The Greatest Gamble
Explore the gambling culture of the ancients, and learn what they have to teach us about The Greatest Gamble...
Every gambler who really needs a win knows just how spiritual gambling can become. In a practice that is carried out regardless of race or creed, when the chips are down, you start asking whoever is in control if he, she or it would kindly, just this once, move the odds in your favor, and possibly re-write history and reality... if it wouldn't be too much trouble.
This means that gambling often leads to prayer, and if you win it can lead to giving thanks, meaning that gambling can be a religious experience.
The bible and other religious texts, such as the Indian Mahabarata are very quick to pick up on this, and are thus filled with stories of individuals seeking out the divine in order to win on a risky bet, usually involving life and death. (Jacob and Laban's sheep - Genesis)
Not only that. In the good old days, gambling was the way that people communicated with their gods. In China, handfuls of reeds were tossed in an attempt to interpret yin and yang in the I Ching. In Greece, we know from historians that Zeus and Aphrodite were consulted via dice throws.
But the ancients went even further! The famous classic, the Iliad, tells us the tale of how the Olympian gods were consulted via lotteries to select which soldier would be their battle champion - on whose shoulders the entire war sometimes lay.
So what's the bottom line? Gambling is part of life! It is today, it was yesterday, it will be tomorrow. We love the gamble because it's one of the most basic parts of who we are, and it always will be.