Chapter 8: Children’s Play, Reincarnation, and Health
May 22, 1984
When children play, often the play events seem as real or even more real than ordinary physical events that are experienced outside of the play framework. Children playing at cowboys and Indians, or cops and robbers, can on occasion become quite as frightened by the pursuit or the chase as they would be if they were actually caught up in such an adventure in ordinary life.
Children then apply their imaginations more vividly, and even utilize all of their senses at certain times, to follow or reinforce those pictures that imagination paints. There are indeed many kinds of reality, many versions and it is some time before human beings learn to focus into one particular package of reality.
In so doing, they then apply their imaginations in structured ways that serve to reinforce the prime reality-framework. For some time, however, young children utilize a remarkable imaginative freedom, so that, for example, they can experience “alternate” events with as much focus, strength, and vitality as that with which they experience ordinary life. A potent daydream may, in fact, appear far more real than the other daily events that surround it. When the child is playing, its sense of joy or anger or danger is very strongly felt. The child’s body will often reflect those conditions and reflexes that would be elicited if the so-called “play” events were real.
Most of your experience happens directly, where senses, imagination, motion and physical actually meet. In dreams, however, you often feel as if you are in another location entirely, and all of your senses seem pivoted in that location. Your experience is separated from your usual living area, in other words. You may dream that you are running or walking or flying, yet those activities are divorced enough from that area where imagination, motion, and physical actuality meet, so that your body remains quiet, relatively speaking, while you seem to be moving freely somewhere else.
In a fashion, reincarnation can partially be explained using the same kind of analogy. You may have many existences at once – but each one has its own living area, upon which that portion of you focuses. In fact, that portion has its own name and selfhood and is master of its own castle, so to speak.
Each self has its own inviolate point where imagination, motion, and physical actuality intersect. Like the child play-acting, however, events occur within events, all dramatically real and vivid, all eliciting specific responses and actions, and each one possessing its own private living area.