EXTENDED REALITY (XR): How the Metaverse
Could become the New Containment Field for Humanity
“The metaverse is going to be far more pervasive and powerful than anything else. If one central company gains control of this, they will become more powerful than any government and be a god on Earth.”
Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games
There’s a race on to become the next god on Earth – or rather, the next almighty source of authority. At the same time, there is another race on to capture the attention – the dreams, the desires, the future life – of the individual before they become a burden to the world and to themselves. It has been said that the masses – the everyday individual – now fears becoming irrelevant to the future. It was the historian Yuval Noah Harari who stated that the same technologies that might make billions of people economically irrelevant might also make them easier to monitor and control. No one particularly likes Harari to be right – but he very well may be as what he says represents the direction of the global elitists. As has been widely publicized, it is the elitist vision (as put forth by the WEF) that by 2030 people shall own nothing and be happy. Yet there is another loss of ownership involved here: the loss of self.
The loss of the self combines with a reduction of self-identity and the eradication of the corporeal ‘flesh and blood’ body. It is a form of disintegration that initially few people will realize because it will have been swiftly compensated by a clever substitution with a meta-life in the realm of extended reality. Even now, many people hardly realize that decisions are made less and less by them, and more by digital nudging. This is the new state of unknown unfreedom. The term the technologists use for ways to structure and direct action to elicit a desired behaviour or outcome is choice architecture. This architecture is now almost all digitally based, and supplies ‘digital nudges’ to steer individual choice/action into desired routes. These ‘digital nudges’ are becoming endemic through all the devices and online environments. Most of the time people do not suspect that they are being nudged into specific behaviours that ultimately favour specific groups. As a chief data scientist at a leading Silicon Valley company stated: ‘Conditioning at scale is essential to the new science of massively engineered human behavior…We want to figure out the construction of changing a person’s behavior, and then we want to change how lots of people are making their day-to-day decisions.’ And if the offline/online environments become merged together, how much more pervasive will these nudges be? This tech-enabled construction of human behaviour, a form of digital-electrical excitation, is creating an electronic bubble (a revised Faraday cage) around the human being. This is not the type of cage that protects but rather one that prohibits. It will increase the inputs and stimulus from the information-programmed broadcast (the ‘noise’), whilst prohibiting incoming communication from the suprasensible, metaphysical realm (the ‘signal’). The noise is already becoming too much for many people. Whereas most people used to agree that a consensus reality existed, now many are not so sure anymore. Life has entered a huge wobble, and it’s becoming so uncomfortable that people may be only too willing to accept the new narrative replacement – the Metaverse.
The Metaverse as the New Meta-Narrative
It’s getting progressively difficult these days to know what ‘society’ means any more. Human belonging is morphing from natural affiliations and identities into the need for affirmation: a desperate angst against the loss of purpose, of meaning, of relevancy – of self. Post-modernity was critically defined as expressing the loss of grand narratives and their replacement with relative truths. The ‘Great Reset’ modernity is re-writing these grand narratives, as shown by the World Economic Forum’s latest release – The Great Narrative (2021). The emerging re-modelled meta-narrative will be one spearheaded by the Metaverse. The Metaverse is set to become the new ‘grand narrative’ that subsumes all others; truths are less likely to be relative and more likely to be consensus dictates. The Metaverse, if the tech-elites have their way, will become the leading social technology of the future. Just what is the Metaverse?
The term Metaverse was put into popular consciousness by Neil Stephenson’s sci-fi novel Snow Crash (1992). The Metaverse is typically portrayed as a sort of digital ‘jacked-in’ internet where physical reality gets left behind for immersion in a virtual world, such as portrayed in the film Ready Player One (and to some extent, The Matrix). The internet would ultimately develop into the metaverse, incorporating the physical world and attempting to leave behind all on/offline distinctions. Everyone participating would be inside an ‘embodied’, or ‘3D’ version of the internet; that is, we will constantly be ‘within’ the internet, rather than have access to it, alongside all other users and in real-time. Life as we know it would have become a merger. As one proponent describes it:
The Metaverse is a massively scaled and interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds which can be experienced synchronously and persistently by an effectively unlimited number of users with an individual sense of presence, and with continuity of data, such as identity, history, entitlements, objects, communications, and payments.
What this technical interpretation states is that the Metaverse is an embodied world that is experienced at the same time (synchronously) and continuously (persistently). In other words, it is attempting to present itself as a substitute for life – a new reality for human experience. However, it’s not so simple as that. Whilst many people will think of the Metaverse as a 3D space, the greater truth is that rather than being a graphical space, the Metaverse is essentially about the persistent dematerialization of physical space, body, and objects whilst retaining a material paradigm. What it offers is a dematerializing reality that reterritorializes our current social structure through the digitalization of people, machines, and objects. Yet this dematerializing reality is not a shift away from materiality but rather a deepening immersion into a new form of it. And this is the trick being offered to us – it is a subtle yet more pervasive material entrapment, disguised as a transcendence of physicality. The user’s experience of reality will be altered, perhaps permanently, as what constitutes reality itself will be reconstructed and transfigured into a new assemblage for the future human. What we are witnessing is a new future reality in the making.
Commentators and supporters of the Metaverse are describing it as a kind of ‘virtual expanse’ existing outside the confines of the everyday. Whilst they say it has a level of permanence similar to the ‘real world,’ it also offers a universe beyond it. In other words, the Metaverse is being touted as an extended universe, or extended reality, beyond the present one. It is seen as another dimension added onto physical reality. The tech geeks are salivating over the idea that the individual’s physical persona and their digital persona will mesh together into one unified identity. The tech-vision is that in the Metaverse, people will live metalives through extended lives and lifestyles; virtual possessions will bring new meaning to ownership; and the offline crave for physical goods will be converted into the hype for virtual commodities bought through non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Zucker Bucks, and other forms of digital exchange. The tech-hope is that the Metaspace will be the new vacation playground, as staycations (people remaining at home for the holiday period) become transfigured into metacations. Offline propaganda will get a Madison Avenue makeover to be branded as gamevertising, acknowledging the metalife as gameplay. Metamedical industries will promote the new health regime of the connected wellbeing, where disconnect brings on modernity’s new alienation and loss. Offline life will still offer more sense-reality than life in the Metaverse, only that it will be less affirming. For many, life in the Metaverse will seem more immersive than the physical life experience; and ultimately, it will be more covetous, more possessive, and more status conscious. Conforming to a reality consensus will no longer be an issue since inhabitants in the Meta will be able to conform to anything and to any reality.
The tech-intention for the Metaverse is for it to become an all-encompassing immersive reality that offers an alternative to, and may one day supersede, physical reality. It will provide an embodied environment that will allow its precursor – the ‘Internet of Things’ – to evolve into the ‘Internet of Bodies,’ the ‘Internet of Humans,’ and the ‘Internet of Senses.’ Since it will be a technological universe largely designed by elite-sponsored techies, it seems obvious to those who are observant that the Metaverse is part of the WEF’s Fourth Industrial Revolution agenda to implement technocratic governance through redefining the role of human identities and human society. The role of existing society may soon become secondary as people grow up in a world where metasocieties are the new social structuring and training grounds. Whilst the meta-elites are scrambling for space flight and off-world living, the rest of humanity will be left behind to wander within the existential escapism of the Metaverse. A contained meta-reality will be presented to people as a solution to and escape from their worldly ills. A pseudo, monitored, and controlled environment will be dressed up in the fashionable clothes of a new false freedom.
When the Metaverse inserts itself as an extension of our present reality, we shall have suffered a breach – a transgression – in human development. The trajectory of human evolvement will be almost irreversibly affected – a new path will have opened up. Connecting the human being to a prolonged immersion within the digital realms is not a ‘merging’ but a dissociation of the human being from their body and hence from their vehicle of sacred receptivity and transmission: it is a separation from Source. We shall be playing in the disenchanted underbelly of dark gnosticism.
A Gnostic Underbelly
We may be led to believe that the Metaverse is an agnostic space, yet the covert truth is that it is a deeply dark gnostic realm where the entropic forces of materialism create a deadly enchantment. Similar to the gnostic vision of writer Philip K. Dick, the creator of the pseudo-realm is the false god/Demiurge that he refers to as an ‘artifact.’ Such a creative artifact constructs an artificial reality – a projected world – that is ‘ruthlessly deterministic and mechanical.’ For the Gnostics, the material world was intrinsically evil, and the task of humanity was to escape it. There may be those people who will argue that the Metaverse is not part of the material world because it is primarily digital – yet this is a fallacy. As mentioned above, this is the trick of pulling the wool over our eyes through a reterritorialising of materiality. The Metaverse is a deeper layer within the dreaming of the material world. Just as in the film Inception (2010), where the protagonists are taken into progressively deeper layers of the dream world, so too is the Metaverse a deeper layer within an artificial world constructed from the material configurations of computer technology. And within the reality construct of the Metaverse, it is likely to be difficult to discern the control agendas and techniques that are part of the Demiurge – the artifact of error and falsity. Human consciousness will be redirected through distraction into a realm of extended reality, and further away from both the natural world and from higher reality perception. In other words, consciousness will be monitored, stimulated, and influenced by incorporation into the meta-corporate world. We might as well get this branded now as Consciousness Incorporated (Meta Inc.). Creative imagination is the realm of human potential; it is what stimulates visionary ideas, innovation, and inspirational development. Yet when the human imagination is fed by data inputs, selected information, and arranged artefacts – the ‘choice architecture’ of behaviour control – then this forms dense imagination. According to Rudolf Steiner, densified imaginations are not visionary in character because they have been made heavy by an Earthly materiality. They are more likely to correspond to devolutionary, entropic influences – spirits of materialism – which are dark powers that Steiner refers to as Ahrimanic forces. Furthermore, dense imagination and the deterritorialization of self leads to the loss of personal willpower and genuine intention. The capacity for focused will and intention are crucial aspects of a free and sovereign individual. And if a person does not utilize their own capacities and powers, then there will be others who shall exploit them for their own uses. The self-control and exercise of will is fundamental to humanity’s development.
The acceleration towards A.I. constructed worlds with their techno-infrastructures is an acceleration away from human evolvement toward Source consciousness. This is the polarity, the dichotomy, that is also playing out in the theme of transhumanism. The materialism fallacy is that the continuing encapsulation of the human being into artificial constructs is a deepening deception of materiality. And deepening immersion into materialism is what Gnosticism essentially warns us against. In the context here, to dematerialise away from the body is not a path away from materiality but a further transgression into the containment field of artificial constructs. The crippled hero of Avatar (2009) displayed the imperfect nature of human physical bodies, and the need for transmigration into other bodily forms. This transhumanist cocktail is one of the purest aspects of concentrated materialism. And through this comes a profound and deadly dispiriting. In a post-pandemic world, where life is lived through Zoom, we are being thrust into a time where human-to-human contact is being replaced with interaction through technology. We are being tempted through our digital exoskeleton to embrace a new opulent gnostic realm. This is a realm where the Metaverse masquerades as the new fashion and the Demiurge-Artifact is the fashion designer. Over time, a new godlike digital space could be formed where people become their own gods, dressed as lustrous super-potent avatars, whilst their biological nervous system gets rewired to leave the human body behind. In this will be created the greatest tech-elite dream of separation and alienation from any genuine transcendental impulses. In the extreme, humanity will have been delivered the final blow of disconnection from direct contact with the Source of our being – with Origin. And this is the nature of the counterfeit mirror world of the Metaverse. And with the Metaverse, we become entangled in a deadly enchantment.
Our current crises in material life should not be used as a reason for the tech-corporations to tempt us into dislocation from physical form, which is ultimately a deterritorialization and loss of self. Where there is such material conditioning and indoctrination, a mechanical element is introduced which drives out the factor of extradimensional reality perception. Natural human evolvement that aims to connect the higher functions of the mind with the higher reality will become dampened and greatly diminished – or even eliminated altogether. Any genuine future for the human being must surely be aligned with a developmental impulse that serves to maintain correspondence with the Greater Reality. And the Metaverse, where we shall ‘own nothing and be happy,’ will only increasingly distance people from it. Our future now will depend on these choices regarding which world we wish to populate.
 Zuboff, S. (2019). The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. London, Profile Books, p295-6
 See Jean-François Lyotard’s The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (1979)
 An alternative off-on world scenario was presented in the film Elysium (2013)
 Dick, P.K. ‘Cosmogeny and Cosmology’ (1978), The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick: Selected Literary and Philosophical Writings (ed. Lawrence Sutin). 1995. New York: Vintage Books.
 ‘The Occult Movement in the Nineteenth Century’ – https://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA254/English/RSP1973/19151018p01.html
Copyright 2016 Kingsley L. Dennis | All Rights Reserved |