I have been a student/teacher of ancient wisdom for 40 years. Wherever possible, I try to share a bit of what I have learned with others, in ways that are easier to understand than the books I have read. In the Newser, reporters are limited to writing about Second Life events, but I do what I can to get a nugget of truth in, here and there. There are few chances to devote an article to esoteric matters as the main topic. All that changed when SL Slapped me right in the face with a story, while I wasn't even looking for one. I'll give a brief idea of the direction we're going with a bit of esoterica, before we get to the way it played out in world.
It is written that, like the rainbow, the energy from which the universe is made comes in seven main colors, also known as rays. They are usually given in the same order and have Sanskrit names, which don't convey much meaning to modern, English speaking, people. They can best be defined as; Ray 1 Will or Power, Ray 2 Love-Wisdom, Ray 3 Active Creative Intelligence, Ray 4 Harmony through Conflict, Ray 5 Concrete Science or Knowledge, Ray 6 Idealism or Devotion and Ray 7 Order or Ceremonial Magic. We'll stop and leave you scratching your heads as to more details. We will be looking at how Ray 4 had a dramatic effect on life in the sim I call home.
I have, on several occasions, written about my home on the beautiful Sunweaver Bay sim. It is part of a group of sims, called Sunweaver Estates and I have made many dear friends there. One day, I saw a dear friend who also is a reporter for Newser, Kitacella, talking to the sim owner, Rita Mariner. I could tell, from a distance, that they were talking about renting a lot. Imagine my shock, to learn the next day that she had rented 16 lots and was filling them with large mesh scenery, that was seemingly causing unbearable amounts of lag. It had become impossible for me to even walk. Clicking the arrow key to move forward, it would take 10 seconds before I would move and then my av would go into weird movements, like running in place or turning in circles.
In a panic, I sent an IM to Kitacella, asking her to cease her activity and remove the offending objects. My panic was mistaken as hostility and I was promptly banned from setting foot on her land. This only made the problem worse, because, in addition to lag, her land crossed the road that led to the fire station and home of my friend. What was a short walk, now involved flying to the other end of the sim, going across to the next sim flying back and crossing back into the home sim, or else doing a TP of just 100 meters.
I sent an IM to the owner, explaining the problem, but got no response. Knowing, from experience, that help doesn't come until we have done all we can on our own, I began trying to contact the other residents on the sim. With the exception of myself and Albert, a.k.a. Bob, there is rarely more than 2 people on the sim at the same time. After talking to Bob, I walked around clicking on homes to find the owner's name and sending them IMs, asking if they had also been effected and wished to join in petitioning for a remedy. I had lost my serenity and the stress was getting to me in RL and SL. I worried that I would soon need to move to an isolated skybox, with no friends or neighbors near by, a fate worse than death. I was loosing sleep and skipping parties.
I thought shopping might cheer me up, so I resolved to find and buy a unique new avatar. Money was no object. I would spend any amount to find peace. When I found a white alligator, my intuition told me there would be magic in it. I bought it and raced home to put it on. As soon as I had it on, the lack of sleep caught up with me and I resolved to get some rest and, when refreshed, buy a new outfit for it and go to the 80's theme party and show it off (and eat the competition).
Revived and recafeinated, I began by editing a photo of the alligators chest, for use with my Tango implants, then headed for the Marketplace to buy a new dress. Mission complete, I logged back into SL, to add implants and clothing to my new alligator. Little did I know, the rest of the day would be a rapid fire of related events. As I was admiring my avatar mods, I received an IM from Erik Mouse, one of the residents I had written. I flew over to his burrow, made friends and we chatted about the effects the lag was having on his land. He was concerned that a move, for him would be difficult, because he required 18 connected lots, which would be hard to find elsewhere. Before our conversation was finished, I received IMs from Bixyl, for whom both Kitacella and I worked and Nydia, one of the property managers of the sim. Nydia asked if I was free to come meet with her at Mouse Manner. I knew what the topic would be. I explained, to Erik, that she was on the other line and he said she was also talking with him. We agreed that, if needed, he would be available to join us and I TPed to the Manor. Arriving in her conference room, I found Bixyl was also there and Erik soon joined us. The four of us discussed the situation on the sim and what could be done to restore peace. I learned of the things that had caused Kitacella's reactions and that she was planning on making changes to reduce her impact on the sim. After a lengthy meeting, everyone agreed on the desire for peace and that each would do all they could to restore it. The meeting ended and each returned home, to prepare for the evening's events.
I attended the 80's theme party, at Cutlass, and shared many puns about being "a reptile dysfunction". During the event, Kitacella sent me an IM, saying she had removed the ban and would be making some changes at her property, after she got off work. At our earlier meeting, Nydia had asked if I would be online later in the evening, because I would be needed. Knowing this, as the party drew to a closing, I hurried back home, to see what would happen next. Arriving home, I could see on my mini-map that I had the sim to myself, so I tried on a few more outfits, to see what would look good on a busty alligator. Midway through a costume change, I received an IM from ODELL Avon, another of the residents I had sent messages to. Since we had not met before, I invited her to my house and we talked about the roles each of us played in SL. She explained that her dome, on the south side of the sim, was a gateway to her gaming sim that was being developed. She said that she was looking for ways to advertise it, so I told her of doing articles for the Newser, which included links that increased traffic to the sims written about. I gave her the URL to the Newser blog and, not being a gamer myself, checked and found Bix was online, so sent an IM, inviting him to join us. Getting no response, I explained that he was a busy fox and was likely AFK, so gave her his e-mail address, so that she could contact him on her own. ODELL went on to explain that she was also in need of hosts, to work at her sim. Knowing that Kitacella was a good host and under-employed, I suggested her as a candidate for the job. ODELL said Kitacella was now on the sim, so I sent her an IM, inviting her to come meet her neighbor and learn of the job she had to offer.
The three of us and Odell's pets met on the road that crossed Kit's land. Kit and ODELL had instant rapport with each other, fueled by their love of those little pet, which, to me, made as much sense as pet rocks. Upon learning that the job would pay a generous hourly rate, instead of tips, and that she could set her own hours, Kit was eager to apply for the position. ODELL gave her a folder, containing information about the gaming sim and an ap for the job. It looked like I had just made a perfect match, but at that point I crashed and had to relog. By the time I got back, I was alone again on the sim. At that point, I received a response to the IM, I had sent to Bix. I told him of all the events that had happened, since our meeting. We were both happy that the conflict had not only ended with harmony, it had also enriched the lives of all concerned. I told him, it looks like I had another story to tell, about the joys of living in Second Life.
I hope my readers have enjoyed this story. In retrospect, it is hard to claim authorship of it. It seem more like a play, written by an invisible hand, in which I and the other actors entered, on que, spoke our lines flawlessly, and took our bows as the curtain closed.