Written by Guido Mina di Sospiro has been fascinated by table tennis since childhood and regularly plays competitively. And that was how the passion was born, a passion that incubated for decades and exploded with virulence when I was in my forties. When it rained, we were corralled into a huge recreation room on the first floor of the building, with large windows looking out towards the mountains. And the yew who tells her story is a remarkably sophisticated tree! In ferreting out the metaphysics of ping pong in the traditional sense of the word do you think that this approach could or should be applied to other pastimes? Do you feel that Taoism informs the sport of ping pong as well? Self-confidence is a necessary attribute, but will not take one beyond the confines of one's self. Thank you for visiting Publishers Weekly. Review: It has often been stated that sport is a reflection of life.
Critics, of course, missed the point altogether—but what else is new? Listeners may recall that Mina di Sospiro co-authored with scholar of esotericism. Before that, young men and women, in a recurring rapture of physical exuberance, can tend to overdo it, and will pay for that later on in their life. Traditionally metaphysics is a branch of philosophy whose objective is to understand the nature of first principles, be they visible or invisible. Once into my teens, I no longer went to the summer camp in the mountains, but to the sea instead. The more power is available, the more control it takes to master them. Whether or not you ever pick up a paddle, The Metaphysics of Ping Pong provides an initiation into a visionary life, igniting the fires of inspiration through an intriguing intimacy with the mysteries of daily life that is available nowhere else.
Sport as a metaphor for life. In western philosophy, it seems perfectly permissible. In writing on ping pong, Mina di Sospiro provides an opportunity to explore the often mercurial nature of our global society through the vehicle of a popular pastime pursuit. The more science advances, the closer it becomes to Taoism and to other ancient esoteric traditions. The epiphany at the end of is that form is not of the essence, form is the essence. An award-winning, internationally acclaimed author, he has written four books published worldwide; among them is , coauthored with the scholar of Western esotericism Joscelyn Godwin.
It might even be lying dormant in our basement, neglected by our prejudices, shrouded by a veil of snobbery that distorts our senses and allows us to be easily impressed by arcane rituals, decorated aprons and other esoteric bling … In this sense, is a lesson about humility, cultural competence and the importance of keeping our mind uncluttered by convention. His writing about the sport waxes poetic and philosophical, pop culture and religion. I have a whole chapter in , entitled Homo Ludens, about this other dogma of western society. He takes impromptu lessons from a Dominican pro. We, on the other hand, played with whatever was available. The first thing you must do is reach the ball in time to execute the proper movement, rather than adjusting the stroke because you haven't moved, or moved enough.
How the player has to strike the ball to put this spin on the shot, what rubber and padding should be on the paddle to maximize this effect is explained in great detail as Mina di Sospiro is working his way through the competition. He was educated at the University of Pavia, and then at The University of Southern California. When I go to my table tennis club and climb up the stairs that lead to the rooms in which the tables are, and I hear the familiar sound of the little ball bouncing around, a smile dawns on my face. Guido's love for spinning a feather-weight ball takes him from his local Ping-Pong club, populated by idiosyncratic players with extraordinary stories to tell, to training drills with a world-class coach. Indeed, metaphysics was proudly declared dead by western philosophers early on in the last century, particularly by those in the Vienna Circle. The spin is how metaphysics plays an important role in the sport.
The list of characters he encounters, each imparting a bit more wisdom than the last, leads di Sospiro on a personal journey that will end up forcing him to reconsider past actions and refocus his mission in life. When a mortifying defeat to his teenage son rekindles his lifelong passion for table tennis, keen philosopher Guido Mina di Sospiro sets out to learn the game properly. Metcalfe is an Associate with Phoenix Rising Digital Academy, and is currently co-hosting The Art of Transformations study group with support from the International Alchemy Guild. Yes, I myself have a multi-cultural background, but table tennis seems to have expanded on it. This isn't you versus your little brother; this is Plato versus Aristotle. This book should be read at one sitting with minimal interruptions to get a true feel for the game and also for the spirituality of the writing. It keeps you turning the pages in a most compelling way.
The mastering of a sport or of an art in life is probably best if achieved during our maturity, a time in which, beyond the technique, we can catch glimpses of an archetypal world. Yes, I call it the lingua franca of table tennis, spoken by the multi-ethnic Tribe of the United Colors of Table Tennis. And where else can you find Sheryl Crow, Carl Jung, and Google mentioned side by side? In his case, the sport of ping-pong, or table tennis, was an accurate reflection of his life. Without knowing it, I was on the right track, as the consensus nowadays is that ping-pong is first and foremost a game of spin. This material was reproduced by permission of Quest Books, the imprint of The Theosophical Publishing House from The Metaphysics of Ping-Pong: Table Tennis as a Journey of Self-Discovery by Guido Mina di Sospiro, © 2015 by Guido Mina di Sospiro. Guido Mina di Sospiro, the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of The Metaphysics of Ping-Pong: Table Tennis as a Journey of Self-Discovery, is our guest in podcast episode 159. Last but not least, remember the scene in which the Dude listens in his headphones to bowling sounds—and smiles? The Dude and his friends could have been, say, members of a chess club.
Also, the fact that the book is set in and around Washington, D. The more power is available, the more control it takes to master them. The Metaphysics of Ping Pong is one of the most accessible books ever featured on this program, all while maintaining the loftiest of conversations with the reader. The opening chapter of the book includes a ping pong face off between Mina Di Sospiro and Rupert Sheldrake which provides the philosophical motivation for a new understanding of table tennis, and its ability to capture some of the stranger nuances of our current culture. Through character portraits of those he encounters, reflections on philosophy, history and spiritual teachings, and the material grounds of the game itself, we are opened to a macrocosmic reversal of microcosmic concerns. You may cancel at any time with no questions asked.
To spin or not to spin? About the author and his work:. And where else can you find Sheryl Crow, Carl Jung, and Google mentioned side by side? In order to participate in tournaments, as both the Dude and I have in the respective sports, it takes a lot of training and concentration, discipline, effort. The seed planted at the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur, California, where there is a ping-pong table and visitors are allowed to use it, germinated and took me, within a few years, all the way to mainland China. I say that having shivered with uncomfortable familiarity at his bravado and sly self-adulation that brought me back to those days at Newfield when I would hear other boys brag about a victory, or sex, or those other subjects which fill the locker room with its familiar stench. Today, more than twenty World and seventy European Champions have won their titles with Sriver. While the main attraction of the book is certainly his adventure, his writing about the sport itself was what I found very interesting.