Welcome Anonymous !

This forum is intended to give the members of the ShiningWorld community a place to meet and discuss Vedanta among themselves. We do not endorse any of the views or opinions expressed here--unless they are made by one of our endorsed teachers--so please take advice and / or teaching from another member of the forum at your own risk. If you feel you have a question that is not being adequately answered in this forum, please contact one of our endorsed teachers directly.

Chapter VI: Beautiful, Intelligent Ignorance.

Virtual Reality and Vedanta

The Macrocosmic Mind and the Three Gunas, The Three Bodies, The Gross Body, Superimposition, The Subtle Body – “Me”, Doubt, Resolve the Doubt and Act, The Seeds, Dharma, Your Nature – Svadharma, Universal Values – Samanya Dharma, Situational Ethics – Visesa Dharma, Ordinary Dharma – Everyday Dharma, Body Dharma, Appropriate Response, Law of Karma – A Spinning Whirligig of Energy.

Moderator: Wayne

Virtual Reality and Vedanta

Postby Jiva-John » Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:04 pm

For some time I’ve been fascinated with Vedanta's teachings on Maya and the comparisons drawn from emerging technology such as VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality). The two leading tech examples would be Facebook’s Oculus Rift:
https://www.oculus.com/en-us/rift/

and Microsoft’s HoloLens:
https://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/en-us).

There is also an amazing TED Talk demoing multi-user AR:
https://www.ted.com/talks/meron_gribetz ... ty_headset

I like to entertain the thought that we are living in a sort of organic VR (which Vedanta seems to imply). What I find most interesting is that technology (as is science) could be beginning to prove possibilities that before were too difficult to imagine or consider, i.e. the mithya-satya relationship. In other words, VR and AR might be showing us that Maya is not only feasible but that it’s replicable to a greater degree than ever imagined! Movies and theater have similar qualities to draw us in, but nothing like the potential that VR has to create fully immersive, interactive worlds.

The similarities are astonishing:

- Like Maya, VR is intelligent but not real—it depends on consciousness but is not consciousness
- Like Maya, VR tricks us into believing there are real objects, space and time
- Like in Maya, there's really nothing happening or anyone doing anything
- Like Maya, VR only works as a program running on top of consciousness
- Like Maya, VR has the potential for us to identify with a body or "avatar" (in the gaming sense of the term)

Is the new VR tech showing us something about our own apparent reality?
Jiva-John
 
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:32 pm

Re: Virtual Reality and Vedanta

Postby Mira » Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:58 pm

Hi Jiva-John,
Welcome to the forum. It's great to have you here. Great name too.

Yes, Maya is indeed a kind of virtual reality.

However, we may not even need the analogy of the high-tech gaming VR version. Our nightly dreams are an excellent analogy of virtual reality, I find. Dreams would appear to fit all the criteria that you have listed.

Like you, I believe that Vedanta and modern science are generally compatible. Science keeps proving what the vedantin rishis figured out thousands of years ago.

Wouldn't it be fun to have a virtual reality game which takes us back to the time of the rishis in the forest gurukulams. My avatar would be Ved Vyasa, of course ;).

Again, welcome to the forum.
Mira
 
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:54 pm

Re: Virtual Reality and Vedanta

Postby Vinay » Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:45 am

Hi Jiva-John,

Welcome to the forum!

I agree, Virtual reality is a good analogy for Maya. Even video games are a good analogy. The characters in video games "seem" to be real, but are really controlled from outside, just as Jivas seem to be real, but are really controlled by Isvara.

I think even the general public are beginning to awaken to the fact that everything is not as it seems. The movie "Matrix" was based on this idea that the world is not real.

Vinay
Vinay
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 5:45 pm
Location: Mumbai

Re: Virtual Reality and Vedanta

Postby DavidStoroy » Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:03 am

Hologram and Virtual Reality(VR) is very interesting topics and I agree it is good analogy of Maya,because it is about projection/reflection. I have been interested in hologram since I watched Star Wars 4-6 in 80s.It inspired me alot and I think we will have a great breakthrough in technology of VR and Holograms very soon.
ection.

I have recently tried VR through Samsung latest mobile from a friend. Impressive technology. A 8-)
Last edited by DavidStoroy on Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
DavidStoroy
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2015 11:25 pm
Location: Bergen Norway

Re: Virtual Reality and Vedanta

Postby DavidStoroy » Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:04 am

Vinay wrote:Hi Jiva-John,

Welcome to the forum!

I agree, Virtual reality is a good analogy for Maya. Even video games are a good analogy. The characters in video games "seem" to be real, but are really controlled from outside, just as Jivas seem to be real, but are really controlled by Isvara.

I think even the general public are beginning to awaken to the fact that everything is not as it seems. The movie "Matrix" was based on this idea that the world is not real.

Vinay


Matrix is a very good movie as you mentioned talking about "the world is not real".
DavidStoroy
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2015 11:25 pm
Location: Bergen Norway

Re: Virtual Reality and Vedanta

Postby georgschiller » Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:58 am

Great discussion!!

I like Mira's comment that the dream state is just as well a perfect example of virtual reality.
Vinay's comment that Jivas seem to be real but are really controlled by Ishvara is also top!

I would even go so far to say that there aren't even any Jivas! All there is is Ishvara playing the Gunas out and awareness apparently identifying with the avatar...

I had once a nice discussion with a VR friend on facebook on the difference between Samsara and VR. I basically had to agree - after the discussion - that there is no real difference between VR and Samsara.

For example, there is no difference if I get insulted in VR or Samsara. In both cases, there is the same pressure and rajas observed in the Jiva.
The same for the feeling of (temporary) happiness. There is no real difference if this is experienced in VR or Samsara.

This is possible because both sensations (happiness and fear) are just ... sensations! There is nothing real about them
User avatar
georgschiller
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 12:38 pm
Location: Bamberg, Germany

Re: Virtual Reality and Vedanta

Postby Jiva-John » Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:35 am

Thank you for the warm welcome! This is a short essay I wrote a while back and thought it was pertinent to the discussion:

Plato's Allegory of the Virtual Reality Headset

One of the upcoming technology trends will focus heavily on virtual reality by essentially strapping a television set to our heads and giving us the ability to walk around in that TV set. However, it doesn’t stop there. These new devices like the Oculus Rift VR, will soon also detect a user’s body movement and it won’t be long until people are able to experience virtual worlds that seem very similar to our own apparent one. Plato’s 'Allegory of the Cave’ may then no longer be an allegory but an actual reality!

In our VR lives we identify with our avatars (digital personas) and its many accomplishments. Everyone has a role to play or the whole thing falls apart. There is no straying from the pack (except when there is and it ain’t pretty). The avatars get virtual badges for visiting places just like Foursquare in the good ol’ days. Some participants even become presidents and kings of VR countries. Many have VR families and even jobs in the VR world so they can earn virtual currency and buy virtual rewards. It all seems so real!

But just like any good story, all VR lives must come to an end some day, and oh, how they fear that day of reckoning when one must unplug and come out of their VR deep sleep. This day of unplugging hangs over their heads heavily; a virtual demise is guaranteed. No one is allowed to stay in their VR life forever, not even the most “successful" roles in the VR world.

Many of the roles have forgotten they are not real, that they are only digital avatars in a digital program. For them even worse than being unplugged someday is the thought of not being real. They’ve become so identified with their avatar that any possibility of being something other than their avatar seems utterly impossible. Anything beyond the VR world feels like a void, an empty black hole. What’s the point of going back to emptiness! How could they possibly survive without that which they’ve become? How could they leave after having invested so much!

Many of the avatars panic and look for a solution, any solution, anything for a little peace of mind. This creates a whole new set of roles in the VR world. There are priests, rabbis, shamans, monks, nuns, gurus, scientists, talk show hosts and many more self-proclaimed truth sayers. They’ve devised elaborate stories with many doors. Some of those doors, they tell believers, are not to be opened. The believers agree without question—anything to quell the fear they hold inside.

Meanwhile, the avatars go on with their VR lives applying layers of meaning and significance to it. They form groups and devise political structures, rules and governments within the VR. They begin to design and build products from VR stuff and sell them along with other services to other avatars. Some of these “businessmen" accumulate a great amount of virtual goods, making their eventual demise even more painful to accept. “It’s all ether!” one avatar proclaimed as he was leaving the VR world. There are even philosophers who write important treatises on the nature of VR and circulate their ideas like user guides. In all these ways and many more, the avatars become entrenched. New avatars are simply told that “this is the way it's always been” and are quickly assimilated.

“But it all seemed so real!” proclaimed one of the users after returning from what seemed like years in the VR world. It’s always the same response no matter who goes through it. "Real is what is perceived to be real,” is my usual non-response. In a few days they’ll be back for another session, another life. They always do. They always come back.
Last edited by Jiva-John on Fri May 13, 2016 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jiva-John
 
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:32 pm

Re: Virtual Reality and Vedanta

Postby cheshirecat » Fri May 13, 2016 11:20 am

Intellect speaking......I too use something similar to this when I think about time and space/Maya's world. I think of time and space as a Sims game I play Sims 3...(I haven't always played Sims 3 I just started in the last few months. On a whim. (Isvara maybe) I've been submerged in Vedanta since sept. 2013 when I bought and devoured James' book, How to Attain Enlightenment: The Vision of Nonduality )

I think of time and space as Sims 2016. Everyone thinks Sims 4 is the newest edition but the truth is most are lost in Sims 2016.... when I think of gail as part of a Sims game I can see how I came to be sooooooooooo fooled and I seemed to need that.

I wonder if maybe the reason humans are so into virtual reality games is because somewhere deep inside of them/us they/we all know we're all lost in one.
cheshirecat
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 11:03 am


Return to Chapter VI: Beautiful, Intelligent Ignorance.

cron

Login

User Menu