“Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.” -Heraclitus
I am reading a book called Open to Desire: Embracing a Lust for Life by Dr. Mark Epstein. In it, he recounts a story of playing with his son and one of his stuffies right after the 9/11 tragedy. They lived in NYC and were right in the midst of the rubble in the aftermath. The playful encounter/dialogue that his son had with his stuffed animal, “Hoss” (using the voice of Dr. Epstein), helped them both work through the trauma. He talks about his gratitude for this exchange the reminder of how powerful play can be in healing.
In the book he says, “While trauma and threat tend to take away the desire for playfulness, they intensify the need for it.” He goes on to say that, “Play is one of those things, like dreaming, that seems superfluous but that we cannot seem to live without.”
It has been my experience that play lifts my spirits and truly connects me with the Numinous in a way that nothing else does. I can pray, meditate, or any of the “spiritual disciplines” but never get into the place of Divine Connection in the same way as I do while I play.
Okay, I’m going to stop quoting experts, turn on some Digital Underground, shake my ass and go play some more. 😉