the Twenty-first Century, along with the planetary archetypal combination of Saturn-Pluto which was present during these periods. Through Chicago, much is revealed as we are left to reflect on the shadow side of play.
Chapter 6 takes us to Disneyland, where we explore play’s promise, and how Grof’s cartography can perhaps shed light on Disneyland’s structure. This chapter explores the 1950s, and in part, looks back at the turn of the Twentieth Century. The planetary archetypal complex of Uranus-Neptune is highlighted. The different extra excursions that are contained in their own separate additional chapter are discussed and links to them are provided. The chapter ends with a discussion of the lessons that we can learn from Disneyland, its possible impact on us.
Chapter 7 is an optional chapter where Disneyland’s six extra excursions are found, which explore the topics of antistructure, fantasy and illusion, neoteny, nostalgia and utopia, along with additional excursions on Disneyland’s history and ancestry.
Chapter 8 looks at the transformative power of play through the movie Mary Poppins (Stevenson, 1964, motion picture). Mary Poppins came to the screen in the mid-1960s and looks back to 1910. This chapter highlights the planetary archetypal complex Uranus-Pluto and examines the turbulent decade of the 1960s before embarking on an exploration of the movie Mary Poppins itself. This Disney masterpiece provides us with many ludic and liminal lessons.
Chapter 9, entitled “Parting Shots,” contains a wrap-up of the dissertation, which shows its bricological nature and provides an overview of the different themes that played throughout the dissertation as well as mentioning difficulties and limitations encountered along the way and avenues for future study.
The “Odds and Ends” section contains the dedication, acknowledgements, site map, combined reference list as well as other odds and ends, such as copyright information and different tables referred to in the various chapters.