Previously: Kokkuri-san, Or The Spirit Of The Coin.
Published by u/FineArtsDealer on the NoSleep subreddit in November of 2014, the ritual game called In The Eye Of The Giant bears some resemblance to the Doors Of Your Mind: It’s a meditative practice that allows you to explore your own subconscious. This time, though, you don’t wander down a hallway; you descend a staircase. It also serves a greater purpose than just learning about yourself (although that’s certainly part of it). You might look at it as something like a training exercise — a workout to make you stronger if you plan on playing more of these kinds of games in the future.
For what it’s worth, there’s a folktale from the area of Africa around what are now the Republics of Togo and Ghana sometimes called “The Eye Of The Giant.” In it, a young man living through a period of great famine stumbles upon a giant who agrees to feed the young man in exchange for his service. Each time the young man wishes to visit his home, however, the giant asks him for something else: A substitute servant one time, and a young woman to marry another. The young man supplies his brother the first time and his sister the second. Both times, his siblings go missing, and eventually, he discovers that the giant has eaten them. So, he returns to his village and tells everyone what’s been going on, and together, they all set the giant on fire, killing him.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
Once the giant is dead, the young man finds that the roots of his hair held what’s usually translated as “medicine.” They sprinkle it on the bones and meat left in the giant’s house, which brings both the young man’s siblings back to life. The young man — perhaps feeling many shades of guilt — also sprinkles into the giant’s eye in an attempt to bring him back to life, but when the giant’s eye opens, the rest of the villagers flee in terror. And from that moment forth, every time the giant shuts his eye, it’s said, a human dies.
The giant’s name is Owuo — or, in English, “Death.” Other titles for the story include “When His Eye Shuts, A Man Dies” and simply “The Origin Of Death.”
The game called In The Eye Of The Giant doesn’t appear to be connected to this story — or at least, not directly — but the similarity of the title is… interesting.
As always, play at your own risk.
- One principal.
- A dark, quiet room. This room should be comfortable enough in which to sleep the entire night, and a place where you are unlikely to be disturbed.
- An alarm clock.
- Prepare yourself. Cleanse your body, inside and out: Abstain from alcohol or other substances for at least 24 hours; bathe; clean your teeth; etc. Also prepare your mind: Make sure you are calm, collected, and at peace before you begin.
- Prepare the room such that it becomes your ideal sleeping environment. These preparations may include, but are not limited to: Shutting the curtains; adjusting the temperature; playing soothing music or white noise; making the bed with fresh sheets; dimming or turning out the lights; etc. You may also purify the space by burning incense if you like.
- Wait until the following conditions are met: It is dark out; and you are pleasantly sleepy. This game cannot commence until both of those conditions are met. Do not begin if it is still light out. Do not begin if you are wide awake. Do not begin if you are exhausted and drained.
- When both conditions are met, go to your prepared room. Shut the door behind you. And begin.
- Set the alarm clock to go off a full 12 hours in the future. (E.g. If it is 9 o’clock at night, set it for 9 o’clock in the morning.)
- Settle yourself somewhere comfortable and begin the process of going to sleep. Close your eyes, but do not nod off yet. Breath deeply and evenly. Clear your mind. Relax.
- Imagine a staircase — a long, spiral one. The details of the staircase’s appearance are up to you; it will look different to each individual. Perhaps it is metal and utilitarian. Perhaps it is wooden, carved and carpeted and ornate. Perhaps it is a staircase you have encountered before in the waking world — or perhaps not. Perhaps it is well-lit. Perhaps it is dark. There are no right or wrong answers here; there is only the staircase that is right for you.
- Imagine yourself at the top of this staircase.
- Now imagine yourself begin to descend it. Take note of as many details as you can on your way down. You do not need to memorize them, but stay present in each moment, with each thing you see, touch, or otherwise experience.
- Keep descending. The staircase is long, but do not give up; it will eventually end, and you will reach the bottom of it.
- When you run out of stairs, and your feet are once again on flat ground, look around you. You should be in a room — a large room, with four, differently-colored doors in the walls. Choose one. Open it, and enter.
- Behind this door, you will find one of four giants. The giants will look and sound different to each individual; however, they will always fall into four specific “types”:
- The Gentle Giant: Soft-spoken and mild, this giant represents your kindest instincts. It sees only the good the world, and is quick to forgive. It is essential, but also dangerous; it may be kind, but it is also easily taken advantage of, and not always willing to admit culpability, either with regards to itself or to those it cares about.
- The Swirling Giant: Quick-tempered and fiery, this giant represents your greatest passions. It has a great eye for detail, and holds its ground no matter what. It is essential, but also dangerous; the advice it offers may be sound, but it is not always good. It is overly combative, and tends to miss the forest for the trees.
- The Gaunt Giant: Thick-skinned and detached, this giant represents your soundest logic. It sees through every lie and falsehood, and will set you on the path to absolute truth. It is essential, but also dangerous; the answers it gives may be objectively correct, but they are not always right. It is unfeeling, unsympathetic, and typically fails to consider the human element of any problem it might face.
- The Shaded Giant: Self-confident and proud this giant represents your deepest desires. It has the utmost faith in you, and always has your back. It is essential, but also dangerous; it may support you when you need it most, but it may do so at the expense of others. It can be selfish and uncaring, which may alienate those who bear the cost of its actions.
- When you are in this room, you are in its giant’s eye. Speak to the giant you have found. Be polite, but firm. You may ask it anything, but do not push it to talk about topics it does not wish to discuss. Do not take what it says at face value. If it asks something of you, do no blindly obey it.
- When you are finished speaking with the giant, leave its room through the same door you with which you entered it. Shut the door behind you. Once you have returned to the room at the bottom of the stairs, you may choose another door to open and another giant to speak with.
- Do NOT open the same door twice in one journey.
- When you have stayed long enough, exit whichever giant’s room you are in and close the door behind you. You will know when it is time to leave. Do no outstay your welcome.
- Make sure all four doors in the room at the bottom of the staircase are closed.
- NOTE: You do NOT have to speak to all four giants in one journey. You are not, in fact, likely to speak to all four giants in one journey. Speaking to two to three in one journey is considered a successful trip, indeed.
- Begin ascending the staircase. Keep your eyes up. Don’t look down. Don’t stop climbing until you reach the top.
- By the time you reach the top, your eyes should be opening in the physical world. The sun should be shining. The night should be over. You should now be awake, the staircase, the doors, and the giants left behind in your dreams. If the alarm clock is ringing, turn it off.
- You may now rise and go about your daily life. You may not remember everything you experienced the night before… but you’ll know it anyway. It will be tucked away in your subconscious, ready for you to access, should the need ever arise.
- Learn from it.
- Use it wisely.
- It may be your greatest shield one day — or your greatest weapon.
You do not have to sleep in a bed. You may sleep however you find to be most comfortable: In a bed, in a sleeping bag, in a pile of pillows on the floor, etc.
You may play this game as many times as you like; indeed, the more times you play it, the strong your mind — and the stronger your sense of yourself — will become.
Should you play this game multiple times, you may notice that the room at the bottom of the staircase will not always be the same. Nor will the doors. They may change from time to time, adopting different styles, colors, and materials. But each time, they will tell you something more about yourself. Pay attention; the details matter.
It may be useful to play this game several times in preparation for more advanced games.
You may abort or end the game at any point by ascending the staircase. You may begin ascending the staircase after speaking to only one giant. You may begin ascending the staircase after reaching the bottom and speaking to no giants. You may begin ascending the staircase before you have reached the bottom, if you decide you are not in the right frame of mind to play. The way out is always up.
Do not stay at the bottom of the staircase for more than 12 hours. If you have played the game correctly, and under the ideal circumstances, you will naturally ascend and wake before the 12 hours are up. If you do not, the alarm clock will wake you when necessary.
The alarm clock is your ONLY safeguard. Do not allow ANYTHING to happen to it while you are asleep.
If you fail to wake up on time — and if the clock also fails to wake you up — you may be stuck at the bottom of that staircase for quite some time.
But in the physical world, your body will remain asleep.
And there is only so long a body may last without waking.
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[Photo via fill/Pixabay]