Archive for August 3rd, 2010
(More posts on the Quantum Life handbook: Click here).
I was minding my own business when suddenly a bright light appeared and for a minute I seemed to be traveling through space with thousands of white lights zooming beside me. Then everything was still. Absolutely still. I looked down and saw my office was normal, except for this strange book. The book is too long to post in one entry, but I’ll start at the beginning. It’s very strange:
Users Guide, Quantum Life
English version, a Quantum Life language
The game Quantum Life is a community inspired game where you enter a virtual reality in order to experience various sensations and situations that do not exist here in the real world. These include a full range of emotions, senses like hunger (desire for nourishment to have energy to continue), thirst (desire for liquid nourishment), sexual activity (an intensely pleasurable sensation involving two or more players), and pain. Some of these, like ‘sexual activity’ have been designed specifically for Quantum Life to make the game more interesting and complex. Others, like emotions involve aspects of our own existence to which we’ve grown immune. For instance, sadness or melancholy is a feeling of depression that causes a kind of deep emotional pain. We don’t experience that because our knowledge of reality assures us that that all sadness is misplaced. Thus we soften its experience and hardly notice it. In Quantum Life people literally end their existence (something invented for the game called ‘death,’ which means that particular round of play is over for an individual) out of despair.
Warning: Addictive. Because Quantum Life opens one to experiences, sensations, dilemmas, and connections with others, players often become addicted to continually playing the game, losing themselves in this virtual world. However, there are rules concerning continuous play. These rules are governed by a concept called Karma whereby your actions in one “life” (a round of play ended by death) affect the circumstances you encounter in the next life. You can also choose to try to build positive karma by going into life in very difficult circumstances, often having the ability to experience a sense inhibited (blindness, missing limbs, mental abilities outside of what is normal, etc.). Others go into circumstances of intense pain, hunger or want – an existence so divorced from our reality that some players repeat it over and over. In between rounds you will have to decide whether or not to keep playing.
Goal of the game: You cannot win Quantum Life, but there is a goal, and a number of stages. The game posits a world that is material, with pleasure seeming to come from material possessions or activities. Players initially try to gain wealth or status in order to improve their material well being to have positive experiences. At some point it becomes clear that material well being is shallow – it gives momentary sensations but there is a void, or a sense of emptiness that must be filled. That leads players to seek spiritual well being, tied to emotions and a sense of self. Here the player learns contentment and serenity – the material and emotional turmoil that affects one in level one becomes easier to navigate. At level three one wants to turn to help other players reach level two. These players are helpers, oblivious to the fact it’s a game but nonetheless helping other players master the game. Once level three is mastered, most players lose interest in the game and move on to something else. We believe, however, that experiencing these intense sensations and emotions creates a deeper and more meaningful life, and that the risk of addiction to the game is worth the benefit. The goal of the game at all three levels is to overcome fear.
Fear: Fear is unique to Quantum Life. It is a state of utter uncertainty about existence, ones’ own value, what will happen next, and what could happen. In Quantum Life it is easy to imagine numerous experiences that would be painful, and fear acting lest they become ones’ reality. Lacking the core inner knowledge we all have about the nature of reality, Quantum Life strips the soul bare, leaving it uncertain and afraid. Only through experience does one learn at every level to overcome fear.
There are three levels, and within each (described later) various sublevels. It is always possible to move forward, fall back or get stuck at a particular level. In level one the main fears are lack of status, lack of material wealth, lack of people who care for you, lack of a good life partner, etc. As long as there is fear of material deprivation, people stay in level one. In level two the fear is that of spiritual deprivation. These people often fear they are unworthy, they feel guilt for their misdeeds, they develop religious beliefs about the world and posit moral rules, fearing such things as eternal pain and “damnation” as judgments against their misdeeds. They fear the consequences of their choices, and distrust material sensations as “evil temptations.” At first such types may lash out at society or those caught up in level one. Once they overcome their fear and understand spiritual well being comes from forgiveness and acceptance of weakness, they are ready to level three.
Fear at level three is fear of emptiness – what if there is no spiritual center, no God, or no eternal existence? What if the end of the game is just that – the end? When people first arrive at level three they try to help others in levels one and two, but their fear that life lacks meaning causes them to have difficulty engaging the material world. They may retreat to either a life of asceticism (going without material sensations) or escapism of various sorts. Once they start to accept that it’s alright not to know what reality is and to appreciate the game and life sensations as they come, they find it easier to reach out and help others. At some point, they realized they’ve mastered this game and are ready to move to new challenges. Most people who quit playing Quantum Life make it through level three. It’s rare that after numerous life challenges people don’t go back to try to move to the next level. That is not addiction – addiction is going back to the same circumstances and not making progress to the next level. People in level three get pushed towards helping those addicted to the same type of existence as a way to break that addiction (often circumstances are discussed between “lives” in order to figure out how to approach the next round.”)
Of course, none of this would work without complete ignorance of any kind of reality outside of Quantum Life. The only knowledge people have of reality is through deep intuition. Interested in playing Quantum Life?
The next section tells you how Quantum Life works — the mechanics of the game (how is it that an individual’s choices lead to different experiences), the possibilities (e.g. replaying a life if it ends in something called ‘suicide’ – the purposeful ending of one’s own life), and all that. There are also different epochs, ranging from a physical “primitive” existence to very complex social forms. You’ll never be bored!
(I’ll post more in the future from this fascinating book)