hist-games: Snakes and Ladders documentary
SEDWilkins at aol.com
SEDWilkins at aol.com
Wed Jul 11 04:13:42 PDT 2012
>>Board games have the capacity to focus consciousness. They can
strengthen conscious directionality.<<
Mats - fascinating article. Do you think the prevalence of cardinal points
in board games may factor into this as "locating the self in the cosmos"?
I would expect that the reed games of North America and the stone games of
Africa, both of which apparently involved significant mental math, were
similarly "focusing," although without "boards" the lack of extant artifacts
makes this much more difficult to examine.
In a message dated 7/11/2012 2:01:45 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
mwi9 at swipnet.se writes:
You could also try at the following locations and their adherent
discussions groups, if applicable.
I am more and more inclined to think that board games have played a
significant role in the development of ego consciousness. In a period
of our history, in certain Stone age and Bronze Age cultures, people
seem to have been obsessed with board games. Almost every tenth
artifact found at Mohenjo-daro is game related. I have argued that the
structure of board games depict the collective progress in
consciousness, and that it is, essentially, an image of psychic
Board games have the capacity to focus consciousness. They can
strengthen conscious directionality. The noble men in Aztec
civilization could often be seen carrying around a Patolli board game,
much similar to Pachisi and Ludo. They seem to have been almost
obsessed weith it, as a hazard game. Circulation around a center
('circumabulatio') is an archetypal motif which, according to Jungian
psychology, signifies the progression of consciousness and the
successive approximation of the personality to the 'Self'. These games
had special squares, possibly with a similar significance as the
ladder and snake squares of the Indian game of dice. The snake is a
regressive force which makes you slide back to an earlier phase in the
Chess is today employed as a means of strengthening the concentrative
effort in school children.
It turns out that it improves the childrens' results in other school
subjects, too. They learn to focus their minds. Chess gives you an
immeditate award if you concentrate and make an effort to calculate
the future. In most school subjects, the reward isn't immediate, and
it isn't obvious why the children should learn mathematics, etc.
That's why I think that board games could have had a significant role
in the evolution of ego consciousness. The inhabitants in early
civilizations learnt that it is worth while to really make an effort
and think ahead. As soon as you have gotten used to focusing your
attention, you are in the habit of doing this in other contexts as
well. Arguably, board gaming can establish a higher level of
consciousness in that the ego fixes itself at a higher energetic
A game like snake and ladders also has psychological effects in that
it is necessary to maintain composure in face of fortune and bad luck.
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