While in Boston and waiting for chinese food, I spotted an issue of "Kabbalah Today" (the link is to the exact issue I am talking about). I picked it up and decided it would be great reading for the car. Anyway, the front page article "Better than the virtual world" really caught my attention (that and "cracking the happiness code" but thats for a later post). According to the article entering the virtual world is infact a spiritual progress for mankind.
The article explains that people seek alternate realities due to their hard and wearisome lives. This is in a form a "Second Life." The article continues by saying how according to Kabbalah the "Second Life" is not coincidental to the realities of the world. It is because more and more people have access to more and more information, required for work, and very stressful to constantly keep attaining, the "Second Life" is a haven from all this. According to the Kabbalah (or atleast what the article says is Kabbalah), this "Second Life" is not a bad phenomena. Infact, this "Second Life" is actually not a bad "prelude" to the "next step" for humanity.
According to the article, the concept of the virtual world shows that people are becoming more aware of their unphysical selves. As in they are really recognizing their spiritual selves by participating in the virtual world. This participation shows that people are infact slowly progressing to a possible fully spiritual world. The virtual world allows us to be in contact with people from a totally different part of the world, something that is impossible to do in the non-virtual sense. The reason why this is a good prelude to the fully spiritual world, is because we will slowly realize that the virtual world is not enough to fulfill us spiritually anymore, and we will eventually seek a fully spiritual existence.
"Kabbalists explain that as soon as we commence on our spiritual path, we will discover an abundance of Light that shines brighter than any high-resolution hue. But this Light won’t flicker briefly on the computer screen and then disappear when you go back to “real life.” It will be Real Life—one that’s endlessly filled with the Light of eternity and perfection"
Honestly, this type of stuff makes me a bit skeptical. For two reasons, the first, is that many years ago when I was first introduced to the game Sims (awesome game !!) I was a little brat in class. I used to tell my teachers that "Sims teaches a good lesson. As a good Sim family creator, you only have the Sims best interest at heart, but sometimes the Sims don't listen to the commands you give them, and they end up throwing fits, and they find themselves smelly (peed in pants), dirty, unemployed and in a terrible fight with a spouse/girlfriend. However, if they just listened to my commandments, they'd be alot better off...Same with Jews and Hashem." And I would go on and on to waste class time, and to annoy my teachers (because that really is a wise ass type of thing to say.lol)... So, the reason this makes me skeptical, is because it reminds me very much of my own "struggle" for the approval of video games and such. While I did it to irritate teachers, its very possible these guys are doing it to irritate some rabbinic figure (either way, I love the argument).
The second thing that makes me skeptical of this article, is the exact same thing that makes me skeptical of the newspaper as a whole. I cannot figure out what "denomination" of Jewry these guys are standing from. They can be targetting converts from the Modonna fan club, or they can really be legit (after all, I did get this at a Glatt Kosher restuarant), but I cannot find out where this stuff is...I probably just didn't do a fabulous job searching.
Anyway, I find this type of stuff very interesting, so I thought I'd share. :)