Virtual Enlightenment

Note: as of now, this can be read in a single-sitting — book-wise it’s about twenty-pages long. It might be expanded in the future.

First Edition – 2019

Table of Contents
Introduction
Simulated Reality
Flickering Pixels
Manifest your Mindset
The Power to Derail
Maybe You’re a Masochist
Just Sit Still
Nothing to Forgive
All Things to All People
Magic is Real
Proof is in the Pudding
Obstacles of Amusement
Respawn
Conclusion

Introduction

We all need a simplified way of envisioning the world in order to grasp its vastness. What I’m offering in this book, is one such simplified way in which to understand the existence you’re currently experiencing. It’s not the only way, but it’s a way that has proven itself to me over the years, so I’m presenting it for your perusal. If you like it, great. If you don’t, then just keep looking for the approach that’s right for you.

This approach won’t only help you understand your place in the world, it will actually help you enjoy yourself while you’re here. If this particular explanation of existence suits you, you can expect an end to your existential angst and an end to worry. You’ll experience life like you never thought possible. Satisfaction, delight, enjoyment — these are the words you’ll use to describe life.

Note: I will be presenting this material as if it’s 100% certain, but that doesn’t mean it is — it just allows for a more succinct explanation. Sure, it might be true, but that doesn’t matter — it’s the belief in the idea that counts.

Chapter 1: Simulated Reality

This world you’re experiencing is a simulation of sorts. Like any simulation of today, it’s merely a fragment of the world that created it. For instance, in the game Pac-Man, the main character has no legs, he’s simply a circle with a mouth that eats pellets and chomps ghosts. If he had time to contemplate life, Pac-Man couldn’t even guess at what his creators looked like or understand their three-dimensionality. In other words, as an in-game character, you lack the capacity to know what’s beyond this world. So don’t start thinking there’s “real humans” on the outside — the form of whatever created this simulation is likely beyond your in-game comprehension — the programmer could be pure energy for example.

If you think about game-playing in general, the objectives are essentially meaningless — they only matter within the context of the game itself. Therefore, the underlying purpose of any game is to evoke enjoyment within the player. In other words, the purpose of playing is to have fun. Likewise, you exist within this simulation for the sole-purpose of enjoying yourself. Being within a game, there’s nothing “real” to accomplish nor is there anything “real” to learn.

When you’re playing Pac-Man for example, you’re not achieving anything more meaningful than the feeling of a job-well-done. You’re not learning anything beyond the game-play and how to more efficiently chomp ghosts and clear the board. In that sense, the pressure’s off. Whereas if you’re truly worried about getting something done, you’re doing it wrong. Your only concern while playing a game or living life should be: am I enjoying myself? If yes, good job! If no, keep trying a different approach until the answer is “yes”.

Chapter 2: Flickering Pixels

In a simulation, everything is pixels. You, your teeth, your tears, everything you eat, everyone you know, the furniture, your clothes, every building, the weather, bugs, trees — everything. If everything is mere flickering pixels, and nothing is actually physical, there’s nothing to worry about — all those things you interact with are comprised of fleeting configurations of light — no big deal.

When eating, do you literally consume food? No, a few pixels flicker on and off as their coordinates update. It looks convincing to the eye, but your eyes are pixels too. And the great thing about pixels, is that they’re not beholden to the concept of progression. Things can blip in — or they can blip out. For instance: if you start at A, do you have to go through B to get to C? Nope, you can go directly from A to C in an instant. That’s pixels for ya!

Chapter 3: Manifest your Mindset

The world you experience is not an absolute reality, it’s more like a dream you’re having. For example, if you’re annoyed, annoying things will keep happening to you. Think of the world as a fulfillment factory: the things you focus on will manifest right before your eyes. Realize too, that the world only considers your focus, it doesn’t matter whether you’re delighted or disgusted by the subject-matter — whatever you concentrate on will be coming your way. Therefore, if you want a great life, focus on aspects you enjoy while ignoring the things you don’t prefer. In this way, the world will exceed your wildest dreams.

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

Simulations won’t often bother rendering something until a player is present to observe it. In other words, a tree doesn’t even fall when no one is around to observe it, let alone make a sound. A simulation doesn’t bother rendering something until a watcher is there to witness it — which makes sense. It’s a more efficient use of computing-resources. This also means that the observer is actively creating the world he experiences. Through exploration, the world renders in whichever path the player travels. Stay still, and the world stays still — explore, and new things are created as needed.

Therefore, if this world is a simulation, who’s to say the same thing doesn’t happen here? Perhaps situations and circumstances don’t occur if you’re not there to witness them. Importantly then: whichever path you walk is the one that forms. What ideas are you focusing on and which details are you examining? You better be selective or else non-preferred avenues will form before your very eyes.

Does a negative interpretation of life actually result in an existence filled with negative circumstances? Does an interest in the worst aspects of life literally bring more of the same? And likewise, does a positive and hopeful attitude bring good things to pass? Does focusing on the best-of-life bring more of it? With this mindset, you don’t dare think about worrisome or pessimistic thoughts for fear of them coming true — you can use fear to defeat fear.

Chapter 4: The Power to Derail

You have the power to derail your journey through life. Obviously you shouldn’t, but self-sabotage is certainly possible. Here’s an easy way to visualize this concept. Imagine that you have to use the toilet. But instead of using the toilet, you “hold it in”. Your body is telling you to “go”, but you refuse. You sit there fighting the sensation. It becomes painful. For whatever reason, you keep holding it in despite your body trying to direct you in a particular direction. Eventually you double-over from the discomfort.

This is what happens when your journey directs you in a particular direction but you refuse to go. You’ve probably noticed that you have a set of innate preferences and aspirations that swirl through your thoughts. Well, you want them fulfilled. Why do you refuse to attain them? Fear perhaps? Realize that fear is not a valid road-block, it’s an idea that doesn’t deserve your attention. Fear must be stripped away from the equation — and this simulation theory allows you to do that.

If you believe in a big bad world ruled by random-chance, then of course you’re going to be afraid. Of course you’re going to hide away in the safest spot you can find. Of course you’re going to purposefully suppress any dreams of achievement. In a harsh and brutal world, the most logical course of action is to stay out of sight and do just enough to stay alive. Whereas if you believe that this world is actually a simulation designed for your amusement, your whole perspective changes.

In a simulation, the most logical course of action is to play the game and fulfill your character’s purpose. In a simulation, simply sitting around is doing it wrong. In a simulation, being scared doesn’t make sense — it’s just pixels. Some programmer somewhere designed this for you, obviously you’re supposed to engage with this wondrous creation. It’s an exciting ride to be sure, but not nefarious. And quite possibly, it was your own negative attitude that caused the unpleasant scenes you previously experienced.

Chapter 5: Maybe You’re a Masochist

It’s likely that you’ve had a lot of unpleasant experiences in life. But if you’re a player in a simulation, why would you put yourself through all that suffering? Well, it turns out that boredom is the worst experience you can have when it comes to gaming, and you’ll do anything to avoid it. And if you’re lazy, you’ll simply resort to tormenting yourself — the quick and dirty remedy to boredom.

You seek out pain in its various forms because it’s an easy way to feel alive. So not only are you a masochist, but you’re lazy. You use fear to make even the mundane seem thrilling, you use frustration to make your blood boil in every endeavor, you actively suppress your own enjoyment of life, and you use hurt to sour every experience.

You can do better. First, let’s accept that you’ve been purposefully torturing yourself for lo these many years. Cheap thrills, I get it. But that kind of fun doesn’t last forever, you need something more meaningful. And that “something” is already inside of you waiting to come out, yet you’ve been preventing its development.

Second: if you want to stop the pain, stop hitting yourself. The pain you’ve been feeling is self-inflicted. Third: when you cease seeking the cheap thrills produced by pain, a more meaningful path through life appears to you. From there, you do you. THAT’S the person you were meant to be, the one that surfaces when you stop your stupid hobby of humiliation.

And the best part, my dear lazy reader, is that you simply need to stop your pain-producing efforts. That’s right, you need to become even lazier! Just sit there and watch for now. Observe what you’re doing to yourself — then the absurdity of the act will cause you to stop. Once you see the torment happening in real-time, your own sense of decency will kick in.

Chapter 6: Just Sit Still

You may have heard this advice before: if you’re lost, just stay put. This is also true in the context of the simulation. If you’re utterly lost or confused, sit still. This might sound like meditation, because it is meditation. You’ll want to be as still as possible, no muscle activity — release all tension. You’ll automatically continue to breathe, so don’t concern yourself with that. Thoughts will come too, but don’t bother engaging with them. You’ll know you’re doing it right when you no longer have a care in the world.

Ignore everything, let go completely so not even a thought can stick. Any pre-existing pain? Fear? So what, nothing bothers you now. Surrender. Give up. The world wins — let it do whatever it wants. Thoughts and feelings are slipping away. Forget everything, recall nothing. Lack even the energy to observe. Shut down. Power-off. No activity, no sensations, no body. Beyond your control there is only rhythmic breathing. That’s it. Don’t linger on mental images, just drift. There is no border, no boundaries, just presence. Sense the tranquility, the silence.

Eventually you’ll perceive that life is not only what the senses perceive. When you do, you’ll want to carry this insight into daily life. Recall the comfort. Know you can always return to a state beyond worry. Do return. Practice. Live within this totality, see from this broader perspective. By perceiving life as more than a corporeal experience, be at ease.

You need energy to be negative. While still, you’ll see life without the lens-of-negativity, without all that self-imposed pessimism. From that standpoint, life will always seem okay. And realize, you’re not taking a break only to return to the difficulties of daily life. No, what you experience as life, is refreshed in every instance based on your expectations. Yes, you can return to a bunch of problems that you keep in a suspended-state during your departure, but why would you?

Chapter 7: Nothing to Forgive

There’s a chance that you’re the only actual player in the game. If that’s the case, it puts all responsibility on YOU. That may sound daunting, but don’t take it too seriously. But if true, it means everything that happens is YOUR fault. That may sound bad, but that also means you can fix it. It means you’re not a passive victim of your surroundings — you’re the one in charge. You may be a masochist that likes to hurt yourself — but anytime you want, you can change those circumstances.

So when you think of your childhood for instance: you did it — you caused all that nonsense. WHY? Well apparently you’re a masochist that enjoys freaking yourself out. There was no other perpetrator but you, not a mom, a dad, siblings, relatives, schoolmates, teachers, strangers — no one but you to blame. Within that context, you’ll never have to deal with the concept of forgiveness — there’s no one to forgive. You made the mistake, you were in a negative mental-state and caused yourself to have an unpleasant experience — that’s it. Done.

So nowadays, if you ever have an unpleasant interaction with another person, say to yourself: “whoa, I must be in a bad mood, I’m even manifesting an unpleasant scene. I better calm down and get in a good mood, obviously my attitude is causing this negative scenario to develop right before my eyes.” In that way, you won’t ever blame anyone but yourself — and if you further analyze your mental state, you’ll find that you were in a bad mood prior to the unpleasant interaction.

This perspective works wonders. It’ll allow you to leapfrog over that whole “coming to terms” with people stuff, you won’t have to hash anything out, you won’t have to “forgive” anyone. It’s like it never happened. It’s a cheat-code of sorts. It means this whole experience is a dream and you’re the one and only dreamer. And who knows, it might even be true.

Chapter 8: All Things to All People

It’s also possible that you’re not the only player in the game. But how can the world be all things to all people, wouldn’t life’s ongoings affect all inhabitants? Not necessarily. Think of it like a radio — whichever station you’re tuned to is what you hear. So if you’re tuned to negativity for example, you’ll likely see some bad stuff go down right in-front of you. Whereas if you’re tuned to positivity, you’ll see all the great things the world has to offer. And if you let your turbulent mind control the dial, you’ll probably see a mix of both.

Since there’s no actual dial to turn, you use your focus to select the desired station — and you’re more than welcome to direct your focus to the stations you prefer. Some listeners don’t realize the radio is tunable and just listen to whatever’s on. Some of these people seem to have a decent time just letting their wandering mind control the dial, but oftentimes this can lead to dissatisfaction in the listening experience.

Basically, dissatisfied people must tamp down their mind’s tendency to go rip-roarin’ through the frequencies. In a sense, they have to grab the dial every-time they notice it on an undesirable station and purposefully turn it over to a preferred station.

Some of these people will assume the entirety of the radio is horrible because they hear a few bad stations. But really, they have to trust that there’s some good stations out there — they have to keep looking until they find something suitable. It might take some time to scan through — but it’s possible to set some favorites/presets when found by remaining focused on them.


Chapter 9: Magic is Real

Within this simulation, there’s two basic perspectives you can select from: worker and wisher.

Under the worker perspective, you have to earn health, you literally have to buy it with the currency of fitness and nutrition. Sickness is simply waiting around the corner, ready to take advantage of your laziness and lack of diligence. Whereas under the wisher perspective, you’re healthy by default, you simply assume you’re well and you are. Sickness is certainly something you can wish for though — feel bad enough about your circumstances and you basically wish yourself ill.

Under the worker perspective, an abundant life must be earned through hard work — anything less than that is cheating. The harder you work, the more you gain. Whereas under the wisher perspective, abundance is the natural state of existence. Working hard is actually a lack of faith — you can’t force things, you just ask. And the more you ask, the more you receive.

It’s quite obvious that these two perspectives are at odds, at least on the surface. But if you look a little deeper, you’ll see that workers are actually wishers too — they just like to pretend they’re not. For example, imagine a worker sets a goal to open an ice-cream parlor — then think about all the external aspects that have to align for it to happen. He’ll need to find an appropriate space for sale/rent, he’ll need enough money, he’ll have to figure out the marketing aspects, hope the local foot-traffic remains constant, hire the right people, hope the weather works out in his favor, hope ingredient prices remain steady — and it goes on and on. But in short, he’s a wisher that enjoys a granular level of engagement.

The worker perspective isn’t a bad one, as it certainly fills one’s day with things to do and fuss over. However, if you’re too easily overwhelmed by the daunting tasks ahead of you, frozen by the inertia of it all, imagining a hundred things you need to worry about in order to achieve your goal, where goals seem impossible — you might want to select wisher.

From a wisher’s perspective, the only thing between you and your goals are the hurdles you imagine. So as a wisher, your job is to suppress that aspect of your imagination. In that sense, a wisher is also a worker — but instead of focusing your efforts on the physical world, the wisher focuses on the inner world, crafting a receptive perspective, one that’s ready to receive and appreciate the things that truly delight.

In this sense, magic is real if you want it to be. Whereas if you don’t want magic, if you feel it lessens your sense of accomplishment, then just keep your head down and remain hard at work.

Chapter 10: Proof is in the Pudding

If you look for it, it’s easy to see that this is a simulation. Here’s one example to consider.

Imagine you’re at the supermarket. Perhaps you just parked and you notice the oldest old-lady you’ve ever seen. She could barely push the carriage in front of her, she could scarcely find the keys to her car, she could hardly lift the groceries into the back seat, then she hobbled into her car. But zip, zap, zoom — she punched the accelerator and away she went, not an issue.

Funny isn’t it? A barely functional person has all the dexterity in the world when it comes to driving a multi-ton contraption of welded steel, a device that requires the proficiency to enact split-second decisions. What’s going on here? Driving is a “routine”. You get into a car, sit in the driver seat, turn it on, grab the wheel, place your foot on the pedal, and the routine begins. Autopilot turns on and away you go.

Let me ask you this, can you normally make split-second death-defying decisions? Yet every one of us can somehow take a fire-powered land-rocket to speeds of 70 mph on a regular basis amongst other barely-functional drivers for the decades we drive and come out unscathed? In a physical reality, that doesn’t make sense.

For instance, how do we intuitively know how to drive? I don’t know about you, but my driving lessons were less than rigorous. My primary lesson was driving in a parking lot with my mom in the passenger seat for about 30 minutes. I even messed-up during the official driving-test and still passed. My test consisted of driving down an empty residential street (no more than 30 mph) and parking next to a curb — that was it. But that somehow qualified me for highway driving.

Yet if you sit the average person in front of a piano or hand them a guitar, it won’t sound pretty. If you hand my seventy-year-old mother some hand-tools, she’s pretty incapable of using them — yet give her the biggest, most powerful tool you can legally purchase (a car) — and she’ll drive like the best of them. Funny huh?

So driving is a pre-programmed “routine”, so what. So what!? Well a routine doesn’t run in an isolated environment, it only runs as part of a larger program. The obviousness of driving serves to highlight the virtual-nature of the wider world. Unfortunately for believability-sake, driving speeds kept getting faster and faster — which becomes unreasonable at some point. But the program is accounting for this now: robotic self-driving cars.

On first blush, you’d think autonomous cars would be the unbelievable part of the story. That’s until you consider people that can’t even use a simple screwdriver or a hammer, let alone a cordless drill, are driving all the time without any problem whatsoever. Not long from now we’ll forget that people even drove cars and this plot-hole will be patched. Remember, people used to get around by horse, which was an autonomous vehicle of sorts. Even boats pretty much just float when left unattended.

All we can do as players in this game is politely overlook such an obvious inconsistency. Or, we can use it as a reminder of what type of world this is: virtual. When you remember the illusionary nature of existence, and the fact that this is a manufactured environment, you can relax and appreciate how impressive this place is. Instead of physical objects and split-second reactions with dire consequences, you don’t have to take things so seriously.

Chapter 11: Obstacles of Amusement

In a video-game, your character is constantly confronted with obstacles and often dies because of them — or at least receives some damage. Yet do we consider video-games to be about “suffering”? No, we consider them to be “fun” in fact. So when considering the ongoings of “real life”, why should we consider life to be about suffering?

As an inexperienced player, it’s possible to feel overwhelmed by the intensity of life — it’s too real and you feel so fragile. Life seems out to get you and you have to hide. But of course it was out to get you! Those were the obstacles — that’s where the fun comes from! You were just a bit too enthralled by the spectacle to realize what was going on.

And of course this is the case. You’ve literally done nothing to ensure your own survival — yet you’re still here. It’s as if life keeps throwing balls at your face and you’re just too dumbfounded to realize you should catch them. You keep staring at the balls coming at you while calling yourself a victim of life’s abuse.

But in games, we don’t call that abuse. Life is literally attempting to engage you in a challenging adventure. There can be no doubt about it, the narratives are everywhere and you’re not even responsible for maintaining yourself. Notice how the body just chugs along without your intervening — the heart pumps, air goes in and out, food digests, thoughts flow through your mind like a constant stream — the whole thing is on auto-pilot, you’re just along for the ride.

So here’s the deal: yes, you’re not paranoid, life really has been out to get you — you specifically — you’re not just a statistic. And no you can’t hide, life knows exactly where you are at all times. But don’t worry, this is all in good fun. If life was truly about survival, your pitiful-butt would’ve been dead a hundred times over by now.

Life is looking out for you, obviously. But life is like a mamma-bird that keeps pushing you out of the nest — she knows you can do it, but you stubbornly refuse to open your wings, believing yourself incapable of flying. Consequently, you plop on the ground with a thud. You just have to open those wings bud. That’s your choice, life does provide the vehicle you ride, but you have to consent and press a few buttons now and again.

Chapter 12: Respawn

Life is guiding you as if you’re in a car on a track in an amusement park — existence is a guided tour. Things can be frightening, but not ultimately nefarious, it’s for entertainment only. And if life is 100% manufactured, like a computer simulation, then there’s no such thing as dying, only respawning. In other words, there is no absolute end, you just get on another ride and go around again.

You decide when you’re ready to step off the ride. You have the power of willful death. Again, this isn’t necessarily true, but it’s helpful in removing death-related anxiety. For instance, you sometimes hear stories of miraculous incidents where people survive even when they shouldn’t — perhaps they simply chose not to leave, they weren’t ready to go. But eventually everyone gets tired of their particular story and decides to engage in another, so they willfully leave.

If everything is pixels, then illness is as imagined as anything else. If you don’t want them, then don’t focus on aches or pains. Don’t perceive the body as a mysterious bundle of symptoms that must be deciphered lest you die without proper treatment. Your story will end when you will it. And you can use your anxious tendencies to help achieve this belief: “I dare not focus on sickness or it’ll actually manifest. So whenever the idea of illness enters my thoughts, I dismiss it.” A positive attitude about well-being works.

Conclusion

The idea that life is a simulation has improved my life immensely, which is why I’m sharing this idea. These are mental constructs that aren’t necessarily true, but they help to imagine life in a palatable way.

It’s helpful to imagine that life has no other purpose than to serve as entertainment for the player within you. There’s nothing you need to accomplish, no one you need to impress — there’s zero performance pressure. You can attempt to accumulate meaningless in-game points if you want to, or not, it doesn’t matter. Just try to mind your manners and treat everyone with decency and respect, and wish a good time for all.

As far as getting what you want from life, life purposefully holds some things back in order to build anticipation and create dramatic storylines. Even though you might find this a little frustrating in the short-term, it makes for a more interesting adventure overall. Life purposefully adds limitations to your abilities to keep you from getting through the journey too easily. Appreciate this, because that’s just the nature of good game-play.

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