Cycles of Enlightenment and the Metaverse
How to anticipate the coming cyclicality of digital dharmas through ancient religion.
tSaṃsāra was first introduced in Buddhism, but it is a foundational tenant of Hinduism, as well. The principle on which saṃsāra is based, is that all life is circular, so with each incarnation we are given another chance to grow and reach higher states of consciousness. When the body dies, if it has not reached the moment of moksha, which is the karmic transformation into the ultimate transcendent state, the soul is reborn. Therefore, the universe gives us another chance, each time, to take another step toward nirvana.
Digital platforms follow a similar path. In fact, it’s fair to say a lot of things in life are like this.
“The universe gives us another chance, each time, to take another step toward nirvana.”
Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is an obvious one, but the evolution of the computer from an analog machine the size of a house used to process simple math problems to the device in your pocket today that generate untold fortunes in the stock market, evolution is as much a part of the world’s digital DNA as it is physical nature. Art, fashion, music all follow the same cyclicality. Why wouldn’t digital realities?
It’s my opinion that online platforms such as social media and surely the spaces that will make up the metaverses of our future will follow this karmic path.
“Evolution is as much a part of the world’s digital DNA as it is physical nature.”
Even tsunamis, like Facebook (now Meta), are still waves and waves eventually crash and recede back into the ocean. It’s hard to believe Facebook IPO’ed 17 years ago. It’s perhaps more impressive to think corporate brands like JP Morgan (banking) and Jim Beam (spirits) were founded in the 18th Century. Longer waves. What platforms created today will last 200+ years? It’s hard to say in a world where the customer is the commodity. Cannibalism is not a sustainable diet, after all.
It’s important to note that Buddhists believe the process of saṃsāra is fundamentally painful and transcendence is only achieved through unpleasant discipline that eventually eradicates life’s cravings.
As digital dharmas take shape, what lessons about ancient religion will stakeholders need to understand to make new worlds that last?
What do you think?
For more thoughts on digital transformation and the spiritual dimensions of the coming metaverses, follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/m_a_bradshaw