Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dreams, Video Games, Movies and Maya

Richard Feynman said that this Universe is one humongous Computer. He said that in the context of computers being nothing but devices that move from state to state. If we abstract the computer to its essence we will observe that this is a device that usually has a beginning state, a set of end states and then it keeps hopping from one state to the other. Sometimes this hopping seems endless, sometimes it seems totally random, and eventually all computers will come to an end, at least according to Alan Turing, another great scientific mind.

The world that we experience, is a lot similar, things happen, there seems to be relations, sometimes none, its a constant change. we interpret some, we decipher some, but the Universe doesn't seem to care. we classify things, we say this is small, this is big, this is blue and that is red. We define a complex sequence of things and say such sequences are desirable. we plan. we work together. we love and we hate. one fine day it all comes to an end. Then it begins all over again.

What we just saw above can describe a dream, it could also be describing a modern virtual reality game, It can easily be a movie synopsis, and it could very be the reality that we experience. But its hard to tell isn't it? As long as we are engrossed in the experience it is hard to differentiate. Its hard to discriminate between what is real and what is not. When one is deeply involved in a Formula 1 race speeding away in one of the famous tracks sporting the avatar of the favorite racer, all deep inside a gaming console, its hard to tell if this is not real. The slightest disturbance from a on looker, is enough to make the gamer go wild. One can hear the other say, 'hey its just a game'. Which one is he referring to? is playing on the gaming console 'just a game'? is the 'real' formula 1 'just a game'? or is life in its entirety 'just a game'? makes you think, isn’t it?

We all have experienced being totally immersed in our favorite movies. Action, Drama, Thriller, Crime, Comedy, Tragedy, they come in all forms and shapes. and we all have our preferences. We identify with the protagonist, we hate the antagonists, we experience the movie exactly as real. Brilliant story tellers always leave out the details, so it makes you get more involved as your mind subconsciously completes the dots giving each of us a unique story experience. As long as the movie is on, we cannot tell it is not real. We emote, we experience, we enjoy, as if its real. Once the movie is over we slowly recoil and get back into our 'real' world.

Each of us dream. some of us during the day, but most of us during the nights. The dream is such a naturally fantastic experience. It takes us into a land of fantasy, without bounds, without limits. A beggar can dream of being a King, A King can dream of being a pauper. As long as the dream is on, it is one hundred percent real. If I go to bed with a aching stomach, the stomach doesn’t ache no more in my sleep. The reality that we experience is cut off, and we enter and entertain our self into a totally different realm. It is impossible to say that I am dreaming from within the dream. Sometimes we do get vague thoughts within the dream about it being a dream, but we continue the dream.

The dream is nature's version of a Virtual reality game, or a Movie. The dream is there to tell us that the reality that we seem to experience is a dream too. There is no other purpose for the dream. We dream every single say, its a constant reminder for us to question, think, probe and discover the nature of reality. Once this truth is learnt, one is free. Life becomes enriched and hence an enjoyable experience.

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