Imagine the most detailed video game world you can imagine. The creators have created an entire universe full of stars, planets, humanoids, animals, plants, and all manner of life. All of the physics have been perfected. Enough complexity has been built into the minds of the life forms to create an infinite number of complex stories as any two or more life forms interact. Now, the game has been released, you have bought it, and you are getting ready to play. However, for this game, you actually attach a wire directly into your brain and become a part of the game. You see what your character sees, feel what your character sees, hear what your character sees, etc. For all intensive purposes, once you start playing this game, you are in the game in every imaginable way. Your brain is hard-wired into the system, it is entirely real to you, and your normal life outside of the game is completely left behind until the game ends.
As you play, you become lost in the endless complexity and detail of the game. All of the endless possibilities swirl around you, and you find numerous ways to entertain yourself, as well as find things that you aren’t so fond of. As you play and play, the sense of time distorts your reality, and everything outside of the game fades back into your mind, forgotten, unneeded. You become your character, and the game becomes your reality. After long enough, you forget that there is a reality outside of the game. The game is all there is, and you begin to form beliefs and expectations within the game. Furthermore, you become very busy, with the multitude of activities necessary for survival. The longer you invest in the game and in your character, the more important to you it is to survive, and the more violently you will fight to stay in the game.
Finally, due to built-in restrictions, your character ages, becomes more and more useless, experiences less pleasure, is unable to do the things it enjoys. One day, finally, your character dies. All of your beloved in-game friends and family gather around and mourn your loss.
Suddenly, in a room somewhere, you open your eyes back to reality. As images of your game-lifetime flash before you, you remember who you really are and where you came from. You pull the wire out of your brain, sit back, and contemplate the game you just played. You think about all of the parts you enjoyed, and all of the things you could have done better. After awhile your friends call you up – they’re back out of their games too. You all discuss the game you just played, and then decide to all go back in, creating new characters and trying again.
Soon after you re-enter the game, you begin to forget your reality outside of the game again. Even though you try to remember this is only a game, you can’t help but forget. But that’s all this is – one massive, incredible, amazing video game that we souls love to play. And no matter what happens inside this game, we will always wake back up at the end of our lives, back into our true reality.
Give some thought to this analogy – it may be more literal than you think…