Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Ode to Joy Game: Moves 6 and 7

All righty then, back to the eternal Game.  (I won't keep linking the posts containing earlier moves, but at the end I'll put up a list of links to the whole thing somewhere up top... maybe I'll change the name of the "Free RPG Adventures" banner to something more like "Free Games 4 U" and categorize this as such.)  :-)

Today I'm picking up the pace and adding two new beads to the network.  They're both on the third row down (or the row right above the central golden thematic bead of Beethoven's Ninth):

On the right, in the 2:00 position up from the middle, I'm taking the Armchair Squid's advice and placing The Olympic Spirit.  I've superposed the 5 rings, which were crafted by the Baron Pierre de Coubertin at the beginning of the modern Olympic era, with the divine eternal flame that links back to the ancient Greek Olympic games.  All this symbolism -- as well as the lofty ideals behind the symbols -- makes the Olympic games much more special to me.

(Despite being a life-long fan of the winter games, this time around I didn't get into the spirit too much... I ended up not really watching any of it on TV.  I was inspired by some of the stories, but I was both incredibly busy with the ramp-up to a stressful job interview last week, and also quite put off by ol' Pooty-Poot.)

On the left, in the 10:00 position from the middle, and directly below the Queen of the Night, I place a quote from my favorite quasi-religious piece of "channeled" automatic writing.  In Chapter 2, verse 44 of Aleister Crowley's Book of the Law, is the text:
"Aye! feast! rejoice! there is no dread hereafter. There is the dissolution, and eternal ecstasy in the kisses of Nu."
On the surface, this verse seems to be talking about moving beyond traditional religious ideas of the afterlife, and embracing a more pantheistic idea that when one dies, one is dissolved back into the web of atoms and molecules that moves on to create new life.

Specifically, I've centered the image of my bead on the word "rejoice!" in the original 1904 manuscript.  Why?  Well, if you obey the discarnate speaker (who may have been a spirit called "Aiwass," or a piece of Crowley's subconscious mind, or maybe a person hiding behind a curtain in his incense-filled hotel room in Cairo), you will have taken the 65 pages of the original manuscript for this book and arranged them into a grid...
"Paste the sheets from right to left and from top to bottom: then behold!"
If you do that and make a 13x5 grid, or a 5x13 grid, the exclamation point terminating the word "rejoice!" is right at the center of the whole thing.  Joy.  At the center.

You can now see how this links to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.  :-)

Other links:  "rejoice" links up to the Queen of the Night, since the verse I quoted above talks about her directly.  "Nu," in Crowley's book, is in fact a name of the Queen of the Stars that personifies the infinite play of matter and energy in the universe.  It links to the Olympic spirit in the obvious sense of individual athletes rejoicing with victory in the games... and also the lesser (or comparable?) joy of just getting to compete at this elite "starry" level.

The Olympic spirit links to Beethoven's Ode to Joy for a similar reason as I outlined above, but also because the OtJ has been used more recently as an anthem of international cooperation -- a key goal of the modern games.  The link to the Japanese Daiku below recalls the globe-spanning choral performance at the opening of the 1988 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, which Squid pointed out was quite sublime.


  1. I would throw the HRC's red equality sign up there to connect with the Olympic rings... :)

    1. Aha, yes... I think I've got the rest of it scoped out now, but I think you'll really like who you'll see in the top spot. That will be the last one filled... :-)

  2. 'personifies the infinite play of matter and energy in the universe. It links to the Olympic spirit'

    I felt there was more of a link, here. I felt something inside me reaching for it. Focus on all of the athletic images in the first couple of minutes of the link below, particularly the one starting at 1:14. Note they mention 'kisses in the night.' :)

    1. Actually, check out those first couple of strides starting at 1:31. Fuckin' inspiring. :)

    2. Thanks for linking that! Jumping for joy indeed! I remember this was in your roller rink jam, but I admit that I didn't watch all the videos once I recognized the song.

      I've got to say that jumping for joy also reminds me of this classic scene... especially the super leaps that cut in around 5:40 to 6:00. (Maybe too irreverently played for laughs, but still joyful!)

    3. :) Cyg, I just watched that whole thing.

    4. That whole movie, and just about every other one with SNL cast members from the early 80s, was pretty much burned into my retinas in college.

  3. Replies
    1. It was a perfect fit. There's one more piece to come that has benefited from the crowdsourcing, too... :-)