Elon Musk and a few other scientist-types have postulated that we are not living in reality but, rather, a simulation. That scares some and tantalizes others. Of course, the limitation to that idea is that Musk has said we’re all on some advanced creature’s laptop. I’m sure he knows he’s oversimplifying when he suggests that but I still feel the need to mention that whatever it is, it’s not a laptop. It’s something way more advanced and complicated. My guess is that the simulator is its own living mind. And that’s where we live. Part of a simulation, but the Simulation’s home base is infinitely more complex than our reality.
Because it doesn’t matter. Let’s just play the game.
Life IS a simulation. Let’s just roll with that. Being a psych patient myself with psychotic episodes in my past but in treatment and doing well, I have developed an odd relationship with the concept of reality. Every once in a while, I pop out of my self and my context in the world, and I see the bigger picture. It makes life exciting for me and for others. It also makes life with me annoying and troubling sometimes.
I remember a particular occasion where after a movie, I went into the restroom. Urinals all taken, I walked into a stall where someone had recently vomited all over the seat. I felt very not-of-this-earth at that moment so I announced to the entire restroom, “Oh! That’s nice! Vomit all over the seat.” Pause. “Well, I’ll just piss on it.” At that moment, life felt like a simulation to me. The most important thing was that my friend at the urinal had to pretend not to know me, holding back laughter until we left the restroom.
So I’m good with simulations.
So since life IS a simulation, here are the hacks!
1. “Bless you” after a sneeze is an automatic response. But since we are to believe we are not in a simulation, it also serves as a reaffirmation of belief in the simulation as real. It’s like a post-hypnotic suggestion that sneaks in, “This is real. We’re all humans on earth together.” So what I would suggest is that when someone sneezes, on, say the bus, turn to them slowly and focus your attention on their third eye and nod meaningfully. Hopefully that will give them something challenging to think about until they get to their stop.
Or just say “Bliss you. B-L-I-S-S!” You’ll have to spell it or they won’t understand.
2. Next time you use a public restroom, instead of washing your hands, wash your feet. Or your junk. It makes people think. Once, I started washing my chest. But then it just made me want to wash everything.
3. Try reading aloud from the great philosophy texts sarcastically. It really opens things up in your meaty nerve bundle. “I thiiiink, therefore I aaaam!” Or read your favorite religious text that way. “Blehhhsssed are the meeeeek. For theirs is the kingdom of heaven...” Or a recipe for muffins. Or this essay. It’ll change everything.
4. Get on a city bus, pay the fare and immediately disembark before the driver can close the door behind you.
5. Walk up to a police officer and wink. Then say “Everything is fine.”
6. Be willing to die for a cause but never to kill.
7. Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.
8. Wear a T-shirt with a picture of yourself on it.
9. Be kind to people.
10. Do the right and moral thing.
11. Don’t chase wealth.
12. Choose to love as much as you can.
13. Write nonsense essays with a message you hope will be read clearly by those who understand your point.
If life is a simulation or if it isn’t, does it matter? It’s finite both physically and temporally. Some might say, “Well then it’s meaningless.” OK. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Use this feeling as a way to create your own meaning in a world that wants to impose its own on you. You don’t have to do any of the above suggestions. But do something weird, pointless or stupid sometimes. If a little strangeness causes the world to crumble around you, then it’s not a very good world.