I’ve been following Richard Garcia on Facebook for a while, now. And have even had the opportunity to meet him via Skype. I have a growing respect for his integrity and the depth of his thinking about play.
He is a staunch advocate of play. He writes:
Play is a heart and spirit connection, not a mind and body connection, or even a ‘mindful practice’. It is a state of being in which a state of doing follows. It is in that doing that our ability to express the heart and spirit of play, including through playful natural movement flourishes and flows.
When I was a kid I used to role-play like I was an “American Ninja Warrior” or even a “Kung Fu Master”. But that’s just it. It never went as far as really learning how to hurt anyone. Until, I really did learn how to hurt others. But that’s just it. I wasn’t playing anymore.
But there are some today who role-play in ways that do hurt others, including themselves. The truth, the purity, the innocence of play has been co-opted, subverted, usurped, and then distorted, de-meaned and de-valued, and most importantly re-valued.
Play has been used as an invitation to sell the ideas of the many egoistic selfish, competitive, sensation, thrill, control, attention and approval seekers who promote the pain/pleasure and punishment/reward mechanistic and animalistic societal reductions of our nature.
They aim to teach the selfish and competitive efficiency of combative skills and fighting as if it were play. Well,….it’s not.
Play, like love, is not only humble, it is also courageous. It has integrity. It is in that integrity that we are free to trust ourselves and trust others in how we play. It is in that integrity that we are free to explore and discover the necessary risks that allow for mastery. While it is in the ego that the selfishness, the competitiveness, the efficiency, the combativeness seeks, finds, experiences true and unnecessary danger, pain and punishment.
You can find more of his articles on Deep Fun.
He is currently traveling in South America, exploring what he calls “The Primal Playground,” defending the playful.