The Cosmic Perspective
Using Virtual reality as a tool to reconnect people to the earth, themselves and increase empathy in the world.
The main purpose of this article is to present the ideas behind the thesis we are currently working on to try to is to try to see if it's possible to create an experience using virtual reality to raise consciousness and through that also alleviate symptoms of depression, which is the parameters measured in the study for the thesis. We also aim to understand to what extent a VR experience can be used to broaden people's perspective and sense of wonder of the world that surrounds them.
The angle the main problem of depression and addiction that this thesis have chosen to tackle is the problem of feelt disconnection by people to the world. Much like the video from the New York based community The Assemblage which expresses that the world’s current cultural operating system and our personal narratives on who and what we are, are failing us. That the story that we tell our self about ourselves and the world around us is due for an upgrade. That this story has served us well in the west but have not come to its end and are no longer serving us or the planet that we all share. As mentioned previously, in the article it is in our human nature to seek connection to something bigger than oneself. It can be to a friendship, sports team, church community and if we don't feel nor have that connection, we suffer. As the philosopher Tolstoy writes
“For man to be able to live he must either not see the infinite, or have such an explanation of the meaning of life as will connect the finite with the infinite.” (Tolstoy, 2006)
This is also one of the main themes shown in a study on disconnection, depression, and spirituality from the Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center. Where the top cited theme of the dressed was expressed as “depression creates a sense of spiritual disconnection. Participants indicated feeling disconnected from God, the community, and oneself”. ( Sorajjakool, S., Aja, V., Chilson, B. et al. Pastoral Psychol, 2008)
In the past religion may have been providing this existential blanket to cover this void. But with the rise of science and technological awareness, these belief structure became obsolete, especially here in the west and in Sweden. That might be one of the reasons a country like Sweden with such a relative materialistic wealth with the most secular people in the world, can observe such high rates of depression and suicide. Because the people have completely thrown out that notion of something bigger beyond their material themselves and egos.
That's why we believe that we need is a new narrative, a new story we can tell ourselves to impregnate our life with meaning. A cognitive reframing of ourselves, and how to relate to the world around.
Feeling here is primal, because one, people are mostly driven by their feelings and inner drives and two, this notion of oness can understand and see this notion and idea on a conceptual level but one's consciousness we believe can not truly change until you experience the feeling of unity with it all.