You explain the game, using the description below as a guideline.
‘We start by milling through the room, everyone following their own pathways. We are travelling through the vast ranges of time and space when humans have been present on the earth; could be close, like yesterday, in a different part of town; or far, maybe Mesopotamia 4,000 years ago; or a bit closer again, Venice at the time of the renaissance, or somewhere at the foot of the alps during the stone age. A sense of drifting without a clear destination.
At the signal of a bell you come to stand and close your eyes. Where do you happen to find yourself in time and place? What do you see around you? Plants, buildings, people? What do they wear? What kind of language do they speak? What do they eat? How do they smell? What are their joys and worries? Let yourself enter this environment and get a sense of what’s new or even revolutionary at this time and place: perhaps discoveries have just been made by these people that give welcome clarity and perspective; or inventions that make life easier, more comfortable; or medicines that increase wellbeing and health; or artistic creations that bring beauty into the world. You choose one object that represents this new development and ask yourself: what has become possible through this? What needs is it meeting? For example, coal has been discovered, giving long-lasting warmth. Perhaps you are aware, endowed with hindsight as you are, that some of these gifts may have their shadow sides. For the time being however, you choose to focus on the immediate enhancement of life quality and possibilities they brought with them.
At the sound of the bell you turn towards a partner. You take it in turn to offer the object to each other, naming it and saying in one or two sentences what advancement it brings to humankind. For example: ‘My gift to you is paper. You can write and draw on it and messages can be carried easily to any place.’ The other person graciously accepts the gift.
At another bell sound you separate and resume time travelling. For a while you may keep the object you have been given in your awareness and sense what needs are being met through it, enjoying those qualities. With coal, for example, you may savour a sense of warmth and ease. With paper, you may enjoy the sense of connection and stimulation. Maybe you have been given a small statue of a mother goddess and carrying it gives you a sense of love, meaning and belonging.
Then you become aware again of travelling through the hundreds of thousands of years of humans’ habitation of earth, spreading over all continents. At another signal you find yourself in particular space again, full of wonder and curiosity. What’s going on here? What is new and life-enhancing here? Another gift presents itself to your imagination. You turn towards another partner. And so on.’
Then you verbally guide people through the stages, participating if necessary, to make up pairs. At the beginning some guidance may be necessary, and then you simply ring the bells.
When it feels right to end the game, you come together into a circle. For a few moments you stand in silence, feeling the accumulated power of the gifts you have received and your sense of connection with your ancestors. Then you go round and people share the gift that had the strongest impact. This can be followed by a discussion. It is likely that people may want to explore the unfortunate side effects of some of the gifts and what it would take for humankind to integrate ingenuity with wisdom.