Playful humans: In search of spiritual freedom

Wing Keung Kevin LAM

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


This paper attempts to examine how humans could attain spiritual freedom through “play”. Considering “play” as the primordial activity of human beings, how “playful humans” could be spiritually free without tiding to utilitarianism or hedonism. In the face of “rationalism”, humans are expected to strictly follow imperatives. Humans are indeed not allowed to play freely—to play without any particular purposes. By re-reading some of the discourses posited by both Eastern and Western intellectual traditions, Buddhism, Taoism and Christianity for instances, this paper will argue that “play” somewhat is one of the means, or even a “preferred” means to attain spiritual freedom. In so saying, it does not mean that “spiritual freedom” is ironically taken as something to strive for, but rather embedded in play or the play itself signifies it. There is in fact an inseparable relationship between “playful humans” and spiritual freedom, believing that the latter is not confined to an individual, but also embraces the communal.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


Lam, W. K. K. (2009, February). "Playful humans": In search of spiritual freedom. Paper presented at the Asia-Pacific Conference on Children's Spirituality, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.


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