Monday, May 10, 2010

Avatar as Vehicle of Enlightenment

Avatar as Deity

A comment by Gwyneth Llewelyn on "The Power of Name in Post-Pseudonymous Virtual Identity" revived my interest in the avatar as a vehicle of enlightenment. Here's my first post in what I hope will be a series of brief explorations:

The visceral experience of being embodied in an idealized form within a richly symbolic environment is a foundational Vajrayana Buddhist practice. During meditation, practitioners may visualize themselves as an enlightened being such as the Bodhisattva Tara represented in the image above. This allows an individual to make the perceptual leap to an enhanced recognition of their Buddha-nature and spontaneously transform harmful ingrained mental models.

An avatar-based three-dimensional virtual world has the potential to enhance and support visualization practice through a rich sensory environment. Although the images surrounding a deity in a thangka is painted in a two-dimensional form, the iconic representation is merely a mnemonic device to support what is ideally a deeply imagined three-dimensional visualization. I think that creating a virtual thangka with all of its rich detail would be an invaluable aid in visualization practice. I don't have the building chops at this time to pull that off, but would love to hear from interested builders and artists.

As a matter of fact, I think I'm going to create a two-dimension avatar thangka for my next post on this topic. Should be an interesting journey!



ReportsSL said...

Very COOL, Botgirl!!!!

Splash Kidd said...

OK Botgirl, what is going on here? It's ok you can tell me, I'll understand; really! Please tell me your just tired, over-worked, under paid, not appreciated; you know the drill. I think the key stroke master of your domain needs a long quiet vacation in real life, far far from the maddening crowd of technology. Nature my friend, nature, that only involves the basic elements of earth, air, fire and water (you so know I'm having this same internal conversation with myself too, lol)!

So please allow your key stroke master to step away from the computer and make a quick exit to a more natural based environment that is far more conducive for reaching towards a "real" feeling of "enlightenment".

Plus I liked you better botgirl when you were just a wanton lustful tease who knew the true meaning of "joke them if they can't take a f**k! :P

Botgirl Questi said...

ReportsSL: Thanks!

Splash Kidd: A vacation sound great! I'm very interested in eco-psychology and believe that for the foreseeable future, even the best simulated environments are pale shadows of the interbeing (see today's post) of the natural world. That said the main theme of this particular blog is the exploration of virtual experience.

Part of the joy of creating for love instead of money, is that I can pretty freely follow whatever happens to inspire me at the moment, whether it's erotic machinima or virtual Vajrayana. Hang in there, change is the only constant around here.

Splash Kidd said...

Well you know I'll hang in there, and I do appreciate your approach to your blog. I especially enjoy that your not being pressured to do or say anything in your blog purely for monetary gain (even if botgirl has a major shopping addiction to keep up her appearance).

In the words of TS Elliot from "Four Quartets Burnt Norton

"...Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.""

I look forward to your future journey's towards the infinite possibilities!