Spiritual Paradigm of Chess Part 1 Some religious Comparisons
Spiritual Paradigm of Chess Part 1 : The Chessboard is familiar to most and is illustrated below:
In making a study of this analogy we can demonstrate that games can have multiple co-existing levels of interpretation. In this article we attempt introduce the concept of how chess might relate to the spiritual journey. The use of Tarot where appropriate has also been integrated to provide further graphical analogy to chess symbolism.In the diagram below we can see the analogy between the game of chess and its two armies and the battlefield of the Hindu text ‘The Bhagavad Gita’ and in this scenario confusion reigned in Arjuna’s mind.
Should Arjuna participate in the terrible carnage of battle & was it proper to destroy one’s relatives for the sake of a kingdom and some pleasures? Would it not be much better for him to surrender everything in favour of his enemies and retire in peace? As these thoughts rushed into his mind, a feeling of despondency overtook Arjuna. He had no enthusiasm to engage in this battle. Letting his bow slip from his hands, Arjuna could do nothing but turn to Lord Krishna for guidance and enlightenment. The conversation between Krishna and Arjuna then forms the basis of the book.
This is very symbolic of the true spiritual journey where we often have to choose between our friends and sometimes our family if we want to devote the time we need to our spirituality. Those closest to us quite often resist any change within us. It also dispels the notion that the spiritual path is always a peaceful one although the prize is a peace and stillness beyond measure in the infinite stillness of God.
This analogy of conflict on the spiritual path is not confined to Hinduism.It is also illustrated in the Bible in many areas for example in the Book of Revelation with the four horses of the apocalypse:
Again there has been widespread misinterpretation of this being an outer conflict with religious Christian fundamentalists, and also of many churches unable or unwilling to unravel its true meaning; the red horse = emotions, black = intellect (the mind is blind to the light of God), pale = physical and the white horse = spiritual.
So we can see that introducing this topic the battlefield of chess has some direct comparisons to religious texts. In the next section we will take a look at the chess board itself in greater detail and a closer look at how the principles of the game may relate to our spiritual path.
Chess as a Spiritual Paradigm