Dungeon Master’s Guide: D&D, Role Playing Games, and Parmenides’ Magic

 

Image result for zelda a link to the past dungeon

Dear Reader,

In my younger and more tender years, I was an avid player of Role Playing and Fantasy Games on Super Nintendo. These games, weirdly influenced by both Western and Eastern Occultism, also draw from the Western Romance as well as the more recent phenomenon of Dungeons and Dragons. But they have an even more ancient pedigree.

In Peter Kingsley’s Ancient Philosophy, Mystery, and Magic, the author writes of “Parmenides’ detailed imagery of guarded doors, gates, bolts, bars, keys, and locks preventing or providing access to the underworld.”

Thus in much of ancient poetry, philosophy, and magic (is there really a difference among them?) the hidden teaching is meant to provide access to the “other side” behind the veil where knowledge, spirits, and experience is storied. This ancient teaching provides both a map to and through the dungeon as well as access to the underworld, often depicted as Zeus’ dungeon.

Sounds a lot like RPGs and D&D.

This idea is also interestingly tied into the premise of the show Stranger Things: that role playing games can open up the veiled world of Tartarus or The Upside Down.

Again, we see ancient magic popping up in contemporary pop culture. Strange, no?

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