9 Varieties of Play

The 9 play varieties are: move, music, chat, feel, art, imagine, touch, random, suspense. Rather these are the fun ‘nicknames’ I have given them. We will explore all of the categories of play in depth and how they relate to each other. You can categorize play types in many ways, I chose this way to show how different play types relate and intersect. Play types are all different patterns of energy as perceived through different senses.

Each play variety has ‘flavors’ within that type. like red, blue, green, or fast, slow, jittery, or happy, sad, reminiscent. Normally I don’t think about play varieties while I am playing, I don’t categorize them, yet it can help to be aware of it before hand, like you have to plan or set up an environment where play can happen, you plan to not plan, that’s the sort of paradox or zen of it. it’s about taking it in, and then trusting your subconscious to do it all without having to think about it.

9 Varieties of PlayThese categories are just base categories, like primary colors, there are countless secondary categories or even new categories you can create by combining and modifying the different play types. I’ve included many subcategories of play also. I numbered the play varieties to give them emphasis, but they have no order.

Attributes of Play

Before we start, these are some characteristics of play itself that apply to all types of play.

Play is an activity done primarily for enjoyment, yet can have huge productive and creative benefits. It’s about doing what contributes to our personal feeling of enjoyment much more then it is about impressing others with the most clever joke. And allowing the subtle energy of my enjoyment to become a force that benefits others too.

Play often involves something new, or something you haven’t done for a period of time. Play involves variety, more then repetition. Or even a new twist on something done before.

Play can be random. It needs no linear order or logic. Play usually involves a degree of randomness, choosing between equally appealing options for the sake of creative freedom and being unique. The freedom to be random is a big one we often lose sight of, allowing ourselves to be random liberates us, frees our natural need for movement in this moment we can’t take time to calculate or predict.

Play has a harmony or rhythm. It has many different ‘notes’ or actions, yet occasionally they will repeat, or return to a theme, to familiar ‘notes’ to from a ‘harmony’. a sense of familiarity. This is because play is constructive, not pure destructive chaos, it has an organic order or resonance.

Play involves two or more people or objects interacting. Person with person, person with object, person with person with object, etc.

Play is collaborate and constructive more then it is competitive or destructive.

Play builds into an energetic flow, play produces energy, and the benefit of this flow increase the longer it continues without interruption.

People and objects in our universe that do not play or move for too long will lose energy.

9 Varieties of Play

1) Move

dance

walking

running

travling

slipping

sliding

jumping

skip

frolic

stretch

bend

2) Music, 

a sequence of sounds that repeat and vairry to from a melodic harmony, going all the way from the particle level, to creating waves of energy large enough to be heard by our ears and felt by multiple senses.

3) Chat, 

language

communication

code

representation

symbols

geometry

sequence

imagination

think

ponder

‘chat’ is the cutesie nickname i give it, but the meaning of this type of play is language and music. the word ‘chat’ implies a relaxed conversation. puzzles and games are similar in that they involve many combinations, like a code that can be put together in many ways, symbols that represent physical things and abstract concepts, the gateway to imagination.

Puzzle.

games, card games, video games. using constraints can actually add to the freedom of the play experience in a paradoxical way. like creating ‘suspense’ makes the reward better often. games are a mixture of what i call puzzle, compete, and suspense play. there is some kind of specific objective and props involve that take it different places, produces a different experience then a conversation might go where the only limit is imagination. the quality of having different types of constrains, different rules, and different objectives is what makes each game fun and interesting.

Letting Loose

Much of our human lives are already constrained with limits like gravity, or mortality, needing to eat sleep and work, so often we just want more time to let loose without rules, so that is why we have the other forms of play.

Imagine, to simulate reality or fantasy possibilities inside ones mind, believe it or not i find the mind can simulate and stimulate all these senses from inside itself, meaning, when the heart has absorbed enough energy, the mind can be like a virtual reality machine, creating experiences that feel almost repeal inside itself, like a dream, but with practice you can control your dreams, or even create something similar while you are awake. the power of imagination is a great tool for simulating reality, and it also has the power to imagine beyond reality, to explore things that ‘could be’ gaining types of freedom you body may not have.

Work Play/ Purpose Play, the play of making chores, the work you have to do (to keep society running) into fun, so you can enjoy them more and get through them easer, with energy to spare so you can enjoy the play of your choice afterward. in addition it’s always good to question which work you really do need to keep society running, and what is just ‘collective unconscious’ patterns of ‘false knowledge’ humans repeat in fear of not knowing what to do with their free time. this is a huge topic i will talk more about later. most ideally you can turn your work into your passion / vise versa, so the activities you love most are the activities that most benefit the world, that way you become like perpetual motion, creating and innovating in the world actually gives you energy, so you keep creating more and don’t run out (until your like 100 years old lol)

4) Take In, 

feel, witness

feelings sensations and energy inside the body usually sparked by an outside person place thing, or a thought or another feeling inside the body itself. also sparked by visuals, sounds, smells, etc.

internal

receiving

taste

smell

visual

enjoying all the types of energies and sensations that happen inside your body while you play, often prompted by inspiration / sensation from the outside world, or also can be purely internal at times (like when you dream or close your eyes and ponder/feel)

this is the play of witnessing something, an event, a person, a thing, a place, a flower, a tree, the natural beauty of life and the world.. too often witnessing is seen as purely passive or uninvolved, witnessing is not given credit for the amount of activity that happens inside the body as we witness something that touches us emotionally. witnessing if a fundamental and underrated play type, that allows us to relax and receive energy for a change in a world that gets stuck in the mode of producing and giving, to point of self sacrifice. in witnessing or ‘take in’ play we receive and nourish the energies and needs of the body. take in play happens in conjunction with all the other types of play, we play with our bodies, interacting with the external world, and we feel something inside our bodies as we do this. and both the external and internal energetic reactions flow in and out together in a harmony, it is important that both happen together or felt in back and froth. often we get too focused on one or the other, just navel gazing internal reflection, or external people pleasing with a loss of our own emotions and relaxed self. we need to find the rhythm of both.

take in play is important, a huge category that is often overlooked, because it happens inside the body on an energetic level where our eyes can’t see it, it is primarily felt. and it is not selfish, it is essential in listening to people, fully ‘taking in’ what they are saying, and in our own well being. as they say ‘love yourself to love others’. this helps give a bit more description about the meaning of that phrase. play for me shows me ‘how’ to love myself. as well as receiving light energy, like sunlight, and biophotons, or residual human energy.

5) Random Play: so often play has totally random origin, and this is essential. we wait, hours days and life times we wait, just for someone to tell us what to do. why won’t my dreams come true yet? maybe in 5 more years that girl will go out with me. no. it will never happen. the big secret is you don’t have to wait a single moment. when you use the right portion of randomness to grow your play, you can create fun right out of thin air. the fabric of our universe, at the base level everything is quantum foam, a random dance of wild vibrating particles. i like the phrase ‘wild compassion’ because i see living beings as being part ‘wild’ part ‘compassion’. half animal, half angel. the ‘wild’ is the martial side. life is a constant flood of random material information, chaos. yet all these random disorganized things in life can be converted into vital meaningful energy as though with the snap of your fingers. you just have to see it as -play-. it rains, i can tell a story about something good that happened to me in the rain. i see a picture on the wall, it reminds me of a weird girl i half dated, that improves my mood. better play is often intentional, basket balls that are carefully crafted to be basket balls for just the right bounce and light weight touch for the game. but as you play basket ball, all the random factors, the force of the wind, the sunlight, effect the ball, effect your mood, it’s random, but it is also meaningful, because no 2 games are the same, each day is full of subtly different factors, putting you in a position that you have to adapt each day, for a different experience of the game of life. instead of seeing random events as a hindrance, i see it as something that will give a new twist to my day or week, make it unlike any other. that that variety fuels my energy in the long run. without all that random different stuff going on in the universe, the day gets boring, and we all actually lose energy! sometimes all you have to do is control things less, and fun just starts appearing out of no where! it wants to happen. it can be scary at first not to plan everything, but when you learn to go with the fun opportunities that appear, you see that they have a rhythm, and unseen yet real energy field, a safety net that holds you in them, in the experience of play and the magnetic joining of people. when you can’t think of anything to say, but it feels like silence isn’t right either, you go with random. we think random is meaningless. yet it is actually -essential-, is what so many people never get. randomness is the makeup of the universe, and randomness is great fun! when there is a moment that feels missing something, whenever there is, I go with something random, it comes from somewhere, maybe something reminded me of it, maybe it was something we were talking about an hour ago, a day ago, maybe it’s something cool I was waiting for a good time to mention, it can get more basic, random colors, random feelings, focusing on something fresh in your mind feels good, it’s whatever pops into my mind, something around me probably made me think of it, but it’s not important that I know that, now that I have it, I feel a little better, and I turn it into part of the conversation, something slightly related to previous topics, or a totally new topic, (remember the alternative is not thinking of anything to say at all when you may really want to) it doesn’t have to be something all that smart, often the best roots of creativity and connection between people are simple, basic, a simple feeling, being captivated by a color, a sound, a few notes of music, something pleasant. energy is simple, but our eyes can’t see wave energy, so we always overlook it! we need it. now that you have this new random thing in your mind, see if you can speak it some how.

Variety: all the forms of play are all about variety, the play of switching between different flavors, colors, etc, and the play of switching between different types of play.

Layered play: the play of combining and recombining different types of play.

the most sophisticated multilayered kind of play. this play is about the many layers.this is the play of evolved minds, the play of humans. the play of many layers.

Surprise: play is all about something new, something different something fresh. the play of the unexpected. just by enjoying one thing, it means you are not doing something else, and thus you are creating distance and time for that other thing to feel new and different again. while you are at the mall.. you are enjoying yourself there, and forgetting the sensations of being on the beach.. so when you finally get back to the beach, it really feels like a fresh and different experience, because you are not their every hour or every day. knowing this helps because i know if i get board of a particular activity, all i have to do is leave it for a few hours, a few days, do something else, and when i come back, that activity I love will be fun again, i will have fresh reined love for it. too often we live life in a melancholy wondering why things that used to make us happy don’t any more. It’s because we find one thing we love, and then we sap the ‘play value’ out of it by doing it too long. we don’t alternate our activities enough for the sake of enjoyment. we get addicted to the specific ’material’ of something, because we don’t understand the varieties of play, and how to use the act of play to create energy from ourselves and all things. take note of the thing you love, then find something different, then come back to the first thing, then try the first think in different ways. always recombining different things and ways of playing in different ways.

6) Art,

see,

aesthetic

location of things, color, often visual, contrast, variety, balance, the aesthetically pleasing and organize location of objects and furniture in space helps the flow of energy. just as a beautiful painting that conveys emotion is more pleasing and uplifting then a splotch of mud. Even art that appears random often has an emotion it conveys, stimulating the play and sensory feeling circuits inside the body of those who witness the art. art is a visual language, and a language of physical objects and gestures, which our eyes can see. while music is a language of sound, unseen to the eye, yet just as powerful. looking at a painting, taking in the beautifully of a landscape, this is the play of ‘art’. It’s important to set up your house to have an aesthetic just as you would paint a painting, or write a article in a way that catches the readers interests.

Object Play: playing with things, objects, toys, props, dolls, play weapons. play objects also become a focal point for attention and energy and play possibilities even before or weather or not you pick them up. play usually tends to involve and interaction with an object of some kind, or the environment, so this is an attribute that applies to most varieties of play, that play involves objects, play is an interacting between things and people, or people and people.

7) grow/Empower, Suspense

spending, healing, the play of changing the world. bringing cultural change to large places.

possibly a sub category of ‘move’ because it relates to distance. suspense details with much longer distances that move.

all play emerges from a dormant or suspended state, released from the fabric of the universe that binds it.

manifesting empowerment in people can be seen as the act of sharing skills that release ‘suspense’ or tension.

we are all born into some degree of suspension or tension and fulfillment in life is learning the ways to release that tension. however counterintuitively the tension itself is what created the joy of release.. while often their is an imbalance or surpluss of tension in our world, there are times when we do want to crease suspense, like the suspense of the journey that builds to a desertion, the suspense in a game, a mystery, a good tv show. simply creating suspesen or delay adds to the reward or unveiling later on. it creates depth and dimension. this is the mysterious play, the spiritual experience, the rewarding feeling at the end of a long long journey you didn’t think you could survive. the play we don’t see, the illusive, the chills of transformation experience, touching the divine. it is the play of shadows, of challenge, pushing the limits. empowerment is the opposite or the release of suspense, yet the two may actually create eachtoehr if you look beyond the universe itself. a person wise beyond this world might say taking a wound, is, being empowered.

our universe is not a ’neutral zone’ and can be considered a giant dome of ‘suspense play’. everything is a challenge that tests our limits. a quest for survival and to discover the mysteries of life. we are so used to this subtle challenge that pulls on us that we don’t realize it is there. very real challenges pull on us every day. calling it ‘suspense play’ is a kind way of putting it. there may be other universe where this isn’t so. you could say we are suspended beneath a heavy piece of anti-matter. our universe is a suspense dome that spans 46.5 billion light-years at least, it appears infinite, yet our universe is a place defined more by it’s constraints then it’s freedoms. so i pose that it is not infinite, but simply extremely large. it is possible to stretch the fabric of our dome universe, so this constraint may lose its meaning.

8) Compete,

the thrill of testing your skills against another, not a way of life, but fun now and then. too often this is the only type of play we know as adults. it is more of a subset then a primary way of play.

9) Touch,

gripping

grabbing

texture

contact

colliding

spongy

hard

smooth

soft

most and many activities usually combine a few or many different types of play at once, for example:

move + art + suspense = adventure

the physicality of moving your body, the suspense of the long journey, the distance traveled, and the art, the beauty of the visual landscape, your reward, combine to create the experience we all know as ‘adventure’ a composite of many types of play. you can also include the internal ‘take in’ body sensations, the feeling of aliveness, but ‘take in’ these internal feelings happen in combination will all types of play, so are not unique to adventure.

play is usually between people, but can happen individually. when people gather play and energy possibilities multiply in a major way. but alone time does have it’s place and importance too.

the 9 varieties of play can each be experience in a few different modes between people. two people can be side by side in parallel play for example each doing their own kind of play, separate, yet in the same space, and their is a benefit to this. i think play is best as something we share, or at least do together. yet at times it benefits us to find the play that is most true to us if that means playing alone at times or around people yet not with people at times. don’t feel you have to be so glued to others that you lose yourself.

Drain & Stress Culture

 

Socially disconnected stress patterns, or trauma, are passed down through the generations. These traumas arise not exclusively from physical actions. Often these feelings of disconnect and resulting stress patterns can come from a general absence in the community. Something that didn’t happen. Stress patterns or habits have the guise of accomplishing something, making us better, when they actually keep us in disconnect, taking us away from our social and playful nature. These patterns involve a basic assumption of being ‘not already deserving’ of relationship. This assumption happens on an instinctive level for the human, it is all that is ever known, it is difficult to imagine a different way it could be. The water in which we swim.

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A few people don’t know they ‘belong’ and it spreads. Fear associations with people in the mind. The problem is in the mind, the solution is in the heart. These insecurities or traumas of absence take root in the foundation of entire civilizations. We think we need status or power to be attractive to or loved by others. Insecurity is everywhere so no one thinks to question it; like the water in which we swim. We never notice our own basic worth. The social value that we already have, simply by existing. This sea of biolight is everywhere, I can be connected the moment I walk into a space. More people means more potential biolight. More relaxed eye contact and play, means more biolight that circulates.

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In the West we prioritize academics and intellectual intelligence – ‘processing speed.’ We value the intellect, the mind, first. Instead of emotionally relating to each other, we end up treating ourselves and others like objects; problems to be fixed, successes to be accomplished, a competition to be won; instead of energetic creatures that need safety connection and play. We relate through our minds, the intellect is first. We accomplish things with will power and mental focus instead of allowing and receiving naturally occurring feelings of love or passion. The heart becomes secondary. There is no space or awareness to feel emotion in relation to each other, to know we are already deserving of this bond.

Education in our society is a product of the Industrial Age. We are ‘productivity’ focused. Producing honor students, that make it to the Ivy League, that run competitive business. Yet when some are the best, it implies others are the worst. We strive to achieve great success, because deep down we feel that we don’t ‘already matter.’ The focus on competition, achievement, intellect, could be seen as a type of nation wide insecurity, a social fear spanning across a nation, and beyond. We prioritize intelligence, status, and economic success as a culture to  socially validate ourselves. “What are you studying?” “Where do you work?” We ask these questions the moment someone walks in. We simply don’t know what else to talk about. As a culture we feel the need to compete and be the best. To validate ourselves. We want that feeling of recognition. It’s not wrong to want to feel good, to feel love. However going after it this way, it is always somehow beyond reach.  Some are able to thrive within this system, many are not. Yet even those who are beautiful, intelligent, successful, who achieve every standard, deep down they still feel confusion, insecurity. They are loved, they are famous, yet the attention they get feels like it comes for the wrong reasons. One finds popularity, fame, yet they don’t feel loved for who they already are. The fame actually becomes a burden. It feels like an act, that will at some point fall apart. Others get the money, the success, yet it doesn’t complete them, something is always missing.

Many of our struggles come from an over focus on the mind, and our solutions involve a focus on the mind. Instead of paying attention to the (energetic) needs of the heart, we as a culture focus on career achievement.  School, the therapeutic process, a business, and more, often become ways of a qualified person teaching a student specific skills which focus inwards on individual success. …When in fact I believe seeking out playful, creative relationship itself is the healing medicine that is needed and largely missing. We relate through knowledge and skills, that our in fact ways of socially qualifying, validating ourselves. We don’t value the relationship itself.  We only make eye contact when we have important words or clever statements. We do this because we don’t feel that we already matter in relation to each other.   Relationship is scary; it’s dynamic, not as solid and straight forward as a simple conversation tactic, multiple choice problem, or breathing exercise; yet relationship is the essential piece to well being.

Everything in Western culture encourages sitting still for long periods of time, schools, work, even movie theaters, restaurants. It is possible this prolonged culturally ingrained stillness creates an energetic drain on the body, (adding to the drain that is already there from social disconnect.) We value ourselves as separate individuals, the inward antisocial focus adds to the state of drain. Moving feels exhausting. Yet in truth not moving may be even more exhausting. We are creatures of movement. With prolonged stillness the body falls into an energetic depression, a slump. One can no longer identify that movement feels good. As creatures of play and movement, many times moving is less exhausting than staying still. I believe we should get in touch with the bodies natural playful movement in our life; Not running miles to be ‘productive,’ but simply expressing a little regular movement. Noticing that it feels good.

The productivity achievement focus in our culture drains the love that circulates in the community. There isn’t enough love energy (biolight, life force) going around to raise most people to a place of feeling naturally –secure-. When ‘anxious attachment’ (people who don’t feel deserving or safe in relationship) pervades in the community this gives rise to avoidant people. Being cut off from the current of social energy, these avoidant people live in a state of constant drain or low body energy. They receive no energy from the community (if you can call it a community.) They’ve never experienced a feeling of sustained safety and play in relation to people.

All too often these ‘no belonging’ people will develop all kinds of troubles and be identified as having a ‘brain disorder,’ when in many cases the underlying problem may be something much more basic. Many of what we call ‘brain disorders’ may be rooted in a basic social energetic absence. This is a quality of the heart and not a problem of the mechanics of the brain. A matter of not feeling safe or socially deserving, effecting the entire nervous system, creating a state of disconnect and drain.

The social confidence that does happen in our society is almost like a ‘happy accident.’ Love and play want to happen, but it’s almost by accident that stress patterns in some communities end up not being as bad, that love and play can naturally occur. Many people are aware of the importance of safety and play on an instinctive – emotional level, but not on a conscious level. These semi-secure people have confidence in relation to each other, in relation to other semi-secure people; yet their security falls apart in relation to an insecure person, or an insecure collective; (from anything to an extreme introvert, a bully, or even a business.) This conditional security many have is not a true recognition of basic human goodness, otherwise it would be powerful in and of itself and would spread and heal insecure people.

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It doesn’t have to take decades of self-discovery to become radiant. Some children and young people acquire qualities of confidence, charisma, and radiance immediately just based on their family, community, and environment; how happy and warm his or her community was.  We must learn to feel safe and light hearted in the gaze of others. To make eye contact without having to ‘earn it,’ because it benefits us and others, while at the same time listening to the needs of our hearts. With the right approach trauma or stress patterns / habits, and life long personal and relationship conflicts, can be healed fairly quickly. A life changing experience of play and safety can be created. We must give the heart what it needs. Fritz-Albert Popp’s Biophotonics, Stephen Porges’s Polyvagal theory, Diane Pool Heller’s Attachment Theory, and Heart Math research, and my own experience, are all beginning to show this. Leading to an energetic heart based understanding of the human body. (from Naturally Social)