Screens, The Monolith, and Virtual Reality
A while back I wrote an article on my website on video games, and what my thoughts on it were from an inner alchemist’s point of view. At that time video games were very popular, as a form of entertainment and escapism really, being that all entertainment can be said to be some kind of escapism in one way or another. And this is what is at the foundation of this article really, the definition of escapism by the rational human world, and perhaps how it is possible, at least from the inner alchemist’s perspective, that what the world refers to as escapism might hold within it, always holds within it from the inner alchemists point of view, potentials for growth and expansion that are seldom understood in their full scope from just a rational perspective.
Now, in accordance to some sources, video games have become the premier form of entertainment in the modern world, and while there are constant changes such as the resurgence of streaming television channels, or a growing demand for podcasts perhaps, video games are still surging, and now we are seeing an incredible upsurge in the popularity of virtual reality video games, and in virtual reality and augmented reality experiences of all sorts.
In the article mentioned, I wrote that I could remember a time when television was just being introduced, and that at that time especially, television was thought of in a pretty negative light by some. When television was beginning to take off, as virtual reality is beginning to take off now, many were quick to point out the large and quite valid potential negatives of this latest form of escapism, and it was said, and it is still said to some degree, that television would waste humanity, turn it into a vegetable species, and further, fill the minds of the masses with all sorts of counterproductive propaganda. The rational world, maybe rightly so, said that it was a great waste of time, precious lifetime, by which they meant that according to the rational view of what usefulness meant, sitting around watching a screen was not work and therefore not constructive to societal profit, television was in essence a vice, and a detrimental influence for everyone.
The point of this article is to try to give an inner alchemists perspective, on all of these ever surging newer and newer forms of mass media and entertainment, and in that way provide a different angle, in which to see not just the growth of technology and mass entertainment, but also how it is possible to look at the bigger picture, an energetic or psychic picture, and perceive to some degree how it is that technology intermingles with the psyche, is the psyche in some ways, and from that perceptive angle see how there is this odd and quite valid connection, an impossible to disconnect connection, between the creations of the psyche, which have in this period in human history become technological ones, and the ways in which the inner spark in humanity fights against the very gravity of its self-imposed prisons) to find new roads and an ever expanding reality, were the limits of the past, both mentally and physically, are left behind.
We can for example, look into this, according to some, superfluous aspect of evolving technology, that is the development of mass entertainment, specifically video games and the great explosion of virtual reality games and virtual experiences that are about to take off, and through them understand far deeper truths about the nature of expanding human reality, and how there is this quite simply magical exchange) between the outer physical world, which by the way is becoming harder and harder to pin down thanks to the great influence of modern technology, and the mind of humanity, the mass human psyche, that seems to be pushing the boundaries of what it is to be human and an individual.
What I mean by this is that as technology blurs the line between being here now in physical space, and being in a far more expansive digital world, a new kind of psychology is needed) and will develop. Digital screens are everywhere, as an ever increasing amount of the population acquires smart phones, meaning that an increasing number of people can look into a screen at any second of the day, and use that digital enhancement to know and do more and more, through the magical digital gateways that screens are really. Our mind is no longer just in our heads somehow, it is now outside as well, in the physical) through technology, through our digital counterparts, our screens, and as the mind goes out, these screens in turn move into our subjective space in a way, and this extension, this mingling, whether good or bad from the individual point of view, means that the ghost in our machine, that is our mind, is expanding and this expansion is in some ways turning our dreams, that which we could only do in dreams, into reality. This is quite simply, at least from a psychological point of view, techno-magic) and as this gate opens, as a gate opens into our screens, the science of psychology must change to be able to incorporate this extra portion of self into the understanding of the now evolving psyche, where the line between the physical world, the digital world, and the mind, are being blurred, and eventually may be erased permanently.
During the inception of the screen (during its birth, which was television) there was a time when television was thought of as being quite a detriment to the development of the individual, and before that radio was thought of in the same way, and before that we could go farther and farther and talk about Pulp Fiction, comic books, and at the foundation of all of this) the printing press and the increasing, always increasing, ability of the human species to develop new and marvelous ways to communicate and entertain itself on a mass level, which finally led to the screen, the television, the gate, the doorway, that is now allowing us, through ever increasing technological advancement, to go into it) and into a kind of new technological room, a new world, a digital world, a dream-like digital world .
In this article I also wish to show how humanity, the magical race, must come around to magic no matter which way it turns, and how technology is already a kind of techno-magic, a kind of alchemy focused outward (outer alchemy) but that in its pursuit of only the out) it eventually finds its way in, because it is learning the slow and hard way that the divisions between the out there and the in here are an illusion. Outer human alchemy, in its slow and stumbling fashion, is finding its way into what inner alchemists refer to as the rooms of the projectionist, and it is now about to enter through virtual reality technology) what inner alchemists refer to as the third room. And in entering this room in a kind of haphazard way, it is slowly learning that all magic can be dangerous, that even outer alchemy can destroy the alchemist, the digital magician, the cyber-naut, because some portals, some gateways, can let in monsters, if such explorers do not understand true sobriety, energetic containment, and develop a healthy respect and understanding of the fact that we humans are not alone, that there are other forms of life that are wholly unsuspected by modern rational thought, that can use human vice and fear to trap humanity, in a cage of their own making.
This period in human history, this epoch, is the epoch of technology, and this at its foundation means an outward push by humanity into an objective realm, the physical realm. As such, the magic of the times has become science in its most outward forms, which in more specific terms means physical technology and physical engineering only. And thanks to the sheer genius of humanity, which even the Archon can’t completely quell, but that it can nevertheless use to further its own agenda, such marvels of engineering are allowing us to get closer and closer to those things that we could do in a forgotten past. If the new science of the times is outer physical technology, then I can tell you that there was a time when there were other forms of technology, that could be referred to as mind science, and even different sciences that combined the mind and what now might be conceived as technology in far more exacting ways than is possible in this time, ways that far surpass anything understandable in the current period.
Each epoch, like anything in our lives really, had and has its advantages and disadvantages. This modern epoch is pushing outwardly and in doing so it is leaving behind many of the things that made other times far more magical and far more powerful. But in its own way, it is coming around and we are at a cusp, an ever-developing point, what some modern futurists have referred to as the technological singularity, where the great slithering serpentine mind of humanity will meet its tail, and begin to consume itself and once consumed) the singularity will truly be upon us, and a large maw, a great gate, will open up before us into a new reality, a new epoch beyond imagination. Such giant gateways are always seen as some kind of termination by those that cannot even conceive of a world beyond the limited mind of the times, and as such these giant gateways are sometimes referred to as apocalypse. But we must never forget that Apocalypse is really a great revealing, a new starting point, a singularity point where somethings end but other things begin. And it is also the case that such a singularity point does not necessarily need to mean any kind of strife, but that in a sense it is the stepping through a doorway, and such a motion does not mean any kind of loss, but a great gain. Like a magical portal, we cannot see past it until we step through, and in stepping through we leave all that was in the past of us behind, we leave all our old stuff and clutter behind, and find ourselves in a new world, a new here and now place, a different psychology, a different kind of gravity, that thanks to the pettiness in us, the monkey nature in us, the archon in us, can still mean potential struggle and great strife or further binding, in that as new possibilities open up thanks to the evolving technology of this epoch, new walls and a new form of gravity are created as well, and there is the possibility for our cage, our cube, to shrink in some ways as it expands in others, like a kind of bait and switch.
But how does all this relate to video games and the latest technological burst of virtual and augmented reality, the stepping through the screen, which as I have said will be taking the human world over and pushing it on a mass level through the mass human version of the third room of the projectionist. How do video games and virtual reality relate to the coming epoch?
Well, in order to explain some of this, it can be seen) that for the last 3000 years or so) the mass of the human psyche has taken an outward psychological direction, it has made a kind of outward push. That is, humanity changed its focus over this short historical period and aimed itself in an ever-growing outward direction, focusing its attention outwardly towards what it perceives through the physical senses, as being the out there as opposed to the inner world, which to the physical senses might be perceived and explained as the in here, the subjective realm. Due to this decision by the mass of humanity let us say, to follow an outward path, the creative spark that moves the species forward has needed to take a new psychological direction as well, and that direction is what we now refer to as first and foremost outer logic and causality, then science, technology, and engineering.
But as the great spark of humanity drives forward in an unrelenting pace, and this technology flourishes and creates new venues that far surpass what this modern time, the modern human species, refers to as the past, new possibilities become available at an increasing rate, that then begin to close the gap between what was and what is, and opens doors in space and time that will allow the species to once again) let me repeat that, once again, begin to develop different forms of technology and expansions of the psyche that will allow it, to understand that there is more to what is possible, that there is more than just outer technology, that there is the possibility of an inner kind of technology, and moreover in time that there is a possibility to combine both the inner and the outer forms of technology, to create a reality that far surpasses anything currently understandable. This is the potential promise of the third room, but it can also herald many dangers, dangers that may doom the race to be stuck permanently in this third room without the possibility of going further.
When television rolled around, there was this concern that this mass form of entertainment and influence might have some detrimental side effects on people, and there was some legitimate concern here. But it was also the case that just like radio before it, television allowed for an incredible quantum leap in the psyche of the species, being that through its screen, a great amount of people, a growing mass of humanity, was able to project itself across space and time and hear or see things that were hitherto impossible to know. Through the technological wonders of radio and television, humanity opened the audio and visual screens, the windows, that allowed aspects of the psyche to expand, that allowed aspects of the mind to become more complex, as it was able to now contemplate new forms of time and experience, by understanding that while the physical body in its current physical position occupied a certain kind of situational location, it could perceive through radio or television other times and other places. So, no matter what the rational world tried to tell it, the human mind was able to understand at a vital level that the things that it perceived and experienced thanks to those magical windows, were as real in some ways as the physicality, as the physical body, that was the fundamental aspect of its nature. The mind, through the outer screens of technology, saw into and out of itself simultaneously and it grew, and it continues to grow.
And, as technology advanced and advances more and more, as it exploded and bloomed through computers and digital technology, video games took over slowly at first but then quicker and quicker, as is the case with all disruptive technology, and with them the psyche, the human intellect, the mind, expanded even more as well, because through this new form of experience the mind was able to partake in marvels of reality that allowed it, not only to let go of many of the bounding walls of stationary physicality, but also to experience as a result) new forms of thought, that then allowed the intellect to understand the puzzles of physicality and logic in new ways. And finally, as these games become more complex, as digital simulations become better and better, to the point that they are almost on par with what the physical senses can perceive naturally, these increasingly complex games and experiences have already reached a point to some extent in this latest outwardly focused human epoch, where humanity can once again to a rather limited extent anyway, do things that were before, for it, only possible in dreams, quickly forgotten dreams.
Now, as virtual-reality blooms and new forms of technology expand what is possible, as we begin to step into our screens and turn them into a three dimensional world to experience infinite sensuality, let me repeat that because it is critically important, as we step into our two dimensional screens, we find ourselves standing before a new sensual and psychological gateway, and as we put on visors and an increasing repertoire of haptic gadgets, we can look down at our hands in this new place,
How crazy that is, what dream sorcerer would have guessed that in this techno age a large mass of humanity would be given technology to easily accomplish one of the hardest tasks of dream magic, which is to look at one’s hands in dreaming,
and in easily doing so, with this modern digital hardware and software, find themselves fully immersed, far more fully immersed than could ever be possible with just television and two-dimensional video games, at the beginning edge of what inner alchemists call the third room of the projectionist. And in this new incredibly immersive reality, experience in a far more direct way what it is to escape across other worlds, and to do those things that an average person could never ever do without this technological aid.
It is at the entrance to this room that humanity finds itself at this point in history, and I feel that it can even from a rational point of view) begin to intuit how the collective mind, the collective psyche of the species, is beginning to slither and turn, seeing in the distance its own tail, which it will eventually irrevocably meet and begin to consume, until it eats itself completely and in that way begin a new epoch. As an inner alchemist I can see, in a direct energetic way the force of this intent, the eventual shattering of consensus reality, as humanity wakes up to new, that are yet old, possibilities and greater freedom, expansion, and evolution. And I am hopeful because I believe in the inner light that is within each and every one of us.
But as this new virtual-reality revolution takes hold, as humanity steps through the monolith, the screen, into new dimensional possibilities, there must always be great sobriety. In this case this great sobriety means that humanity must begin to understand at a mass level that there is more to reality than just the ability to conquer the hardships and desires of the flesh, of the object-hood (of the object) that humanity believes itself to be. Inner alchemists know that the third room of the projectionist, which is what going through the screen represents, is just one room, and that there are many more rooms to go. All modern technology, and the virtual revolution that is just beginning in an s curve of disruption, might just allow a mass of humanity to experience at a mass level, what inner alchemists refer to as the third room of the projectionist, meaning the ability to be able to do all those things that we might desire within a contained three-dimensional space.
If great sobriety is not achieved, then humanity will be trapped in fleshly objective three dimensional desires, in three dimensional perspectives essentially, and be seduced by only the endless need for more sensual gratification, instead of the even greater bliss and gratification of going beyond three-dimensional ideas and ideals. There are in other words other dimensions, and it may be all to easy for many to just stop growing and be lost, trapped forever, in an enticing new and expanded cube.
The virtual reality revolution, like all the other screen revolutions of the past, is an incredible opportunity. Through virtual reality, as you see your virtual hands, find endless possibilities as you fly, jump, fight, drive, hear, and eventually even feel, what at one time was only possible in the imagination or hard to remember dreams, the inner aspects of humanity, the intellect, the ghost in the machine, will increase and bloom like a flower, and even greater vistas for the entire species will then be perceived in the new horizons that will then become visible, as this new wave of intellectually expanded humanity is able to perceive farther and more clearly, the new possibilities of the flesh.
Sobriety means that with the acquisition of this new power, we must be clear-headed and learn to use this new supremacy over the flesh to not just fall into the pit of three dimensional pleasures, but to strive even higher still, beyond the third room, beyond three dimensions, into the fourth room, where objecthood is left behind and time becomes our new playground.
If we don’t do this, this latest technologically created room may be our new and improved prison.
In other words, what I am trying to say here is that as technology expands, and as our ability to basically do anything we could possibly desire in these virtual spaces becomes a reality, we can if we maintain sobriety, begin to finally understand that there is more to our potential than even this sensuality and new fleshliness. We must overcome the curse of the new flesh, this is critical.
For the inner alchemist, such sobriety opens up the road to the fourth room, and the fifth one after that, and there is more than that even that can become available. And in discovering these rooms that go beyond the ability to just do anything that we could possibly desire from a three dimensional and limited egoistic point of view, we can begin to use our new power to expand beyond these limitations of the new flesh) and three dimensions, into four dimensions and beyond, and in doing so find our true purpose and the true meaning of bliss.
Brian O’Blivion (videodrome):
“The television screen is the retina of the mind’s eye.”
“The thing’s hollow—it goes on forever—and—oh my God!—it’s full of stars!”
― Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey