Last night I went to the movies to see the new Hobbit movie, The Desolation of Smaug. I watched it in 3d, and it’s really quite amazing to see the kinds of visual effects techniques that have been developed. Peter Jackson and his studio have really produced some of the most well put together effects with their Tolkien adaptations.
I was just looking at the point of how much engineering work goes into developing and producing these kinds of movies, and also gaming technology as well – and computer technology in general – and how we’ve had teams and teams of people working basically non-stop within these industries, making huge leaps in the technology every few years. I mean, we’re now to the point where the visual effects in movies can be done so convincingly that it basically you can’t tell the difference between what’s ‘real’ and what’s ‘fake’. Games are also becoming more and more immersive and realistic, with the internet facilitating more involved interactions between players, creating for all practical purposes, complete virtual realities. There are many people in this world who are satisfied spending most of their time ‘in game’, and who basically work for the purpose of funding their ongoing gaming.
So, it’s strange because we find ourselves in a time where huge amounts of money and effort and time and engineering are being spent developing ways to, in effect, escape reality. But meanwhile, the actual reality we are in – behind all the bright colors and pictures on the screens — is not actually getting better. We’re not changing the way we live with each other. All of the major problems we’ve been facing for decades, are still here.
For example in my last post I mentioned how since 1964 when President Lyndon Johnson declared ‘war on poverty’, we’ve seen billions of dollars spent – but basically zero effect on poverty in America. Not to mention the extreme poverty that is the reality for half the world, with billions living on a few dollars a day, and millions upon millions existing in conditions that one would like to associate more with the Biblical idea of Hell, than with Planet Earth. Meanwhile, look at how special effects, computing, and gaming technology have advanced since 1964. Something strange going on here. We can create virtual realities, making mythical fantasy worlds come to life — but we can’t figure out how to feed everyone and give everyone a home?
War rages daily.
Thousands starve to death daily.
The Animal Kingdom and Nature are being raped of their resources and destroyed without regard for the future daily in the name of Capitalism and the survival of Profit.
Billions are without effective employment, without a way to make a living.
It’s becoming more and more difficult for people in ‘wealthy’ countries to find jobs.
Murder, theft, enslavement are perpetuated daily around the world, motivated by the need for money in a world of global Economic Inequality.
This is the real reality. The real physical truth of planet Earth. Behind the screens, behind the movies, behind the soundtracks, behind our busy preoccupation with our careers and daily pastimes. Behind our preoccupation with our repetitive, predictable, petty little thoughts about our little lives within our little pursuits of happiness.
There is a real world going on all around us. We just don’t want to see it. We say it’s sad – but the truth is we refuse to acknowledge we are a part of it. We say it’s not relevant to ME – because it’s not ‘my life’ and therefore it does not require MY consideration and anyway there nothing I can do about it because I’m ‘only human’, and conveniently, being ‘human’ currently is defined as ‘only responsible for finding a way for myself to exist comfortably’.
We treasure our alternate realities, value systems, hopes and beliefs, believing our lives to be untouchable by the ‘dark forces’ of the world. Just as Gollum and Bilbo Baggins treasured the sense of power and control and invincibility given by the Ring of Power. The fact is, Money is our Ring of Power. Money gives us the ability to seem to disappear from the ‘rest of the world’, into mine, my own, my precious life. But, our Precious Lives are given their power by Dark Towers – the Dark Towers of the Banks and Corporations that function to destroy and enslave every available resource in the name of Survival of Profit. Every time we ‘put on our ring’ — every time we Accept and Allow the money system, the world as it is to continue — every time we decide — my Precious is all that matters — we are fueling, we are giving Power to the Evils of the world, and in that – we are the real source of Evil.
The real world on the ‘other side’ of our alternate reality rages on every day, every hour, every minute every second, like an ever spreading wildfire ignited by the Draconian Beast of Capitalism with flames of poverty, violence, corruption and abuse licking and scorching the outer edges of our comfortable little money-protected oases we call our lives.
But, we don’t mind – as long as we can easily stamp out those little flames and blow away those impinging wisps of smoke. And with so much entertainment and technology literally at our fingertips 24/7 — there’s always a better picture to tune in to! There’s always a way to quickly restore the picture we call our life to its original positive, happy appearance. There is always a Fantasy to paint over the pain of Reality. Though, more and more people are beginning to feel the heat and the burn of reality, where there is not enough money to maintain the idea of life presented in our advertisements and TV shows and celebrity lifestyle magazines – the idea that everything is here for the fulfillment of our personal lifestyle and desires.
Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with entertainment technology. I’m not saying watching movies or playing games is ‘bad’.
I’m asking a question. I’m asking a question because I am a part of this Reality and I play a role in creating this reality through what I Accept and Allow myself to participate in and exist as within myself.
Isn’t it quite clear that something is wrong with our accepted definition of ourselves as human beings, when we are able to advance our technology to the point of creating immersive virtual realities, and enjoy escaping into these virtual realities, while there in fact exists a literal Hell on Earth going on just outside the screens we are looking at?
The next time you go to the movies, look around at all the smiling, popcorn munching movie goers around you and ask yourself — how many sitting here stand for the eradication of poverty and all forms of abuse? How many sitting here are actively researching ways we could change our relationships to have outcomes that are best for all life on Earth?
Let’s use a metaphor for humanity from another popular movie; The Matrix. Given the choice Neo was given in The Matrix, to swallow either the Red Pill and face Reality, or swallow the Blue Pill and forget all about Reality and plug back into the Matrix — how many people would take the Red Pill? Which pill would you take?
That’s all just fantasy though. Because the reality is, the Real World is here. It’s always been here.
It’s only a matter of time before it knocks on our front door. Just like in Tolkien’s world – the ring is found, and carried, and through it Sauron slowly but surely grows in power, until he rises up and begins sucking the life out of the world. Just as the Money System, which reflects our Accepted Nature, is sucking the Life out of the Earth.
There is no choice of escape. There is only the choice of Postponement. And as everyone knows, the choice of Postponement comes with the accumulation of Consequence. We can quite clearly see that no matter how far we think we are advancing as a society, we are fundamentally dysfunctional, fundamentally neglectful, as proven by the ever compounding problems that march hand in hand with our supposed progress.
We created money. We created this world system. We are the Fires from whence all Evil in the world has come. There is no dark lord, no dragon, no devil — we are the beasts that roam the Earth, and by our hands, our decisions, we have shaped Reality.
I hereby make a Prophecy. A Prophecy of two outcomes: The Desolation of Humanity, or the Transformation of Humanity.
There will come a time when the Consequences of what we have Accepted and Allowed can no longer be denied. A time when we will reap the consequences of how we have Wielded our Power.
There will come a time when this movie we happy consumers call ‘our lives’, ends.
There will come a time when the fires of Hell on Earth are upon us, glowing hideously everywhere we turn, so hot that they melt every screen, every fantasy, every point of happiness we try and hide behind.
When that time comes, the picture will end and the credits will roll, like those drops of fear-sweat that will roll down our cheeks and sting our eyes as we gaze upon the Mountain of Doom we created. And whose names do you think are in those credits? Who was the cast? Who played all the supporting roles?
Will we go mad and kill ourselves in fits of regret and despair? Will we be swallowed in the fires of our self interest, as Gollum was? Or will we finally stand together as Life and take responsibility for our reality?
Time will tell.