There have been various perceptions within humanities experience in relation to the concept of the ‘soul’. There has been the belief that that a soul upon physical death becomes a part of the earth and within the genetics of the generations that remain; or that the soul enters another realm dependent upon the individuals souls worthiness, variously referenced as Nirvana, Heaven, Hell, Hades and other capitalised bifurcated nouns related to various beliefs; or that the soul was recycled/reincarnated into another animate form. Now, in the digital age there are other newer concepts of soul, that the soul can be potentially recorded, downloaded, replicated or at least stored, indefinitely.
Do some, or none, of these concepts give any consolation to the bereaved? What does it do to our psyche? Do we start to think we are invincible, irreplaceble, immortal? We are starting to live within a real and virtual world concurrently. The concept that we can correct any wrong, or that we can do no wrong because ‘it was virtual’ is starting to seep into our general concepts of the physical world we live in, at the same time as we potentially start to emotionally and intellectually vacate it. Vacating, this incredibly beautiful world that exists, that may not exist in ‘x’ number of years ahead of us. The more the gateway to escapism exists we will seek it. Currently that gateway is at its optimal high and growing exponentially.
Regardless of expectation of where ones ‘soul’ or consciousness might arrive at eventually, one’s own understanding of the self is the greatest power one can ever have. Some of us, can understand our souls within a virtual expression of the world, engaging with others of like mind, communicating with others of like mind. We may never find those connections in the ‘real world’. There is nothing wrong with this kind of companionship, nothing at all. Unless it is all one has. Then there is no measure between the real and the virtual or online engagement. Then, lines become blurred. Unless you are an entirely self-contained individual (and there many of those in the world), in which case you are likely just fine. Some souls require nourishment from physical interaction with other souls. I try to attain both elements. I am aware that I am more inclined to a particular way but know I should keep trying all manner of ways… particularly because I don’t believe that technology is in any way prepared to manage my soul as I would intend, therefore it is important that I behave with the integrity I desire, the intellect, the understanding, the subtlety, the beauty of my individualness that may never, ever be seen again.
ear parcel: Max Richter ‘Written on the Sky’
Image stolen from SOUL-SENs