finite and infinite games

7 Points On Playing with Your Darkside (

7 Points On Playing with Your Darkside (

Her bitching yields to a mixture of confusion and terror that match her words: “What, what are you doing?” I release my clench from the steering wheel and turn to her to resume our quarrel, but not with speech..

This is not an article about talking it out.

The headlights illuminate the cloud of dust from the abrupt turn off the country road. It’s 3am. We’re on a dirt patch between the road and the railroad tracks in the middle of nowhere.

My left hand unbuckles her passenger side seat belt while my right seizes the roots of her hair. That hand pulls her across my lap while my left opens the driver side door to let her head poke out.

This is not an article about how to treat your significant other.

I proceed to spank her. Hard enough that she vocalizes pain. Soft enough that she’s willing to feel it. After a particularly flush tolchok she yelps “Ok!” in the same tone of a child who just got tagged in hide and seek. She contorts around to look at me. We both laugh.

This is not an article about how to win friends and influence people, the virtues of  domestic civility, nor the metamorphosis of 21st century Feminism. (Ok, maybe it is a little about the next wave of Feminism.)

At 3am in upstate New York, my girlfriend and I were driving to a campsite where our friends were. We were cranky. We argued. At the time of this writing I honestly don’t remember what the argument was about. Whatever it was about was not really what it was about. What it really was about and what this article is about, is playing with darkness.

There’s a lot of talk of “shadow work” in healing circles, and “curing” chaotic behavior in psychology, not to mention religion. While great material on darkness does exist, I find a lot of it overly complicated, counter-beneficial, and BORING.

Here’s what we really need to know about playing with the dark:

1. The difference between Light and Dark is Approval

Is choking one’s lover during sex a dark impulse? What about punching someone who insults you? Eating sugar at 2am? Leaving the toilet seat up?

Depends on whom you ask.

What’s considered the ultimate taboo to one, may be completely banal to another. Darkness is subjective. A thing is “dark” to an individual if he or she doesn’t fully approve of it. In other words, the person feels some sort of shame.

We feel shame when we don’t want to see something that’s there. Hence, we put it in the “dark.”

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The Daemon in Finite Play: A Spiritual Argument For Gridiron Football

The Daemon in Finite Play: A Spiritual Argument For Gridiron Football

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. In the morning I will give thanks for all my blessings as I drive to my parents’ house. In the evening I will carve a massive turkey for my family and family friends (my Dad’s a vegetarian.) But in between those two events, with much gratitude and glee, I will watch men in hard plastic helmets smash into each other while trying to move an oblong hunk of leather across a three hundred feet of turf.

I consider myself to be a sensitive, spiritually-minded man. And I love football. This seems to make me an anomaly.

Over the last few years of feeling-based study I’ve interacted with hundreds of men who I can roughly generalize in the sensitive-spiritual category. This group ranges from everyone ranging from energy-healers, shamans, and level 5 vegans to men who have a simple interest in spiritual development or some form of authentic-relating. Out of all these men, I’ve only met one who liked football.

I met him a few weeks ago in Pittsburgh. He likes the Steelers. I overhead his girlfriend saying “He’s such a conscious and sensitive man. I can’t believe he cares about football.”

On the other end, the guys who I grew up with watching football, “bros” and those similar, don’t give a blink about conscious spiritual development.

In investigating what causes this divide we need to look at what the game of American Gridiron Football is...