Thursday, February 24, 2011

What is Real?

Recently a letter arrived to Master complaining that some teachers and lecturers have no RL experience. Solace Castle has always held that SL and RL experience are both valid and true. This person blatantly stated they did not believe that SL experience in the lifestyle actually counted and were disappointed in O/our stand.
I must admit my very first response was the knee jerk Master is trying so hard to teach me out of. The Irish/Italian blood could not help it. How dare anyone think they have the right to try and tell Master what belief to hold in His own Academy. If they dislike it so much, then quit barking, get off your lazy kiester, and start your own school.
But as i said, Master is working very hard to get me out of that too-quick response. I held my tong (ok i let it fly a little here) and took a step back to think. Actually the note came at a very interesting time for me. I have been pondering it for days and finally think i have sorted out a major issue in my head. So i suppose i owe its author a vote of thanks for making me think.
You see, not long before the letter arrived i had been talking with Master. I was feeling very separated from SL. I told Him of how it did not feel real to me anymore. Certainly i cared for the people i met on SL to a certain extent. But only a very VERY select few were real to me. The rest were pretty much two dimensional. The computer that had once been my refuge was reduced to a box. Just a box and nothing to do with real living. I explained to Master that i had been struggling with this ever since i came to live with Him.
Before i met Master in SL, RL was as plain and dull and lifeless as tapioca pudding to me (sorry pudding lovers). Family, work and house chores were my life. By family i mean grown siblings and parents. I had no one in my life romantically. Nor was it an easy thing to socialize. The town i grew up in had two social hubs; the church or the bar.
Drinking games and clumsy passes by drunk college boys stopped being "fun" in my late twenties. Some would say getting old sucks. And since none of the billion churches in the area impressed me enough to be a die hard fan of that either, there goes the other door. I was left with my daily routine and life alone. A small circle of married friends, family, and the computer. Like a million others in SL, i found my social life in pixels and sims rather than pubs and church picnics.
In that moment of my life SL was more than real. It was me making friends, bonding with people, and exploring myself in ways no one can in RL. The fact is, sometimes learning needs to be done on smaller scales. Take away the unnecessary senses of smell, touch, taste...leave the seeing, the hearing and open your mind. Amazing what you learn about yourself that way. And in a land where everyone is one is judged ugly on sight. Only on behavior.  Was SL reality to me? It was more than that. It was a connection to the real ME.
All of that of course was before Master. When i met Master He was as pixilated as i was. It wasn't His pixles that won my heart in less than an hour. It was Him. His jokes, His warmth, His honest demeanor. But i was smart. I knew i had just met Him. Believe me i did not surrender to Master that first moment. I had been on years already and was well past newbie nose dives. Master never gave up. Months went by before i finally trusted and believed that someone in the world existed and did care for me.
I loved Him. With all of my heart i had fallen for Him. With new eyes i looked at the life i had been living. A life i resigned to live. The crazy old cat lady alone on the hill. He changed that. Life was not a book i was just trying to get to the end of. It was a road with dreams ahead again. More time went by and finally i took a leap of faith in what my heart and head were telling me.
That is when SL began to change for me. The moment i came into this home and into this life. This was different in ways i could not begin to explain. Laundry and dishes were no long drudgery. These things i do now as my way of showing Master how much i love Him, how grateful i am to Him for the life He gave me here. Living in RL finally became a joy again.
SL had lost its use for me. And up until the arrival of the note, had become almost an eyesore. I was more and more seeing SL and the computer as an "idiot box" with no meaning or purpose outside of supporting Master's dream of the Academy. Flat and cold when compared to Master's warm touch and the joy of living life with Him.

So what about the letter bothered me? Why, if SL is just a bunch of pixles, was i so mad at this person's belief that SL experience in the lifestyle didn't count? I had to think back to the life before i was here. When i fell in love with Him, it was REAL love. Even though at the time i could not kneel at His knee, i surrendered to His will just the same. I obeyed His daily command from a country apart just as i do from across the room. I was a submissive in SL but without a Master i believed in until i met Him. So i learned and trained to be HIS girl before He ever touched me. W/we have been together over a year now and its been the best time of my whole life. That's saying a lot 'cause i aint no spring chicken!

W/we at the castle teach that SL experience is just as valid as RL for that reason. A person does not have to be in the room to touch your life...or even in the same country. Of course before the computer they used books and such. The result is the same...HOW you learn is not nearly as important as WHAT you learn and what you take to heart. Unless i am mistaken, people still go to Sunday school and learn from a book. A book so old no one in the room can claim RL either. But it doesn't make what they learn and take from it any less valid.
THAT SAID...i do have to make a very strong argument about the difference between learning and obsession. Even before Master, i may have let some chores slide but took care of my business too. Its ok to learn the lifestyle in SL. As long as you put SL down and tend to RL too. I can not tell you, as a barren woman, how pissed i get when i hear a woman on open voice yell at her toddler for wanting some attention. The child should never have to compete with the box. Take care of your babies. Take care of your bills and your work and yourself. Learn and explore SL. Just remember it is SECOND life. It doesn't exist without the FIRST one. There is no excuse for letting your RL go to squalor and ruin for the sake of the pixle world. Even those who turn to SL because of physical limitation have an RL. LIVE the first life. Because if you cant live in the first life you were given, you certainly wont get it right in the second one either.

My final sub-stance on this: A submissive can learn the needs, wants, and desires of the Dominant in SL just as well as RL. RL does provide a different level of awareness...but not a more valid one. Of course that is provided the submissive and Dominant BOTH are opening their mind and heart.
If you're sitting in a scene with the Dominant, using pre written emotes,drying your nails, and channel surfing were never part of the lifestyle anyway. Unfortunately for the REAL person on the other side of the screen...their heart may be very really involved.
The good news is this sort of faker is also too lazy to be bothered with teaching, writing or speaking on the subject. At least not with any intelligence. Anyone can regurgitate someone else's ideas. You actually have to be paying attention and learning to know something worth sharing. Only putting your heart into something can make it real...RL or SL.