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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Get out and play!

Thinking is playing. Playing with words. Playing with ideas. Playing with others in the forum and with our selves in the study. So consider play!

We see the young of many animals playing usually with one another often in imitation of their elders. They run after one another, grab something the other wants and run off, hide, bite and fight, without hurting one another. Though if the play gets too rowdy, mother comes along and cuffs them. They play with balls, pounce on moving objects, swing on ropes, run and jump even by themselves. Sex play, including humping and rolling around, is a part of the fun. Play is the way of learning and growing strong. Then there comes a time when play is over and mother or father takes them on the hunt. Or they go out to find their mate.

Human children play games in which situations are imagined and different roles are assumed in the drama. Playing house sometimes switching roles of mother and father and baby, enjoying mud cake tea parties, enacting cops and robbers, setting up a neighborhood Olympics, creating a town in a sandbox, fighting a war with toy swords or guns are examples. Then they move to soccer, football, hockey and maybe a musical instrument. And board games and now video games. And if they are fortunate they have teachers who know how to have fun by making the classroom a game to extend into a lifetime of learning.

“All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” wrote the bard pretentiously.  Social psychologist Kurt Goldstein notes that we play our roles in relation to the various audiences which are given to us and/or which we choose. Which roles are more approved by people we most care about? Which roles get us the most recognition? Which roles do we like more? We find that some of the roles fit us better or we just decide they do. We use these roles more and more. We exercise and train in them. If we integrate them, they define our selves, our characters, our souls. 

Thinking is role-playing and role-playing is thinking.

But like the Star Trek Enterprise’s holodeck (and some scientists claim the whole universe is a hologram), 1) we bring our evolved organism to the game. And 2) there are many already coded programs we can run or adapt.  And 3) we decide the program we want to run or the games to play. 

We are a nexus of our genes, our memes, and our dreams. All thinking is corporeal, cultural, and intentional. The game of life is sexual, playful, and wishful.

So let’s go out and play!