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On this page you can find the following subjects:

Metapontum’s link to Thoth, Plato, Pythagoras, More’s Utopia, Hesses Glass Bead Game, Bible

Secret Chess with Pythagoras

Plato (427-347 BC) wrote in his book of Laws 5,739 and in the Republic about a sacred kind of chess that allegedly was played in the Mystery School of Pythagoras 580-480 BC, without naming him directly because Pythagoreans were persecuted even then. It was a game in which players shared everything. We read in Plato’s Laws: "…our next move in the business of legislation must be like the moving of a man on the draughtboard (chess board) from the 'sacred line' (..) the best society then with the best constitution is where the old saying is most universally true of the whole society. I mean that friends property is indeed common property". (their sacred game was) a reflection of a State where the institutions of a society make it most utterly one. That is a criterion of their excellence that which no truer or better will ever be found. In such a city with a number of gods for its inhabitants, they dwell in all joyousness of life”. Plato’s Laws 5,739.

In this way they obtained insights into playing harmoniously together while they experienced the beauty of it. This sacred peace-game offered those who were able to play it connections with the world of music, astronomy, mathematics and the laws governing the universe as well as the social laws of relations in society. The original game itself, about which Plato writes has never found. In ±550 BC Pythagoras founded mystery schools in three cities in South Italy peacefully and ruled the whole of South Italy for almost 50 years through the power of his word. One of these cities is Metapontum where he and many of his disciples were murdered at last and his School was destroyed by fire. Frenkel’s game is named after that city of Metapontum.

Noble Chess with Plato

Plato writes in his book Pheadrus 274 d, that in the first Egyptian dynasty, about 2700 BC the King of Thebe called Thamos received a chess or draughts game from the Egyptian god Thoth or Theuth. He was also known as the Grecian Hermis Trismegostos, the god of law, wisdom, letters and especially writing, science, number, calculation and of chess. These good gifts were meant for the king’s edification and for his statesmanship as well as for the Egyptian people to improve their memory so as to make them wiser.

Chess Game of Virtue by Thomas More

Thomas More, Chancellor under Henri VIII in England, 1477- 1535 writes in his book Utopia about a special chess game of virtue, played in a classless society-Utopia (which means a state of mind, not a place in this world). It is a State without violence, poverty, etc. The Utopians possess(ed) everything in common and they practice(d) the art of friendship like true athletes of peace.

The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse

The German author Hermann Hesse also wrote about such a game in his book the Glass Bead Game (das Glasperlenspiel) for which he received a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946. He tells about a grand synthesis of all (baptised) sciences, unified in an advanced kind of multidimensional chess designed for peace. It is designed for the advancement of the spiritual and intellectual culture of all Europeans as a preparation for the 21st-22nd century. This “game of games” as he calls it is played by the worlds elite scientist- coenobites, (meaning men empty of worldly ambitions or hunger for power) in a new, autonomous European University-State. The game theme is World Peace through enlightened spiritual and intellectual culture and its focus is the Glass Bead Game itself. This effort of theirs with this game results in the greatest (European) renaissance of culture ever known and it reflects the realisation of the ancient and modern human dream for true world peace and brotherhood.

Game of wisdom

Proverbs 8,11-25-31. “God calls us, His children and says: search for wisdom, it is better than riches or gold. Before the earth was founded,(..) am I, Wisdom, His child, active and I enjoyed myself, playing before His (God’s) face, all the time playing in the world. My pleasure it is to be with the children of men”

Metpontum for a better world

These passages reflect the historical importance of games and game playing. Games mirror our social behaviour. We make them in turn as our model to be followed. We admire and honour the winners and elevate them to become our heroes and teachers. We give them the power to rule over our thinking, over our do’s and don’ts. This is our group mentality. These mentors when they have become rich, powerful and famous create according to their “own taste” new games, much more cunning than before, games that we must play in our lives. They form and often disfigure us mentally, first of all our children and then we must follow these games because everybody does it. Now the world sighs, moans and groans, it thunders and shakes with violent war games and real war surrounds us on all sides. Yes, games are much less innocent than we think.

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