Coma Theory

Dear Rich, spirituality-stuff just doesn’t gel with me. I don’t get the god-stuff nor the fragment-of-god stuff. I’m not technology-oriented so Simulation Theory isn’t helping. I don’t understand vibrations or frequencies or lightwaves or whatever. And the lucid-dream analogy isn’t quite workin’ for me. Ya got anything else?

Okay dear reader, try this one on for size. You had an accident and you’re in a coma, your body is currently lying in a hospital-bed. The world you’re experiencing right now is occurring in your imagination. The higher-intelligence that designed your imaginary world, is you. You pretty much based it on the physical world that your body resides in, but there’s a few key differences.

For one, it’s completely non-physical. Because it’s formed in your imagination, you can make drastic changes at-will. If you don’t like how the story is going, you can just blip something into existence. For example: Is the nightly news a little boring? Ha, now look what you did! It’s crazy out there! Or did a character get hurt in your coma-world? Look, they’re miraculously healed!

Second, you’re now a helpful higher-power. In other words, little-you can appeal to big-you for help. For example: little-you finds himself in a bad situation and doesn’t like where things are headed. Little-you says, “Dear Creator Big-Me, please fix this mess!”. Big-you obviously hears this plea because you’re the one creating the story. You take pity on little-you and craft a better outcome with a happier-ending.

Third, time isn’t a thing. Because the world is taking place in your imagination, time is fluid — events slow-down or speed-up as necessary based on however you want to add detail or speed through uninteresting parts. And death comes whenever the story calls for it — it’s not random in any sense.

Fourth, technological limitations aren’t a thing. There are no limits in a non-physical imagined world. Do you want commercialized space-travel to happen? Sure, no problem. Robotic self-driving cars? Yep. Video-phoning across the globe? Sure. How about wishing things into existence? Yeah you can do that too.

Oh, and you know what else dear reader? You might even get bored while imagining a mundane story. You might purposefully add a bit of drama and chaos to your tale — just to make it thrilling.

So there you go dear reader, a different, more physical way to approach spirituality.

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Casual Gamer

I’m more of a casual gamer when it comes to video-games. I kinda saunter in, mash a few buttons, do my thing, then go about my day. I don’t like to over-strategize, learn about in-depth secrets, or practice to the point of mastery — who cares. Get in, have some fun, get out.

And as a casual gamer, it sucks when you find yourself within a game that contains a lot of depth — all you wanna do is blow sh*t up but this game wants you to learn all its esoteric secrets. You want to quickly figure out which button does what and start blastin’. Woohoo!! But in a game that requires more information-gathering and thought, you’re like “Huh!? WTF is going on here!!? I don’t get it!”

Well welcome to life my friend. I think I signed-up for Earth after watching all the crazy trailer-footage of explosions and excitement, but the actual gameplay turned out to be nothing like I expected. It’s slow and meandering and its intensity is displayed on a whole different level. And the controls — are just nuts — I still don’t get what I’m supposed to do.

I’m several decades into my current game and I’m still goin’ casual btw. F*ck that in-depth stuff, I ain’t into role-playing bullsh*t. Of course, as a casual gamer in an epic fantasy role-playing game, I spend most of my time NOT interacting with other players. “Greetings fellow traveller, I present to you 8 golden-ingots of the under-realm that I laboriously farmed by way of participation in the leather-guild.” NOPE.

I realize that I’m the one missing out. I get it. Pick a role and play it out. But it just seems so phony and goofy. When I see uniforms for example, I see kids playing dress-up for the day and I’m the adult sitting over to the side, babysitting — and if I have to interact with the scene in front of me, I do so mockingly. I can’t seem to drop my guard and genuinely play along.

But such is life as a casual gamer. Ironically, I think watching gameplay-footage on YouTube is stupid, but that’s essentially what I spend my time doing i.e. watching gameplay footage of Earth-gamers. But actual gameplay footage of an Earth-gamer playing a video-game is just too meta for me I guess.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I manage to enjoy myself here. I sit and commentate on life and all its silliness. I engage in the easy stuff: like eating, watching videos on the Internet, hangin’ out with my friend, writin’ this blog. It’s cool. My biggest worry was that one day life would be like: “Okay, you’ve had plenty of time to prepare, now you’re on your own! Good luck!” Thankfully, that never happened. Life apparently honors the role of casual gamer. Thanks life — I truly appreciate that.

Managing Equilibrium

There are a lot of video-games in which you must manage an equilibrium. For instance, there might be an economy you manage, balancing expansion with maintenance, keeping the people happy as a growing population results in an uncomfortable density and buildings deteriorate — even external disasters pop-up now and again, adding extra challenge to the process of maintaining balance.

We can see that trend in life too, where oftentimes we’re managing an equilibrium — keeping our character satisfied. Food low? Fill ‘er up! Oops, not too much! Feeling lonely? Spend time with others. Yikes, not too much time, not to the point of feeling smothered! Bored? Oh-no, don’t overcommit to a long-term activity!

It’s all very game-like, yes? And if you notice, different people focus on different categories. For instance, some focus on food equilibrium, and some on fitness, and some on social-interaction equilibrium, and some focus on a whole bunch at once. Oftentimes people go through different phases of focus. Yet, everyone doesn’t focus on every category at all times – correct?

This would imply that the categories on which we don’t focus, manage themselves. But life does allow us to manually control whichever category receives our focus. Wanna go on a diet and micro-manage your eating? Go right ahead! Wanna pinpoint and diagnose every little ache and pain in your body? Now you’re managing your health! Good luck with that.

But that means the reverse is also true. If you’re able to remove all focus from a category, then it’ll remain on autopilot. But good luck with THAT! It’s hard to get out of the habit of staring at a category that you’ve been so long invested in. Plus, you’ll likely have to fill that void with a new category to manage.

Or, perhaps you can quit attempting to micro-manage altogether? A lot of that tendency to over-manage comes from fear and a lack of trust. “This needs my expertise applied or else everything will fall apart!” Except you really have no expertise with existence, do you. Without some guiding force keeping things copacetic, you wouldn’t make it through the day.

I bet if you wanted to, you could just “let go” and trust that force completely. Then every category would just seem to work out. The status bars of all the things you tried to control would go from red to green. Your job was never to get in your own way, it was simply to experience the spectacle — a sit-back, relax, and enjoy the show show type of thing.

But yeah you can screw with the controls if you want, that’s within your power. Chaos can be fun. After all, we play those equilibrium games because they’re a good-time. But if at some point you get tired of micro-managing a certain aspect of life, it seems as though you’re perfectly welcome to just stop focusing on it and let autopilot kick on.

Meat Based

Dear Rich, I’m not sure I like the idea of a purely virtual world. I like my world to have some meat on it.

Well dear reader, a meat-filled world means that you’re subject to the laws of meat. Sure it’s fun to pretend you’re a physical being, but to actually be one? Take driving a car for example — are you NUTS! Meat can’t drive machines at speeds in excess of seventy miles per hour, it’s just not possible. A clumsy cartilage-connected creature just doesn’t have the necessary reaction time.

And what about airplanes? A flying canisters of well-packed meat successfully taking off, soaring through the air, and landing at regular intervals? No that’s not going to happen either — that’s pure fantasy-land fodder my friend. Have you also not noticed that you’re well-fed, well-clothed, and live within a pretty decent shelter? Yeah? You think that kind of well-run regularity happens in a meat-based universe? Nope.

But do you know where well-timed intervals and infinite allotments do occur? In computer-run simulations, that’s where. Natural disasters destroy meat, disease runs rampant amongst meat, accidents regularly occur when dealing with meat — but for some reason you’ve escaped all that — is that luck dear reader? Or perhaps virtual realms that look-out for your well-being aren’t so bad after all?

Maybe instead of idolizing meat, you could show some appreciation toward the spectacle of light and sound that’s been entertaining you lo these many years. I’m not trying to criticize your opinion dear reader, but let’s be real here, you’re expecting life as a piece of meat to be a piece of cake — I’m just letting you know that life as pixelated light ain’t so bad.

Woods or Vat

Dear Rich, I’m not sure which one is true: am I a lost child in the woods or a brain in a vat?

Well dear reader, let’s examine your options. If you’re a lost child in the woods, that narrative usually doesn’t end well unless you’re found by a woodsman or an animal-mother raises you as her own. And let’s be honest, if you actually found yourself in an inhospitable environment, you’d be dead on arrival. Therefore, because of your childlike ignorance, we know that this is NOT a hostile environment — you’re not “lost in the woods” — not even close — something is maintaining your presence here.

We can therefore deduce that you’re within an artificial setting. Now the question becomes: does a prefabricated world actually exist or does your consciousness simply imagine it exists? If you examine human civilization, the events are for the most part pretty fantastical. Voyages around the globe, empires, world-wars, mass destruction, massive storms, political intrigue, flying-machines, space-travel — crazy narratives comprised-of-coincidences fill the history books. It’s unlikely therefore, that you’re standing on solid ground.

Instead, you’re more likely to be within a dream-like setting in which strange and unusual circumstances happen all the time. Clearly you’re surrounded by narratives, yes? Your life seems to be a story that’s intermingling with a whole bunch of other stories. And if you listen to some of those stories, you’ll hear about lives that follow fanciful journeys — pathways seem to be carved through life just to make someone’s dreams come true.

Or, perhaps a virtual-world forms from a dreamer’s aspirations. In other words, a dreamer has an idea to accomplish something and then a world manifests based on the dreamer’s expectations. If true, that means the world you experience is extremely malleable — it can be shaped into whatever you want it to be. If you’re currently experiencing a crappy world for instance, that’s on you — it means you have to stop being so negative — the world is simply doing what you want and fulfilling your expectation of nastiness.

So dear reader, there you have it — you’re not necessarily a brain in a vat, but the world you’re experiencing is a virtual one. And that’s a good thing. If you were in an all-natural chance-based world you’d be dead already. The other beneficial aspect, is that you’re free to alter your virtual-world at-will. If you change your perspective to a positive one, and expect to experience better outcomes, you’re sure to see a substantial improvement in all aspects of your world.

Counter Examples

One problem I had with maintaining my belief in a random-chance-based physical-reality, was that there were too many counter-examples. There were just too many people that claimed otherwise, who then proceeded to live their lives to the end, enjoying the ride the entire time.

Huh!? In my dark and dour world, that wasn’t supposed to happen. They were supposed to fall prey to one of the many forms of doom that are sure to get us all at some point. Yet there they were, successful and enjoying life. Was it luck? But how lucky can you get!? And that many people just happen to be lucky!?

Well, I could delude myself for only so long. I mean I tried for DECADES to believe in a wretched world filled with fear and sadness. You gotta give me credit for that level of dedication to a belief — right? And a miserable belief at that! It’s not like I was enjoying myself, I simply believed because I thought it was the truth and I held fast.

I mean, that’s crazy to think about — to dedicate yourself for so long to a belief that invokes so much stress and anxiety. Why!? I suppose once in awhile I’d experience a sense of self-righteousness — thinking myself the only seer of truth amongst a sea of imbeciles too dumb to understand the danger they were in.

But of course, if you think you’re the smartest guy in the room, there’s an even better chance you’re the most clueless guy in the room. Ha ha — look at me, the dummy that didn’t get it. Whatever. At least I can serve as an example of what not to do, right? It turns out that it’s a bad idea to dedicate yourself to the task of making yourself miserable. Well sure, it seems obvious now!

And for those that want to avoid this kind of mistake, here’s the deal: if a belief hinders your enjoyment of life, don’t believe in it. Pick beliefs that enhance your enjoyment instead. Again, this seems obvious — but for some of us, apparently it isn’t. Let me restate using other words: if you’re unhappy, stop hitting yourself with hurtful ideas — smother yourself with delightful thoughts instead.

Exciting Beliefs

What’s the alternative to life being a simulation? In many ways, the religious perspective overlaps with Simulation Theory — therefore, the direct opposite of simulation theory is the idea that this is a randomly occurring natural world evolving over time.

And the primary issue with a naturally occurring world, is that it’s very effective at inducing fear in its believers. If you want high anxiety, you’ve found the right belief system!

“You mean anything can happen at anytime!!??”
That’s a bingo!
“OHH SH***TTT!!”
YUP! ;-)

“You mean everything I planned could be wiped away in an instant?”
HAHA! That’s right!!
“And I can randomly die at anytime? Like even today??”
YES! Exciting isn’t it!!!

As someone that held the natural-world belief for several decades, I can attest to its anxiety-inducing nature. But some people truly enjoy roller-coasters, so there’s nothing wrong the belief per se, so long as you really want to add excitement into your life. Whereas if you’re finding life too intense, then it’s a horrible belief to have.

And because life really is a simulation, believers in a natural-world will actually experience the world they imagine. Obviously life pumps the brakes on behalf of these believers and doesn’t allow true randomness to occur — but enough stuff happens that the sensation of random-chance is maintained.

If you look for it, you can certainly find an endless supply of accidents and deaths reported ad nauseam to maintain a constant fear of everything. Yet, there are plenty of people out there not caring one whit about precaution or safety — and they seem to be doing just fine… hmm… hmmmm….

My point being, that we’re free to maintain the beliefs we want — and life will obediently proceed accordingly. This world is a fulfillment generator and it’ll do just as you wish it to do. Seek chaos and disaster and you’ll find it. Seek delightful surprises and you’ll find them. As they say: be careful what you wish for — it might come true.