I love intersections, especially when they juxtapose two things of interest or significance, with something serendipitous, something not sought. Within the past few days two written works have intersected for me, while overlaying the death of a friend’s parent. This essay attempts to ponder these as invitations to understanding.
The first item is from an article titled Wild Darkness in Orion magazine about nature’s grasp of dying. It is beautifully written; poignant; honest. But in it, the author, herself sentenced by Judge Medicine, as terminal, asserts that no one teaches us how to die. Apparently she has missed St Paul’s statement I die daily, v.31 kjv, along with his profound observations in chapter 15 on resurrection – describing life eternal. (NB: different translations can be read by pull-down menu.)
So it was with much delight that a book found its way into my hands on the nature of games, finite and infinite. ¿But, is death (or life) a game? The author dynamically explores this question, for which he deserves much applause. This book first appeared in 1986, and has recently been reissued. It’s destined to become a classic. Here’s a description from the blurb at Amazon, linked above:
“There are at least two kinds of games,” states James P. Carse as he begins this extraordinary book. “One could be called finite; the other infinite.”
Finite games are the familiar contests of everyday life; they are played in order to be won, which is when they end. But infinite games are more mysterious. Their object is not winning, but ensuring the continuation of play. The rules may change, the boundaries may change, even the participants may change—as long as the game is never allowed to come to an end.
What are infinite games? How do they affect the ways we play our finite games? What are we doing when we play—finitely or infinitely? And how can infinite games affect the ways in which we live our lives? <end blurb excerpt>
The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth serves to instruct us that life is eternal – as can other near death experiences, rigorously investigated.