New age thinking is based on grossly misinterpreted ancient thinking. If I’m following a trail and it goes off a cliff, I’m not going to jump off.
Many people complain of being addicted to the online virtual world of Second Life (SL). There is a simple reason. You don’t come here and have a second life, you come here and say, “Oh wow, what’s here, what’s this and what can I do now?”
And watch bugs? You might watch bugs here. You might be a bug here. You come here and get addicted because here you can have your first life. It’s only an addiction because you tell yourself SL isn’t real, and my real life can’t be like SL, which is a half truth. You want and need what you discover here, and you need it in your flesh and blood life. Why supposedly can you behave one way here and not that way in real life?
Really like sex here? I bet you like it that much in real life also. Like exploring? Well, you might have physical constraints, but you can still see things you have never seen before. You might never have really seen your lawn before or that tree in your backyard. Did you really look? Like being able to chat with people? Fussy about who you chat with? Why isn’t it that way in real life?
There are people who are at their destination in real life before they are actually here. Because they are, they are never really anywhere. We know those people who are almost always absent. As Yoda said, “Always your mind is elsewhere, never on where you are and what you are doing.” Better magic than anything in SL is present right here and right now, just waiting to be seen.
People have a life in SL also, because they have a life in our hearts and minds. If they aren’t present for you in SL, they aren’t really present in real life either. Trees are trees in our hearts and minds, and trees are trees for us in SL unless we insist they are not. Honestly, trees are objects for many people in real life if they exist at all.
I have a fear that worries me that we replace SL with real life (RL) and teach this to our children? People role play all the time. “Look everybody, I’m a cop. Look everybody, I’m a doctor.” What we need to replace is the ideas, the limited definitions. It isn’t second life or real life, it’s real life or thought.
SL life is easy. It is addicting? SL life isn’t easy. It’s different, and for some very hard. At the moment, I am not feeling at ease my friend, and am treating your fear as very real. I am a real man who lives removed from you in space, but not in mind. I am here as much as I am in my physical seat.
You forget RL hunger and so on. I do when reading a book or taking a long walk also. That’s not a hazard of SL. It’s a factor of the mind.
If SL is used properly, it is nothing but a simulation of real life? People’s lives are very often a simulation of real life, and lived more in their heads than anywhere else. Often whole events, whole views of the world, exist only in their heads. A facsimile of what was really there.
I would hate to think of teenagers that simulate driving for real life driving and think that the simulator is the real world. They actually use real simulators to help teens learn to drive. When really tested, they test well. They are even working on virtual reality (vr) interfaces to help guide delicate surgeries, because a robotic arm is more exact than the human hand, and the vr interface is more forgiving of the fudge factor than hand and scalpel.
I don’t advocate replacement. I advocate the realization that the mind that made SL moves you through real life. If it means nothing to you in SL, it likely means nothing for you in real life either.
Feel free to hold to your fear, but I will share a very real experience of mine. My son is autistic, supposedly very out of touch with reality, and he loves human figurines. He uses them to understand things. He will point at the figures nose and then at my nose. The eyes, then my eyes. This isn’t delusion. This isn’t anything wrong. In the end, he knows when someone is present or absent. He reacts to people who are in a very real sense afk (away from keyboard), or maybe afb (away from brain), as if they aren’t there. People say it’s weird, is it really? Humanity has been playing games since they could reproduce an image. Though it isn’t literal, and my son has a very real sense of the literal as all autistics do, it isn’t unreal.
Engagement isn’t addiction. People keep their jaded facade for a reason. They aren’t being real. They fear what they were, what they still are, and that all of their “very real” BS is just a big meaningless game of house. “Here, I’ll play the Daddy and you play the Mommy.” I know how people see reality. For the life of me I can’t keep it out of my head. I don’t have that nice wall that sorts the “unreal” stuff. The words that weren’t said to me, but I heard anyway, or the fact that the temperature differs by just a little bit in my kitchen or my living room. My mind is not on what I choose, it’s just on. Everything that humans have made, their society, their groups, anything, how is it not a game?
There isn’t a challenge here. I’m not challenging anyone’s view of reality. In fact, what you have chosen to see as real is real. Even in modern psychology this is how they differentiate delusion. If a belief is wide spread in your society it’s real. So sure, you play whatever role you play. You do whatever job you do and experience whatever you experience. It’s all very real, or it’s not. It’s up to you.
I like to be alive and feeling, playful and engaged, expressive and respectful, how about you? I think on some level we all want that. Simply put, we all want to be happy and we can. Right here, right now, without judgement. Without even the judgement that it’s all a blur and you can’t figure it out. Do children worry about what they don’t know or what they can’t figure out? Do they even really have an idea of “can’t”? They just experience. They just live, and do, and be. They don’t even have a belief in hard, and is there a reason they need it? Hard and easy are our ideas.
We would never get out of the cradle if we did. This is true. They say “Oh look I see an interesting object”, and then decide they want to touch it. Every time they see it they want to touch it. They often just touch it and what happens? You will be picking that baby up after them having touched it, at some point.
My toddler learned the word “mine.” It’s a good word, but they’re not really claiming the object. They don’t really understand materialism. It’s often “mine!”, and it’s the experience and it is theirs. If you take it from them, it is of no real consequence. They did have what’s really mine.
It is balance, finding balance. I feel I illustrated a balance point that doesn’t leave you forever finding a balance. Does anyone think I’m out of touch with reality?
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.