People are now losing their grip on reality at a faster and faster pace. This is happening in academia, yes, but it is all over the popular culture as well. The lying mainstream media and their Big Tech allies have long presented us with a parallel universe that is not real, but one which impacts our daily realities in very negative ways. Ever since the dawn of “information technology” about one hundred years ago, the goal has been mass manipulation — as openly admitted by the “Father of Public Relations,” Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud and author of the 1928 book, Propaganda.
In 1992, a science-fiction writer named Neal Stephenson came up with the term “Metaverse” to describe a fictitious nexus of various digital technologies that plunges its user into an immersive virtual reality. The idea (if not the name) has apparently had subsequent literary and film iterations, taking hold of some part of the popular imagination. Now, various tech firms, including gaming companies, and Facebook (whose corporate entity has been renamed “Meta.”), are working to make the Metaverse a reality. The frightening thing about the Metaverse is precisely that its purveyors want to merge reality with non-reality via the use of the internet, virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence. In other words, it is the same kind of deception and manipulation that has gone on for over a century, but much more technologically enhanced. Thanks to special goggles and other paraphernalia, people will be able to live, work, and play inside the Metaverse, appearing as they want to appear and seeing others doing the same. They can buy and sell in the Metaverse, which will have, so it is planned, its own digital currency. Gucci is even designing clothing lines exclusively for the Metaverse: Yes, virtual clothing! (Like the Emperor’s New Clothes, only you get to pay for them.)
If people are losing their contact with reality now — and they are — how much worse will it be if this expensive nonsense goes online?
The word “Metaverse” is what is called a portmanteau, being a combination of “meta-” and “universe.” Merriam-Webster tells us that the Greek prefix meta– means “after” or “beyond,” and, by a derived meaning, “more comprehensive” or “transcending.” So, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and other Big Tech gurus, along with video game companies, want to help construct a virtual or augmented reality that somehow transcends the universe itself. But what transcends the universe is God, and no amount of technology can escape that Meta-Reality; however, technology can, does, and will distract people from God, His true Religion, and their obligations to Him.
In these days of enhanced and augmented media manipulation, what we really need is what I like to call “reality based thinking” and “reality based living,” the diametric opposites of what Mr. Zuckerberg and his associates propose. Beyond and transcending the reality of God’s creation that we can see, hear, touch, smell, and taste, lies not the Metaverse, but God and the supernatural realm of which He is the Author. While the technocrats and oligarchs can create only a dystopia, God offers us Eternal Beatitude.
The cardinal virtue of prudence demands that we see reality for what it is — reality, as it is known to us both naturally and through supernatural revelation — and use it as the basis for all our thoughts, judgments, and actions. “Virtual reality” has no place in this economy.