I spent a lot of time last year thinking about the Simulation hypothesis of Existence and what it would actually mean to my day to day life if it was actually true. This led to a number of interesting ideas and thoughts, which in turn lead to some helpful techniques to make my life better.
IT ALL STARTED A MINUTE AGO
A great thought that came to me when hanging out with The Simulation Theory is that the sim could have started at any stage or at any time. It could have just started a minuted ago, and we all arrived pre-loaded with memories and ideas about the world that we think are from years ago but in fact just arrived at the same time as the simulation was switched on. Maybe all that stuff that happened years ago that now makes it hard for you to have close relationships may be nothing more than an implanted memory or program added to give you backstory.
But what good is this idea to a Chaos Magician? Well, it means that we could re-frame all our problems and challenges as actually being brand new rather than stuff we have collected over the years. We can decide that the Simulation has just begun a minute ago and what seems like problems we have had for years are nothing more than backstory, just a bit of programming or just an App running in the background. We can then separate this programming/app from who we actually are, giving us needed space and distance to deal with them. Think of your self as similar to your phone or you computer, and then have a look at what apps are running in your background.
I find it personally helpful to see issues, such as lack of confidence or anxiety, as just a program or an app that is running. Like The Buddha telling Mara that he sees him and thus destroying his power over him, once you see the “Anxiety App” running it no longer has full power over you. Try closing the app and see what happens.
There is plenty of mileage to be gained in this idea, I feel. Try it out and see if it works for you. If it does, do more of it.
NON PLAYER CHARACTERS
The next thing that came to mind is that a lot of people could be NPCs. To people who don’t know, NPCs are Non Player Characters – basically they are characters in a game that are solely part of the programming and don’t have a “real” player behind them controlling their actions. This can be a fun thought, thinking that some major figures in the world, in business or politics for instance, may be nothing more than a program to keep things ticking over as they should be or to help take the matrix into some new direction. You can have lots of fun with this idea.
The problem is that you can also dismiss people’s suffering and desperate experiences by just thinking of them as NPCs, which I feel is kinda what we do already with a lot of people caught up in natural disasters, mass shootings or refugees from war torn countries. We dehumanise them and make them into something else so that we can still go about our daily lives without having to deal with the horror of their situation.
While the idea of the NPC is fun, I do think it ultimately could make me a less compassionate person if I took up the idea as a full time gig. It would be all too easy for me to dismiss people, even those close to home, as nothing more than just part of the game or characters that are just there to help move my story along. I am real and all you are fake – I am more important. I’m not sure this sort of thinking leads to any good place.
That said, it is a very handy idea to have in your arsenal for times when you really do need to put some space between yourself and some particular life situation, or troubling person, momentarily. Robert A. Scheinfeld’s THE PROCESS from Busting Loose From the Money Game uses a similar idea and I have gotten great mileage and help from using it. (BTW the rest of the book is very bog standard and uninspired, but THE PROCESS is a gem). I talked previously about a Process variation here.
Another nice little idea that arrived to my mind after spending some time mulling over the possible ramifications of the Simulation theory is the idea of Magick Talents or Classes. If you are familiar with Role Playing Games you will know that at the beginning during the Character Creation section you pick a number of traits or attributes, or even a class, that will ultimately lead to how your character works in the game world. I began to think about this in regard to “real world” Magick and wondered could a similar system explain why some people are better at Magick than others and why some magicians are much better at certain Magick than others.
For instance you could be spending months or years trying to contact your ancestors but it is all ultimately futile because your character class isn’t Necromancer it’s Energy Manipulator, and no matter how you try, the dead just can’t talk to you. You could spend years trying to be a Practical Sorcerer to no avail because your class is really Divinator.
Again, I’m not suggesting this as anything other than a cool paradigm that you can sit with for awhile and look at the world though. I’m not really sure I believe in talents, as it seems to me that the most talented people are the ones who have spend the most time doing something. Though, there does seem to be a lot of truth in physical and sport talents, so who knows where the line is.
The lesson for me in it was that I should concentrate the stuff I am good at and drawn to, rather than trying to be a jack of all trades or an expert in all areas of the occult and Magick. I feel that I probably spend too much time trying to be great at everything that I spread myself too thin, and therefore never master any area completely. If I decide my class is Energy Manipulator, as an example, it gives me the permission to concentrate on that rather than believing I have to master of all things.
Try to work out your class and character attributives and see if follow that makes you better or worse at Magick. Then before you become stuck in that idea throw the whole thing out as foolish and find a new angle to attack life with.
WHAT IS YOUR FUNCTION
The final idea I got from The Simulation Theory is one that people seem to miss because they think The Simulation Theory is the same idea as The Matrix. They believe that The Simulation Theory suggests that we are beings plugged into a virtual reality and that the real us is located somewhere else out side of what we can sense. However, this isn’t what the theory is suggesting. It is suggesting that we are part of the program too and are no more real than anything else in the code. If the Simulation ended, we would equally end rather than wake up somewhere else.
So, what good is this thought to us Chaos Magicians? Well, if we are just lines of code then we must have a function. There must be some reason for us to be here involved in this simulation. Is your code to just be a secondary character to someone else’s adventure or is it something more important? What clues have been left in your world that can help you notice what exactly your function could be. Where is your path leading?
Now, if you don’t like your path, why not change your code and therefore your function? You could actually visualise your code (just like the Matrix) changing and becoming what you want to be (or do or have for that matter). It’s a neat visualisation trick that I have used often to change actual reality. Try it and see what happens.
IS ALL THIS A SIMULATION?
Whether or not all this is a Simulation doesn’t really matter to me as long as treating it as if it is enables me to change it. Which it seems to do. All these ideas work best when you totally believe them in the moment which is a lot easier to than you might imagine at first. It seems, for me anyway, to be mostly about giving yourself permission to believe it and then not trying to justify it. Don’t overthink it, just go with it and if needed remind yourself that you don’t have to believe it forever, just for now.
So, that’s the main things I got from jumping into the Simulation Theory, and I hope I have pointed at some interesting and helpful tech along the way. Let me know your thoughts and ideas below, in an email or over on Facebook.
Have a good one!
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