The Impossible Machine
Games have long been the predominant metaphor
for ambition and skill. Games are as easily
applicable to basic skills as to the most subtle and
Oftentimes what is revealed to a child as basic
later acquires a special significance with
undertones of a deeper secret.
While in the game of chess
(in which I am no expert)
advanced players focus on
strategies far beyond
what is accessible to the beginner,
symbolically what is revealed to
the beginner acquires layers of meaning
at an advanced level, so that we might say
that in some way a master is only an accomplished
This may be what the writer Natalie Goldberg
intends when she invokes the Buddhist concept
of "beginner's mind".
The philosophical concept of the Meta, as in
metaphor or metaphysics, is really an attempt to
master totality, to find universal laws whereby it is
possible to be master without being a specialist.
Understanding the elements of games as symbols
is a good first step towards
realizing the powerful
tools available to the mind,
even independent of
any specific problem.
Divisions such as suits of cards
have a certain meaning
that is applicable metaphorically
to dimensions of life
conceived as a game.
Understanding the tools
may ultimately lead
to an understanding
of the ultimate game:
that life isn't one.
ON TO SUITS OF CARDS