Tikkun Winter 2019 (34.1) - Page 109

held accountable. You can just disappear. And it’s all free from unpleasant political realities. A Native American drummer on Oculus Go isn’t freighted with a history of genocide and op- pression. A beautiful woman on Oculus Go is never going to turn to you and say “Me too.” And so virtuality represents a kind of collective dream—a world where everything is simple. It’s two-dimensional, even when it creates the illusion of 3D. We’ve recreated reality but with latex gloves on. It’s life abstracted. It lives on the plane of ideas and images and denies the plane of the body. manly. It’s almost as if the virtual world is primary—like Plato’s “forms”—the virtual is the ideal while the physical is just a pale imitation. It’s as if virtuality is God to us. So we have two worlds before us: the shiny, Platonic, virtus-virtual world and the earthy, messy, adamah-physical world—the wetware as they call it. We all know which is ascendant right now. Sears—which used to be the largest retailer in the U.S.—recently closed its doors. They are the most recent in a string of giant retailers (including Toys ‘R’ Us) to do so. Little mom and pop shops are closing every minute as Amazon now sells online everything they used to sell, but for less. We are in the midst of what experts are calling a “brick-and-mortar retail fiasco.” They speculate about whether In some archetypal systems this cerebral, rational world is the masculine, whereas the embodied, emotional world is the feminine. This is not to say that women aren’t rational; cosmic energies interplay and Virtual reality lives on the plane of ideas and women and men participate images and denies the plane of the body. in both. But as a society we are catapulting headlong into the world of the disembodied mind, which has long been linked with male prerogative, and we are collectively deciding that it’s better than our volup- tuous earth-bodies. The etymology of the word “virtual” is helpful here. It comes from the Latin virtus (“virtue” in English) which meant “excellence, potency, efficacy.” It also meant “man- hood” or “manliness,” from the Latin root vir, which means man. So virtual in the 14 th century basically meant “good and manly.” And down the line virtual came to mean what it means today. The virtual world is virtually the same as real- ity itself, but better and more VOL. 34, NO. 1 © 2019 TIKKUN MAGAZINE 109