“It has no relationship whatsoever to anything anchored in some kind of metaphysical superspace. It’s just your cultural point of view […] Travel shows you the relativity of culture.” — Terence McKenna
I find this perspective fascinating.
Essentially, anyone trying to create an experience for you, trying to generate certain thoughts and feelings in your brain, is attempting a type of virtual reality.
And this started all the way back with cave painting.
[Cave art] is likely the first animation technology”, where it provided an early means of what they refer to as “virtual travel”. You are in the cave, but the media in that cave, the dynamic-drawn, fire-illuminated art, represents the plains and animals outside—a completely different environment, one facing entirely the opposite direction, beyond the mouth of the cave. When surrounded by cave art, alive with movement from flickering torches, you are at once inside the cave itself whilst the media experience surrounding you encourages you to indulge in fantasy, and to mentally simulate an entirely different environment.
So the modern implementations are just advanced forms of cave painting. It seems we’ve been obsessed with this transportation of experience for a very long time.
Where it starts to get interesting, in my opinion, is where the current reality ceases to be compelling compared to what is presented virtually. And if the alternative realities can be presented convincingly enough, how many people will simply do reality at the minimum required to fund and enable the alternate versions?
I think the answer is many.
But for little boys and old men in the caves, perhaps they wish they could stay there as well.
And maybe that’s ok.