Vertical Development

“You Are The Player. Wake Up.”

Just stumbled across an article talking about how the end poem within the game Minecraft has been released into the public domain. I’ve never played Minecraft, so I wasn’t familiar with it. Reading the last few words of the poem though, as mentioned in the article, took me aback.

And the game was over and the player woke up from the dream. And the player began a new dream. And the player dreamed again, dreamed better. And the player was the universe. And the player was love.

Wake up.

You are the player.

Minecraft End Poem/Credits

Deciding to read the poem in its entirety, I was even more blown away by what I read and what Julian Gough wrote as the poem’s creator.

The core of what this poem is trying to articulate, and even the metaphor it’s using of the “player,” mirrors the same metaphor I want to use myself to explain everything I’ve learnt and still am learning about vertical development, how it relates to psychology and even potentially quantum mechanics, and how using a gaming metaphor can help us understand it in a simpler way (even though the actual workings of it are still a mystery).

The best way I could articulate this in my own words would be to say that we are living in a “simulation” but it is one of our own creation. But I emphasize the word “our” because it’s the first thing to understand about who we are as “players.”

We aren’t so much a body with a soul but are rather a soul with a body. Our soul resides within the quantum realm, a part of a collective consciousness, like a giant quantum computer which is what the universe is effectively is. Our soul inhibits our body and connects to our brain via quantum entanglement.

When we make this radical shift in understanding the larger context of our reality and apply a gaming metaphor to it, suddenly we see how the soul that I am is effectively a “player” inhabiting a body as a “character” which we are playing within a simulated “game” (see the featured image at the top of this post to grasp the awareness of this).

BTW for those familiar with Plato’s Cave, this perfectly relates to it as well. Think of your “character” as your ego, a constructed sense of identity.

Now here’s where it really gets interesting. Once we lay this base foundation, we can then begin to work off of it and understand how others things in life relate to it and fit within this larger context. For example, vertical development helps us to understand how to “level up” within this “game” which improves our perceptual “interface” for it, thus empowering us to perceive it in whole new ways.

Note how this ties into the mention of the “interface” within the Minecraft poem, as well as the mention of getting to “highest level,” as well as mentioning how this is achieved within “the long dream of life” and not “the short dream of a game.” In effect, if we look at Life as a larger, role playing, infinite game, each level of consciousness within it effectively feels like it’s own “short game,” with the player’s character having different roles, needs, and values at each level.

Now once we understand this, we can also build off this in turn and understand how our immediate needs today fit into this larger context. For example, the research I’ve been doing the last two decades around The Future of Work, social innovation, and creativity, as well as the people I’ve connected with online who are working within these areas, all relate to how we are effectively striving to level up to our next level, both as individuals and collectively as a society.

All said and done, this is a glimpse of what I’ve been struggling to articulate. But as I’ve realized recently, the struggle isn’t as much in articulating it, as in having the courage to articulate something so seemingly crazy to the average person that it almost seems heretical. But then again, hasn’t society undergone a monumental, radical shift of perception like this in the past, at a time when we once believed the Earth was the centre of the universe but only to discover that it revolved around the sun instead.

Update: I’ve been reflecting on this and I think going forward I’m going to focus more on the psychology of this rather than the quantum mechanics aspect of it. The main reason is that the quantum mechanics side is pretty much bleeding edge and still a work in process. The psychology side has been more researched over the past decade, with a lot of neuroscientists (such as Beau Lotto) substantiating that we don’t see reality directly.

By Nollind Whachell

Questing to translate Joseph Campbell's Hero’s Journey into The Player’s Handbook for The Adventure of Your Life, thus making vertical (leadership) development an accessible, epic framework for everyone.

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