Virtual reality – “You simply can’t believe how much your brain is being tricked. … Each layer, your brain gets more deeply and deeply fooled”

From the July 7, 2014 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel


Virtual reality is an amazing technology. This was confirmed recently in a broadcast on US National Public Radio that got my attention. It showcased technology that monitors the motion of your head, tracks your eye movements, and puts compelling graphics on a screen that fits into goggles. The company that makes this technology added audio through headphones, and a platform and a fan for motion simulation.

The report also included some startling comments from one of the designers, who said the technology allows us to “finally trick people into believing that they’re in a virtual space, instead of just watching what happens through a window.” He added, “You simply can’t believe how much your brain is being tricked. … Each layer, your brain gets more deeply and deeply fooled, and it just kind of makes you either smile or maybe let out a little yelp.”

Human consciousness is easily tricked! But we don’t have to allow ourselves to be fooled if we know the truth stated unequivocally by Mary Baker Eddy in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Mortal belief is a liar from the beginning, not deserving power” (p. 296). With that thought in mind, one might say that what the technologists are calling virtual reality, Christian Scientists would call virtual unreality.

Human consciousness is easily tricked!

If one wants to be freed of sickness or addiction or disability, one must begin to understand the reality of infinite, all-powerful divine Principle, God, and demonstrate this freedom. Focusing on and examining matter more and more intensely only ties us to unreality. Mrs. Eddy puts it this way: “Unless the harmony and immortality of man are becoming more apparent, we are not gaining the true idea of God; and the body will reflect what governs it, whether it be Truth or error, understanding or belief, Spirit or matter” (Science and Health, p. 324).

When the Apostle Paul was preaching all night and Eutychus fell three stories, Paul embraced Eutychus and reassured bystanders: “Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him” (Acts 20:10). Paul was not fooled by the virtual reality the crowd saw. It’s likely he focused boldly and persuasively on the realities of the kingdom of God. When Paul left, the crowd accepted the reality that Paul had known all along: Eutychus was alive!

This healing process is explained in a passage in Science and Health in which Mrs. Eddy explains that “… the only reality of sin, sickness, or death is the awful fact that unrealities seem real to human, erring belief, until God strips off their disguise. They are not true, because they are not of God” (p. 472).

The reporter on that NPR segment, at the end of her time with the virtual reality equipment, said: “I saw troops heading toward the wall with torches. They started to shoot fiery arrows, and suddenly I was hit. It didn’t hurt, but the experience was more real than any I’ve ever had with a book, movie, game, or TV.” The unreality certainly appeared real—except that she couldn’t be hurt by arrows because there weren’t any!

Understanding and setting aside the misconceptions provoked by virtual reality helps free us from the limits of the material senses. As long as we are using those senses—perhaps aided by a virtual reality mask or powerful telescopes or microscopes—we are limited to what astronomers call our “observable universe.” As the astronomers hint, there is something more. The Science of the Christ, revealed by Mrs. Eddy, demonstrates that the “observable universe” is not reality. It appears to be real only because we are not removing the masks that complicate our human experience.

“To remedy this,” writes Mrs. Eddy, “we must first turn our gaze in the right direction, and then walk that way. We must form perfect models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives” (Science and Health, p. 248).

Mrs. Eddy continues: “Let us accept Science, relinquish all theories based on sense-testimony, give up imperfect models and illusive ideals; and so let us have one God, one Mind, and that one perfect, producing His own models of excellence” (Science and Health, p. 249).

Then we’ll be fully equipped to challenge the senses that tell us that we are too young to accomplish a task or too old to take on a new challenge; that we are sick or have made irredeemable mistakes; that we are underemployed or overworked; that war is inevitable or peace unachievable. When we take off the virtual-reality or virtual-unreality mask, we find ourselves at the “point of perfection” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 242)—not short of it or beyond it, not above it or below it, but right at the exact point.

 

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2 Responses to “Virtual reality – “You simply can’t believe how much your brain is being tricked. … Each layer, your brain gets more deeply and deeply fooled””

  1. Avatar John Dowell says:

    A most excellent article. Thank you. The more we can realize that “point of perfection” beyond the illusions of material consciousness, the more we become conscious of the reality of spiritual being and that is what we experience.

    • Avatar Bill Blok says:

      Thanks john

      You also might like the one that was posted on true manhood.
      Hey I hope you’re coming to our third Thursday this month on the 18th. Sarah Rogo
      will be playing again

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