I was fortunate enough to begin my gaming life in the realm of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, 2011 game of the year, renowned for its huge, beautifully rendered world through which it’s possible to wander freely in an open-ended system that enables you to accept and fulfill quests at your leisure. And just as in so-called real life, curiosity and a sense of adventure—with all the seemingly random encounters and conversations it leads to—opens your character up to more and more intriguing possibilities and challenges. Frankly, I was blown away; I had no idea how much fun I was getting myself into.
With just a brush of a fingertip, the little black electronic temple of my Xbox 360 awakens with a musical trill as a green light opens the way to another world… a world that exists simultaneously with my own and yet which I enter as a character, a creative projection of the real me… I’ve read about all the latest scientific theories concerning parallel universes and infinite probable selves and circumstances all existing simultaneously, but it wasn’t until I began gaming that these theories, intertwining with my belief in reincarnation, began having a visceral, liberating effect on me. And it just so happens that at the same time I began gaming I began re-reading Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul by Jane Roberts. By then I had created two separate characters in Skyrim, the first a male Mage, the second a female warrior. Skyrim felt like a totally different place when I was playing as my fearless warrior; I traveled routes, met people and had experiences my first character never even dreamed of. As she relished all the quests my other character avoided—they each had distinct personalities—I thought how strange and exciting it was to wander the same streets as a newborn, so to speak, while never running into my other, older character. I thought how cool it would be if they could meet up, for the real me was aware of both of them, engaged in their adventures and growth without being subject to any of the rules and constraints they were forced to live by. Even though the Mage felt older to me, my two characters exist simultaneously inside the game’s mathematical molecules, the magical building blocks of 0 and 1. Then I read what Seth had to say:
“Now these various plays, these creative period pieces represent what you would call reincarnational lives. They all exist basically at one time… these “plays” are highly spontaneous affairs in which the actors have full freedom within the play’s framework… Your own multi-dimensional personality is so endowed that it can have these experiences and still retain its identity. It is, of course, affected by the various plays in which it takes part… in them the multi-dimensional personality learns through its own actions… You are the multi-dimensional self who has these existences, who creates and takes part in these cosmic passion plays, so to speak. It is only because you focus on this particular role now that you identify your entire being with it… consciousness is in a state of becoming. It is learning the art of actualization… And all of this is done with great spontaneity and unbound joy.”
After only a few days of playing Skyrim, the world felt less solid, less real in the sense of confining. I would step outside and perceive the light, the inner glow of trees, leaves, clouds, sky, everything. I felt distinctly surrounded, embraced by a creative force shining in and defined by forms no more real, as in permanent, than the world in a video game. In those moments, it was easy for me to believe my current personality, my ego, is merely one character or expression of who I truly am. Creating and playing are indistinguishable from each other. I felt what I believe—the individual I presently am is a creation even though there’s no separating my limited, seemingly confined existence from the Creator anymore than you can separate video games and the characters inhabiting them from their creators.
Just as characters obey the rules of the game they’re a part of, rules which are irrelevant to the Gamer, so too do we obey the rules of our physical existence even though these laws are, in essence, creations of our Inner Self. The ego we’re currently playing through lives by certain rules but, like our virtual characters, we possess a mysterious mainline to the creative consciousness defining and manifesting these specific parameters. Games provide their characters with clues about how to proceed by way of messages that flash outside the action, for example “Your health is low, take a potion” or “You do not have the necessary skill to do that (yet.)” We’re never really alone. In our hearts, with our intuition, we feel and therefore know things the brain merely serves to put into words.
My characters make mistakes and learn from them, and so do I. The other day my husband told me he could see changes in me brought about by my virtual experiences, “as though you actually lived them.” Some may say games aren’t real, but by that very logic you would have to say life isn’t real either, because all experiences are real in the sense that the soul is stimulated and even transformed by them. I wholeheartedly believe we are all of us part of one infinite drive to create, to play, and that existence on the physical plain is specifically designed to drive that point home while helping to teach us how. Life as we experience it now might be akin to a first grade classroom, who knows. Imagine how boring, how crazy it would be to identify exclusively with one character in one game.
My Xbox 360 and Skyrim were the Christmas gifts I requested last year. Gaming has deepened my identification with my Inner Self, for which time is always an exciting, perpetually unfolding present, pun intended, a gift we’re unwrapping inside the tree of Life. The more I play Skyrim, the more my own home feels like a virtual house and my current persona like a character of the real me—the Divine Gamer, if you will. Gaming highlights the haunting, thrilling truth that neither home is more real than the other one to my Inner Self, who loves inhabiting potentially endless creations.
I thoroughly enjoy the adventures I have through game characters, each one akin to a life time as I become mentally and emotionally involved in their experiences, but at the end of the day, I am so much more than they are, and much more than myself.