Cheerful Choice

I choose to perceive existence as a benevolent experience.
I choose to envision a delightful path created just for me.
I choose to enjoy and appreciate this path I travel.
I choose to feel protected and nurtured along the way.
I choose to recognize resources as gifts given generously.
I choose to see life as a source of love and fulfillment.

Magical Moments

For most of my life I did not believe in magic or anything of a spiritual nature. My friend on the other hand, does believe in magic and has experiences that corroborate her belief. She readily wins games of chance, guesses right answers, reads minds, stumbles into things she needs, telepathically communicates with relatives over long distances, and has magical moments. In contrast, I have no luck, suck at guessing, can’t read minds, barely communicate with family over the phone, and experience no magical circumstances.

Of course I tried to shrug off her magical abilities, but I’ve lived with her for two decades — for how long can I ignore the obvious? Life is not as concrete as I thought. Whereas I thought her magical mumbo-jumbo was the product of a fanciful imagination at work, she thought my pessimistic physical-world-based reasoning was terribly limiting and just plain wrong. Point taken. I was clearly closed-minded and suffered accordingly: I believed in a dark and dangerous world and experienced it as such.

If she says magic is real, that the basis of reality is spiritual, not physical, then who am I to judge? And it only took me twenty years to become this open-minded. Now I want to be a magician, I’m ready to believe that wishes can come true, that life conspires to fulfill my dreams. And of course I must apologize to her for my constant unbelief and dour predictions about every outcome. I get it now, and as penance, I shall endeavor to shed my relentless pessimism.

I always seek to align myself with whatever seems most likely to be true. I’ll drop my beliefs in an instant if at anytime they’re proven wrong. So after realizing the wrongness of my so-called realism, I reject it. But like most people, I’m liable to retract in the opposite direction when discovering a source of pain or error. Consequently, I might be rejecting material existence to a degree that seems excessive, but who knows. I, for one, welcome our new elfin overlords.

Praising Virtuality

An excerpt from the fictional tales of The Daily Beacon.

Dear Rich, this whole virtuality thing makes you sound like a recent religious convert that’s given himself over to God or something. What’s the deal?

Well I’ve no doubt that it’s the same mechanism, that virtuality is pressing the same buttons, that it’s just a different way of characterizing the same thing. But for me, technology is an easier concept to grasp than spirituality or God. “Life is God experiencing himself in infinite forms….” Huh? “Life is an immersive video-game?” Oh, got it.

I didn’t grow up surrounded by spirituality — I grew up with TV, movies, and video-games. I’m like the TV-show jock in high school that needs his homework explained in terms of sports analogies. Some people have an innate spiritual sense whereas I had a severe blockage and couldn’t grasp it. But now, I get it.

And I suppose I am proselytizing a bit. If you stumbled onto some miracle-cure for a sickness you had, wouldn’t you attempt to tell others about it? Of course the trick is to realize that each cure fits a particular illness and does not apply to all cases — that’s why it’s best not to shove your beliefs down everyone’s throats, just plainly present what you know and let them decide if it’s applicable in their own lives.

So, dear reader, you caught me. I seem to have inadvertently joined the cult of virtuality. Oh but the air is fresher here my friend, the fruit sweeter, and the soothing comfort of certainty in a belief is oh so relaxing. And all it takes is the acceptance of an idea that life is a simulation, a virtual experience had by a player located somewhere else, a fun-seeker that’s safe and sound.

Virtuality Mindset

An excerpt from the fictional tales of The Daily Beacon.

Dear Rich, how can I develop a virtuality mindset?

We can shape our mindset by reinterpreting topics that cross our path. It’s a game we can play: pick a topic and describe it in a way that aligns with a simulated world. These descriptions need not be true, they’re just a different perspective based in a standpoint of virtuality.

For example, I no longer think of health as a roll of the dice. I’m not alive today because I luckily remained accident and disease free. I’m not gambling with food, hoping the extra cake won’t kill me. I’m no longer scared of dying. I’m healthy because I reject sickness, no longer believing it to be a natural consequence of life — and I’ll continue living right up until the time I’m ready to leave. From this virtuality perspective, I’m in control. It doesn’t mean it’s true of course, but so what, the relief and satisfaction are certainly real.

Another example: when something goes wrong in my personal relationships, I don’t blame the other person or myself, I simply perceive that the game-of-life is playing another one of its fun-house tricks, trying to thrill me again. Ah-ha! I say. Caught you! And from that point I respond from a more measured perspective, reducing any upset-ness I would have had.

Another example: I could not logically get past the dangerousness of traveling in an automobile. If this is a natural-world, then we gamble with our mortality every time we get in a car. Yet in a simulated world, all travel is faked, it’s merely an (x, y) update on a coordinate grid. From this virtual perspective, it now makes total sense that all manner of people with their varying skill-levels and physical abilities can effortlessly drive speeding tonnages of steel.

Realize that none of this makes me reckless, it’s only removing my anxiety. I was too cautious and frankly I’m still cautious, but I’m no longer motivated by fear, I act out of preference. That might sound like semantics, but my fear of life is gone. On the outside not much has changed, yet inside it’s a world of difference. Hopefulness and lightheartedness are concepts I can finally understand.

Unnaturally Occurring

Consider this, if we were actually living in a naturally occuring world, we’d expect safety and survival to be our number one priority. Yet it’s not, not even close. For instance, the amount of people that are reportedly killed everyday in car accidents should be a shocking statistic, yet it’s not. Cars could be capped at traveling 20 mph and built for maximum crash survivability, yet they’re not. In fact speed limits have regularly increased over time.

In a naturally occurring world, our schools would teach key survival skills, yet they don’t. They teach grammar, quadratic equations, the most superficial aspects of our historic narrative, periodic tables with atomic weights, and literature that’s not relatable — many things that most students never care for nor utilize throughout the rest of their lives.

For a society in a naturally occurring world we’d expect physical and mental health to take priority over the subjunctive case. We’d expect food cultivation and preparation to be more important than memorizing a list of dates. We’d expect group cohesion to take precedence over the quantity of protons in particular elements. We’d expect the practical application of human knowledge to be drilled into each student, yet it’s not, not even close.

Schools are not training-centers but pageants where people parade around and pretend to learn something significant. Yet as a society, things get done, the lights stay on and food keeps coming, all while technology progresses at fantastic rates. We know things even though we shouldn’t. We’re all flying blind within this world yet we’re thriving as a species — our continuous prosperity defies logic.

We must therefore conclude that this is not a naturally occurring world. An ounce of observation reveals innumerable plot holes. Cleverly though, this world attempts to obfuscate these irregularities through constant captivation, always turning our attention towards something new, attempting to prevent an ongoing analysis. But when we keep staring, remaining focused, ignoring the sights and sounds that surround, we can perceive it, the virtuality of this world.

Virtual Belief

Premise: If we train ourselves to see life as a virtual reality, such a perspective can improve our quality of life.

The purpose of this particular virtual reality is to captivate and entertain. For instance, we can observe that we’re regularly subjected to challenges that take us to our limits. We can conclude that this type of engagement is purposeful in order to attract and hold our attention. Because of this, we should never feel that we’re failing or choosing the wrong path in life, as life finds us wherever we may hide.

So all these roller-coaster-like experiences are tricks to captivate us, making us care about the fantasy that surrounds. What use is anything without a compelling story behind it. It is the drama that adds value to the scenes we find ourselves within. Life really is a tempter of sorts, drawing us into an illusion. But it’s not a nefarious situation, especially when it’s just a mirage.

But who or what is behind this trickery? We can conclude that something does exist beyond the realm of the senses, holding it all together and painting the pretty scenes. And if something is painting this picture, an artist of sorts, we can be sure that existence is not an accident, we need never worry about our worth, because we were purposefully put here.

There are ample benefits to such a system of belief. For instance, if life exists to entertain, we can stop worrying — simply relax and enjoy the show. Failure does not exist, it’s merely life’s way of enticing us, piling on more challenge and providing something to do. Life does care that we exist and it’s not out to get us. If we get upset by the ongoings of life, that just shows how compelling the story is and how much we’ve been sucked into it.

By thinking in terms of a virtual reality, we gain the power to dial back the intensity of existence. Did something horrible just happen? “Haha, good one life, you almost got me on that one! But I’ll be taking my attention elsewhere for now.” If we’re not stimulated by something, bored by it, then life won’t bother sending more of it, life will have to try again.

This virtual reality is directed by our level of interest — whatever inspires excitement manifests before our eyes. But be aware that life doesn’t necessarily differentiate positive from negative. Life is a dream after all, so whatever invokes a reaction comes our way. If we’re scared of spiders, we’ll be visited by eight-legged intruders. The game-aspect of this virtual world is to hone our thoughts, defusing whatever irritates while focusing on whatever delights.

How can we better enjoy a movie or a video game? By focusing on the fun parts, the elements that evoke amusement. In any situation we can create the worst time by staring at the aspects we don’t like. But the opposite is also true, that any situation can be improved by focusing on the things we do like. We can work on dismantling our automatic annoyance while actively seeking out the things that easily enchant.

Simple Saying

An excerpt from the fictional tales of The Wandering Monk.

I don’t know why, but I memorized the simple saying of positivity I devised a few days ago — although slightly altered:

I believe in the benevolence of God.
God, the almighty author of my narrative.
God, the selfless provider of all things.

I align with God, appreciating the path before me.
God, my ever-present protector.
God, from whom I receive absolute love.

It did sound like a prayer after all. And in my interpretation at least, it aligns very well with the Lord’s Prayer from the book of Matthew, which is presented as a guide for prayers.

I used to think those-of-old were primitives praying to a fictitious idol. Yet their capacity to comprehend was no less than it is today. They merely used the vocabulary and iconography of their day — just as we use ours. But there’s something to be said for tradition and the classics.

God in this instance, is the totality, everything to do with existence and beyond — and God is good, which means life is intended as a wholesome experience. God sets the stage and creates the circumstances from which daily drama unfolds, captivating each of us. God gives this experience as a gift, for what value could we offer in return. But to enjoy anything, we cannot approach with a disparaging attitude, we must go in with an open mind, with respect and gratitude for the activity. And through it all, God grants us safe passage, for we would be impotent within this world without the prodding and protection we receive. Underlying all of this is fathomless affection — every feeling of warmth originates from His resplendent glow.

Some may say: what use is God in my life? I reply, what use is happiness? For their pursuit is one in the same. Happiness is the cultivation and maintenance of relentless positivity. This facet has long been known, yet something so deep cannot be held within a shallow mind. The detritus must be removed and the boundaries stretched before such knowledge can fit. Physical existence, along with its limitations, is much too small. The idea of a fragile little creature crawling around a rock warmed by a fireball cannot serve as the foundation of limitless joy. Nay, for inexhaustible ecstasy, we need the power of God.

And to summon such power, we must call Him by name. It is by prayer that we do so. And within these invocations we must affirm our faith in the goodness of life, assent to the path life lays before us, give thanks for the gift of existence, and recognize our childlike ignorance and inability to self-sustain. But above all we must recognize and acknowledge the love we so receive, then do likewise towards all God’s creations. For we must perceive God as our Father, the shining example we follow, selflessly giving and loving without limit.