hist-games: Snakes and Ladders documentary

M Winther mwi9 at swipnet.se
Wed Jul 11 08:06:11 PDT 2012


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <SEDWilkins at aol.com>
To: <hist-games at www.pbm.com>
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 1:13 PM
Subject: Re: hist-games: Snakes and Ladders documentary


>
>>>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.
>
>
> -Sally  Wilkins
>


The mandala topographies are prevalent. The mandala is often viewed as
a cosmography. We also know that board game patterns were used as
protective charms, etc., perhaps because they could capture the
spirit, i.e. capture the attention of the mind. The focusing on a
mandala is used as a meditation technique, but the contemplative
tradition, generally, serves to attain a "higher self", a kind of
"ego-less condition". However, I argue that the board games have
played a role in attaining a strong ego consciousness, which is not
the same, of course. I don't know whether there is a connection.

However, the notion that board games play a significant role in the
evolution of consciousness and higher civilization, is a far-reaching
theory that is not easy to prove.  In my article I merely say that
they portray a development, not that they are significant to it.
Sweden is littered with rockcarvings that portray dots in quadratic
configuration.
http://alvor.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/aspbergethander.jpg

Archaeologists have no idea what they mean. Perhaps they signify board
games, like the mancala games on Crete, cut out in the bedrock.

Mats

>
>
> 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.
>
> http://www.jungianstudies.org/
>
> http://aras.org/
>
> http://www.studyofmyth.org/
>
> 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
> structure:
> http://home7.swipnet.se/~w-73784/boardgam1.htm
>
> 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
> journey.
>
> Chess is today employed as a means of  strengthening the
> concentrative
> effort in school  children.
> http://www.kcfe.eu/en/content/%E2%80%9Cchess-school%E2%80%9D-endorsed-europe
> an-parliament
> http://www.chessinschools.co.uk/
>
> 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
> level.
>
> 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.
>
> Mats  Winther
>
>
>


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