The Conspiracy of the Monkey Mind
By definition, a conspiracy is a "surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons." But within dominant reality constructs of socialized consciousness, the most conspicuous conspiracy is often self-perpetrated. The mechanisms of our perpetual self-creation are obfuscated by the meandering of our Monkey Mind, creating the self-fulfilling delusion that our reactions to any given situation are predetermined. This simian self stakes the claim as the primary avatar, restlessly yet invisibly swinging from the if-then loops of our neuroses and conditioned behavior.
For the devotees of the cult of rationalist materialism, this conspiracy of duality was most profoundly manifest in the concept of the "objective observer." With fanatic devotion to the dualistic principle that the observer is separate from the observed, they forcibly separated the concepts of human from nature, mind from matter, and science from spirit. Though this approach resulted in technoscience's phenomenal capacity to rigorously manipulate the physical world, its accompanying worldview justified the dismissal or ignorance of uncomfortable or inexplicable causal connections that did not fit neatly into its proscribed framework.
But as scientists tried to reduce reality to infinitely discreet particles in the early 20th Century, the fundamental fallacy of the conspiracy of duality was revealed through instrumentation of their own design. The mischievous indeterminate behavior of photons starkly illustrated the illusion of objectivity, with their potential as either a particle or a wave collapsing based on the actions and intent of the observer. Much to the confused chagrin of mechanistic materialists, the paradoxical nature of the state of light itself empirically illuminated the inextricable linkage of the observer and the observed.
Ludic practice is an embodiment of the awareness of these reciprocal interdependencies. By pataphorical analogy, we play with the paradoxical mechanics of these subtle realms at every other Level of the Real Game. By syncretizing the silicon-generated pixels with the potentials of particles and waves in this level we call "reality," the doors of Real Players' perceptions can be cleansed to enter the playground of the mundus imaginalis. Instead of mindlessly constructing reality through the perceptual metadata of the traditional five senses, we reset the default Human Interface Device to the sixth sense of the Mind. Through Ludic lucidity, we ape with both the "self" and the "other" -- the lynchpins of the dualistic conspiracy.
Third Life emerges from the re-cognition of the potentialities of any situation, inviting participants to penetrate Levels whose entry cannot be gained solely on points of intellect. Unlike the other perceptual interfaces, the Mind is the highly programmable inter-mediator that constructs the liminal boundary of Existence. It is the source of infinite modifications to both the inputs and outputs of the RealEngine. It is also the psycho-gyroscope of the collective We-Mote, the reflexive accelerometer that enables the essential play-ability of the wireless mutual causality of the massively parallel eternal moment.
Though the practice of today's Ludicians is couched in appropriations and analogies stemming from contemporary technologies, the approach is evolving through the assimilation of practices from other resonant lineages. Elements of RealPlay have been cultivated by the embodied visualizations of Tibetan tantricists, the whirlings at the thresholds of Sufi dervishes, the hermetic transmutations of spiritual alchemists, and more recently by the imaginary solutions of the pataphysicians. All of these explore the inherent reprogrammability of both the Player and the Game, suggested by the central motto of pataphysics: Eadem mutata resurgo. (Although changed, I shall arise the same.)
Unlike General Ludd's violent response to the violent dehumanization of 19th Century industrialization, today's Real Players are exploring the boundaries of consensus reality -- not to destroy it -- but to transform the system's fundamental operating logic. By avoiding the quantized extremes of accepting or rejecting the current rules of either "virtual" or "real" engagement, our Unreal Détournement transpires at the excluded middle between the binary dichotomies. Possible actions exist beyond the pre-determined distinctions and win/lose expectations.
The Possibility of Play is the Present. No-thing is, every-thing is perceived.
Image by cliff1066â„¢, courtesy of Creative Commons license.