Symbols - What does heaven look like
Pinball is a type of arcade game, usually coin-operated, in which points are scored by a player manipulating one or more steel balls on a play field inside a glass-covered cabinet called a pinball machine.
The primary objective of the game is to score as many points as possible.
Many modern pinball machines include a story line where the player must complete certain objectives in a certain fashion to complete the story, usually earning high scores for different methods of completing the game.
Points are earned when the ball strikes different targets on the play field. A drain is situated at the bottom of the play field, partially protected by player-controlled plastic bats called flippers.
A game ends after all the balls fall into the drain. Secondary objectives are to maximize the time spent playing (by earning "extra balls" and keeping the ball in play as long as possible) and to earn bonus games (known as "replays")
A bit of history
One would have thought that given the pinball machine is a relatively modern invention that no symbolism could be attached to it, but the machine is based on the game of bagatelle which goes back to the 1600s [and earlier] and the symbolism is inherited and has even been refined from this.
Louis XIV knew his symbolism, he called himself the Sun-king, the Palace of Versailles was symbolic and had such features as a Hall of Mirrors, thus it is not surprising that it was in Louis’ reign that bagatelle was invented. Somewhere between the 1750s and 1770s, the bagatelle variant Billard japonais 'Japanese billiards' was invented (in Western Europe, despite the name), which used thin metal pins and replaced the cue at the player's end of the table with a coiled spring and a plunger. The player shot balls up the inclined playfield toward the scoring targets using this plunger, a device that remains in use in pinball to this day, and the game was also directly ancestral to pachinko.
The symbolic meaning
The Great Work is fixed – in other words the plan for the evolution of the universe is fixed and we as the balls are propelled from task to task [the pins] by the hand of ‘fate’ – the flippers. If we actually do the task [hit the pin] we gain points. Thus the idea is almost a form of karma, with the difference that there is recognition that you only get points for following the plan – following your destiny and taking up the challenge.
Each ball is a lifetime, thus built into the game is the concept of reincarnation and the idea that one gets several goes to achieve one’s overall destiny before one falls off the board – dies.
T C Lethbridge – Ghost and Ghoul
The idea which seems to be gaining ground nowadays, is that individuals are sent into the world with certain points in their lives already fixed, but with freedom of choice in between these points. One might compare life in this theory to the passage of a ball down a bagatelle board, bumping off the pins in its passage. The fixed point idea is usually bound up with a belief in reincarnation and that of karma. Precognition might be thought to be the act of getting in touch with that level of an individual mind which knows about its karma
For more information about challenges and destiny, please see Why are we here