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  • Lago Maggiore:

    I am being lazy, immersing myself in books about virtual reality, and reflecting on what I am learning. INFINITE REALITY is especially compelling.

    I am filled with questions...

    If I am having a virtual experience, how much is "me," how much is imagined?

    If I "touch" you in 3-D virtual reality, do you really "feel" it, or do you just get tricked into thinking that you feel it, but if you think that you feel it, isn't that just like "real" reality?

    When I enter a virtual world as my Avatar, but am not really there, why is it that I can still learn from my experiences in a way that my body feels that it has actually had the experience? Why is my brain tricked into accepting this electronic reality?

    So it is that we move into these mystical, digital imaginary worlds, which exist in their own eternity, just over the edge of perception, these fractal data bit dream times.

    I am sending you some images of the Mandelbrot set, because they are so strange they actually hint at the infinitude of what is now possible when consciousness marries cyber-space, creating beyond-word infinitudes.

    Enjoy the colors, but wait until I can show you the videos.

    The more I learn, the less I am able to speak about these new realities. They transcend words altogether, move into other dimensions.

    Only image and felt experience can carry the full power of these new worlds of possibility and potential.

    So perhaps now art comes full circle.

    From Altamira to Adobe Photo Shop to Avatar, and beyond, into.....what?

    Even so it was in the days of Giotto, Fra Angelico, and the early icon makers.

    Nothing you could say about sainthood said as much as those pure gold halos.

    Just as nothing can duplicate the experience of dancing in the labrynth at Chartres Cathedral, in the blue blue light.

    In a time of growing illiteracy among the masses, our images and immersive travels will be the only weapons left for staving off the cultural Darth Vaders who gather at the gates.

    But enough of that! This great Belle Epoch hotel is almost empty. All the tourists have gone back to England and Germany to their cubicles and coffee cups. (Wasn't it TS Eliot's Prufrock who "measured out his life in coffee spoons"?)

    I swim in the chilly lake in the morning, take long contemplative walks at sunset, when the clouds pulse with hidden fire, and the lake melts into liquid bronze. Here, in this museum of the past, I feel as though I have fallen backwards in time.

    They still dry the linen sheets in the sun, and as you go to sleep, you feel as though you are sleeping in a field of sage and wildflowers.

    Everything is so Turn of the Century, before world wars, and the onslaught of chaos.

    Last night, there was a Tea Dance in the Grand Salon, even though there were just a few of us sipping our tea and enjoying the Cole Porter classics.

    There are moments when I wonder if I have slipped into a Merchant-Ivory production of a Henry James novel. Or if this is just a dream...

    And then I start wondering if I have simply entered a figment of my imagination, programmed by some rogue virtual reality chip in my brain. Now, don't laugh, this is the direction we are heading in. It will literally be possible to think a thing and create it instantly, as Jared says.

    Oh, here is an email from my virtual world Soul Sister, Kari. She wants me to come to her screening room in Second Life and see her new movie.

    So here I am in Italy, feeling as though I am in a movie, and will shortly be in cyber-space, watching myself, as my Avatar, watching a movie. WOW!
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