My experience in Second Life has been “paradigm shifting” as they say in the education and business realms. I call it soul opening. I didn’t realize how limiting the perceptions we and others have of this biological avatar we call our body can be – how deep, unchallenged – and erroneously perceived as truth. I am understanding why mask theater can be so potentially therapeutic. The mask cuts the twisted knot that binds us to our (mis)conceptions of ourselves. However, this experience is nowhere near as liberating or illuminating as that when we don the “mask” of our avatar.
In Second Life, we create our own mask, our own character, and our own scene and dialogue. We Can experiment and modify. We discover that some dreams we had were less satisfying than a Second Life cocktail , and uncover new ones that unleash passions surprising in their direction and intensity. We are attached to this avatar-mask only by our essential core of being. Without reimposing our usual perceptions of self, our core this has unfettered voice. If allowed, it will speak.
Today someone I’m acquainted with will be sworn in as the Vice-President of the United States. Don’t get all het up. This is Delaware. I picked up trash along the Red Clay Creek with another of our Senators whose name is now part of the retirement planning lexicon. It doesn’t mean I’m on his holiday card list either.
However, unlike most other inaugural ceremonies, I do plan to televise the ceremonies during my class periods as appropriate. I am still a seasoned enough cynic that I don’t feel assured that the coming four years are going to be any better than the last eight. I did not sit out in near zero (degF) temperatures on Saturday, like my sister and numerous friends, to hear the speeches at the stops along the Obama Express. I welcomed the excitement in my sister’s voice when she reported back to me by phone about the speech in Baltimore. I felt it was historic, but my cynic’s voice said – “Keep your feet warm. Watch it on TV.”
I am, though, cognizant enough that this inaugural is significant. I do not want any of my students to wish they *could* have watched it live on TV. And I myself, want to make my own impressions and not be dependent upon the infotainment business for my understanding of what happened.