Sunday, 28 December 2008

Consciousness and Second Life.

Botgirl, as usual raises the most pertinent questions in her ongoing interest in SL consciousness. I have posted a lengthy reply to her blog ..........
I repeat it here for those who might be interested:

"This post and previous ones have only reinforced my belief that understanding the shift in consciousness that happens as we become a virtual being can only be understood when we go back to the question of how we understand consciousness.

I resisted writing after watching the Ted Talks clip you posted, because, as he said, everyone has their own particular theory on consciousness, and I felt that mine was really just more virtual space junk. Later, I realised that very few people have a theory about consciousness, and those that do, I like to hear.

I think that a major breakthrough has come for the science community now that it has realised that all that black stuff we see in the night sky is not Nothing, it may not be matter as we know it, but it is Stuff. Similarly, consciousness may be better understood when we we start to look at the Unconscious, (and here I am thinking of the individual unconsciousness).

The decisions we take in forming our avatars “ beneath ... conscious awareness” are, like our dreams and inspirations, coming from a place which is outside our conscious control. Because dreams (and, I suspect, inspiration) are uncontrollable Jung called them autonomous, and postulated that the unconscious was both autonomous and older than consciousness.

This, if applied to Second Life, gives this (Virtual) conscious state a very unusual place in our experience, being a sort of waking dream. It is a hitherto unknown mixture of conscious and unconscious words, acts, and decisions. It is populated by Colonials trying to maintain their old culture ( the “real life” brigade) and by those that have “gone native” and become Archetypes, (dragon, elves and the like).

Those of us living in the land between these two extremes are being formed by the people we meet, the experiences we have, the clothes we buy. My human likes to think they make more rational decisions than Soror. But that is delusion.
A dream is a natural phenomenon, it is real. There is nothing unreal about SL either. It is a frontier land for the psyche."


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