I’ve heard gurus often refer to life as a grand cosmic play. They say we are all actors on a stage, providing drama and entertainment for the divine. The philosophy goes something like this: It is impossible for us to be anything other than an integrated piece of the whole cosmos. What we perceive as time and the separation of distance are all illusions constructed to make us believe we are apart from the whole. We are all aspects of the divine, perceiving ourselves in a physical world, for our own amusement. In this sense, the term “our own” and “divine” mean the same thing, since we are all a connected part of the divine.
The gurus I’ve heard say this are all old men or dead. And none of them are familiar with high technology.
It occurred to me that the invention of video games could be a pointer toward life’s purpose. I know that sounds like a nutty thing to say, but hear me out on this. For those of you who believe in evolution, what do you suppose video games will evolve into a billion years from now?
In the span of my short lifetime, video games have evolved from pong to fully rendered 3 dimensional worlds, with real world physics. That all took place in less than 40 years. What will video game worlds be like in a billion years?
Let us ask ourselves what the ultimate video game would be. What if we could create the perfect video game of our dreams. What would it be like? Would it be like the Holodeck on Star Trek?
No no no no… That’s not good enough. We must think bigger. We are talking a billion years into the future here! The Holodeck is ancient technology! In the Holodeck, a person is essentially in the game, but what if we could make ourselves a part of the game? What if we could create a game so realistic that we believed we were actually a part of the game? Wouldn’t the ultimate game be just like life itself?
People pay money to play avatars in virtual worlds today! What if they could actually put themselves into a virtual world of their choosing and actually live the life of their avatar? Again I ask, wouldn’t that be the ultimate game?
What if the gurus are right when they say we are all actors on a cosmic stage? Doesn’t that saying represent the exact same thing as saying, “we are all players in a cosmic video game?” In a billion years, do you think you could tell the difference between virtual technology and reality?
Let’s think about how we would construct our game world and control our avatars! It seems to me that the best way would be to fully integrate our consciousness with a virtualized physical form. The best video game would be one where you could feel the wind on your face, feel the fear of death in your mind, feel the rush of facing your mortality and believing it. Don’t you think we will have conquered mortality in a billion years time? Wouldn’t the best way to conquer mortality be one that does away with the physical form completely? Perhaps integrating our consciousness with some kind of electrical field?
Why should we believe that it is impossible to virtualize our consciousness? Given the technological advancement of the past 100 years, it seems to me that the virtualization of consciousness is something that might be feasible in a billion years time. Of course, why limit ourselves to a billion years? Why not a hundred billion years or a hundred duodecillion years? If time runs infinitely into the future, then clearly at some point the evolution of mind, body and technology will reach a point where consciousness may be transported or incorporated across time, space and matter.
Think of the Star Trek transporter – do you think such a device may be possible to build at some point billions of years into the future? Doesn’t such a device actively digitize and transport consciousness across time and space?
Now imagine that you are a virtualized consciousness that exists a billion years in the future. You have a limitless choice of realities to chose from. You could decide the parameters of the virtualized physical universe that you want to live in, and play any role you want. What time period would intrigue you the most? Does playing out a life during the dawn of computing sound interesting? If a billion years into the future all “problems” have been solved through technological means, wouldn’t it be interesting to see what life was like before technology had solved all of our “problems?”
And let’s say we entirely virtualize our consciousness as a means of escaping mortality, wouldn’t you want to be back in a body and actually believe it is your body? Wouldn’t you want to play the game of life over and over again, trying out “hard mode” from time to time?
Food for thought.
There’s no way you can know if you’re simply a virtualized consciousness in a video game right now, if the game world was constructed well enough….