Monday, March 24, 2008

The emptiness of Second Life relationships

I don't mean emptiness in a bad way, but emptiness in its Buddhist definition as the true nature of reality. No matter how many facts we've gathered about someone, the image of them that we weave together is still just a projection with more holes than substance. Facts don't tell us who they are, but only improve the probability that we can predict their future actions.

This relates to Martin Buber's "I and Thou" idea:
In the I-Thou relationship, human beings do not perceive each other as consisting of specific, isolated qualities, but engage in a dialogue involving each other's whole being. In the I-It relationship, on the other hand, human beings perceive each other as consisting of specific, isolated qualities, and view themselves as part of a world which consists of things. I-Thou is a relationship of mutuality and reciprocity, while I-It is a relationship of separateness and detachment. reference

It seems to me that knowing all the so-called facts about someone can be an impediment to I-Thou consciousness. All of our labels and conceptions fill up the space of what would otherwise be open awareness of each other.

We are verbs, not nouns.
From the upcoming Fortune Cookie Wisdom of Botgirl. Q.


Botgirl Questi said...

As always, thanks to fourworlds for his help with the graphic.

Anonymous said...

wow! that is deep. leave it to a self-aware avatar to do in-world philosophizing ;)

seriously, i see in-world experiences as extension of witnessing practice.

for more context, see my latest reflection on witnessing the metaverse.

see you in-world.