chapter
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PLAY

A distinction can be drawn between human forms of play, such as engaging in sports, games, and inter-human interactions, and divine play. The human type of play is not a serious activity; it is simply fun and enjoyable, although it embodies a sense to it by giving meaning to action. Play, a cultural concept, means something to members of a society and possesses a non-materialistic quality, even though it can transcend the immediate needs of life while also serving as a primary category of life. The play element of culture suggests that humans are not simply rational and serious creatures, because play is pervasive, possesses an irrational quality, and is not simply an opposite of seriousness, although play can be earnestly serious for participants. Play is also closely related to the notion of the comic, forming a subsidiary to play, but not in the sense that it is foolishness because play is beyond the antithesis of wisdom and folly. Finally, play is associated with the aesthetic beauty of the human body in motion saturated with rhythm and harmony.