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Several years ago I volunteered for a university research trial related to virtual reality. I was told nothing of the experiment other than I'd be wearing VR goggles and immersed in a virtual world.
I knew little about the research thesis but was eager to experience this newly emerging technology.
And I was quite ill-prepared for what happened next.
I found myself standing on the sidewalk of an incredibly realistic city street surrounded by traffic, passersby, storefronts, and all the sights and sounds one might expect in such a metropolis. It was unbelievably surreal.
And then a "person" walking past me collapsed. Right at my feet.
Simultaneously, the researchers tossed a manikin at my now wobbly knees.
Turns out the research was exploring whether immersive CPR training would be more effective than standard classroom teaching.
Conclusion: Most definitely.
The experience of learning CPR in such a realistic, captivating environment left an indelible mark. And that's what makes VR so compelling.
The imagery is so seemingly real that many of our senses know no difference. Virtual reality takes us into a realm we are not, yet convinces us it is real.
Of course, a part of us knows we are wearing VR goggles and experiencing an altered reality. But it still feels so real.
Yet the most advanced VR systems on the market today come nowhere close to the most authentic, pixel-perfect augmented reality system available: the ego.
Besides crystal clear image resolution and total sense engagement, no goggles are needed. But what makes this system incomparable to any other is this: we have zero awareness that we're in a fictitious world.
The framework of the ego is so well-conceived that we are completely fooled. And that's why we struggle to understand non-dualistic thought systems such as A Course in Miracles that speak of the unreality of the world.
The world you see is an illusion of a world. You have invented the world you see. This world is not real. (T-3.VI.5; W-pI.32; W-pI.53.2)
We recoil at such statements. They're an affront to our common sense.
Until we realize this: we are wearing VR goggles. But not over our eyes.
Over our mind.
The choice for the ego has deceived us into believing the world and all its constituent components are real.
But much like my CPR training, we can use our immersive experiences in what we believe to be reality to help lead us beyond it. To help us escape from this prison of pain.
Once we see the ego's VR goggles for what they are, we can easily slip them off and experience perfect vision, certain reality, and true bliss.
Join me in Thursday's class where we'll consider this concept of virtual unreality and how we can practice a much more joyful method of seeing and learning. I look forward to seeing you then.