I walked into a film rental one day
To pick up a movie to watch
And caught the end of a conversation:
“Do you like those real-life based dramas?” asked the customer.
“I used to like movies,” replied the Attendant-Cashier, “but can’t stand anything to do with real-life anymore. In whatever genre!”
So I looked up.
“Our own lives are depressingly boring. In life, there’s so much hardship already, and despair,” he continued, “So I prefer the world of online gaming, to be honest, where I can switch off and ‘switch on’ as I wanna be. Where I can get away, and say: ‘Here I am now, entertain us!’ It’s a freedom from life. This is the new nirvana I think……Oh and they were a good band weren’t they!”
“Shame the lead singer shot himself in the head…” the customer commented, “Oh well whatever, never-mind. Go on…”
“I was saying, the game play is so captivating, addictive. I know it’s completely unreal, but I love just living in those constructed narratives, that are so virtually real. I can spend days and nights on campaigns across galaxies and lose myself in those never-ending stories so far, far away. This is definitely the way of the future.”
The ‘Way’, I pondered, was synonymous in meaning to
That was when I knew the Time had come.
The Gospel according to Self (via St Polonius) is now reigning supreme: “This above all: to thine ownself be true.”
Has now new meaning: the age old lie:
How humankind was tempted – not by Eve – but by the devil to eat the fruit from the tree.
(So don’t dare blame the woman but blame two-horned misanthropy,)
Told it will bring them power – the power of immortality.
The fools, we!
In heaven they were such. They were already – had been – eternally free.
But the sin of Adam and Eve was forgiven
When they cried tears for heaven, repenting for He.
Doomed to jihad the dread life on earth’s grim reality
they were downcast,
And yet God gave us a way back in his rahma3, his generosity:
Live according to His Laws to prove your earnestness
and He will give back to us the greatest gift that IS, Will, ever have Been,
what no eye has heard, no taste has seen, no mind has lived, soul dared to dream.
But a heedless life amok in pleasure, vainglory,
is yet another fruit from this earthly withering tree,
presented us again…
The snake come softly, softly,
“Come here! Seek the virtue in your Self’s desire.
A virtual life is by far better than here’s reality.”
Break its soul despair!
Are we fools to risk losing the heaven’s gift yet again!
Again, I warn:
Do NOT forsake the grounded life’s working good for God!
Do NOT lose yourself fully from The revealed Way. Be free
and strive! Defy the devil your remaining breaths of mortality!
By Arif uz Zaman
Check out The Heights and contemplate.
1 Meaning ‘the way’ – but particularly, ‘the way of the Prophet’. c.f. The word Sunnah is Arabic and is derived from the root (sa-n-na) meaning smooth and easy flow [of water] or direct flow path. The word literally means a clear and well trodden path. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher … and the best exemplar. From Sunnah.
2 Meaning ‘the way’ – but particularly, ‘the way of religion’. c.f. Dīn (anglicized as Deen) is an Arabic word commonly associated with Islam, but it is also used in Arab Christian worship. The term is sometimes translated as “religion“, but as used in the Qur’an, it refers both to the path along which righteous Muslims travel in order to comply with divine law, and to the divine judgment or recompense to which all humanity must inevitably face without intercessors before God. From Deen.