Category Archives: pyschology

Reconnecting with Myself using Second Life


At the start of the new year I promised myself, and this blog, that I would make more of an effort to visit Second Life and explore new SIMs that were on my ever growing list. I love Second Life and always enjoy my time immersed in the metaverse but as with many things I enjoy I seem unable to devote much time them. I resolved to remedy this by focussing more on my needs this month and have managed to log inworld most days.

Below (at the end of this post) are some pictures of a few of the wonderful places I have visited.

The more time I spent  inworld the more I felt connected to my true self (corny as it sounds and comes out when i type it!), so I thought I would share a few thoughts about that.

One of the many reasons I love Second Life, and keep coming back to it since I joined (an age ago) in March 2007, is that it helps me understand myself.

I have always loved creating and exploring places and things, ever since I was a child. I am curious and inquisitive by nature and a little bit quirky. Seeing all the mind blowing creations sprung from the diverse imaginations contributing to Second Life never ceases to inspire me and fires my own, often stifled, imagination. When I see a magical SIM with glowing mushrooms on top of a Jungle Tree floating in the sky I think wow, I never would have thought of that, but it looks great. It makes me feel that life is full of endless possibilities and other ways of doing things and living. It helps open my eyes, and keep them open. We should not be confined by rigid rules and a lack of imagination, as much as those who try to suppress any form of creative spirit try to confine us. Why does this matter to me? Why does it strike a chord in me?

Well for the most part of my life I have always been suffocated and held back by a cultural background, family and peers who have a narrow and limited view of the world and all it’s possibilities. This is basically down to their own unresolved insecurities and fragility, though I didn’t understand this until now.

When my naturally open minded and curious young self tried to push boundaries I came up against this rock hard iron wall of resistance to the preconceived norm. A sort of solid cage that claustrophobically moved ever closer to me as the insecure people who built this cage did everything they could to crush my independent spirit. They were scared I would take them down with me. Or that I would end up like them, and they hated themselves. So they forced me to conform to their ways of living and doing things, because their way was the right way and the only way to live. People who loved me and whose job it was to build up my own self confidence and faith in life merely ended up crushing my faith in myself and humanity. My imagination was a curse, a blot on myself, my family, my community, all society. It was a hindrance, liek an infectious virus that needed to be caught and killed early on.

Whatever I truly felt deep inside me, or however differently I saw the world and all it’s possibilities didn’t matter. I was wrong. I was always wrong. They were right, always, and I had to obey them and give up my true self and all it’s dangerous ideas and conform to their uniformity or else be made to.

The more they pushed me to change myself to what they wanted me to be, the more i pushed back. But they were stronger. they were my parents, my family, my peers, my community, my ethnic background, people of my inherited faith, my society. Be it my ideas or questions on anything from religion to economics to politics to art to careers or even food, any desires i had that they didn’t like were always knocked out of me.

When you are a child your parents are like Gods to you. I only really understand this know, and how powerful it is, having become a father myself 5 years ago and also going through years of psychological therapy. I always thought that as much as i ended up having my true self, confidence and hope stripped away from me, I still had a lot of independence inside me. It seems I was mistaken.

It turns out that many of the decisions i ended up making, even in my 20’s and early 30’s were basically what my parents or society wanted me to do. I never really wanted to do these things myself. Examples include my career choices. My parents wanted me to become a doctor and do Medicine at University. I never really wanted to, but I still went for it. Then they wanted me to become an accountant. Me, a wildly creative and imaginative lover of films, art, fiction and all things eclectic and eccentric, become a staid, rule following, dull accountant (no offense to any accountants out there!). I caved. I gave up dreams of being a musician, a film maker, a fiction writer, an astronaut, a historian, whatever else i really was or wanted to be. I am naturally a bit left wing and liberal, a fan of charities and change, not corporations and tradition. Yet I “chose” to live and become part of a world that was nevr right for the true me, one of rigidity, material obsession, greedy tax avoiding corporations and insecure traditionalists”.

Even when I thought I was outgrowing and overcoming all the years of brainwashing and being pushed around, i was still really living other peoples lives. I had forgotten who i really was. I bought a house and took on loads of debt when i didn’t want to, realizing it was too big a commitment. If I bought this house then I would have to work in high pressured, highly demanding, corporate, soulless jobs forever, and I never once thought I had a choice to say no. I went to work for a large global multinational corporate giant, a psychopathic entity that was even more corrupt and wrong for the world than i had ever thought possible, deep in the hidden recesses of my forgotten true self. The list goes on.

I essentially got in so deep  into this world that others wanted me to live in that i forgot who i really was and wanted to be. I became a walking pod, on automatic pilot, a pale shadow of my natural, youthful, imaginative self.

However, through a combination of good fortune and perseverance i have managed to get to the stage where i no longer accept that I can’t make choices that are my own and that I have to live the life that others want me to live. No matter how powerful a pull they have on me, i am determined to overcome their brainwashing and holding me back and I am doing all i can to reconnect with my true self. The calm, patient, warm, tolerant, accepting, passive yet strong, creative, open minded, film loving weirdo that i am. I am not the ruthless, aggressive, permanently angry money grabbing, greedy capitalist the modern world, my parents, peers and many in wider society want me to be.

Happiness is a complex difficult thing to understand, let alone attain, but it does not come from material wealth or power. It certainly does not come from living the life other’s want you to live, at the expense of the life you feel you truly want to live. The more you try to deny your true self, the unhappier you become. That much i have learnt so far. It seems to hold true for me at least. And that is the point. What matters is what seems true and relevant to me, What makes sense to me. What fires me and my imagination, not my parents or others around me.

That is where Second Life comes in. Trying to reconnect with a self that has been battered and pushed deep down and who in many ways i am still deeply suspicious off, is a very hard task. It is a painful journey of self discovery. Yet deep down I always knew who i really was and what i really wanted from life. It is just about reconnecting with that again. Second Life helps me do this.

When i see a SIM or an Avie that makes me tingle with excitement or when i hear virtual water flowing over virtual rocks in a Zen garden and i feel taken to another place that chimes with me, these are all examples of little ways in which i am reconnecting with the real me. In my real life i was always limited by the insecurities and anxieties of others. Those who held sway over me. In my imagination the possibilities seem endless and hopeful. In Second Life I can see the boundaries of what is possible to create being challenged, and limit’s being pushed. Our creativity and imagination should be the only limits to what we can do.

We all need tools to help us in life, and as a tech lover I’m happy to still have Second Life to help me on my journey.  Seeing other people build worlds, people and places they want to see come to life, unhindered by preconceptions or outdated “norms” is refreshing and empowering to my own quest to challenge the norms holding me back.

The only problem is that the more i delve back into the world of wonder and creativity the more time i want to spend there, and time is a luxury i don’t have.

Anyway, enough of my psycho-babble and internal musings. Here are some pictures of a few great SIMs that took my breath away and fired my imagination:

Dryland SIM

SLURL

My Flickr Pics

(More pictures to come in further posts)

Raza in Dryland 1Raza in Dryland 2

Basilique Private Members Club Island SIM

(More pictures to come in further posts)

SLURL

My Flickr Pics

Raza in Basilique Private Members Island 1Raza in Basilique Private Members Island 2

Pacifique SIM

Visit this SIM quickly as it will be moving on February 2nd 2013!
(More pictures to come in further posts)

Official SL Page

My Flickr Pics

Raza in Pacifique 1Raza in Pacifique 2

Why Don’t I Blog more?


There are so many thoughts buzzing around my hyperactive mind that it is hard to channel them into coherent narratives that make for interesting and enlightening blog posts. This is the main barrier I face when challenging myself to blog more.

As I try to type up the reflections I conjure up in reaction to events that happen to me or are happening in the outside world, I am constantly jumping over inner self created hurdles. In the end I am left exhausted by the whole process and I digress so far from the main point of the blog post that my prose is nothing but an incoherent stream of nonsense. If I am to compose concise, succinct and insightful blog posts that are fun to read and connect with even one person out there in cyberspace then I have to overcome my inner confusion, the misty clouds of noise that break up my initially focussed thoughts. I am essentially need to learn how to believe in myself, now what I really believe in, accept that what I am saying may not be popular with those around me, or even those I love, but that this is how I feel and think at this moment and therefore I will put fingers to keyboard and post my true inner thoughts and leave a trace of myself on the blogosphere for time to judge. That is easier said than done, and the amount of effort it takes just to think straight is why I end up starting blog posts, but never completing them, and therefore never posting them. I also dislike the boring activity of editing, which takes me ages as I type as fast as I talk and leave a trial of spelling destruction behind me.

Going back to the source of my inability to focus and stick to the point, I have always allowed external forces to influence me far more than is good for me. These wide range of forces exert far too much power over the direction my life ends up taking. I am currently in the process of riding an emotional rollercoaster, as I try to unpick the source of my life’s misdirection. Why do I always ending up taking jobs I hate and doing things I loathe instead of focussing my energies on activities that fulfil me and that I feel passionate about? I am sure that this is a question many people ask themselves constantly in life. I tend to run away from asking myself this, and it only pops up after many weeks of forced suppression fail to quell that constant need for an answer.

I always use the excuse that I don’t have enough time, and whilst that is true in many respects, the reason I have no time to develop the true side of me and follow my passions is that I waste time on fulfilling responsibilities that I feel I should be carrying out. Whether or not I really should be doing these things, which are usually for the benefit of other people and institutions, is something I have never really deeply challenged. I only started recently, after years of therapy finally clicked in my little head and made me realise one of the sources of my inability to succeed in leading a more fulfilled and stable life, dedicated to the pursuits I feel passionate about.

Trying to live one’s “truth” is always a challenge, but it helps to at least realise this is an important path to be on and that one has to find out one’s truth rather than build up a false personality. That is basically being the person you think everyone else wants you to be, which is how I have lived most of my life so far.

There are many diverse and often conflicting external forces controlling me. These range from the voice of my father from my youth, my extended family, my current family, an increasingly alienating, materialistic, capitalist consumer society, my more ruthless, materialistic, shallow and greedy “friends”/ peers, a patriarchal, traditional, communal and confused “culture” as my background, and the voices of those people I work with as a finance analyst/ accountant, people whom I don’t really relate to or engage with and who have a very different, more black and white world view than I do. All these voices/ forces and more enter into my conscious being and are absorbed by my anxiety ridden and insecure soul. They battle with my natural inner feelings that are more independent minded and less rigid. When I want nothing more than to escape to a forest by the stream they tell me to hop onto a crowded old commuter train, wearing a suit that strangles me into claustrophobia and sit behind a gamma ray emitting PC screen crunching numbers to make evil corporations richer at the expense of honest, hard working people. Anyone who tries to buck the trend or live a different type of life is seen as eccentric and an outcast. That is how I see it, but of course that is not true, even in a world without objective truth. Yet the fact I struggle to escape the voices and ideas of other people on a daily basis makes composing blog posts that are true to my heart an emotionally draining experience at times,. However, it is one that I feel is worth it, as in the end it will help me understand myself, my true self, and the true forces working on me better. It should hopefully also help me learn to type more effectively and learn to spell for once!

Hopefully my next blog post will be less psychologically intense, sillier and light hearted.

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