What is reality? I’ve previously discussed this in relation to the source of truth but let’s delve into reality as related to what human beings have come to know it as. Reality from our perspective is the things we see, touch and feel. It is the everyday life we live and breathe. It is the tangible and visceral existence not within our control. We didn’t create it and we do not know when it will end. Reality is not something we manifest, it just is, the creation of God, for those who believe.
The true reality is the idea of absolutes. It is the belief that this world is temporary, and while it may feel very real, the absolute reality is the one that belongs only to God, the source of all creation, the eternal, the ever lasting. This world is like a simulation, it’s a construct created by God for the purpose of testing us. This temporary existence is our gateway to the true reality, to the final resting place, to be with our creator.
So if true reality is one with God, what is the opposite of that? What is a false reality? Is there such a thing?
The false reality is one that denies the truth. It denies the existence of God, it denies our real purpose for existence and it denies our final resting place. True != False. Denial of the truth is the path toward ignorance.
What is ignorance? If we look at the definition of ignorance, it is a lack of knowledge or information. Denial of the truth, aka choosing the false reality, is to ignore what we have instinctively been codified with. We are here for a reason. We were created with a purpose. And we will be asked why we did not seek out the truth over falsehood.
We cannot claim ignorance when the truth is all around us. It is in the sun and the moon, the stars and the sky, the mountains and trees, the deserts and seas. It is in the creatures we can and cannot see. It is within people, who were all made special and distinct. The truth is in all of creation. And we see that each time we attempt to replace it with man made constructs. The false reality is one of our own making. Let us define it.
The false reality is all the things that take us away from the truth. It’s what we use as escapism, for entertainment and to pass idle time. It is the realities we attempt to create for ourselves. The virtual ones. The augmented ones.
The metaverse for instance is a false reality. An attempt to build a new world to replace the real one. Billions of dollars are being funnelled into the creation of VR goggles and technology to blind us from the truth. To stop us from living our lives. The benefactors of the metaverse are attemping to sell us the illusion of paradise here on earth. One that you can be part of if you just cover your eyes and ignore the truth.
In the Sunnah of the prophet, there are narrations that make mention of a man who will show the people a false paradise, one that will lead them to the path of ruin. Is this not the rejection of life by choosing fake one instead?
“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘The Dajjal (False Christ) is blind in his left eye and has abundant hair. With him will be a Paradise and a Hell, but his Hell is Paradise and his Paradise is Hell.’”
It is not uncommon for there to be great skepticism about new forms of technology. Many of which have come to dominate our lives. The desktop PC, the mobile phone, the internet, streaming services, twitter, facebook, tiktok. All have in some ways enriched our lives yet at the same time, we have become slaves to their addictive power.
Technology will continue to evolve, augmented reality and virtual reality will become dominant form factors for future generations and with that, the internet will transform into some sort of “metaverse” yet I would be remiss if I did not make mention now of the dangers of such advancements. The technology can be used for both good and evil.
Those from prior generations will remember life before and after the internet and we of this generation will remember life before and after the metaverse. Any technological advancement should be one for the betterment of mankind but because many of these are built by for-profit corporations, there is always an underlying agenda associated with such changes.
Facebook helped the world connect with each other, yet it’s advertising model and algorithmic feed has become hugely exploitive. The same could be said for other services like it. Streaming is now a binge watching bonanza with endless content that serves nothing more than to pass idle time. What will the metaverse do for us?
Horizon Worlds is the attempt by the megacorp Meta (formerly known as Facebook) to create this new world. What will happen if they succeed? How many people will forego real life for a virtual one? How many people will wake up each morning and immediately put on a pair of VR goggles to escape into a fake world?
There is potentially huge benefits to virtual gatherings of communities that are completely disparate across the world or to experience the furthest corners of the earth that we could otherwise not afford to travel to. Yet it is most likely the majority of use cases for the metaverse will be to escape into a reality other than the one we exist in. To deny the truths of our existence, the purpose of creation and our Creator. Which reality do we choose?