Breathing Death- An Initiate's Journey Through Ghost Stories and the Tao Te Ching

Not knowing what will transpire, each post will chronicle my attempts to use a first time reading of the Tao Te Ching to inform my decisions during solo plays of Antoine Bauza's Ghost Stories. I shall read a little of the book each week and juxtapose its passages with a sort of session report. I will not read or heed any other advice on how to play the game well. I shall attempt to play on Thursday nights and post the following Friday.
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Wanda Davies
United States
Washington (WA)
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Ghost Stories- Normal

Before I begin play, flip to a page:
Every being in the universe
is an expression of the Tao.
It springs into existence,
unconscious, perfect, free,
takes on a physical body,
lets circumstances complete it.

I was thinking of a new strategy I'd try. I'm not thinking of that now. Time to play.

The game ended early- a little over half way through the deck. It was the first time I actually literally conceded prior to legal defeat (I have decided I was defeated in the past prior to the actuality.) I looked at the board and I saw too many mistakes- too many sacrifices that hadn't stemmed the tide of death enough to be worth it. There was also loud, annoying music playing and I wanted it to stop. I wanted a change of activity. And so, I lost.

I wonder what that new strategy was I was going to try. I don't remember anymore. Are board games of the Tao? Is there an instinctive way to play them? Something told me not to know, and so I don't. But I wonder, what is the Tao in terms of these games? Is it a mode of pure strategic thought unburdened by anything else? I'm tempted to think that I've been there, but then, I've been there and also lost. I don't think that I've been there, at least not for a whole game. But there have been times when playing solitaire that I have been playing and the time has passed. Tonight was not a night like that. Maybe I went against the way by denying whatever strategy I had in mind. Perhaps my misunderstanding- my attempt to know- pushed me off the track.

I played Ghost Stories with others two weeks ago. I brought out the Tao Te Ching as it is boxed with my game but didn't consult it as I was engaged with teaching others the game so I didn't type about the experience, then. There is a black sheep in our group. A man for whom social interaction is not easy. He is not reviled, but tolerated, perhaps because, since he holds that role so easily, no one else must bear it. He played selfishly and seemingly caused our downfall (we may've lost anyway, just not as quickly.) There was anger at him from others, tempered by their expectations (he's generally not a team player.) Would I had read the Tao aloud at that point, what would the effect have been? Do words work with these concepts? Is the fact that our communication is so seemingly specific a hindrance to communicating certain things? Is there a science of the Tao?

Green is dead. Red and blue stand back to back in the center square, penniless. Yellow seems helpless before the weight of the crisis. The board is still set up. The machine is ready to complete its program. I think I'll go finish.
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