Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ghosts In The Walls - Do We Really Know?

Here we are again. In our contrived little electronic world. In our secret fantasy land. We live our lives in the real world, in the hard world, where people talk to each other face to face. We plow our fields, raise our kids, punch the clock, go to school, or any of a thousand other pursuits. But we always come back here, to our computer generated fantasy land. Where paper tigers act like lions. Where housewives act like whores. Where whores act like saints. Then off we go again out into the world of eyes. Where our eyes meet their eyes. Where voices vibrate on our ear drums. How different it is in here. Where people we "know" are mostly just names blinking on a screen. How close we are coming to Fahrenheit 451, where people came home to their "friends" on the walls. If you recall, the walls were huge flat-screen TVs, hooked up to some kind of artificial intelligence. And on those screens were computer generated people who knew all about you. They would ask "how was your day Frank?", or "did your headache from this morning go away yet Mary?". This is what we are becoming. How do you know that Joel the K is a real person? Maybe I am a ghost in the machine. A "friend" on the wall? Friend. Friend. Friend. We make friends in our electronic world no? Yes. We make friends. But do the friendships last? For a time maybe. Until rifts develop. Until we discover something about that "friend" that we never knew. What does this mean? It means that when we meet a new electro-friend, we project ourselves onto them. We have ideas in our mind about who they are. But when our ideas are shattered by reality, these friends are very easily jettisoned. After all, we don't ever have to see them right? We never have to worry about those awkward moments in the grocery store checkout line, stuck standing next to a thrown away friend. No. In here, it's too easy. We can just move on down the web until we find another friend who thinks the same thoughts that we think. We'll go find a friend who agrees with us yes? Yes. That is the easy way. That is the new way, the electronic fantasy way. But to what end? To what end? Play it out in your mind. Do you see what is happening? We are being herded into groups. My mentor and friend, told me something one time. He told me that the world wide web, is a web for catching souls. He told me the Internet is a net for catching humans. And I am beginning to see it. In fact, I saw it on his website. My friend had revealed some hard Truth to the people. Truth that did not make them feel comfortable. In the comments section, one of the people decided that they were done with my friend. This person commented that he couldn't be the same person that had written other things in the past. And that my friend was unrecognizable now. Wow. Do you see what happened? The reader had built my friend up in their own mind to be how they wanted him to be. How they thought he should be. And then when the reader could not hold the illusion together any longer, they declared that my friend was unrecognizable, and that they won't be coming back any more. This I find highly fascinating. But wait! I see your mind. You ask "how do you know that this mentor, this friend, is really a person?", how do I know he is really not a ghost in the machine? Because I broke through. I broke through to the other side. Before I tell you the secret of how I broke through, let me share just a little bit of insight from the Samurai. Just a few Samurai proverbs and parables: A Samurai's word is harder than metal. +++ Courage is gritting one's teeth, pushing ahead, paying no attention to the circumstances. +++ If one will rectify his mistakes, their traces will soon disappear. +++ It is the highest sort of victory to teach your opponent something that will be to his benefit. +++++++ With an intense, fresh, and undelaying spirit, one will make his judgement within the space of seven breaths. It is a matter of being determined and having the spirit to break right through to the other side. +++ These Samurai Insights are from The Hagakure, written by Yamamoto Tsunetomo, and they are harder than steel. So, how do I know my friend is not a ghost in my walls? Because he invited me to visit him in person. How simple. How ingenious! How rebellious! When I received the invitation, my own inertia tried to keep me bound. Tried to keep things static. But static would not do. No. It rarely does in life. I had to break through, to the other side.


Humble wife said...

This is a great thought post- opens ones eyes to the cover that the web provides. In fact it sounds like I am the one that left the comment.

You see, I was basing my comment on what I had previously read from the blog author. I had gone through all his blog and learned he was not a saint, nor presented himself as one. He wrote like a man who was in love with his family, his life and the world around him(even though the times have been changing).He presented himself as a man who's word was it, and that he stood behind every action.

He said what he believed and lived that too.

The new writing seems not to be the by the same author. It seems like someone is in pain and lashing out, or having his hands tied.

I am sorry that you are head on in the way we can and probably hide behind the web. I feel sorry that comments make one offended or not. I understand, but felt like my opinion was just as valid as those who were not cheering on the sidelines.

I am pretty much my own person~ not worried or teaming up with anyone party. I prefer that if one hates my thoughts or likes them that they feel they can say so. Like you I have comment moderation on for the spam that seems to find everyone.

I have one more thing to add. The author that I posted my comment to, had up and closed his blog rather quickly and when he came back and I found the difference in writing style, I knew I would comment. I guess that is all I can say.

I appreciate visiting here and hope that my comment does not leave me hanging in the open web.


Joel the K said...

Hmnnn..... I have not seen any such change. +++ Thank you for your comment. I am taking comment moderation down right now. I do not like the feel of it. Thanks for sharing. I'm not sure what the last part of your comment means.

Ted said...

Well, electronic or in person, here are the best words I know of for any relationship:
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
If we cling to this and live it, what relationship can go badly?
Be blessed!

Ted said...

Actually, let me rephrase. If we live this, what relationship can go badly and the fault lies with us? If we seek to truly love and please God, it doesn't matter if we don't always please men. Some relationships will not endure, but if our goal has always been love and we have lived in a matter that shows it, where is our fault?

Joel the K said...

You won't find such love in a casual internet friendship. That was part of my point man.

Ted said...

Roger, but my point is that we should show that love, no matter what. Be patient, kind, polite. Agree to disagree when necessary. Be real, but gentle. A person's response is not our responsibility. Acting in love is. And wherever we are; online, in the store, at work; if we live it then 50% of the problem will be solved every time. I don't mean mushy gushy love. I mean the action of walking in love toward others. And don't we need to offer that everywhere, not just in a casual internet friendship? Your post was about how people hide behind the computer screen-maybe this is a way to have genuine friendship and make the internet less of a fantasy realm. Just my thoughts sir:) And, btw-I really do try to live this out. Sometimes I fail, but walking by faith has lead me to make this a conscious part of my life.
Be blessed brother man!
-Timbo Rodeo

NatSilver said...

This is all part of the Matrix as well. (You)tube, (I)pod, (My)space, now a new device called (Mi)fi.

Joel the K said...

Very keen observation Silver-Man. The "me" "you" "my" "mi" thing. Good one. Thank you Neo. Follow the white rabbit