I am sure all of you have heard in the news that Apple launched the Apple Vision Pro, their first VR, AR, MR (Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality) headset. I wonder how many of you have bought it. I think it’s overpriced, so I am staying with Meta Quest 3. I’ve been using Meta Quest since version 1 when it was called Oculus Quest.
If you wonder, “What’s the big deal about it? Isn’t it just another gaming device?” No longer! The big deal is these devices is ushering us into the future of the metaverse. Soon, you can transport or transfigure yourselves between the metaverse and the universe. For the first time, these headsets are produced as productivity tools and will replace your cell phones, computers, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and more.
In other words, soon, we will live, work, move, and have our being with these glasses. Most importantly, these devices can serve as an excellent metaphor for today’s subject: “Transfiguration.” If you don’t believe in transfiguration or resurrection or wonder what it is like, you will seriously consider it after this message.
For productivity, you can put on the headset and create a breathtakingly beautiful working environment. You can set up your office on the moon, at the North Pole, or under the Caribbean Sea, surrounded by tropical fish, giant sharks, and colorful sea creatures outside your office windows, above your glass ceiling, and under your glass floor. Can you imagine what it would be like to work in an office like that?
With Meta Quest 3, you get three resizable virtual monitors to work on, significantly boosting your productivity if you know how to use them.
If you like entertainment, you can watch movies on an immersive screen, like being in the iMax theater without the trouble of driving there and finding parking. If you like traveling, the National Geographic app lets you explore exotic places as if you are realistically on-site without spending thousands of dollars and an arduous journey to get to those places.
You can also play sports like golf, table tennis, bowling, basketball, you name it. You can even have fitness coaches without leaving your home. You can turn any space you have into a gym.
What’s significant now is it’s getting incredibly realistic. What you see in the metaverse can be much more beautiful than this universe. Some users say they don’t want to return to real life after being there. Others say they get confused between whether the virtual life is real or the real life is virtual. I agree with them. Sometimes, I prefer to live in the metaverse and feel reluctant to return to the universe.
Now, I have a serious question for you. Have you ever wondered if our present life here is virtual or real? What if it is virtual? Let’s say we come from the real world somewhere, and we are born into this virtual world as babies, live for about a hundred years, and return to the real world we came from.
If you could grasp that life is a phantom of reality, it would completely change how you live, how you relate with people, and how you handle the difficulties of life because everything is a phantom. All the grudges, grievances, and guilts on earth are vanity. As King Solomon said,
“Vanity of vanities … vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” (Ec 1:2).
This book is part of the wisdom literature. King Solomon wrote this when he was old. Wisdom is to capture someone’s lifetime lesson and build on it without reinventing the wheel. Instead of working until we are old to find out, why don’t we learn from the wisdom of the ages? If all is vanity, how would you live your life?
About 2,400 years ago, my favorite philosopher Zhuangzi woke up from a dream and told his students, “I just dreamed I was a butterfly. Realistically, I flew joyfully and peacefully among flowers and trees. When I woke up, I couldn’t tell whether I was a butterfly dreaming about being a human or a human dreaming about being a butterfly.”
With this story, Zhuangzi taught people that this life is unreal. He allegorized that we are butterflies dreaming of being humans. Our life on earth is just a dream. Our reality is in the spiritual realm. We can call it Pneumaverse—Pneuma means Spirit or Breath in Greek. Our physical life on earth is a phantom. It’s an illusion. Can you grasp it? Pierre Teilhard de Chardin famously said,
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” ~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
I have discussed this with many people, but most couldn’t imagine another reality outside this physical world. For them, it’s more like wishful thinking.
Do our bodies really exist? If you study a little quantum physics, you know our body is composed of waves, not matters. We know our bodies are composed of cells. Cells are composed of atoms. But when we open an atom, we find an empty space with waves of protons, neutrons, and electrons dancing in it. There’s nothing in there except these waves of energy. In short, we don’t exist!
We are sustained by breath or spirit. The moment our breath leaves us, we cool down and dry up.
Since this life is a phantom, all the anxieties, bickerings, grudges, strife, and wars are meaningless. All the complaints about “me, me, me, how about me” are pointless because “me” doesn’t exist. Like the wise King Solomon said, “All is vanity.”
When you realize all is vanity, resurrection or transfiguration becomes significantly conceivable because it gives us a glimpse of eternity, the kingdom of God, or the Pneumaverse. Long ago, Jesus gave Peter, James, and John a peek into that reality on Mount Tabor. The question is, can we also have a similar experience?
So, today, we will explore what reality is like through Jesus’ transfiguration event to better understand our life on earth as the phantom of reality so that we know how to handle life meaningfully and live a joyful, happy, carefree, and stress-free life until we return to eternity. Let’s begin.
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