Sunday, September 2, 2007


When the Source first stirred the primordial soup, and Is folded back on itself to know itself – and there were two points where there had been a single point, creating space, and then the expanding, evolving plenitude of visions – it must have felt as I do in 'Second Life' when I stretch out my arm and materialize a sphere, make it rise into the air and float, expand it, turn it into stone and place it on a wall I’ve made.

Creation growing from imagination seems to me the most godlike activity of humans. The author who fantasizes people and places which he later holds in his hand as his book, a woman painting colors on canvas to portray her night’s dream, Mozart pouring out as sound the product of his genius, an architect seeing his incorporeal images move from mind to lines on paper to a breathtaking gleaming building, a computer programmer watching his fancied world coming into colorful being on a screen . . . those are people echoing the nature of God.

A person who follows a recipe to make a cake, or a carpenter who obeys a construction plan build a shed, are somewhat removed from that godlike activity but are nevertheless creating, while the person who merely amasses money, or whose ego feeds on humiliating or tormenting others, is far removed from the divinity of creation.

What about human imagination which does not go beyond an individual’s subjective experience – for example the self-proclaimed writer who always has a novel in progress but never writes anything? I’m sure there’s going to be disagreement about this, but I think that merely dreaming without more is not the equivalent of bringing a dream into some tangible form. We creatures and our surroundings may exist only in God’s dream, but for us the dream is obviously a reality, as much as the Taj Mahal is a reality which rose from an architect’s dream.

There are probably no humans more often accused of “wasting time” than those with imaginations reflective of God’s who are in the process of creation. It is difficult for some parents and teachers to realize that staring out the window at rain, or going for long aimless walks, are essential parts of creating the Taj Mahal or the Ring of the Nibelungen or Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

My time spent creating and transforming objects in a computer world, and making more and more elaborate forms and structures from them, is undoubtedly a complete waste of time by some standards, but to me it is a thrill, an elation, because I feel in my experience the echo of God’s unbounded creativity. Yes, from an objective point of view it is a step below bringing a poem or a painting into the real life human world, but as a personal experience it is gratifying and exciting to see the fruits of my imagination grow in a visible computer world.

It occurs to me that there is one way in which my Second Life creation might satisfy the clods who always want practical results. Some presumably enlightened people tell us that we create our own heaven, that what we experience in an afterlife beyond this plane is fashioned entirely by our own desires and imaginings from a vast reservoir of possibilities. If so, then ‘Second Life’, with all its possibilities for realizing fantasies, is an excellent training ground for our creation of our next life. What could be more frightening to most of us than to bear the sole responsibility for deciding what we want to be and to experience? What a multitude of questions flood our thoughts when we accept that we are personally responsible for designing our future life! A little orientation and practice in ‘Second Life’ can’t hurt.


  1. Thanks for this, Fleming. I caught myself ready to pounce when I read it, with an "Aha!", for you know I love to argue.

    You have produced a classic piece of politician's or salesman's hype twisting reality into a false shape to make your point. Perhaps indeed hype is the most Godlike activity?

    But your value-system is interesting and self-consistent. Indeed your piece resembles the computer game in setting up a pseudo-reality where this can be the case.

    You've taken the idea of God and then supposed that the human objective is to be like God. In this you are not alone, certainly. Avenging, judging and smiting as if we are all in an Old-Testament world, fuel the world's biggest conflicts today.

    Personally, though I gain my livelihood at a computer screen, and am passionate about "creative writing" using the same toolset, I count these hours wasted from another point of view.

    Again speaking personally, I don't want to be God-like but animal-like, following inherited instincts as a guide to fulfilment. To prepare food or build a shed as in your example are very high on my list. To write a book or paint a picture, yes those too, but only if the imagination seizes me from a Source, as if angels dictate my hand.

    If I meet someone on the street whom I suspect of echoing the nature of God, I will probably cross to the other side for my own protection.

    But I mean no criticism. We are all different. Let us each be what we are and do what we fancy, even if we have to hype it up & call it God-like. Thank you Fleming, I mean Lord. Amen. :)

  2. Vincent, I have a mind to smite you, but I'm going to think it over first.

    The Lord

    : )

  3. Vincent said: "You've taken the idea of God and then supposed that the human objective is to be like God . . . Avenging, judging and smiting as if we are all in an Old-Testament world, fuel the world's biggest conflicts today . . . If I meet someone on the street whom I suspect of echoing the nature of God, I will probably cross to the other side for my own protection."

    Perhaps I don't understand your point here, Vincent, but to me, Fleming is referring to a God that creates beauty and happiness, not One that allegedly has the negative traits that you list.

  4. Anonymous: are there so many gods then to choose from?

  5. I'm assuming you plan to enter the after life in the same body, Fleming? Is that why painting a futuristic picture in 2nd life is so important? I'm not sure I follow you but frankly at 59, I'm already bored with the body I have. That would be a "smite" if I had to fly around with the same body I had here. If so, I can only hope it makes me 17 again.