Metaphors for Life

Lately I’ve been finding myself fall into the trap of comparing my life to a video game. Of viewing it like a bad playthrough in which certain paths are now permanently locked off, walled off, due to mistakes made earlier. Like in Morrowind, when you kill the wrong NPC and then you get that dialogue prompt which says, “With this character’s death, the thread of prophecy is severed. Restore a saved game to restore the weave of fate, or persist in the doomed world you have created.” Definitely feel like I’m living in that doomed world.

But it makes me wonder, how did people view this stuff before video games? Everyone is always comparing stuff to simulations and computer games, saying reality is a matrix, but these are new terms. So what did the world used to be like? Was it like a play, the whole world is a stage sort of a thing? Or maybe life was like a painting or a tapestry or something along those lines. Surely life wasn’t just life, it’s always something else in addition to that.

We generate language and give names to what already exists, and then we say the word was God, and God was the word. We started threading and the fates became weavers. Now we have computers and the universe is a simulation. It seems like maybe all we ever see is ourselves. We start with the universe, this massive thing bigger than our brains can handle, and then we build a model of it, and eventually we forget the model came second, and we start to filter everything through that inferior man-made form. We really are quite reductive.

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