There are many different perspectives from which we can interpret our existence. This has always been the case, as we can witness the differing interpretations throughout the historic narrative. We can also notice a lack of consistency throughout the various cultures that populate the planet at the same time. In other words, it’s a fallacy to assume that there’s a concrete indisputable interpretation of reality. It’s also a mistake to assume that humanity is progressing towards a clearer more accurate viewpoint of reality — people simply replace one hazy dream with another.
Additionally, the perspective we adopt significantly affects our personal satisfaction with life. For instance, I spent many decades cultivating the life-is-physical/random/evolved viewpoint, yet I found it unsatisfying. Not too long ago I dumped it in favor of a simulation-based viewpoint. And I must say, that change has done wonders for my happiness. For me, the circumstances of life are no longer random and chance-based, they’re planned in a benevolent way for my amusement. I have no fear on a path made just for me — I’m nurtured and protected along the way.
My anxiety went from high to low. I no longer experience life at high-intensity, it’s just a tour through the funhouse. I still get startled at times, but I know it’s all in good fun. Just imagine the entirety of people with wildly varying beliefs surviving all the same — how we define the basis of reality hasn’t mattered. Yet, it’s in our best interest to cultivate a viewpoint that elicits the most happiness. If we’re going to live out a life no matter what, we might as will be happy while doing so. And from experience, I can say that crafting a pleasant foundation for our perspective makes all the difference.
However, it’s not necessarily easy to flip from one viewpoint to another, it takes practice. For instance, I repeat these sentiments again and again, drilling them until they become my default. And, I practiced meditation for quite awhile until I had the awareness to catch and deflect all the undesirable thoughts streaming through my mind. We have to discover and refine a viewpoint, then keep our eyes pointed in that direction. An epiphany isn’t worth much without the follow-up — If we stare at obstacles, we’ll run right into them — Seek a satisfying perspective, then strive to maintain focus.
It’s been about 45 days since I started my virtuality experiment. It does feel a bit strange at times to consider that the world is an artificial construct. Existence isn’t a naturally occurring phenomenon? There’s an underlying narrative and artificiality that maintains it? The more I look, the more I see it too. As part of the experiment, I’m bathed in thoughts of virtuality so it’s self-reinforcing.
Ideally I suppose I want to set my life in the right direction, then forget about all this, then just carelessly play on the playground. By right direction, I mean a positive path filled with merriment. I’m kinda done with the whole pessimist lifestyle of gloom and doom — it just doesn’t match up with what I see anymore — but those default thoughts still linger.
Life hasn’t tried too hard to push me off this path either. But funny enough, ha, I might be going on a trip very soon. It’s a sudden change of plans. Or rather, I had no plans and now I unexpectedly do have plans. Perhaps life is back to its old tricks of attempting to captivate my attention? It does seem suspicious….
But even funnier, ha, is that life is directing me to go to my childhood happy-place. I was adamant about not going back there because I wasn’t pleased when I last left, nor was I interested in such a long journey — yet now I’m headed back there. My friend said, maybe life just wants me to love that place again — I thought that seemed like a reasonable explanation.
The ideal we seek is losing ourselves in the excitement of existence, aligning with life, flowing, ever in the zone. It’s like playing a video-game and becoming the character — his quest becomes our own, his hands are extensions of our hands. Or it’s like watching a movie when we surrender our emotions to the protagonist — his plight becomes ours, we wince when he’s struck, feeling his journey as he does.
Yet we can be lost in life, lost to our fear and frustration. If we’re too frightened then we fail to participate, hiding away because we’re worried about what’ll happen next. It’s like never picking up the game-controller or never turning on the movie because we’re scared we won’t like it. And with frustration, if we don’t like how the story or game-play is proceeding, we might sit still, stewing in anger.
Being mindful of the game itself helps us to realign if we find ourselves lost in a bad way. We do want to be lost to the game, but only in the good way. Realizing the illusionary nature of existence helps create the distance necessary to deal with our fear and frustration. It’s just a game, just a movie, just a simple story set in place to amuse us. Then like any activity, the only outcome that matters is whether we enjoy ourselves while performing it.
The protagonist will always struggle before his triumph. Life is supposed to appear hard, as if we could lose at any minute. Teetering on the edge of victory is the most exciting condition we can experience, so the theme is oft repeated. We need to appreciate this condition and embrace the narrative before us. And if we find ourselves lost to fear or frustration, we need to readjust our perspective until we perceive the fiction before us.
I’m currently engaged in an experiment to maintain the unreality of reality in my mind. For convenience, I settled on the term “virtuality” to represent the illusionary nature of existence. I’m starting out fully convinced that the world is a simulation of some sort (whether computer-based or spiritual-based I don’t know), but the virtuality concept doesn’t completely pervade my thoughts.
In other words, unreality is not currently my default, but I intend to make it so. For instance, if I hear a strange noise or feel an ache, I revert to my earthly instincts, experiencing a slight bit of anxiety. I’m able to talk myself out of fear by relying on virtuality, but it’d be nice if it was my default reaction instead of going through a mental debate every time.
Since adopting the virtuality belief, I’ve been nothing but rewarded in terms of emotional control. Fear and frustration are much more manageable. I don’t have a base-level of anxiety and I respond much more positively to my surroundings. So my theory is this: more is better (famous last words – Ha!). I intend to completely bathe myself in the concept of virtuality.
But realize that the point is not to destroy the physical world in my mind, it’s to appreciate the playground of virtuality I’m within. It’s not detaching from the world, it’s developing a more pleasant interface. And this is nothing new of course, people have been relying on spiritual concepts forever to make life more palatable. This just happens to be my personal foray into unreality.
P.S. Yes, I do expect to become a powerful wizard that can manipulate space-time. But luckily I have no aspirations for world domination nor a desire for immortality (known corruptors of powerful entities everywhere).
Some people enjoy cheesecake. I do not. And although I find it difficult to comprehend, I realize that some people don’t enjoy chocolate cake (an actual cake by the way, not some pie-like abomination). An array of options exist in the world, some we like, some we don’t. What a horrible habit it is to focus on those options we don’t enjoy.
I had that habit for many many years and suffered accordingly. Although we don’t realize it, our emotions are optional too. I regularly ignore fear, sadness, disgust, and anger. They come to visit sure, but I no longer invite them in. I no longer sit with them and listen to their stories. And if they persist, I berate and belittle them until they shrink away. And as expected, I’m much more satisfied with life.
Some people do enjoy sad sentimental tales, they delight in the feeling of tears flowing down their face. I do not. Some people appreciate the thrill of a good fright, they relish the feeling of a pounding heart. I do not. Yet I spent so much time wishing these options didn’t exist instead of exploring the options I did like.
It’s not my right to remove cheesecake from the menu. Nor is it my right to eradicate sadness and fear as emotional fodder. The polite approach in life is to order the items we do like and stop worrying whether we’ll be served the wrong ones. And if the wrong plate is set before us, we must find a way to enjoy our evening nonetheless.
If we perceive life as a virtual-reality, the things we see aren’t ultimately real. Although don’t just jump off a cliff, because even in games players go splat. There’s a particular narrative here that we somewhat follow. Yet people actually do jump off cliffs for fun, albeit attached to some kind of contraption that helps them land softly.
There are rules we seem to follow, yet they’re not as strict as our shortsightedness implies they are. It is in error to assume we understand the limits of life. That one thing must follow another, or one thing can’t follow another, is the viewpoint of our ignorant perspective. A perspective by the way, that has been constantly altering since our birth.
When we catch ourselves assigning boundaries to life, we should use that moment to dismantle the fence we just attempted to construct. On the other side of every fence, there’s always something else. Fences don’t define reality, they’re artificial constructs used to divide the world into superficial segments — digestible portions for easy understanding.
But what’s simple, what can be seen within a single viewing, is not the entirety. Limits are lies if we interpret them as truth. A limit is a convenient reference-point at best. Because of our shortsightedness and ever changing perspective, we must accept all possibilities as potentialities — but with one caveat — we must be positive.
Existence itself proves that creation and growth have always outpaced destruction and decay — it has never not been so, lest we would not be here. Pessimism therefore, is outright wrong. Life rests on the positive side of the scale, and accordingly we must underlie our calculations with hopefulness, ever trusting in the momentum of existence.
Life is more than what our senses perceive. This is obvious yet we often fall back to a limited perspective. In other words, we default to shortsightedness. Therefore we must regularly remind ourselves that our viewpoint is flawed, relying on prompts to trigger our awareness. Such prompts might be anger or fear.
If we’re angry for instance, we must not unleash on the perceived source. The real source is life’s illusion. We must see anger itself as a trigger, urging us to look inward. Anger is an unproductive emotion that we don’t need. Our task is to let go of it as fast as we can, then proceed from a non-angry perspective.
Or if we’re scared, we must not shrink away from the perceived source. The real source is life’s illusion. We must see fear itself as a trigger, urging us to look inward. Fear is an unproductive emotion that we don’t need. Our task is to let go of it as fast as we can, then proceed from a non-fearful perspective.
Defusing unproductive emotions is a challenge that is worth the effort. We don’t win the game-of-life by lashing out in anger or by cowering in fear. No, we win by dismantling these unproductive emotional states, gaining more control of our player. What fun is had by players who rage the entire game or take such caution as to remain motionless?
It’s difficult to constantly observe and evaluate ourselves, unless we rely on these simple trigger mechanisms. When put in place, bad moods set off alarms and the consciousness comes to investigate. He sees trouble brewing and systematically clears the room, ushering out the trouble-makers. Not on my watch!