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Thread: A Human is completely human only when s/he plays

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    A Human is completely human only when s/he plays

    A Human is completely human only when s/he plays

    ”Our repressed desires are the desires we had, unrepressed, in childhood; and they are sexual desires…The axiom on which Freud constructed…his basic hypothesis is that the pattern of normal adult sexuality is not a natural (biological) necessity but a cultural phenomenon.”

    Properly understood, Freud’s doctrine of infantile sexuality is a scientific formulation and reaffirmation of the fact that children seek pleasure. In childhood innocence, as displayed in their delight with their body, remains wo/man’s indestructible unconscious goal.

    Children on one hand pursue pleasure and on the other hand are active in that pursuit. A child’s pleasure is in the active pursuit of the life of the human body. What then are we adults to learn from the pursuits of childhood? The answer is that children play.

    “Play is the essential character of activity governed by the pleasure-principle rather than the reality-principle. Play is ‘purposeless yet in some sense meaningful’…play is the erotic mode of activity. Play is that activity which, in the delight of life, unites man with the objects of his love, as is indeed evident from the role of play in normal adult genital activity…the ultimate essence of our being is erotic and demands activity according to the pleasure-principle.”

    As a religious ideal childhood innocence has resisted assimilation into rational-theological tradition. Although there is a biblical statement that says something to the effect that unless you become children you cannot go to heaven, this admonition has affected primarily only mystics. However, poets have grasped this meaning in its philosophic-rational terms.

    In his “Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man” Schiller says that “Man only plays when in the full meaning of the word he is a man, and he is only completely a man when he plays.” Sartre says “As soon as a man apprehends himself as free and wishes to use his freedom...then his activity is play.”

    H. H. Brinton, modern American archaeologist, considers the essence of man is purposeful activity generated by desire. The perfect goal generated activity is play. Play expresses life in its fullest. Play as an end, as a goal, means that life itself has intrinsic value. Adam and Eve succumbed when their play became serious business.

    Jacob Boehme, a German Christian mystic, concluded that wo/man’s perfection and bliss resided not in religion but in joyful play.

    John Maynard Keynes noted modern economist, takes the premise that modern technology will solve wo/man’s need to work and thereby lead to a general “nervous breakdown”. He thinks we already experience a manifestation of this syndrome when we observe the unfortunate wives of wealthy men who have lost meaning in this driving and ambitious world of economic progress. He says “There is no country and no people who can look forward to the age of leisure and abundance without dread.”

    From the Keynesian point of view it will be a difficult task to transfer our ambitions from acquiring wealth to that of playing. But for Freud this change is not as difficult because beneath the habits of work acquired by all wo/men lay an immortal instinct for play.

    Huizinga, a noted anthropologist, testifies to the presence of a nonfunctional element of play in all of the basic categories of our sapient cultural activity—religion, art, law, economics, etc. He further concludes that advanced civilization has disguised this element of play and thereby dehumanized culture.

    The author, Norman Brown, concludes that psychoanalysis have added to these expressed statements regarding the importance of “The play element in culture provides a prima facie justification for the psychoanalytic doctrine of sublimation, which views ‘higher’ cultural activities as substitutes for infantile pleasures.”

    Quotes from “Life against Death” by Norman Brown

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    Re: A Human is completely human only when s/he plays

    To be quite honest I think the context you're using the word "play" is not only formal but is dictated by the nuisances society demands.

    Everyone likes to "play" and everyone seeks to fulfill their pleasures. What's left is looking at the steps in each particular society one must achieve to be able to fulfill those pleasures. Eating is a pleasure much in the same that other preferences are a pleasure. People eat because they consider life to be a pleasure. I'm using "eating" to establish a differential between perceived necessities and in the context you're using the word "play" from which acts to differentiate every day activities from one and another which I find to be wrong.

    Everyone "plays" in their lives. Others just have to do things they do not wish to do in order to achieve that satisfaction from which society as a whole is to blame.

    Otherwise what you have is people living amongst themselves able to fulfill their desires as they see fit without having laws obscuring their path to the pleasures they so seek.

    Or quite simply, the levels in which one interferes with another in fulfilling their right to "play" is not "human" to the same extent as the levels so ascribed.

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    Re: A Human is completely human only when s/he plays

    Quote Originally Posted by K.Snyder View Post
    To be quite honest I think the context you're using the word "play" is not only formal but is dictated by the nuisances society demands.

    Everyone likes to "play" and everyone seeks to fulfill their pleasures. What's left is looking at the steps in each particular society one must achieve to be able to fulfill those pleasures. Eating is a pleasure much in the same that other preferences are a pleasure. People eat because they consider life to be a pleasure. I'm using "eating" to establish a differential between perceived necessities and in the context you're using the word "play" from which acts to differentiate every day activities from one and another which I find to be wrong.

    Everyone "plays" in their lives. Others just have to do things they do not wish to do in order to achieve that satisfaction from which society as a whole is to blame.

    Otherwise what you have is people living amongst themselves able to fulfill their desires as they see fit without having laws obscuring their path to the pleasures they so seek.

    Or quite simply, the levels in which one interferes with another in fulfilling their right to "play" is not "human" to the same extent as the levels so ascribed.

    “The play element in culture provides a prima facie justification for the psychoanalytic doctrine of sublimation, which views ‘higher’ cultural activities as substitutes for infantile pleasures.”

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    Re: A Human is completely human only when s/he plays

    Are you talking about the biological need for exploration ? ............Or 'play' as in a psychological need for pleasure? I ask this because you've used too many references where the gist of the text means different beliefs and outcomes on different principles.











    Just as an aside here, do you have aspergers syndrome? It's just that you display in all your posts a trait of it.

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    Senior Member K.Snyder's Avatar
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    Re: A Human is completely human only when s/he plays

    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    “The play element in culture provides a prima facie justification for the psychoanalytic doctrine of sublimation, which views ‘higher’ cultural activities as substitutes for infantile pleasures.”
    You'd have to be specific on "higher cultural activities" because in order for the word "play" to become analytical, as Mr. Brown puts it, there needs to be a moral justification in one seeking "infantile pleasures". Otherwise what's left is having the subject matter contradicting itself.

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    Re: A Human is completely human only when s/he plays

    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzy butt View Post
    Are you talking about the biological need for exploration ? ............Or 'play' as in a psychological need for pleasure? I ask this because you've used too many references where the gist of the text means different beliefs and outcomes on different principles.

    Just as an aside here, do you have aspergers syndrome? It's just that you display in all your posts a trait of it.
    This says it best I think. “The play element in culture provides a prima facie justification for the psychoanalytic doctrine of sublimation, which views ‘higher’ cultural activities as substitutes for infantile pleasures.”

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    Re: A Human is completely human only when s/he plays

    Quote Originally Posted by K.Snyder View Post
    You'd have to be specific on "higher cultural activities" because in order for the word "play" to become analytical, as Mr. Brown puts it, there needs to be a moral justification in one seeking "infantile pleasures". Otherwise what's left is having the subject matter contradicting itself.
    Children on one hand pursue pleasure and on the other hand are active in that pursuit. A child’s pleasure is in the active pursuit of the life of the human body.

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    Re: A Human is completely human only when s/he plays

    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    Children on one hand pursue pleasure and on the other hand are active in that pursuit. A child’s pleasure is in the active pursuit of the life of the human body.
    But there's no difference between a child and an adult.

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    Re: A Human is completely human only when s/he plays

    Quote Originally Posted by K.Snyder View Post
    But there's no difference between a child and an adult.
    Perhaps no difference in kind but a great difference in degree.

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    Re: A Human is completely human only when s/he plays

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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    Perhaps no difference in kind but a great difference in degree.
    Yes but to "play" has no degrees, because play in the same context is to seek "pleasure". The only difference being the perceptions of those defining the word "play". This is the way I see it...

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