"Zen teaches nothing; it merely enables us to wake up and become aware. It does not teach, it points." ~D.T. Suzuki

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Seriously, You Playing With Me?

You Playing
With Me?

the inessential is essential.” 
T.L. Rese
"The child shall have full opportunity for play and recreation,
which should be directed to the same purposes as education;
society and the public authorities shall endeavour to promote the enjoyment of this right."

Adopted by UN General Assembly Resolution 1386 (XIV) of 10 December 1959

“If you want creative workers,
give them enough time to play”
John Cleese

We are neotinic apes. We retain many juvenile characteristics and a life long capacity for play is one of them. In fact, I believe it may have been one of the most important in human evolution.

Could playing with a stick or a rock be the moment humans began using tools? Yes, I think it is not only possible but probable. We play with sticks, we play with ideas and when the two are put together then innovation happens.

Imagination is a key ingredient in innovation. And it is not difficult to imagine that many of the innovations of our ancestors came about just by playing with things.

It has long been thought by many that play is frivolous. That it is a non-productive waste of time. But play is a special kind of work. Would that all work was like this. And when it is this way, we adults call work, play.

Scientific experiments are just that. The nature of hypothesis testing is play. We are playing to find out what happens if...

Architects play with design. Engineers play with forces. Musicians play (double meaning) with sound. Artists play with color, texture and more. I hope you're starting to get the picture.

Play is the lessons learned and the productivity of growing on your own time and on your own terms. Without imposed structure or supervision, it allows the freedom of expression and the creativity of one's own being.

Best of all...interacting with the world in this way is just plain fun.
“Play hard.
Play, play, play like your life depends on it.
Because it does.”
Dean Koontz

"You can discover more about a person
in one hour of play than in a year of conversation."

“Child who does not play is not a child, 
but the man who does not play
has lost forever
the child who lived within him
and who he will miss terribly”
Pablo Neruda

"Children's Games" 1560

“Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.”
Tom Robbins

“Our play is not something separate
from our spirituality; it is itself a sign
of the presence of God in the world.”
Ken Shigematsu
“Even our recreation was scheduled. There was no time to look for birds or wander into the nearby woods. We were put into teams and sent into violent pursuit of a helpless ball.”
Gloria Whelan

“Mammals of every species indulge in play. Games are Nature's way of preparing us
to face difficult realities.”
Daniel Suarez
Stuart Brown: Play is more than fun
“The notion that inspired play (even when audacious, offensive, or obscene) enhances rather than diminishes intellectual vigor and spiritual fulfillment, the notion that in the eyes of the gods the tight-lipped hero and the wet-cheeked victim are frequently inferior to the red-nosed clown, such notions are destined to be a hard sell to those who have E.M. Forster on their bedside table and a clump of dried narcissus up their ass.

Not to worry. As long as words and ideas exist, there will be a few misfits who will cavort with them in a spirit of *approfondement*–if I may borrow that marvelous French word that translates roughly as ‘playing easily in the deep’–and in so doing they will occasionally bring to realization Kafka’s belief that ‘a novel should be an ax for the frozen seas around us’.”
Tom Robbins

The National Institute for Play
describes seven play types:
  1. Attunement, which establishes a connection, such as between newborn and mother.
  2. Body, in which an infant explores the ways in which his or her body works and interacts with the world, such as making funny sounds or discovering what happens in a fall.
  3. Object, such as playing with toys, banging pots and pans, handling physical things in ways that use curiosity.
  4. Social, play which involves others in activities such as tumbling, making faces, and building connections with another child or group of children.
  5. Imaginative (also called "pretend" or "fantasy"), in which a child invents scenarios from his or her imagination and acts within them as a form of play, such as princess or pirate play.
  6. Narrative (or storytelling), the play of learning and language that develops intellect, such as a parent reading aloud to a child, or a child retelling the story in his or her own words.
  7. Transformative (or integrative), by which one plays with imagination to transcend what is known in the current state, to create a higher state. For example, a person might experiment to find a new way to use a musical instrument, thereby taking that form of music to a higher plane; or, as Einstein was known to do, a person might wonder about things which are not yet known and play with unproven ideas as a bridge to the discovery of new knowledge.
“It is interesting that Hindus, when they speak of the creation of the universe do not call it the work of God, they call it the play of God, the Vishnu lila, lila meaning play. 
And they look upon the whole manifestation of all the universes as a play, 
as a sport, as a kind of dance 
— lila perhaps being somewhat related to our word lilt”
Alan Watts
“Genius is play, 
and man's capacity for achieving genius is infinite,
and many may achieve genius only through play.”
William Saroyan

“The Aeon (life) is a child
at play with colored balls.”
Heraclitus, Fragments

“Those societies in which seriousness, tradition, conformity and adherence to long-established - often god-prescribed - ways of doing things are the strictly enforced rule, have always been the majority across time and throughout the world. Such people are not known for their sense of humour and lightness of touch; they rarely break a smile. To them, change is always suspect and usually damnable, and they hardly ever contribute to human development. By contrast, social, artistic and scientific progress as well as technological advance are most evident where the ruling culture and ideology give men and women permission to play, whether with ideas, beliefs, principles or materials. And where playful science changes people's understanding of the way the physical world works, political change, even revolution, is rarely far behind.”
Paul Kriwaczek, Babylon: Mesopotamia And The Birth Of Civilization
“Sure you do.
Everyone wants to play.
They’re just afraid
of looking stupid.
But you know what’s stupid?
Not trying. So just…try.”
Victoria Scott

“Man is most nearly himself 
when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.”
“No child should ever be too sad to play.”
Andrew Galasetti

“We are never more fully alive,
more completely ourselves,
or more deeply engrossed
in anything,
than when we are at play.”
Charles E. Schaefer
Peter Gray on the healthiness of play

“For a child, it is in the simplicity of play
that the complexity of life is sorted like puzzle pieces
joined together to make sense of the world.”
L.R. Knost,
“That thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you is usually what you need to find, and finding it is a matter of getting lost. The word ‘lost’ comes from the old Norse ‘los’ meaning the disbanding of an army…I worry now that people never disband their armies, never go beyond what they know.

Advertising, alarmist news, technology, incessant busyness, and the design of public and private life conspire to make it so. A recent article about the return of wildlife to suburbia described snow-covered yards in which the footprints of animals are abundant and those of children are entirely absent. Children seldom roam, even in the safest places… I wonder what will come of placing this generation under house arrest.”
Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

“It is time for a return to childhood, to simplicity,
to running and climbing
and laughing in the sunshine,
to experiencing happiness 
instead of being trained for a lifetime
of pursuing happiness.
It is time to let children be children again.”

L.R. Knost
“A master in the art of living
draws no sharp distinction
between his work and his play; 
his labor and his leisure; 
his mind and his body; 
his education and his recreation. 
He hardly knows which is which. 
He simply pursues his vision of excellence
through whatever he is doing,
and leaves others to determine
whether he is working or playing. 
To himself, 
he always appears to be doing both.”
L.P. Jacks

“This is the real secret of life --
to be completely engaged
with what you are doing in the here and now.
And instead of calling it work,
realize it is play.”
Alan Watts
“Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Where Do The Children Play by Cat Stevens
Cover by J180Everly
© 2014 MU-Peter Shimon

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