Nightflower has recently posted on NWN the results of her survey of her readers together with her own thoughts on maintaining a balance between RL and SL lives…. and she invites debate and a conversation on this topic… so…
Nightflower’s words are born of her own experience and so are true for her though not necessarily so for all.
The one sentence that jumped out at me was… “my emotional health also requires me to reject romanticization, and embrace the truth that my flesh-and-blood self is inherently more valuable than my digital projection.”
I have a problem with that. It may seem like semantics, me being picky, but my self, or anyone’s self is not flesh and blood, but pure psychic in nature. Similarly I would disagree that my avatar is a straight forward digital projection.
Nightflower also says “I love my avatar Night, and enjoy alternating between talking about her as if she were me, and referring to her as if she were a unique, sentient being. While there are some valuable kernels of truth in that viewpoint for a discussion on identity, that kind of talk is potentially destructive hogwash if we’re talking about balance.”
It would seem to me that some sort of viewpoint on identity would have to be reached before one can make a value judgement about how more or less “valuable” one part of my psyche is as opposed to another part of my psyche.
Is the hour a patient spends with her/his therapist more or less valuable than the 40 hours a week they have to work in order to pay for the therapy?
Her statement is very culturally based, these are the values we were all indoctrinated with from childhood, and may not be viable longer. (previous post, Angst and Addiction)
Though I do not consider myself a Christian there is an example from the bible where Martha complains that she does all the work while Mary just sits at Christ’s feet taking his teaching. So this discussion is not a new one…. and there is no answer.
Moving on from this particular point about the relative importance of atom-based work vs. digital work, I have a theoretical aversion to the idea that balance is always necessary, or even a good thing.
Does the idea “moderation in all things” also include Moderation as one of the things to be moderate about? Is it not necessary to throw Balance out of the window on occasion?
If Mozart had not been obsessed, if van Gogh had achieved more Balance, who would have gained?
Balanced can just equal Safe, and can be the refuge for those feeling they got their fingers burnt playing with fire…. and I make no apology for re-quoting this piece from one of my previous posts on addiction…
“Talking of the conflict between conscious and unconscious elements of the Self, (like yin and yang, human and avatar)… Dr Jung says….
“When this confrontation is confined to partial aspects of the unconscious the confrontation is limited and the solution simple: the patient, with insight and some resignation or a feeling of resentment, places himself on the side of reason and convention.”
He means that if you can’t stand the heat, you get out of the kitchen. Addiction is then the excuse you have for being in the kitchen in the first place. The unwanted sides of your psyche that have manifested get repressed again, and you go back to “normality”.”
I am of the firm belief that I would rather be Mental than Balanced, but a mixture of the two is probably healthier..