In common use, mandala has become a generic term for any plan, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically; a microcosm of the universe. Never III is a mandala that represents the most recent chapter in human history and symbolically our place in the universe. The Blue-Black game board, black for soil and blue for water and sky, 24 rays for the day, 7 circles for completeness the inner being planet earth, silver and gold lettering for power, and pieces: institutions and citizens, provide those who play with a challenging game of strategy while simultaneously posing the question:
“Is this the final game humankind will play?”Stan Smith, NEVER III Game Inventor
First set out the game board and set up all the pieces and think how your life intersects with the reality this game represents. Although the earth is appropriately in the center of the Mandela before you, in reality it is merely a speck of sand in a Cosmic sea that is 13.8 billion years old and is part of one of the 500 billion galaxies in the known Universe. Our Milky Way galaxy is between 100,000 to 120,000 light years in diameter. Hopefully the game board with the earth in the center will not distort what our place is in the universe.
Prior to play reflect on the fact that you are a miracle, part of a chain of miracles. You are alive. Life first appeared on earth 3.8 billion years ago and the first human walked on the face of the earth a mere 200,000 years ago. For most of human history we were hunters and gathers but during the last two seconds on the Universal Clock, 10,000 years, four major events took place: The Agricultural, Scientific, Industrial and Political Revolutions. Collectively they have changed how we live, relate to each other, and treat other living things.
The Agricultural Revolution gave us two pillars of stability: time and food, making the other Revolutions possible. The last three revolutions in 500 year have profoundly changed a world that is 4.54 billion years old. Perhaps the greatest single change is in human population growth: first billion in 1804, current population 7.5 billion and a projected doubling, 15 billion by 2100. The miracle of all life on earth is endangered by human behavior, especially the threat of nuclear Armageddon.
Never III Pieces: The State, Citizens (political revolution), Military, Industry, Science, Atomic Bomb and Communications are dominant forces in our world. The modern State emerged over the past 500 years. Today approximately 198 countries have replaced Nations and tribes as the dominate political units of our time. Over 5000 distinct groups, a total of 370 million indigenous people, live in 70 countries on land that was once their own. Countries have defined borders, are autonomous, have a monopoly on legal force, and provide symbols for unity and identity.
The Political Revolution born out of a desire for more freedom by the people in Britain, the United States, and France in the 1600 to 1800s continues to be a goal for oppressed people who struggle for freedom, equality, and justice in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. At the same time the forces of patriotism and nationalism have persuaded citizens to fight and die for their “Homeland”. Over 51 million citizen soldiers have died in wars from 1945-2000. Today over 20 million citizens are in the world’s armed forces. In 2012 countries spent 1.8 trillion dollars annually on their militaries.
The Scientific Revolution from 1550-1700 and the Industrial Revolution 1760-1840 have dramatically changed the nature of warfare. Today’s wars move across land, under and over the seas and through the air on machines that were unimaginable a mere hundred years ago. Scientific advances coupled with technology innovations during the 20th and 21st centuries have allowed Industry to be more efficient and effective in the production of the tools of modern warfare. Great advances in communications bring ever more sophisticated devices for surveillance and instantaneous global communications essential elements for military preparedness and planning. The Atomic Bomb however remains the most powerful weapon of all time. Now coupled with more accurate targeting and delivery systems, products of modern science and technology, it is in the world and on the game board.
During the Cold War era, circa 1947-1991, the American and the Soviet Union were for a brief time the only countries with nuclear weapons. Other countries joining the Nuclear Club: France, China, United Kingdom, NATO members, Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea from 1945 to 2006. By 1985 there were an estimated 68,000 nuclear warheads in the world. Today there are over 17,300 nuclear warheads. A reduction by two-thirds does not mean the world is safer than it was during the Cold War. The atomic bombs dropped in 1945 on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Little Boy and Fat Man) killed over 200,000 people. These crude devices by today’s standards had the explosive values of 18 kilotons and 22 kilotons of TNT. The average bomb in America’s atomic arsenal is equivalent to 200 kilotons of TNT.
The Union of Concerned Scientist states that the immediate impact of the explosion of even a few 100 of these bombs would obliterate whole countries but the long-range consequences would be direr in that sever climate changes due to huge amounts of radiation and debris from explosions would blot out the sun for months, cool the earth, and disrupt agriculture globally. We would be left with a dark, cold, hungry world for decades. Millions would die. We must never allow this game to become a reality. Those who play should use the start of each game to renew their commitment as global citizens to do what they can to rid the world of the threat of nuclear annihilation.