"The God of the Sistine Chapel is the pre-Reformation God : man's answer to the problem of the universe. That of the Pieta is the incomprehensible God of Luther and Loyola : no doubt concerned with man but in his own way which faith alone, not reason, can apprehend. " 

                                                                                                              G. R. Elton, Reformation Europe, p. 286

This idea of humans finding meaning in virtual reality games is actually not a new idea. It's a very old idea. We have been finding meaning in virtual reality games for thousands of years. We've just called it religion until now.

                                                                                                             -Yuval Harari

"The convention by which the great events in biblical or secular history could be enacted only by magnificent physical specimens, handsome and well-groomed, went on for a long time — till the middle of the nineteenth century. Only a very few artists — perhaps only Rembrandt and Caravaggio in the first rank — were independent enough to stand against it. And I think that this convention, which was an element in the so-called grand manner, became a deadening influence on the European mind. It deadened our sense of truth, even our sense of moral responsibility." 

                                                                                                                  Kenneth Clark, Civilisation, The Hero as Artist

civilisation is simply a great metaphor which describes the aspirations of the individual soul in collective form - as perhaps a novel or a poem might do. The struggle is always for greater consciousness. But alas!  Civilisations die in the measure that they become conscious of themselves. They realise, they lose heart, the propulsion of the unconscious motive is no longer there. Desperately they begin to copy themselves in the mirror. It is no use. But surely the is a catch  in all this? Yes, Time is the catch! Space is a concrete idea, but Time is abstract.  In the scar tissue of  Proust's great poem you see that so clearly; his work is the great academy of the time-consciousness. But being unwilling to mobilise the meaning of time he was driven to fall back on memory, the ancestor of hope!"

                                                                                                                        Lawrence Durrell, Clea,  p. 143

I grow old ... I grow old ...I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. Shall I part my hair behind?   Do I dare to eat a peach?   
 I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me.

                                                                                                                           T.S. Eliot, Prufrock

"Le mal se fait sans effort, naturellement, par fatalité ; le bien est toujours le produit d'un art." -Charles Baudelaire

How dark, O Lord, are Thy decrees, All hid from mortal sight, All our joys to sorrow turning, And our triumphs into mourning, As the night succeeds the day.  No certain bliss, No solid peace, We mortals know. On earth below, Yet on this maxim still obey: "Whatever is, is right." ...
                                                                                                                           G. F. Handel, Jephtha 

Sometimes I try and think of us all as habit-patterns rather than human beings. I mean, wasn’t the idea of the individual soul grafted on us by the Greeks in the wild hope that, by its sheer beauty, it would ‘take’, as we say of vaccination? That we might grow up to the size of the concept and grow the heavenly flame in each of our hearts? Has it taken or hasn’t it? Who can say?

Durrell, Lawrence, Clea .

Following Leibnitz and Einstein, we have so far come to accept that there may be no meaning to time besides change. It is another thing altogether to wonder whether time and change themselves might be constructs – whether there might be some fundamental way of perceiving the world in which they play no role at all. … I don’t know if there are any real limits to what the human mind can imagine, but thinking about this question brings me closer than I like to the limits of what my own mind has the language or means to conceive. The problem of time in quantum cosmology is hard exactly because it seems to lead us to confront the possibility that time and change themselves are illusions. …
                                                                                                                         Lee Smolin, The Life of the Cosmos

Alice approaches a large table set under the tree outside the March Hare’s house and comes across the Mad Hatter and the March Hare taking tea. They rest their elbows on a sleeping Dormouse who sits between them. They tell Alice that there is no room for her at the table, but Alice sits anyway. The March Hare offers Alice wine, but there is none. Alice tells the March Hare that his conduct is uncivil, to which he rejoins that it was uncivil of her to sit down without being invited. The Mad Hatter enters the conversation, opining that Alice’s hair “wants cutting.” Alice admonishes his rudeness, but he ignores her scolding and responds with a riddle: “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” Alice attempts to answer the riddle, which begins a big argument about semantics. After their argument, the tea party sits in silence until the Mad Hatter asks the March Hare the time. When he discovers that the March Hare’s watch, which measures the day of the month, is broken, the Mad Hatter becomes angry. He blames the March Hare for getting crumbs on the watch when the March Hare was spreading butter on it. The March Hare sullenly dips the watch in his tea, dejectedly remarking that “It was the best butter.” Alice gives up on the riddle and becomes angry with the Mad Hatter when she discovers that he doesn’t know the answer either. She tells him he should not waste time asking riddles that have no answers. The Mad Hatter calmly explains that Time is a “him,” not an “it.” He goes on to recount how Time has been upset ever since the Queen of Hearts said the Mad Hatter was “murdering time” while he performed a song badly. Since then, Time has stayed fixed at six o’clock, which means that they exist in perpetual tea-time. Bored with this line of conversation, the March Hare states that he would like to hear a story, so they wake up the Dormouse. The Dormouse tells a story about three sisters who live in a treacle-well, eating and drawing treacle. Confused by the story, Alice interjects with so many questions that the Dormouse becomes insulted. Alice continues to ask questions until the Mad Hatter insults her and she storms off in disgust. As she walks, she looks back at the Mad Hatter and the March Hare as they attempt to stuff the Dormouse into the teapot

                                                                                                              -Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland