Virtual Reality

August 24, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

Howard Rose



Hazel Speed

In recent weeks, news is emerging which tells us that the realm of Virtual Reality is now a tool which can be used to ease suffering.

Two areas in particular relate to the world of art in that burns victims can be shown art and/or photographs of snow covered landscapes, freezing ice and feel more relief from their pain than can be delivered by certain amounts of morphine.

The other area is more controversial in that one publication (new to me) is able to include the viewer/reader of their written content within the setting of any news situation ‘as if’ they are a by-stander. This is done, apparently, so they can attain the right perspective of the news report.

Obviously, this facility is not for everyone, nor, I think, is it for the faint-hearted.

But does it get us any further to the truth? Many philosophers believe, myself included, that there is no viewable objective truth (no view from nowhere), as to achieve that aim one would have to be a supernatural entity to not only view from above but to see the truth from all perspectives.

For example, we may be in a virtual reality situation and watch events unfold. In recent years a television advert showed my point. One may watch person A take an ordinary action but which could cause dreadful events to unfold. Obviously, any film footage would then lay the blame squarely on person A as they were the instigator or efficacy facilitator taking what appears to be a premeditated action. In the TV ad it started off that way but unfolded into disclosing the whole thing had been an understandable misunderstanding and person A was really trying to help someone but to onlookers at each point of the event the ‘truth’ of the matter was differently assessed.

We must not jump to conclusions however, as there is another aspect to be factored in such as cause and effect. How do we know that the action precipitating chaos was at the instigation of person A with true ‘mens rea’ (innocence or guilt of mind) thereafter continuing into transference of ‘actus reus’ (doing of the deed itself)?

The truth may or may not emerge but it is possible that person A was given a harmless object unaware that the object itself was really harmful and would be the cause of many deaths and serious injuries, to themselves and others.


I recall reading in Betty Eadie’s wonderful book “Embraced by the Light” (a story of her own near death experience), that within that experience she was shown a library of the mind where one merely walked into the room and if one wished the ‘truth’ on any subject, perhaps World War I or World War II, then mere thought was sufficient to give the whole truth from all sides, perspectives and viewers. Understanding and corroborative evidence was immediate. A view from no perspective in earthly terms but every perspective from the realm she found herself within. No wonder her book was a best seller and Betty appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s TV show. It is listed as a life-changing book and also had a profound affect on my own life too. I highly recommend readers obtain a copy.


For me, virtual reality will really also achieve something if, as the old Native American saying suggests, it will allow us to walk a mile in the other person’s moccasins/shoes before judging them.

Spend a day with their worries, their circumstances, happiness or lack thereof.


One last comment. The late and great David Kossoff told a story once of a cleric who asked his congregation at Easter Time to boil a white hen’s egg, then write their biggest worry on the egg without giving their name or anyone else’s, following which they were to bring that egg with them to the service the following week and put it in a basket which would be sitting on a table at the entrance. Following the service, they were to pick up someone else’s egg, take it home, and imagine what it would be like to carry that worry for a whole week. The next week, everyone was asked to return the borrowed egg, replace it in the basket, and pick up their own egg to take home permanently.

Needless to say, everyone was glad to have their own egg back!







Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing states of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short:

Art sites:


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