The other day after playing a round of golf, I went over to my sons house to check out his new toy. An Oculus virtual reality game. I had seen pictures and commercials with individuals standing with what looked to be a set of oversized giant googles afixed to their head, covering their eyes, with some type of device in each hand. Virtual Reality systems are a computer generated simulation that has a 3-D perception with width, depth and height. If you have ever seen a Star Trek Next Generation show, you may have seen an episode where one of the characters would enter the holodeck to hone their fighting skills, put themselves in the middle of a mystery novel or experience some rest and relaxation. That is very similar to what this device does, even the boundaries within the game have a similar grid pattern to them. To say I was impressed with the technology is an understatement. It was crazy good if I do say so myself. My first experience was a game of tennis and I was SMOKING my opponent. The reality and perceptions of my virtual surroundings was astounding. I later learned the devices can be used in military and flight training, and being a pilot, I could see how the device could be beneficial in training as well as many other areas such as drivers education, without using a gallon of gas or risking tearing up a vehicle or injuring a human being. I could also imagine the endless uses of this technology as it continues to develop, both uses for good and uses for evil.
In the virtual reality game, everything appears strikingly real. In one of the simulations I experienced, you walked a plank on the top of a skyscraper. When I took one step from the security of the building to put one foot on the plank, my heart sank, fear set in and I immediately retreated to the safety of the building. There was NO WAY I could step on the plank even KNOWING it was an illusion in a video game. My blood pressure, pulse, nerves and sight took over to confirm my fear of heights and desire for self preservation. I believe this not only happens in a virtual reality game but happens to many people in real life as well.
CREATE THE REALITY YOU WANT TO LIVE IN”
― Vineet Raj Kapoorgoodreads
What are some of the ways we determine what is reality? Some of the things we use are Sight, Touch, Experience and Evidence. As time has progressed, humans have begun to trust their own thoughts and beliefs to determine what and what not is real. Even truth is not a component of reality because truth is relevant and up for interpretation. This concept has even got to the point of individuals asking the question, ” how do I know I exist?” Even the normal logic of their senses, experience and evidence fall short of proof. How you determine reality, what is real? What is true will be determined by your view of God. For instance, since I believe in God, I believe in the moral law of God. As the moral law relates to God, we should love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind, Mat.22:37. As the moral law relates to man, we should love our neighbor as ourselves, Mat. 22:39. Jesus went on to say this sums up the whole law and the Prophets, Mat. 22:40. But if you do not believe in God, you either believe there is no moral law or man constructs his own moral law, either way you have humanity deciding what is right and what is wrong. This means there is no standard, what is morally right for you may not be morally right for me. We each get to decide our own moral law. So if you think it is ok take the life of another, that is your choice whether I agree or not, because you and I are a moral law unto ourselves. But as a Believer, the moral law is concrete, a life is sacred and I have no authority to take, abuse or even inflict my beliefs on the life of another as an individual. In essence, we lean on our own understanding and make our own rules for reality. Our view of God determines our view of morality.
I believe the main way we determine reality is by sight. We use sight in nearly every aspect of life. There is an old saying that goes, “seeing is believing”. But we can even be deceived and not trust our sight. For instance, the illusionist David Copperfield could perform some amazing illusions. What you saw, you actually did not see! You have to add experience to it to determine reality, and even with that, it is possible to be fooled. For instance, you see the Statue of Liberty in New York, then he makes it disappear. Our knowledge tells us that is not reality, even though our eyes tell us it is. Sight is mentioned and used repeatedly in the Old and New Testaments but is used in opposition to the skills of an illusionist. An illusionist makes you see things as real that are not, in contrast to the Bible that tells us that things we cannot see are real even though we cannot see them. It may be easier to say than understand, the Bible tells us there is a reality other than the one we see.
I don’t know about you, but something inside of me tells me that there is something more. We explored this on a couple of the earlier blogs, Seeking the More and Finding the More, discussing the fact that God has installed a little explorer in all of us. The desire to explore the world around us, as we look with awe and wonder and examine its intricacies. ‘It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings. ‘ Proverbs 25:2 (As a side note, scientist examine the same information as they attemp to search out a matter, the only difference is the lens they view the results through. The lens that all this appeared out of nothing or the lens that all this was created by a designer. Being a Believer, I look at everything through the lens of creation, the truth of scripture, and when I add the experiences of my life to that, I come up with the worldview I hold. (As another side note, I hold the right to change my opinion as I continue to grow and the Spirit speaks into my life through new experiences.) But as I continue on my walk of faith it is clear there is More to life than what we see. In the scriptures, Paul tells us the invisible is clearly seen by what is visible. That there is a creator and His attributes are clearly seen. That our vision is giving us so much proof of his existance that we are without excuse. We will not be able to stand before him and say we did not know. ‘For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. ‘ Romans 1:20 What artist doesn’t love his creations? Not only did he create the earth and everything on it, he also created the cosmos and everything in it. It all operated in harmony until mankind was added to the mix. We didn’t understand the concept of love and sinned against God who created us and loved us beyond our understanding. That is when the greatest act of love was demonstrated. The invisible became visible. God appeared in flesh to be and show the love mankind was suppose to demonstrate. ‘The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. ‘ Colossians 1:15-16 Through this appearing, God demonstrated his love for us by willfully dying for our sins then being raised from the dead to provide us a way to eternal life. Not only life in the unseen, but life in the seen. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ‘ John 3:16 The Bible uses several terms to describe the unseen; heaven, heavenly realm, glory, God’s presence, kingdom and paradise to name a few. There are descriptions to describe what this place is like and I am sure, even the Bible, cannot allow a description for us to imagine what it will actually look and be like. There is not a Virtual Reality system ever created that can simulate its beauty. Not in Virtual Reality but Reality. The beauty, grander, splender and majesty it will radiate, not because of the environment or surroundings, but because of WHO it is surrounding. His name is Jesus.
‘So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.’ 2 Corinthians 4:18Apostle Paul