Outer Game Contribution

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Full Submission: The Infinite Game
Posted by Narada on April 19, 1998 at 22:51:04:

Definition: The concept of 'Game' itself/ The Game of Fire/ The Ultimate Game/ The exquisite drama and play and sport of the Creator/ The First and Only Game of which all others are but parts of aspects or games within The Game.

Creator: Without beginning/ of the Nature of Being

Primary Category: Ritual

Secondary Categories: Art, Language, Science, Tribe, Magic, Reality, Learning, Death

Relationship to the Core Wave: When did humans first conceived of a "game", or "sport", or play "? Is not CoreWave itself an ancient idea in modern context?

Quotes: "I suddenly realised that in the language or at any rate in the spirit of the Glass Bead Game, everything actually was all-meaningful, that every single and combination of symbols led not hither and yon, not to single examples, experiments, and proofs, but into the centre, the mystery and innermost heart of the world, into primal knowledge. " Hesse's "Glass Bead Game"

Encapsulation: I love the Sanskrit word 'leela'. It can be translated variously as- game, pastime, play, sport, drama, pleasurable activity, and still means something more. The whole substance and purpose of existence is "for the enjoyment of God"-(note the double meaning). The "rules" of this "game" may never be fully knowable by minds that are themselves moves in the play of the Infinite Game.

Main Submission: Perhaps the first players of games were the young of each species practising the skills that they will need as adults- the mock battles and mimicking of behaviour, etc. What defines something as a game rather than "real" is that it is played with symbolic pieces and does not really threaten our lives or well being. What makes our lives more than "just a game" is often seem to be the immediacy and the power of pain, suffering, death, and also of pleasure, and love. But the Ultimate Game of which I am speaking, is not limited by this definition. It incorporates all the drama of life and death, and draws much of its beauty and fire from dealing with the real issues of life.

Games can be incredibly varied in their structure but usually they will have qualities that can be roughly defined as- rules, pieces, boards, players, audience, equipment, and sub-categories, extensions, and variations on these. For instance- there are physical games, emotional games, mental games, and spiritual games- though these could be said to be merely different types of boards or arenas of play.

I would like to be involved in the creation of a web site dedicated to the discussion about, and development of, a playable version of the ultimate game.

Deeper: Re- the Glass Bead Game: I have not listed the G B G as a version of The Game for a few reasons. Most importantly to me- The Ultimate Game should not be sterile in the sense that Hesse's game was. I see absolute evidence that the playing of the Ultimate Game is indeed what creates and expires new technologies, insights, theorems, artworks, medicines, social institutions and reformations, acts of heroism and humanity, understanding and compassion, etc, etc. For me there must also be a deeper acknowledgement that we do not create the game so much as it creates and plays and moves us. We are born as pieces into the world game, and forces play upon our bodies and minds as boards, and this is part of the wonder of the game. Perhaps this is what Joseph Knecht (the Magister Ludi of Hesse's Glass Bead Game) wished to bring into the game by his refusal to play by the rules of a sterile order. If this is so then we must take our efforts to emulate the G B G further than the Castilian vision, and seek greater depths of meaning as Joseph Knecht did.
CoreWave is an interesting development of Hesse's theme. I think he would be most pleased to see that the G B G is evolving through the actual playing of the game itself, in ways that he had not imagined. In particular, the personal computer and associated technologies make a form of G B G playable on the web that is excitingly global, visual, and experimental. Every web page is a move, a bead, in the W W W game- and every hyperlink is a connection tunnel. Information, ideas, inspirations, are indeed playing together- though clearly the orchestra has not finished tuning up and it remains to be heard what music it is possible to play on this organ.
Speaking of music, I find it exciting that the software available is making possible new musical versions of the GBG. Through the use of software that knows what is and is not allowable as defined by certain musical rules, less proficient musicians can choose from a range of possible moves that are within harmonious parameters. This applies to chords, melodies, themes, rythms, etc. I am most interested in developing visual image and music based versions of the Game.

Connections: The Big Bang Never Happened: Cosmology is the game of discovering the rules of the macrocosm by studying the Pieces (stars, galaxies, etc), the Board (space/time), and the Rules (E=M C squared, etc). The universe itself is the great game.
The Meru Project: the Meru foundation is involved in solving various puzzles of antiquity. Puzzles are a specific type of game. They are also deeply concerned with the meaning and purpose of the mysteries of shape and language, ie, studying the rules of the game of the mind.
Alien Dream Time: Some people believe that the world game has entered a crucial phase in which the very rules themselves are mutating and developing, and during this phase there are opportunities to move in new and previously impossible ways-to go beyond the limits of our cultures habitual patterns of behaviour and raise the whole game to a new level of exploration. Is this the end of the game of history as we know it? Is this the butterfly about to emerge from its mental cocoon of games?
Illusion: "Illusion" and the "game" are deeply interwoven concepts, for nothing in the game is "real". In the back of Hesse's G B G there are three life stories, and the last is entirely concerned with a yogi's demonstration of the power of Maya (illusion). To quote from there-"and was what he was experiencing this moment, what he saw before his eyes, awakening from rulership and war and imprisonment, standing beside the spring, his gourd from which he had just spilled a little water, together with what he was now thinking about it all-was not all this made of the same stuff? Was it not dream, illusion, Maya?"

Geographic Location: Silicon Valley, for the guys who make this new form of the game possible

Images and Clips: Accompanying cartoon of genius'.

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