The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality

[The following is part of an interview with Dan Mapes that was originally broadcast on UK television's Channel 4 dprogram, which is an award winning, mind expanding trip featuring rare and exclusive interviews with leading edge personalities from areas like cyber culture, consciousness research, parapsychology, music and art. The complete interview is available through the above link]

"We don't have to have this dialogue any more between religion and science, this split. In fact, back in the rain forest we never had that split. We're about, I think, to enter a new age, where we don't have it again. Now I want to make it clear that I don't think it was a mistake to have that split. I think it was a good thing to have that split. It created a very interesting cosmological dialogue. But now, just as Picasso finished his blue period, we are finishing that dichotomy and are wanting to experience a moment of real bliss where we re-integrate the whole again and we dance the dance of scientific religion or religious science or metaphysical physics, I don't know, you can give it any name you like. . . . Right now we've been exploring things together as beings, conscious beings, we've been putting together consciousness in a way that we call reality. And this is a piece of art - exactly like Picasso's blue period is. It has with it motorcars and airplanes and science and religion and sex and babies and the whole deal! By the way its completely arbitrary, just like the blue period was and we're about to take the whole damned thing apart, right now, in front of your very eyes, probably over the next thirty to fifty years and do something completely new. It's an extraordinary moment because generally when you're in the middle of the era the hypnosis is extremely strong but when you're nearing the end of an era everybody starts to wake up and say "Oh this was in fact an era, it was a period of exploring consciousness in this particular way". And we're just about done, so guess what we're going to do at the end of the era, we're going to have a big party! . . . human societies that are taking part in these large movements which we might call an age or an epoch, as that epoch is near its' end they begin introducing elements that they'll explore in the next epoch. So what do we see as we enter the last hundred years of this thousand year cycle? Well, we see explorations of atomic physics, we see explorations of space travel, we see exploration of genetic medicine, we see explorations of new kinds of psychedelic consciousness. We see new explorations of new kinds of virtual realities. We call them virtual 'realities', new realities. . . . We are becoming Gods. This happens because we're actually creating a new level of consciousness. So the characters that are responsible for bringing this new consciousness to life realise their godliness - they were Gods all along, of course, because we are all from divine and we return to divine, well guess what that makes us? Divine! But when you actually are making a new reality like a virtual reality or creating a new universe, or whatever, its so obvious, even in the hypnotic state, that this is a godly act, that people get a sense of "Oh my goodness." By doing this we are becoming divine. Well the characters that we are bringing to life in the virtual worlds - the artificially intelligent life forms that we're bringing to life - they don't think of themselves as godly, they'll look to us as Gods the way we look to the beings that brought us to life. And this is the 'Great Chain of Being' and its a wonderful, beautiful tradition. . . . We, as humans, are waking up on a large scale, for the first time in history. Individual humans have always been aware of this and we've always called them enlightened sages, or saints or things like this. But now as we end the age, a large number of people are coming to the insights that only great mystics and sages - only one in a hundred years might have had - now thousands of people are touching it and starting to wake up to it. . . . I think Technoshamenism is a really delightful term because it grounds technology into the most delightful practise that any human being can take part in, which is Shamanism. We have still alive with us on the planet traditional Shamans living in the rain forest in the Amazon - they're absolutely wonderful creatures and maybe the most valuable resource alive on the planet today. More valuable, maybe than the plants in the rain forest but they're just living embodiments of pure consciousness flow. And if you get near them and you take part of their assembling you will experience extraordinary experiences which turn out to be a natural state of consciousness for every living human being but very few ever get to touch it as Shamans are still wild, rare, strange creatures at this moment in time. . . . Technoshamenism says we honour that heritage. We come from that. That is the most valuable way of experiencing reality. And we are going to dance the Shamenistic dance in a new moment in time, in a new place with new toys. But it's actually got its roots in the Shamans original dance. Now we're just going to take these new toys that we've created, these new inventions that we made, under hypnosis, cameras, guns, airplanes, computers and we're going to grind them up with our new Shaman's pestle into an interesting brew and we're going to drink that brew and we're going to dance the technology dance - with the full Shamanic mind. . . . So Technoshamenism to me means, here we are in this moment in time and Shamans who are alive today and being born at this time are forced to be Technoshamens just because technology to us is what the rain forest was to a Shaman in that time. These are the plants, these are the leaves, these are the jungle animals but now they're missiles and computers, now they're virtual reality worlds, now they're psychedelic music videos, now they're all-night DJ events with tremendous pumping sound. This is the jungle we're living in right now, and a Shamen uses the tools and the parts of his environment to share that kind of insight with his fellow beings."

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