Becoming Real – In a Virtual World
Virtual Reality is an oxymoron. There are things that are virtual, and things that are real. There is nothing in virtual that is real. Things that are virtual are not real, they are fake, made-up, fraud, deception, or just representations of reality. The real thing is so much better than what is in a book or movie.
Watching the Normandy invasion in Saving Private Ryan from the safety of your living room is not the same as being in that battle. Reading about a sexual encounter, watching sex on your phone, or even masturbation is not the same as connecting with someone you love. Seeing and smelling the food at a great restaurant is not the same as eating there. I have assisted in over two hundred deliveries, but I don’t know what it’s like to have a baby because I have never experienced it. Human beings cannot understand what we don’t experience. We must feel the whole variety of human experiences to live, learn, grow, and understand.
We can sometimes be in the experience and not understand it. I had a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Harbor General Hospital in Los Angeles whom the students and residents called The Dragon Lady. She felt it was her duty to teach all doctors about abortions and birth control so no unwanted child would ever be born. I told her I did not want to participate in abortions so she tricked me by telling me to go into a D&C procedure. During the procedure I felt dark, depressed, and grief, like a loss. I didn’t know why until I saw a tiny arm going through the clear plastic suction tube. Then I knew what it felt like to abort a baby. We didn’t talk about it; nobody said anything. We just filed out of the room after the procedure and wrote down all the stats — just check the boxes. Blood loss, sponges, heart rate, blood pressure… numbers. That’s how we deal with feelings.
On the other hand, I also experienced the deliveries of many beautiful babies. The joy that is felt at the delivery is palpable. Everyone smiles, even the nurse assistant walking past the room starts to smile, and doesn’t even know why. The Dragon Lady did not smile. She probably didn’t even feel the joy of birth, nor did she feel the grief of abortion. She was numb, dead, a zombie. She used drugs to manipulate her feelings.
There are all sorts of drugs to imitate real experiences. Doctors are told to be sure nobody is having a bad day. Everyone should feel good. Thus, there are drugs for every feeling:
- Drugs to calm you down
- Drugs to lift you up
- Drugs to comfort your sorrow
- Drugs to soothe your pain
- Happy pills to relieve depression
- Drugs to make you sleep
- Drugs to wake you up
- Drugs to calm your fears
- Drugs to relieve anxiety
Drugs are virtual reality. Sleeping pills knock you out and make you unconscious, but do not give you rest. Caffeine can pick you up and allow you to pretend you are awake, but you are still half-asleep all day; it’s not real. Thus, most people in the world are half-asleep all day, and half-awake all night. In reality, they are dead — Zombies.
The idea that people should not feel pain, sorrow, grief, or suffering is completely misguided. We need to feel every human experience. Life is in the experience of it. Going through life sitting on a couch watching others have virtual, made-up, and fake experiences is not living. It is death. As virtual reality becomes more common, there are more zombies in the world. Their world is not real. They live in a fantasy. There is nothing there to experience for real. It is in the struggle that life is found. Life comes from the extremities. Hot and cold. Sorrow and joy. Pain and pleasure. Light and dark. Awake and asleep. Work and rest. If all we ever experience is peace, rest, happiness, and comfort, then we are always lukewarm, not living life.
Spiritual life is filled with imitations. Many say there is no such thing as a spirit because you can take psychedelic drugs and simulate a spiritual epiphany. They don’t know the difference between the counterfeit and reality. The experience of knowing God is not the same as taking a drug. I don’t want the drug. I want to know God. Eating a lollipop when you really hungry is not the same as having a steak dinner. The candy is like a virtual meal, it has flavor and calories, but without substance. It does not satisfy the hunger. The candy is one-dimensional, giving a semblance of being able to satisfy, but without anything substantial. I don’t want candy, I want real food. I don’t want Disneyland, “The Happiest Place on Earth,” with its perfectly-groomed lawns and actors with perfect smiles painted-on. I want real happiness. I only want real experiences.
- I don’t want the virtual.
- I’m not interested in partial.
- I don’t like staged experiences.
- I want what is real.
- I want to feel real pain, grief and sorrow.
- I want to experience true love, joy and happiness.
- I want to know reality on an intimate level, the highs and the lows.