Second Life and Spirituality

Kabbalah TodayWhile doing research for Cue the Penguin!, I stumbled upon this article in Kabbalah Today, Issue #11. Better than the Virtual World, written by Chaim Ratz, looks at the phenomenon that is Second Life, and asks:

“BUT WHAT’S REALLY THE DEAL WITH THIS “VIRTUALITY” TREND?
WHAT LIES BEHIND THE PASSION FOR THE VIRTUAL?”

The article goes on to look whether we are effectively fleeing the real world, which increasingly is getting darker and darker (worldwide crises, drug and alcohol-abuse, murders, loss of jobs), and taking refuge into a virtual one, where you can be anyone you want to be [Ed: or perhaps who you really are…]. According to Mr. Ratz, this is not a bad thing.

“Therefore, our attraction to the virtual world actually indicates great progress in human evolution. It plays an important role in humanity’s preparation for spirituality. In fact, all our virtual dealings are preparing us to detach from matter, disconnect from our corporeal identity and transcend the limitations of time, space and motion.”

I had never really thought of SL as a station on my spiritual quest. But the idea is an interesting one. The article finishes with:

“…we will feel more and more that we cannot exist simply on the physical level. And eventually even our virtual getaways will not be enough for us—we will have to learn how to actually enter the spiritual world and live in it.”

This brings to mind the final scene of ascension in The Celestine Prophecy, which, on further thought, would look a lot like you do when you start flying in SL. Which bring another question: Am I effectively connecting to my soul group when hanging out in SL? Or hanging out in the blogosphere? Is the Internet the “physical” global consciousness, tying us together until we find a way to do it truly in wireless (and keyboardless) ways?

Discuss.

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CSI:NY in SL: Venus’ Lair

Venus' LairI’ve been remiss in keeping this blog up to date with the Venus saga. Sightings are occurring weekly and I’ve managed to find all the locations, but no visible signs of the actual Venus yet. But we are getting close. This week’s sighting came in the form of a 911 call at the lab. Peter Clark, a previous suspect, bit Venus’ bullet. A card at the location of the sighting gave us further clues as to where Venus had been orchestrating the murders.

Club Random, CSI:NY in SLThanks to a thoughtful comment from one of my CSI colleagues, I found the place rather easily. A nice Machinima video summarized the importance of this latest discovery, as well as the identity of the planned next victim. Stay tuned…

I’ll be sad when this project comes to an end. A nice community has formed, especially at Club Random, where you can dance the night away with other fans. Thursday nights are not to miss , with Live DJ Nexeus Fatale. The music is as eclectic as ever, but Nexeus is always happy to take requests. Join us Thursday nights, 7 PM (SL/PST).

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David Mamet: Pulitzer Prize playwright, novelist, blogger!…

Nathan Lane - NovemberDavid Mamet‘s latest play, November, a comedy featuring a dysfunctional President seeking re-election, opens this week at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway. Previews started in late December and reviews from the blogging world have been mixed.  Nonetheless, with Nathan Lane at the helm, tickets will be a rare commodity before long. The play is scheduled to run at least until July.

For those of us unable to make the journey to Broadway, David Mamet will be extending the November experience by blogging, as Charles H.P. Smith, on the official November site.

I subscribed to the blog but have yet to receive any notice of new material, although a new post was uploaded on January 10th. Perhaps it will really go live on Opening Day?…

(Photo by Scott Landis, USA Today)

And the Emmy goes to…Second Life!

Phillip Linden (aka, Phillip Rosedale, CEO of Linden Labs) picked up an Emmy last night at the Consumer Emmy statuetteElectronics Show in Las Vegas. The statuette was awarded in the category of Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Advanced Media Technology for Best Use of Commercial Advertising on Stand-Alone Broadband Devices (Personal Computers). The project which garnered this was The L Word in Second Life shepherded by Showtime and Electric Sheep.

Congratulations to all involved!

CSI:NY in SL: The Case of Auld Lang Signs

The latest CSI:NY mystery was released on Friday. Celebrating the new year in style, this one involved aAuld Lang Signs corpse found embedded in the Times Square New Year’s sign. The clues to this particular case, however, have brought us back to Venus, still on the loose. As this game is scheduled to end in February, according to the original timeframe, pre-writers’ strike, it’s fitting that the loop would start to close at this point.

Found the clues and analyzed them. Unfortunately, one of the card, said to be at the location where Venus was last spotted by the lead detective, could not be found. Quite a few of us went up and down the said alley, without much luck. However, an interesting clue was located. Not exactly sure what it means at this point, but hopefully more light will be shed shortly. 🙂

Happy New Year!!

Club Random, CSI:NY in SL2008 is now underway and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for us. I’m stoked. I’m tickled as to where the whole virtual world, and Second Life in particular, will be going. I spent my last moments of 2007 and my firsts in 2008 in Second Life, dancing with other CSI fans at Club Random (darn good classic rock music and great company). As sad as this may sound to some people, it was a nice and relaxing way to ring in the new year.

Venus has been sighted around SL and I’m keeping track. But with the writers’ strike still going on, it’s anyone’s guess if this mystery will ever get solved. I was sad to read shortly before the holidays that Electric Sheep, the company reponsible for marketing and managing the CSI:NY project in SL, among others, had to lay off a third of its workforce. Clearly, the virtual landscape as a viable marketing platform still has a ways to prove itself. What does this mean for the CSI:NY project?..No clue.

Stay tuned…