I haven’t yet ventured into the virtual world of Second Life although I’m told that’s where the party is. That’s also where the money is. In fact, according to writer Mac McClelland in Orion Magazine, people spend $50 million real dollars there a month on virtual goods, dressing up their avatars, having sex (yes!), and going to virtual dances. Talk about having a vacation without leaving home.
Is there something wrong with this picture? Not really. In fact, I wonder if this is only the beginning of our trips “in world.” Perhaps this practice with parties and sex and adventures is only the beginning of exploring what is possible beyond the limits of our physical lives.
Mythologists will tell you that such travels are possible without the aid of laptops, passwords and time. That subtle world is present in the patterns that tirelessly repeat themselves in our issues and desires around love, work and the body. That world shows up in the landscape of energy patterns or archetypes that make us mothers, victims and heroes. That subtle world emerges in the symbols and metaphors of the natural world and physical situations that surprise us. The problem is that we’ve forgotten the code and there’s no one around to jog our ancient cellular memories.
So we turn to the virtual world. It’s fun because we get to create lives we didn’t know we could. We get to make choices. There is unlimited potential—to buy things, have experiences, travel places, and connect with others.
Most of all, we get to have fun with life again at a time in our history, personally and collectively, when it sometimes seems there’s not a lot of fun to be had. The truth, though, is that we need only spin the story differently. I was reminded of that when I recently decided to rent out a bedroom in my home to supplement income. I had the idea. I got on Craig’s List. I found a renter in a few minutes. We are sealing the deal this week.
For just a moment, the adventurous fun of the virtual world interceded with my very physical one and I saw the fun to be had. In that instant, I saw what life was meant to be—an in-world travel where I got to try things, buy stuff, have experiences, and connect with others.
Your Story: How can you travel “in world” to the interior of your life? How can you approach an issue or angst with a sense of play and a challenge to interact with the world from that playful place? How can you act on that challenge?