Sunday, 28 February 2010

I am

Jung describes in his memoirs how, as a child he sat on a rock and felt a certain ambiguity. Was he the rock with the child sitting on him or the child sitting on the rock?

Obviously this is quite an unusual philosophical query to pose as a small child, but then he was an unusual child.

This came to me the other day when I was visiting Wizzy’s Klein bottle, of which Wikipedia says..
“the Klein bottle is a non-orientable surface, informally, a surface (a two-dimensional manifold) with no identifiable "inner" and "outer" sides. Other related non-orientable objects include the Möbius strip and the real projective plane. Whereas a Möbius strip is a two-dimensional surface with boundary, a Klein bottle has no boundary.”

...and there’s a diagram here....

Now, because of the wonders of SL and Wizzy’s brain you can actually go and stand in the Klein Bottle. Examining one small section of the structure, and ignoring the wholeness, you can state categorically that you are inside....... however, viewing the structure in its entirety that belief is shaken.

This brings me back to the childhood question of Jung, and, if you wonder where I am going with this thought process, to the dilemma of Typist and Avatar..... who am I?

Humans have, as far as we know, the unique ability to concentrate our attention to such an extent that, for example, on a crowded train, reading a book, we can ‘be’ in ‘a different world’. Currently we have been calling this experience immersion, others call it ‘presence’.

There are two ways of approaching this.
Our way of thinking is governed by the culture we grew up in. The way we think, our logical standpoint, is a fairly recent thing. For centuries the idea that the sun rose in the East and set in the West was accepted as the truth, this is an example of a world view based on a subjective reality (an example of ‘Realism’, a subject-based thought process) whereas now we all agree that the Earth spins, (a ‘Nominalist’, or ‘objective’ thought process), giving the previous idea the status of illusion.

‘Objective’ truth, an extremely controversial concept in some circles, is now held to be the Real Truth in this culture. Subjective reality is currently ‘out of fashion’ in many ways, ‘subjective’ being synonymous with ‘opinion’ and tinged with implications of emotionality, uniqueness and fallibility.

Culturally approved, this type of objective, Nominalist thinking is what formulates the views of those people who state, in no uncertain terms, that they are a human typist and they have an avatar in a virtual world.... end of....

However, it is normal, in spite of ‘objective truth’ to say that you saw the sun rise, or, looking up from your book on the train to say “sorry, I was miles away” without fear of ridicule.


Well, I think it is because the subjective reality of the experience is stronger than the objective truth and, importantly, so common as an experience that everyone knows what you mean.

At times of 100% immersion in SL I am soror Nishi and I have an insignificant typist in a virtual world.

The question of the boy on the rock, then, looks like this.... I am where my focus, my concentrated experience, is directed. I experience myself as being at that projected centre.

...and the Klein bottle?.... Well, someone said that the sign of a great mind is the ability to hold to conflicting ideas simultaneously without judging either, and, Zen uses exactly this technique to quieten the intellectual ramblings of the brain. The question of ‘either/or’ is wrong, I believe, duality being the source of all delusion...

....for I am both rock and child.


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