This evening I played BLOCK OPS for Android.
The opening level was very simple, very easy-which suited me just fine as I’m not, by any means, a great touchscreen gamer. I probably took three hits to the head while trying to get my enemy into the crosshairs.
The simplicity of this shooter, however, had me thinking of Wittgenstein.
With a background in “Spiritual Gaming,” I, along with many others who regard Gamespace as a rich field for personal growth, development and help for others, automatically began relating to BLOCK OPS in these terms. Each foe on the battlefield could be “read” in a number of ways. If we see them as obstacles in our life, a run through the game is akin to riding with Ganesh and knocking down walls. If a more meditative stance can be held, each target is a score increasing a desired quality in the area of Personal Power, a prayer bead being slipped along a string. One could even move through this Gamespace on behalf of another person, shooting down (or building up) aspects of their lives as needed.
This semi-automatic Vajra is gonna pop a cap in the ass of your assumptions
This approach to gaming is certainly not my “invention.” I worked for a long time in the Prosperity Path video games known as “Orbs” for a variety of purposes. These games constitute a type of “practice” which is guided by the “theory” behind how and why they work.
Simplified down to the bone, we have the technology of sympathetic magic at work here. We have before us an image and this image is linked to something not immediately connected to it in a direct cause and effect relationship. Take the image of a Voodoo Doll, for example. It’s just a figurine. But it gets “named” and “dressed up” in such a way to be associated with a person you wish to help or harm. So our little mannequin gets christened Tom, Dick or Harry (or Mr. Thomas Richard Harry) and you drive a nail through its chest. The goal is to give Mr. Harry a heart attack (or maybe just a bad case of heartburn-because as vindictive as you are, you’re not homicidal).
Tom would soon be needing some Pepto
There is a difference between just wishing a rock would fall on Harry’s head and taking this sort of action to actively magnetize an event. But there HAS to be a link whereby such action in the “ritual room” can replicate itself in Harry’s life, yes?
This is where the “theory” end of things empowers action toward a desired end.
First, there must be an “agreement” between the Magician and his Method. And here’s where, playing BLOCK OPS, I recalled the words of Wittgenstein:
“Whether a proposition can turn out true or false after all depends on what I make count as determinants for that proposition.”
Utilizing video games and virtual environments as magical tools and spaces requires an adjustment of determinants whereby the proposition that this is a workable method can be acted upon with effect.
Ludwig Wittgenstein designed and built this house the first time he played Minecraft
A magician working in the field of Radionics recently commented that machines and procedures do not have to be overly complicated. The whole idea of a “magical machine” is to serve as a “labor saving device.” But some folks simply can’t accept this. As this magician noted, they NEED a lot of complexity to feel like they are actually doing something. In this case, elaborate ritual becomes a tool to give the thinking self enough “stuff to do,” allowing the intuitive self to operate outside this mental block.
However, the more the intuitve self engages with manipulating forces and forms outside of “standard” cause and effect scenarios, the more that personal technique will be sharpened toward establishing transmissive links.
If it were really this easy, one might ask, then we should be able to find a treasure chest in some Xbox game and expect our check to be in the mail. In my experience, it can actually work like this at the beginning. I’ve seen it with Spiritual Gaming and I’ve seen it in ritual and religion. For example, the Nichiren Buddhists extol the chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. It’s the answer to everything. Many in this sect will encourage members to “chant for stuff” (a new job, getting laid, whatever…see the movie “The Last Detail” with Jack Nicholson for a wonderful depiction of this). I was personally told that one should never chant for Enlightenment (Buddha say WHAT???). The logic was that the chant is ITSELF total Enlightenment. Don’t waste time trying to attain what’s right there. Improve your “Life Condition” (however you are thus inclined).
Buddowsky determines Determinants
So, with the genie out of the bottle, newbies go in for their “heart’s desires.” And suddenly STUFF HAPPENS! Bing badda boom. If this isn’t encouragement to keep going, I don’t know what IS!
I was once faced with a severe financial difficulty and utilized a video game to change up the situation. Miracles ensued overnight. I actually had the fleeting thought that I was ready to quit the day job and just keep the udders on the cash cow flowing.
The udders dried up pretty fast.
Because the dynamics of the situation changed. The mindset which forged the initial link wasn’t sufficient to keep that particular line of communication endlessly open. It’s like taking out a loan that saves your life…but the bank stops doling out the cash at a certain point.
It WORKED-but to keep it working requires a “leveling up” into the next phase of operation.
All Grunts lead us to a BOSS
Genies grant 3 wishes. How about wishing the Genie to tell you of his ORIGINS? Reverse engineer the machine and find out how it works!
Now here come the Siddhis, the magical powers spoken of in Buddhist Sutras. Each Siddhi is linked to a new stage of awareness, what we can call Gnosis (direct knowing) of a larger arena of consciousness. And this is something of a safeguard against the abuse of magical powers. It’s not foolproof as there remain plenty of magi higher up on the food chain who will eat you up and shit you out. But there does seem to be a natural link between unfolding states of consciousness and the powers attributed to them. Certain states of consciousness eradicate what might be regarded as the goals and needs of “black magic.” It’s hard to maintain a selfish agenda when one’s sense of self is dissolving.
With this in mind, it is, in my opinion, ideal to transfer outward gestures of Sadhana (spiritual practice) into the realms of image through virtual reality. This involves a questioning of the nature of “knowing” (and the quote above from Wittgenstein is taken from his notes “On Certainty,” something we tend to readily assume we possess but seldom examine).
WHAT, precisely, are our “determinants” for “knowing?”
And HOW might these change?
For some, this is a scary step. It requires going beyond the “tried and true” assumptions which have kept our physical bodies alive since we first learned that “the stove is hot.” The stove doesn’t exist. But going with this notion, we might conclude that the wall against which it is set doesn’t exist, either. So we try to walk through it and break our (equally non-existent) nose.
All elements of this experience say “You dumb ass, the wall exists and you’re an idiot for trying to be the kid with the spoon in The Matrix!”
Some determinants are hard to shake. So you accept them and they give rise to a proposition (“There’s a fucking WALL THERE!”).
Highly regarded Philosophy Professor scorns Solipsism before Freshman Class
But this may very well be a case of the proverbial Cart and Horse.
Just because you “know” doesn’t mean such “knowledge” reveals anything true about the situation. The wall against which you just bloodied your face has already moved through space with the revolution of the globe and won’t return to that location for another solar year. And even THEN, the space, itself, will have changed. The event has already passed into non-existence and cannot be demonstrated in and of itself. You remember it-but your remembering is a function of consciousness which can only occur in the present. It is only labeled “in the past.” No one else can remember it FOR YOU. If a “witness” was present, they can only evoke their OWN recollection. An agreement upon the “Objectivity” of the event rests in mutually shared associations communicated through language. But it remains an “agreement,” not a demonstration of objective reality.
“I’m going crazy-but I can’t be SURE that I am…and it’s driving me CRAZY!”
This descent into epistemology is not meant to be a circuitous game, good for intellectual parlance over two pots of coffee. It is a key to working Gamespace as a Shaman. By regarding sense impressions as ultimately (or immediately) insubstantial (and yet somehow experienced), we come into a space whereby virtual objects may be related to as what we can call “actual objects.” This entry into liminal space begins when we can start to understand “actual objects” as “virtual objects,” when we can enter into a contemplative zone and examine how we perceive, categorize, “know” and relate. We are doing more than just looking at how the “gears of the mind” work. We are getting at the Source from which those gears manifest and into which they dissolve.
This Source we call Space Buddhaa. It is both Transcendent and Immanent. In 2015 we will be publishing the Space Buddhaa Sutra which will be a supportive text for the LAMAL Tarot. This text is a conglomerate fusion of impressions from T’ien T’ai Buddhism, Kenneth Grant’s Mystic Extraterrestrialism, Zen Reactivity, Christic Vudu and Mediumistic Magic. Any complexity of form or system is brought back to several simple tenets whereby the Sutra is intended to engender offspring.
LAM is the LAMA, the Guru Within, the Silence which subsumes “Determinants of Restriction” in a Da’athian Double Vortex. It’s not so esoteric. It’s just a bit outside the typical way humans live and die. Upon accepting the dissolution of form into space, we may feel more inclined to do as the band TOOL admonishes:
Push the Envelope…
…watch it BEND.
This is Hyperdimensional Origami. The Space Buddhaa Sutra is not a “received text” nor is it a “grimoire” or “new revelation.” It is form of Bushido for the Ronin doubling as a Monk without a Monastery, a visionary voyage intended to create as much as it destroys. A breath in. A breath out.
And the Awareness of the Fire silently burning between.