The Outer Game


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Move 1 Glass Bead Game - Follow Up
Posted by Robert C. Cohen on December 04, 1997 at 22:37:42:

After all the moves about eggs and spheres and immersions, I went back and looked at my favorite (and for me the most important) quote from the book (the one pictured above with all the circles and underlines). Usually I focused on the first half of the paragraph but now I focused again on the very last part of the section I had marked so heavily when I first read the book. Looking at it now I am already sliding into the meditations from Game One and swimming in spheres that move outside to inside and back again :

In the formal Game the player sought to compose out of the objective content of every game, out of the mathematical, linguistic, musical, and other elements, as dense, coherent, and formally perfect a unity and harmony as possible. In the psychological Game, on the other hand, the object was to create unity and harmony, cosmic roundedness and perfection, not so much in the choice, arrangement, interweaving, association, and contrast of the contents as in the meditation which followed every stage of the Game. All the stress was placed on this meditation. Such a psychological -- or to use Knechtís word, pedagogical -- Game did not display perfection to the outward eye. Rather, it guided the player, by means of its succession of precisely prescribed meditations, toward experiencing perfection and divinity. "The Game as I conceive it," Knecht once wrote to the former Music Master, "encompasses the player after the completion of meditation as the surface of a sphere encompasses its center, and leaves him with the feeling that he has extracted from the universe of accident and confusion a totally symmetrical and harmonious cosmos, and absorbed it into himself." (Winston translation, Picdor Classics p. 197)




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