Spiritual Paradigm of Chess Pt.2
The Chess Board
Spiritual Paradigm of Chess Part 2 : In discussing the spiritual battlefield of chess proper we can start with the chess board itself in detail as seen below:
The chess board consists of 64 alternating black and white squares accompanied by 16 pieces of each colour.The board may represent the physical reality in which the game of life is played.
Other Analogies of Chess
The number 64 is significant as has been identified in the I Ching as the total possible number of hexagrams describing the possibilities of life.Perhaps the hexagrams themselves have a hidden order representing the step by step path of the spiritual journey (which is another project in itself).
The duality of life is represented by the 2 fold nature of the board and the duplication of many of the pieces.We can take 8×8 = 64; need to say 6+4 = 10, 1+0 = 1 which is found when all the squares are unformed or dissolved back into unity. This relates to the process of becoming one with God when we resolve duality back to the unity of God.
Man also has 64 codons in his DNA strand and this graphic looks very much like a chess board.64 is also a cube number.
A cube has been esoterically linked to the 6 directions in which man can travel in the world, with the number 7 being the hidden value of the cube as represented by the out folded cube or CRUCIFIX:
Chess seen as a battle between warring armies which if we look as the Bhagavad Gita, this is similar to the situation in which Arjuna finds himself in………….Chess may be played with different attitudes:
(i) Bhakti Yoga – with Love & Devotion
(ii) Karma Yoga – playing without intention of an overall result but just enjoying the process.
(iii) Jnana Yoga – playing to gain a thorough knowledge & understanding of the principles of the game.
So again we see the how the game symbolically can represent something more profound if we look closely enough. The yoga systems were all spokes of the wheel in which a yogi practises their journey to the centre or unity with the creator :
These yoga systems have been incorporated into various chapters of the Bhagavad Gita and explained through the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna.
In the next article we will start a discussion of the individual pieces.
Chess as a Spiritual Paradigm