Illustration by Jon Ahmed Durano

“Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.”

Romans 8:8

Let me tell you about the miracle. Did you ever wonder whether it would be feasible to be able to plug or maybe transfer our “consciousness” into say, the internet? Theoretically living in our own worlds guided by our own individual laws, where we create as we please, a personal website of sorts, but actually world of our own. Essentially becoming gods. Where our simulations create simulations and it all just trickles down or floats up further to an infinity of different realities.

In the same manner, we’ve created video games with exponential expansion through its popularity and refining, we may have been created as such by a God who will scrutinize over every little detail, but one who knows that eventually everything as a whole system will lead to “heaven” with nothing and no one really left behind.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s wind the clocks back. In 2015, nearly 96 of a 100 people owned a cell phone. A decade after, the same could be said about computers. Five more years pass and the internet became fully globalized and was given out completely gratis. During this time, technology and innovation accelerated at a tremendous pace, and soon enough mankind reached a second renaissance. Before long, every single phone, radio, computer, car, airplane, building, social network and every single system out there was connected to the internet. The whole world was brought together as one in a way that had never been done before.

The irony of this is that as the world became more connected online, offline people started to disconnect from one another. Young men and women from all over the world began to feel a strange sense of discontentedness with their lives in the real world. People began to shut their hearts, minds and themselves away from society, content to hole up in their houses and apartments all day long to engross themselves in technological distractions and unrealities. Real human interaction has become a rarity at this point.

The world in the early forties saw a steep decline in human population. Less people were getting married, and even less were having children. The crisis of overpopulation had been shoved aside for the crisis of infertility. I don’t know the scientific reasons behind all that, but I’m pretty sure that spending nearly 24 hours a day in front of a glowing monitor for years can’t possibly be good for your baby-making parts. More silver linings: Traffic congestion has become a distant memory, now that no one drives anymore and everything, automated. The problem of drug abuse has also been virtually eliminated, as people have traded in cocaine for computers, one addiction for another.

Forgive me for my rambling, we should get back to the main point. Let’s talk about the miracle. Let’s talk about virtual reality or VR for short. VR has been around since the early years of the 20th century. Well that’s not entirely right; the technology started during the 1920s, but really, virtual reality traces its roots back all the way to the illusionary artworks and 360-view murals of the first renaissance. From there, the technology took a step forward in 1929 with the world’s first flight simulator, then the Sensorama of the 50s, the head mounted display of the 60s, the interactive map of the 70s, and the Oculus Rift of the early 21st century.

It wasn’t till 2030 when the revolutionary neuro-scan technology was developed, implemented and, within a decade, perfected. The power to generate a completely identical copy of the human brain and to store its consciousness, personality and memories as virtual data sounds like the miracle I’ve been going on about, doesn’t it? Except it isn’t. Not completely. No, the miracle I’m talking about is the integration of neuro-scan technology with the latest and most advanced VR sims. With a neuro-scan headset wired on to a user with a data copy of the user’s brain, one could generate through his conscious and subconscious desires a virtual reality of his choosing, projected into his own VR headsets.

When people began to stop playing around, they started indulging in their own private fantasies. Frustrated workers could create and kill over and over again that one boss that they hated. Students, feeling pressured by their exams and peers, could virtually replicate, shoot up and blow up a realistic recreation of their school as many times as they desired. After that, it was a downward slope. It wasn’t long before people figured out the most popular function of the VR neuro-scan headsets. I am of course, talking about the sex. Any sort of sick sexual desire was game, no matter how debased, so long as you could think it, you could

Moral guardians cried out against this usage of the neuro-scanners and were quickly silenced. Any talk of implementing laws to shut down any such behavior was abandoned and forgotten. People began to realize that, after all, what laws could chastise a person for killing and raping something that technically does not exist? It would be your mind, your world, your dream. There aren’t laws dictating what you can and can’t dream, what you can and can’t feel or what you can and can’t think.

Ironically, this violent use of the VR sims actually served society for the better. Crime rates actually started dropping like a stone since everyone had an outlet to take out all their aggression on. Teenagers and the sexually repressed could release all their pent-up emotional and sexual energy into their own personal virtual reality porno. This was the golden era of the second renaissance.

It wasn’t long before the adrenaline died out and the violence had become dull. All the wild, virtual sex had become boring and monotonous.  People went full circle and began generating sims of themselves in the perfect world. While the conscious mind cannot truly place what the perfect world really is, the subconscious definitely can. Worlds where you found love and success. One where you took that leap of faith. Where you didn’t give. Where dad never died. Worlds without regret.  Without pain.

A dark mind develops from a lack of fostering of the light side of the mind because of circumstance and such, yet a world where you can truly be your own, you’d never really want to delve into the dark side. Why would you? Those are feelings that make people fall into depression and wish to end their lives in hopes of something better. Like the concepts of God and Satan, where God is a mind with what you want and have for the better, and Satan, simply a mind that is all the opposite of what you want and have for the worse.

I guess this is where the renaissance of technology ended and the dissatisfaction of reality set in. Why trudge on with the hell of real life when the garden of Eden is but a push of a button away? People shut themselves away from the world in order to hide in virtual enclaves on the net where they may lose themselves in dream. Eventually, everybody just stopped seeing each other. Everybody just stopped breeding. Everybody stopped living, or at least, lost sight of what it means to be truly alive. Everyone lost their grip on reality in order to latch on to a better one.

It’s sort of funny in a harsh, bitter kind of way. If you would ask my grandfather what the end of the world would be like to him, he would tell you that the world’s death would come in the form of a nuclear missile or a mushroom cloud at ground zero of an atom bomb attack. The world’s about to end for real, and it’s all due to an entire generation of depressed kids obsessed with escapism, too busy to breed or even give a damn. If humanity isn’t the cosmic butt joke of the universe, then I don’t know what is.

Anyways, I think it’s about time I wrap this up. I don’t know to whom I’m writing this to or why. Closure maybe? I could be the only one left in the offline world or not, I don’t know. I haven’t seen a human face-to-face in years. There’s a meme circulating around the various social networks. No, not one of those crappy captioned images like back in the 10s. Instead, an idea that’s rapidly gaining momentum on the net. This’ll sort of tie in with the question I asked in the beginning. People are “plugging” themselves into their computers and “uploading” their brains onto the web. Not their neuro-scans, their actual brains. Freaky. I’ve just looked over the process and it looks extremely unsafe. I have no idea if this will even work, or if I’ll just end up committing suicide in the most bizarre of ways, but I’m going to do it.

Maybe it’s better if I end up dying doing this. I haven’t felt any real happiness in a long time. I spent all day yesterday in sim and it seems like my neuro-scan copy of myself is having a fulfilling life in the VR. I suppose it’s better this way.

No.

We were never in touch with reality to begin with. Sitting down, typing this all out, I’ve come to realize a few things. What is reality? Everything is upside down in our world. Schizophrenics are worshipped as prophets. Murderers are worshipped as war heroes. Spirit is nothing; matter is everything. Matter dominates spirit; thus, everyone wants to obtain it. Greed, hatred, treachery, cruelty, narcissism are virtues we praise because they bring us closer to obtaining more matter. Other people are not the fosterers and nurtures of our souls. They are the destroyers of our souls, because they foster exactly these toxic qualities that dominate like greed and hatred.

There is no objective reality. Everything is relative. You make up your own reality, make up your own beliefs. Think for yourself. That’s the epiphany I’ve reached, at least. Everything outside of you is not real. Everything inside of you is real. Understand that, and you understand the miracle.

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