To Reject or Accept the Simulacrum

by phil on Thursday Sep 11, 2003 1:56 AM

A Simulacrum, as defined by Baudrillard, is a copy without an original.

I was reading this essay talking about the relationship between the Matrix and Baudrillard.

An important metaphor is this: consider a map of the world that is so detailed and specific that one spends most of his time in the map instead of the real world. This is Baudrillard's analysis of the present state of affairs in modern countries, and he likes to call what we live in the hyperreal or the desert of the real.

But what is real?

If the map or simulacra is the confusion of money, material possessions, work ethics, religions, the media, and anything man-made that commands us, then what is the real?

Unfortunately, I'm afraid that there is no "real" but whatever we're genetically adapted to, which could tenuously be a reality of 20,000 years ago, one of hunter-gatherer. This is tenuous though, because, what's to say we didn't develop pre-adaptations then that assist us with living in our current simulacra? And why should the state of the world 20,000 years ago be considered more real than what it is today?

Anyway, that's not the point I was trying to get at, and I'm no expert on Baudrillard (I probably have offended fincky-picky readers already), but I was waxing reflexive a few minutes ago.

I was thinking, like, well, yes, WTF, we are living in some slimey simulation. No wonder being a cheerleader for money, success, intellectual pursuits, etc.. all feels like chewing air. I should become like Hemingway or something, and go out into the wild.

Then I thought, naah, it's too late, I've been socialized for the simulacra.

So, continuing with that thought I went, well then FINE, I should completely submit to the simulacra. I should go back to school, get a job @ google, learn how to hang-glide, go to anti-war protests, buy a nice car even though I don't want to, etc..

But then I thought, that's silly as well. My conscience tells me that I can't do things inauthentically or under false pretenses. Well, although, I do kind of do such a thing with the Tautrix which is a simulation of a religion in order to get the perks of having spiritual agents to pray to. But that's better than false pretense, it's more like fantasy. Fantasy is like halfway between being a cold supporter of pure truth and being a naive believer in illusion.

Well, I don't know the difference between doing that, v. pretending to believe in the system by making money etc. Well, we'll see.

Yeah, I'm not sure what the argument would be against making buku money just because it fulfills what I'm socialized to need, even though I don't endorse it.

Well, I think maybe the difference is that in the case of the Tautrix, I'm safe from becoming part of that which I don't endorse, which is believing that these "gods" actually exist... primarily because it's one of the tenets of that religion. In other words, it's not like by practicing the Tautrix, I'll become a religious fanatic.

Pursuing money or a career even though you don't believe it, on the other hand, poses the danger of sucking you into the system.

I have to understand what is truly important to me. Maybe the path to individual enlightenment is separating what, within us, is real and what is fake.


fusion said on January 18, 2004 11:52 AM:

Where in the centuries past it was truth sent by God(first torah-then when altered, the gospel of Isa-then when altered, the Holy Quran) that wielded the lives of individuals and communities, today the evil ones follow Hollywood scripts as if they were a revelation from their gods. So detached have people become from reality and caught up in the web of satans and the matrix in their everyday lives that they live in another reality designed to undermine the reality and creation created by God. Only a few who have been chosen by God are not affected negatively by satans and their agents in this 3D realm because all of the satan´s cleverness, stealth, and slyness has no effect in controlling or placing authority of the chosen of God. If the rest of creation would be kind enough to remain believers they would do themselves a great favour, however much satan may seem more superior to them. The way God, the one God of Adam,Abraham, and other prophets and creator of all creation judges us is by our intention(niyat) and so should the creation judge, with emphasis on reality and not illusion(satan the master of illusion). God bless.


fusion said on January 18, 2004 1:02 PM:

Forgot to mention that as long as the simulacra or films do not affect the subjects of persecution or a religeous ideology in a negative way, and if they don´t cause offence to the viewer who only sees them as a film and nothing more, then what´s the problem? I watcha films, check out new technology and ideas and observe the morality of the characters but limit my absorbtion of information to my reality and not the reality a hive-mind wants to create for me that is against me, my family, and my religion.


Philip Dhingra said on January 18, 2004 1:03 PM:

This reminds me of when I was reading the magazine AdBusters

This magazine is all about this matrix of ads that have polluted our mental environment. Many of adbuster's articles are nice, poetic sermons about a purity of natural reality. There are also some anecdotal articles by people describing their own personal struggle with the matrix.

And then when I read it, one gave a story about how everytime something happened he would think about this, and then this, and that would then kill him. And I got pissed off because now, all of a sudden, a trigger had been established in my mind to make me think similarily to the way this guy was thinking. And I became scared that now I would soon adopt his hatred of the "system" because of this negative pattern of thinking that I've now been exposed to.

I quickly put down the magazine for fear of getting too wrapped up in its hatred.

While I still admire their purpose, one must recognize that some people are definitely sucked in more than others. It's still important to feel their pain and help them, but it's not positive for them to implicitly bring others down there with them. Can one do one without the other, hard to tell.

either way, misery loves company.

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