In this series, we’ll be exploring the concept of virtual reality. Not in terms of VR headsets connected to PCs, but in terms of our actual existence and how circumstances aren’t quite what they appear to be. Are our senses responding to a mirage rather than physical objects? How can we tell? Are there advantages to seeing life through a lens of virtuality?
With direct experience we can observe that life doesn’t typically work as we expect — surprises and mysteries abound. We’re often perplexed by the ongoings of daily life. And an inward gaze of self-reflection often reveals an immature understanding of life that we eventually abandon in favor of a more mature one.
Life seems purposefully challenging. Activities in our reality oftentimes stretch us to our limits. Those that offer not the slightest bit of strain receive no notice and are lost to our attention, like breathing. In a natural system we would expect an easing, rough spots smoothing over, yet in life new barbs are always sprouting up.
In short, we’re tricked into caring about life. This has at least two implications. One, something outside of ourselves is doing the tricking. Two, life is not what it appears to be — and because caring requires such trickery, we can assume that the objects of our care lack intrinsic value.
Bear in mind that this is not a descent into dark nihilism. No, we are attempting to get at the root of reality. And from the bare metal we expose, we’ll be free to assign the values we want, no longer lost in a fantasy we never truly cared for. So yes there are advantages to seeing life through this lens of virtuality. Stay tuned.