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Friday, October 17, 2008


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Tateru Nino

The thing is, most people do this sort of thing consciously or subconsciously anyway. Entire industries implicitly revolve around it.

Instead of 'avatar', insert 'celebrity' or 'actor' or 'movie character' or 'covergirl'. People try to emulate their idols in dress and projected manner - even if they're not aware that they're doing it.

Gary Kohime

Please excuse my long response.

Why do you think it’s so important to rid ourselves of suffering? Its purpose, spiritually speaking, has been experienced and personified in many of the great spiritual beings of all time. I'm not saying we SHOULD suffer, I'm saying we DO suffer and it has a purpose. Most often, a healthy form of suffering is inside a compassionate way of life. That is, doing things to help those that are suffering more than we are.

As far as having more than one persona, or some process that might project characteristics that we may not normally express; are really attempts at achieving that which we desire. Which ultimately is an experience of feeling connected? It is our Soul that is doing this. It’s not a persona, its not foreign, it’s not outside ourselves. An avatar might be some form of an outward LOOK of what 'that' is. But it is not us or who we are.

To utilize an avatar to express something we are not is not inherently a bad thing. It’s actual a tremendous opportunity to grow spiritually. In that, it frees us to be what we've often wished. But in RL, some form of moralistic code, spoken or not, inhibits this expression.

To try to stay on topic here. Anything we pursue in life has the potential to be obsessive. Obsession of any kind is where we fall. But, the falling may be necessary to help us find our way out of some 'dark phase' we might be going through. An avoidance of suffering is not the way out. You cannot have non-suffering if you don’t experience suffering and visa versa. Negative thoughts aren't necessarily BAD either. They just are what the are, just as positive thoughts are what they are.

Your first paragraph in your post suggests so many nebulous subjects, i.e.; reality, beliefs, truth and delusion. You’re lost before you begin you primary point. Any "attachment" to some persona outside ourselves is potentially a delusion and can be realized as obsession. Reality is relative to any state we are in at a given moment. Beliefs are just what they are and can be rooted in many sources. None of these represent TRUTH. Truth is a feeling deep down and only the individual knows what that is. Facts might be a factor, but ultimately it’s what we feel that has us take action or have a reaction.

The nature of being human is a natural process of reflection, observation and self-enquiry. Some are more conscious of it than others. As your attention or rather instead of looking through the "Lens", you are being the lens. Ultimately, the 'self' is unknowable. It’s inside of the unknown, or emptiness that we gain enlightenment. Most efforts in a search of who we are result in the opposite. The point is to allow these three things, I mentioned above, to take there course. We often do things to escape it, or our ego gets in the way. If we talk less, instead of trying to be a 'know it all' then this awareness increases. Also, it’s inside of not focusing so much on ourselves but focusing on others that support this natural process.

Moreover, there are two primary non-physical evolutionary experiences that really assist us in gaining enlightenment. One is the Soul, which is the part of us wanting/needing to feel connected and often downward into the dark. Then there is the Spirit, which is an upward movement, and a lofty focus. Finding a balance with each of these helps prevent obsession and fanaticism. Both of which are looked at by others as a 'problem' and rightfully so.

Your introduction to your subject or point went way over the heads of many, I am sure. I'm not trying to be negative, but it’s not about what you think, it’s more about speaking to the ears that are listening. You stand a greater chance of being understood this way. You’re obviously well educated. If I may deviate, slightly, from this topic, I've never liked the term AI (Artificial Intelligence). Reason being is that intelligence is most often thought of stemming from our education or book learning. To call that artificial, to me, makes it even sound less than its intended meaning. Perhaps this is due to it being a subject that’s on the scientific side of things. But, science is about attempting to prove something that can only be perceived by the five senses, eyes, ears, taste, touch and smelled. When really true wisdom is not learning from our own mistakes, it’s learning from the mistakes of others. And it’s not our job to say you’re stupid for doing this or that. It’s only, altruistically, our job to compassionately assist others where we can.

Gary Kohime


I think this was a great post!

The only issue I have is, that the so-called Real Me is anything other than an avatar on a different level; but the five-step-path actually leads you to this point of view anyway. So does any extended activity in SL with an avatar, if it is correctly identified as being not yourself.

The process described is almost automatic for people who are being their avatar, not using it as an extended "keyboard" but rather as an identity, so whether people understand this intellectually or metaphysically or not is not the key issue.

I think the key issue is just what has been stated, and that very succintly.

Young Geoffrion

Second Life affords its residents an opportunity to reflect on the nature of reality. A personality in any life is projected from our desires: those desires distort our perception of the world, and the strength of our desire is proportional to the disappointment we suffer when we fail to achieve what we desire.
As an avatar, I am no more than the projection of another's imagination. I believe myself to be unique, separate and distinct from all other avatars, yet we are mere arrangements of bits on a server. My world is no more or less real than Wagner James Au's physical world or Hamlet Au's virtual world.
"We are such stuff as dreams are made on." Prospero was not just speaking of players on a stage, but also of our illusory selves, in whatever reality we choose, carefully fabricated out of perception and feeling. Botgirl Bodhisattva, a hero of enlightenment, has offered one path to that realization. I am sure Second Life offers many more. To some it's a game, to others a social network. Hardly surprising it also affords a path to spiritual growth and deep understanding.

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