I have reflected on the game hopscotch over the last few weeks. This game has fascinated me regarding similarities to human beings seeking emancipation from the confines of our existence through behavior and rituals. The game in itself seems to parallel our desire to reach salvation, furthermore it also reflects misconceptions about reaching enlightenment, at least when considered from a philosophical viewpoint.
The game is considered to have originated without any reference to religion or belief structures. However it was later assimilated into the conceptual understanding of Hell and Heaven as well as the path required in reaching a plateau of enlightenment.
Here is a website excerpt from ancestry.com that discusses the conceptual similarities between hopscotch, pre-Christian rituals and spiritual rebirth:
“The most obvious Christian ritual which might parallel hopscotch is that of baptism, particularly baptism by immersion. Baptism has been understood in two ways, as a ritual washing away of sin, or as a symbol of being born again. In the first interpretation, we may see Baptism as a continuation of the various Jewish rituals commanded in the Torah to attain or re-attain purity. But in the second, there is no equivalent in Judaism. If immersion and emergence is seen as a symbol of rebirth, then that which is entered into and emerged from is a symbolic grave, suggesting a far more pagan origin.”
The game is well known in Austria, Switzerland and Germany as “Himmel und Hölle”. This version of the game consisted of squares starting with earth and ending with Heaven. Additionally the second-to-last square is labeled “Hell” and must be avoided.
I realize that this is a lot of general information about hopscotch but I felt that it was necessary for this article. My reference to the game and enlightenment is meant to offer insight into daily behaviorism in regards to seeking enlightenment. Hopscotch involves hopping on one foot from our home to reach an intended destination which has many names; paradise, heaven, salvation or enlightenment. Thereby our relentless searching often causes us to forget the obvious. We are already home.
Hopscotch: Be Present in the Now
We skip and hop throughout our existence in search of purpose and clarity. The search for enlightenment can be compared to hopping from place to place; such as in hopscotch. We find trinkets along the way that first seem to offer salvation.
Then we become dissatisfied when someone or something does not give us lasting spiritual fulfillment. This is somewhat similar to the bean bag, stone, button or really anything that is used to motivate us in the game. However, a state of spiritual enlightenment is there in each moment. The recognition of this conscious dimension can be experienced in each step and every situation within our existence. We do not need to play a game of skip or hop and search to become enlightened. It is our nature state of conscious presence.