I have a Facebook, as do many of the folks I know. I (jokingly) asked, ‘what is simulacra, and what is not?’ In other words, there are parts in our lives where we interact with actual people, places and things; yet there are parts of our lives that are neither.
We have lost, in our world, the ‘front porch’ of everyday life. Those ‘third places’ in our everyday that are neither home nor work. Perhaps the coffee shop or the barbershop is that for some, that place to relate with others on more than surface levels but not our most intimate levels.
That begs the question, what is a blog or Facebook–or more significanlty where is a blog or Facebook? Is virtual reality a ‘place’ where something actually occurs? Or is it a ‘non-place?’
2 thoughts on “The third place or the non-place”
Although I am not a Buddhist or Hindu, believing that the world is maya or illusion, and though I believe strongly in the “isness” of physical reality, of the world we live in and all the places in it, I believe even more strongly in the world of the mind, that it is not just myriads of intelligent nodes peppering physical reality, or effervescing like the spherules in a glass of bubble tea.
The world of mind is to me a “place” just as a thought or love is a “thing.” Out of this world commands dart forth to change and charge the physical realities around it. In our electronic age, I think, we have finally produced in the natural world counterparts of and extensions for the world of the mind, and one of them is the internet. Far more than the telegraph or the telephone were in bringing minds together that were physically great distances apart, the internet has really created a world where we can meet, a sort of waking dream world, where we can all be in the same dream, and remember it.
I have three “front porches” in the “real” world: a stone patio before my front door, a pleasant breezeway patio between my home and the next up the hill, and then a wonderful, shady kiwi arbor in my garden, where I have spent many a pleasant hour… alone with the Lord. It seems, though I constructed my home and its surroundings for hospitality, in the “real” world, everyone I built it for is too busy to remain with me there awhile. This is the tragicomedy of our times, that we have been given, or sometimes give, so much to share with others, and yet few want to accept what we have to give.
Just as on eBay we can usually find a buyer and a good price for whatever we have to sell, so on the internet, we can usually run into spiritual comrades who, like some of us, are forced by circumstances to live in a social wasteland in the so-called “world of the real”. Where we meet and converse and share may not be a “place” in the physical world, but it is a place just the same, a place in the world of mind. We would never have met them without it. Such is the internet, a front porch for those of us living at the close the age.
One last thing, don’t construe the terminology I have been forced to use to explain my idea as indicating adherence to any particular philosophy of the mind or the spirit. I am not a Theosophist or a Christian Scientist or anything like that. I’m just trying to write about something for which I don’t have adequate vocabulary, just experience.
Thanks for your blog – i’ve added you to my links coz i really like what you are about.
Romanos, thanks for your comment above – it hit me so hard that I quoted you in my latest blog entry.