Gabriel Magalhães, 21 February 2022
The metaverse can take a leap that takes us to a new unknown reality (iStock)
The cave that has fallen to us, citizens of the 21st century, is much more complicated than the Platonic one. In this one, there was a parade of shadows. In ours, there is an infinity of tricky reflections that are born on screens of all kinds: mobile, tablet, computer, television. A dance of appearances, a hall of infinite mirrors, in which we can lose ourselves. There are days when one feels like a castaway adrift in a vast ocean of information that is often futile, dubious, tricked.
Indeed, there are many signs of disorientation among the citizens of the West. Perplexed, people oscillate between annoyance and dismay. And yet, for a human life to be fulfilled, to be fully realised, a few clear and certain ideas are enough. Ideas that are like perfectly cut diamonds. This is what I want. This is what I must do. My path to the future will go through these territories. When we reach that inner epiphany, we are transformed into a clean canvas, on which we can paint our existence. And what you feel is the peace of clarity.
The truth of the world and of who we are, has to be reached by living in depth.
To reach this solar moment, we have to be able to throw away the smuggling of untruths that exists within us and that is often transmitted to us by our culture or our family. If we sit down and analyse what we have received from our elders, we will find many valuable things, of course. But all it takes is one false idea, one poisonous emotion, so that our whole life tends to become a sad theatre. And then we will no longer be a portrait, but a caricature of ourselves.
On this journey towards lucidity, we must also rid ourselves of our own inner shadows. Each one of us will know his or her own collection of darkness. If we do not do so, it is not the wonders of the world that will flow through our eyes, but blots of negative feelings. Everything will be smudged, marred by our traumas, our weaknesses. Intimate transparency, so difficult to achieve, is that light that floods an artist’s studio, flooding in through wide windows.
Because many people have fallen in love with the depths of things.
Then there are also the people we choose and who choose us. Because in some of them everything will be clearer, and in others our lie may become clearer. Sometimes we destroy ourselves disastrously through the people we are intimate with. There are, on the other hand, people who are like magic mirrors in which we glimpse our most authentic face. People who help us open the boots of our spirit. And it is at that moment, supported by these invaluable human beings, that we will discover in our hands the brushes capable of painting our journey.
The truth of the world and of who we are, has to be reached by living deeply. And that includes reading certain books. Contemplating works of art. Looking at the moon of the best films. Bewitching our ears with the mystery of music. Learning the most lucid things that have been thought and discovered. Because many people have fallen in love with the depth of things. And all that heritage, all that adventure is the ink box with which we can colour our biography. And let’s not forget the journeys because only the maps drawn by our steps are part of us. However, what we do must be transitive: it must be an embrace that we give to people.
We will then have entered fully into the chiaroscuro of life. Something denser and more beautiful than the dancing images of the audio-visual cavern. Nothing will be easy, but everything will be real and will go further. Even suffering and failure will build us up. We will no longer be puppets of our time.
Cannon fodder of our country, of our culture. We will perhaps pay a high price of loneliness and incomprehension for having dared to betray, in the name of lucidity, the bad fictional film in which we are made to exist. We must not, however, feel superior to anyone: that would be the worst lie of all.
And the day will come when everything that was in the cave, all the lying images, will be reduced to a small mirror at the back of our existence. The days will surround us with their sparkling whirlpool of people and objects. The tradition that threatened us will be hanging on the walls, blurred in shadow. There will be a door through which the light enters. And we will look at life, face to face, curious and serene, always ready for the next brushstroke of our biography.