The writer, Hasnain Walji (Texas, USA) is an entrepreneur, investor, technologist, and community volunteer. Born in Moshi, Tanzania, he is a researcher, speaker, and writer involved in developing professional training and e-learning applications in nutrition and integrative healthcare. He is President of Integrative Quest, Inc which specializes in formulating and marketing probiotics. He has authored 26 books, all written from a naturopathic perspective, endorsed by the Natural Medicine Society of England, and translated into several languages including Spanish, French, German, Turkish, Hungarian, Portuguese, and Chinese. A contributor to several journals on environmental and Third World consumer issues, he was the founder and editor of The Vitamin Connection – an International Journal of Nutrition, Health and Fitness, and Healthy Eating. He has written a script for a six-part television series, The World of Vitamins. His institutional work for the Muslim community spans over 30 years, Since 1976 he has served the World Federation of KSI Muslim Communities, as Secretary-General, Vice-President, and then as President of this august body. He is also a founding director and the Current President of the Mulla Asgher Memorial Library and Resource Center (MARC) in Toronto. He has served as editor of Shia International and Living Islam Magazines and is a regular contributor to a number of Islamic Journals. He has traveled worldwide, lecturing and reciting Majlises in English, Urdu, and Gujarati. He has a special interest in the History of the Khojas and currently working on a Documentary called The Khojas – A journey of faith. He is also a founding director of a Social Justice Institute called Penmanship For Peace focusing on the plight of persecuted minorities including the Shia in Pakistan and part of a team compiling a volume on Shia Genocide in Pakistan. His passion is in increasing interfaith understanding to make this world a better place for his five grandchildren. Dr Walji established MARC. He served as the Secretary-General of WF. Dr Hasnian Walji served as the vice president of WF during Mullah’s leadership in the capacity of the president of the World Federation.
ave you ever pondered the fascinating oxymoron of “Virtual Reality”? Join me on this reflection into the captivating world of digital media, where the illusion of virtual reality intertwines with the essence of truth. At the core of our digital exploration lies a fascinating paradox – virtual reality. The term ‘virtual’ denotes something that exists in essence but not in actuality, while ‘reality’ represents the genuine state of things. Together, they create an oxymoron, a digital illusion that is both real and unreal simultaneously. Picture it as a mesmerizing, AI-generated ‘reality’ that our senses perceive as authentic.
Perceptions of Reality in the Digital Era: Let us acknowledge that in the age of social media and information overload, our perception of reality has taken an intriguing turn. We often find ourselves comparing our real-life experiences to the meticulously crafted images and polished representations we encounter online. It becomes an endless game of “Spot the Difference,” leaving us questioning if our lives can ever measure up to those picture-perfect moments.
Take, for instance, Instagram. Have you ever scrolled through your feed and felt a twinge of envy as you witnessed a friend traveling to exotic locations, attending lavish dinners, or simply leading a seemingly perfect life? It is essential to remember that what we witness on social media is often a filtered and embellished portrayal of reality.
The Allure of the Hyperreal: Step into the enchanting realm of the hyperreal, where online illusions can sometimes overshadow physical reality itself. We have become entranced by the allure of likes, followers, and virtual validation. The digital realm possesses the ability to draw us in, blurring the lines between what is genuine and what is merely a carefully constructed image. It is a digital wonderland where illusions reign supreme. Consider virtual reality (VR) gaming, where players are transported to entirely simulated worlds that feel undeniably real. This is the hyperreal, a space where digital illusions can sometimes be more captivating than our everyday lives.
Finding Balance in the Illusion and the Real: Therefore, let us pause and find our footing amidst the chaos of the online world. While digital media offers glimpses into seemingly glamorous lives, it is crucial to strike a balance. Let us appreciate the beauty and inspiration it provides while remaining grounded in our own unique experiences. After all, life’s richness lies beyond the pixelated screens.
Navigating the Digital Maze: Equipped with discerning eyes, let us navigate this digital maze. We can relish the filtered images, captivating stories, and enchanting illusions while staying connected to the tangible world. It is about finding harmony between the online and offline realms, embracing genuine human connections, and seeking experiences that touch our souls. Consider taking a digital detox, temporarily stepping away from the constant stream of online content to reconnect with our own reality and cherish the simple, offline moments that truly define our lives.
Most of are familiar with anecdote when , Mulla Nasruddin lost his key inside his house but was found looking for it outside. When asked why, he replied that the light was better outside. This story serves as a metaphor for the distinction between reality (the key is inside the house) and perception (Nasruddin looking for it outside where the visibility is better). It highlights the importance of seeking reality in the right places, even if the search seems easier elsewhere. Like Nasruddin, we must understand that reality may not always reside where the light (or, in our case, the digital glow) appears brightest. True experiences and authenticity may lie in the unlit corners of our own lives, away from the dazzling allure of the digital world.
In the grand adventure of life, the real and the virtual are intertwined. Each of us possesses the power to distinguish the glimmer of the digital realm from the warmth of our reality. As we continue to explore, let us embrace the wonders of both the digital and the real. The journey awaits us, and with wisdom and authenticity, we shall navigate it with grace.
As we embark on this quest for authenticity, let us reflect on the words of the Quran: “Say, ‘The truth is from your Lord.’ So whoever wills – let him believe; and whoever wills – let him disbelieve.” (Quran 18:29) This verse reminds us that ultimate truth and reality emanate from our Creator. While digital media may present illusions and distortions, it is our personal choice to seek and believe in the truth. By anchoring ourselves in the guidance of the divine, we can navigate the world of online perceptions while staying true to our authentic selves.
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