So thatís about it for the bulk of the chapter. The rest would be about the idea of other worlds. Letís see if I can do it or not.
Timothy Leary wrote about the internet and the virtual world as the realisation of Platoís concept of the Ideal world. To Plato, everything we experience in this here world is but a pale reflection or copy or the real thing, up there in the ideal world. In this world, the ideal one, everything is about ideas, directly accessible by the soul in its purest form, without the interference and deficiencies of the senses. Thatís what the myth of the cavern is all about; in that myth, people watch shadows on the wall of their cavern, instead of seeing the real things that produce those shadows. That is what Plato means when he says that all of what we experience with our senses here is just a reflection of the ideal real thing behind it. Weíre living in a world of shadows according to Plato, or Socrates, donít get me started. If you know nothing about either, quick sum up for you.
Plato is the guy who wrote the texts in which Socrates exists. Socrates himself never wrote anything, that was part of his philosophy. Plato wrote down conversations Socrates had with his students and the likes. If you buy that, then you must believe that Plato either had a demoniac memory capable of the most insane feats, or that he learned stenography at a very early age. Thatís why I use Platoís or Socratesí name indifferently.
To a program, in Tron, this means that their world is just a fake thing created by an entity, or entities, in some higher world. The Users, the programmers, would be those higher people. They indeed are the ones who create the programs, their world, and everything they live in it. Applied to our world, this would be God, or gods, or whatever superior entities we believe in. Much like a program, a human doesnít really know or understand the world in which he lives, despite the progress of research and science. Indeed, for a program to understand his world, heíd have to be out of it, and be able to look at a computer, and see its innards, and even that wouldnít be enough because when I do that, Iím none the wiser. But suppose this program could come to our world, study electronics and informatics, then perhaps he would understand his world better, but then heíd not understand ours just as we donít ourselves. The question is: would he ever be able to be a human? Wouldnít that take away everything that defines him as a program? Or in other words, if us humans were to get up to that superior world that created us, wouldnít we cease to be humans altogether?
Thatís getting deep. In Tron, we know that their Messiah is basically just a guy like us. And that gets us to this next thing: what if our God is something like Flynn? Could it be that our God, if any, also has a God? And so on ad infinitum? How many worlds are there? Are we living in some metaphysical insane set of Russian Dolls? A meta-meta-meta-meta-meta-physical world. The word wouldnít even apply further than the next world, since we know nothing of the parameters of said world. Our words apply to our world. Remember Christ is the ďword made fleshĒ. I think generations of scholars and of regular people have been fascinated by this description of Jesus, to be found at the beginning of the Gospel of John. The word made Flesh! Isnít that like Platoís idea of the ideal turned reality? And by ďrealityĒ, I mean ours, nothing more or less real.
Where do I go now? Iíve exploded this chapter into so many directions at once, and such destructive ones, that I donít know how in Heaven to go on. I do find all this disturbing. Maybe you think itís a little too much thinking for a Disney movie, and that I should perhaps stick to Snow White & the Seven Dwarves. Ah, but that wouldnít show your knowledge of me! I love Tron for all the implications it has, and how interesting the whole theme is. To say nothing of the obviously pioneer condition of the movie, which, I remind you, came out in 1982. Thatís early! Who can name a videogame from that year? Sadly, I think I can, but thatís only because I bought some really old stuff from the Wiiís virtual console, which allows you to get your hands on seriously classic games, meaning terribly old ones.
Philip K. Dick could have written Tron, and perhaps he should have, and perhaps he did write a novel like that; I didnít read everything he wrote, so I wouldnít know, but I venture to say that had he lived longer, he would have certainly been profoundly interested in the subject, and no doubt would have written about it.
The fact is, Philip K. Dick died the year Tron came out, 1982, which also happens to be the year when Blade Runner came out Ė the movie based on one of his novels, and one of the best movies in existence Ė and also, interestingly enough, the year when I came out.