Vanity arises when you believe beauty is a moral or social virtue. True virtue needs no classification.
If I call you child, I am right to do so. If I call you crone, I am right to do so. If I say you are as old as the hills, I am right. If I say you were born yesterday, I am right.
We are never born. We are always born. Both are true, as it is also true that we will never die, but are always dying. We call the face of death ugly, but praise the beauty of a new born babe. They are the same face.
For myself, I am possessed of a weird neurological defect. My short term sensory memory takes a long time to clear. If you saw from my eyes, when you frown at me that will remain for a time. Then if you smile at me, to my brain you will be both smiling and frowning at the same time. So for me, all these faces don’t have their meanings. A smiling face isn’t happy, a frowning face isn’t angry. I have only been able to figure out what everything means by feeling the changes. The root of these changes is the only reason I can respond appropriately at all in social situations.
To take a passage from Shakespeare, he had a criticism of faces, specifically with women’s attitudes about faces at the time. His character Hamlet said, “God makes for you one face and you paint for yourself another.” He was being shallow, but it points at a deep truth. Spirit makes for you one face, then makes for you another, and all the while you invest in seeing a false face and deny yourself the wisdom of any other. Where is the wisdom in ignoring egos?
People aren’t deluding themselves by taking avatars in the virtual world of Second Life seriously. The problem is they don’t take them seriously enough. The Shamans mask is a sacred relic of a deep spirit, so why are our avatars in Second Life supposedly profane? The sacred rites are enacting the unity of man and spirit, so if you embrace another intimately in Second Life, how is it supposedly unreal?
Even science backs this up, they are even using it in new technologies. You cannot perceive the difference between the real and the vividly imagined. So if there is such a thing as the great unity that so many people revere, then how can anything be unreal?
Some have said this virtual reality is not real. They have a limited concept of real. It is attached to superficialities, “looks”. The problem is not in the reality or unreality of things. It’s in divisiveness, imbalance, unreconcilled parts of what should be a unified whole.
It depends on how it affects your first life many times. I can be real and unreal by how I’m putting my spirit into it. Oh, yes. I can be standing in my flesh and blood right in front of you, and not be with you in any real way. Or I can be online only in my digital form, but be more present in spirit than I ever could in any other way.
So if I die, I do not die. Seems like it’s what I accept as real, and a lot of that goes for life too I guess. All that you seem to be is not all that you are, neither is it meaningless. It’s the door. You don’t transcend the door by refusing to use it.
One of the things Jesus was credited with saying is I am a door, which means you go through it. It’s not the journey. The holy spirit is the journey. To use that symbolism, if my “face” in Second Life appears to go but you hold it in your mind, has it gone?
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.
Travis Saunders aka Seth Haalan