Spiritual Paradigm of Chess Part 6 Introduction
Spiritual Paradigm of Chess Part 6 looks at the role of the King and the significance of the End Game in relationship to the Spiritual Journey.
1. The King
The King is not the most powerful piece on the board but the most important.
He cannot be captured or exchanged like other pieces and therefore does not have a number value like the rest. He is slow moving, only a square at a time if free to do so.
The white king may represent our higher self or ego which tries to overcome the lower self or black king. This is a very similar situation to the Bhagavad Gita where Arjuna (White King, Divine Self) tries to overcome Duryodhana the Blind King (Black King, Carnal Self) as mentioned in the introduction.
The king also has a special relationship with the Rook (Philosophy) in the castling movement as long as neither has moved or is in check as shown in the diagram below:
In this move the King is more protected and the rook gains the advantage of greater access to the chess board. There is something about the usefulness of being philosophical is this analogy. Being philosophical is essentially the ability to apply knowledge as seen in section on the Rook in the example of application in tarot. So developing philosophically is re emphasised here as something which is a useful tool for strengthening the position of our higher self (White king) through the use of applying what we have leant for the highest good (a more powerful white rook to attack blacks pieces or our lower self).
The King is never ‘killed’ as such but only trapped and so the inference is that the process of working on ourselves is an ongoing one (another chess game) and the dual nature of man is always there to contend with. As such the chess game is limited to looking at mans duality.
In tarot the King is represented by the Emperor who rules over his kingdom and is the most important figure who is protected by his army. The emperor is not armed and likewise the king has no real means of attack. He is represented in the Thoth deck as below:
2. The End Game
The end game is essentially the capture of the opponent’s king. Whites capturing of the black king is symbolic of the higher self (Arjuna) having control over the lower self (Duryodhana) .This involves the effective use of white’s pieces, in other words for this process to happen we need a certain detachment of perspective to see how we can best make use of our strengths and weaknesses in order to win the game. It is worth pointing out here that in all of the above, we are only just getting ready for the real battle which is our ‘soul work’ proper. The triumph of white over black allows us to effectively use our lifestyle & physical nature (Pawns), emotions (Knight), intellect (Bishop), philosophy (Rooks) and intuition (Queen) so that we can get the most out of our meditation and work with purely spiritual energies (soul work). In my meditation group we meditated upon the divine energies of an inner light and sound which made purely spiritual work possible with the grace of a master. Other people have their own particular journey to follow.
In this analogy therefore, there is nothing purely spiritual, but it represents the different components of mans subtle bodies and their development which help facilitate more spiritual realisations through access to universal energies.
Once we have completed our ‘soul work’ we realise we are one with the universe and our ‘soul’ merges with the universal soul and we see there are no parts or separation to creation.
In tarot this may be represented by the Universe card:
This will be explained in more detail in the forthcoming Tarot Series on DavidH071 through my YouTube channel .
Spiritual Paradigm of Chess Part 6 Recommended Reading
Chess as a Spiritual Paradigm