Pondering the South African Memesphere – Looking for the Good in Everything header image 2

The Empath

January 12th, 2008 · Posted by jess · 1 Comment

A long long time ago, in a galaxy far away, we were barely teenagers. Our father, who is in heaven, provided us with a wormhole into another world. The wormhole came with the label “CompuServe”. This was before The Internet became the obvious choice, and besides, it provided a safe environment for the innocence of youth. Ah, the days when we did not know that we destroy as much as we create. The games we played back then were good, clean fun. The lines between reality and fiction were still crisp and crackling. And that reality is now labelled “retro-gaming”. Hmm… the more things stay the same, the more they change.

The first encounter with such adventures, was an adventure of twisty little passages, all alike. An adventure with a clock tick-tocking at around 2400 times per “human” second, in what seemed to be particularly meaningful patterns. Tick-tick-tock-tick-tock-tock, or something like it, around 400 times per “second”. That was all that the innocent mind needed, to see into a whole ‘nother universe. The “solo” game, where only one-dimension was important: collecting gold. Simple. Enough. It was the first time we came face-to-face with magic spells, and the uber-spell xyzzy. Safe. xyzzy. What harm can be done by something that simple? What are the differences between that, and abracadabra, or even Havada Cadavra? To the innocent mind, the difference was the whole world. The difference is the whole world. But innocence continued exploring its boundaries. The next excursion was into the lands of British Legends.

Apparently these adventures of a British kind, was one of the very first multi-user dungeons. A dungeon, with a whole bunch of lost souls, interacting. Innocence became frightened, and ignored the bigger picture. It was just a brief excursion into a more mature world. And sometimes innocence witnessed a pair of more mature characters requesting something from the naive, who obeyed orders in return for some mystery gift. And the naive liked the gifts. That was what life was supposedly about. But it was too mysterious. Innocence lost interest, and dabbled some more in simple one-dimensional entertainment. Beauty is found in simplicity.

Tick tock, tick tock.

Another visit to the more mature world, somewhat less brief, took place in the fields of Elanthia. The Fields of Elanthia rode on the back of some incarnation of the GemStone. This was our first encounter with the choosing of professions. What profession shall we choose? The Empath? The Empath proposed. And the call of the Empath was hard to resist. It lured innocence in, ready to chew it up and spit out the shell. And we thought the contract sounded good. Some entertainment, some cheap thrills, again at some mystery cost. The mystery was still beyond comprehension, and would remain so for more than a decade. Was the choice of Empath random, or was there some grander scheme at work, pulling its own strings?

So here then the Empath’s task: absorb the world’s ills, by taking the ills upon itself, and then healing. Itself. Healing yourself. Only yourself can you heal. Except, healing takes time. Becoming a skilled Empath takes time. Clearly more than a decade. Why? Because healing yourself is a hard skill to learn. The inexperienced Empath is worthless, the only function he could have, would be suicide. And the patience was not yet there, the patience needed to understand the all-seeing eye, observing the triangle of trade. Oh my, the all seeing eye. Innocence ran away again. A decade. More. But is or was a decade enough?

Tick tock, tick tock.

The time has come. Or at least, innocence thought it was ready to be lost. Ready to be birthed into the next plane of existence. Ready to play in a three dimensional world. Oh my. The fear, the loathing, the exhilaration. The death, the suffering, the chaos. All to be channelled through one frail virtual body. One mind. The hive mind. And innocence took one big bite. Boom, head explodes.

So this is then the virtual world? Suddenly we believe. We see how “healing” works. How shifting the blame works. The all seeing eye, balancing the transactions, hiding the truth. Oh, the truth, why do we seek it so, when it burns? It burns… The touch… The touch of Truth.

So where do we go from here? The world of Red and Black is no longer so simple. Now we are supposedly capable of healing ourselves, for suitable definitions of healing. And we are capable of channelling the world’s ills… somewhere… dumping grounds in some other dimension… But what is the cost? What was the cost? Oh, what cost! The importance of grounding, of anchoring, of maintaining one foot firmly planted in reality… Is transcendence worth this pain? Or will the healing process stabilise, and provide infinite wells of living water, relatively speaking? To sleep, to dream… to work, to eat… to play, to communicate… The three. Third heaven. Third haven.

Three dimensions just juggle that much harder. Step back down to two, or find some way to balance three? Maintain the juggling of three, by using a helping hand every now and then? A helping hand, suddenly appearing out of nowhere, and disappearing just as quickly? Or a figment eventually finding form. A body, in the mirror. The mirror. We fear the mirror. The fourth dimension. The sixth, the seventh? Does the answer lie in the seventh?

Oh, hell, if the third dimension is this scary, how long will it take to get used to it? Find the path back to lost innocence, or start building new alliances in this new realm, to keep away the scary forces?


Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?

Let’s try sleep.

Categories: Jess

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Hugo // Jan 13, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Jess: yet another wacknut. But Jess got me thinking… new retro-gaming would be to play some Quake3. I actually own a copy for Linux, they sent us two by “mistake” when I ordered one for a friend.

    I see Ubuntu has “alien-arena”. I’ve also heard “warsow” is worth investigating?

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