Spiritual State of Transcendence: 『Digital transcendence』

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With trust in traditional religions in decline, many are turning to digital tools to provide alternative spiritual experiences that can help reach an out of body state of transcendence.

Analysis

Whether it’s climate change, extremist politics or the rise of cost of living, many young people see the future as bleak. While faith in religion has historically risen during similar periods of turmoil, young people today are deciding to look for answers to their modern life problems elsewhere, including through technology.

Innovators are exploring the link between spirituality and tech, finding ways to give this connection a new meaning through alternative approaches that blend traditional spiritual practices with technology. They are also exploring the use of immersive technology and VR in helping humans achieve transcendence, whether through out-of-body moments or by allowing them to better connect with their inner-selves. In fact, a study discovered that VR is believed to be able to enable people to reach transcendence in a way that is just as good as psychedelics.

Expected to reach $9bn by 2027, the global meditation market is transitioning from mobile apps to extended reality. Los Angeles-based company TRIPP is a digital immersive wellness platform that blends extended reality with meditation techniques such as binaural audio and breath visualisation. Users can strap on a VR headset to enter a world of awe-inspiring psychedelic images, breathing exercises, guided meditations, games and sounds designed to help users achieve various states, from calm, focus, enlightenment or connection. TRIPP also offers communal sessions where users can meditate in a group to achieve collective transcendence.

Irish company Solas VR’s meditation app features 360° virtual-reality landscapes that trigger the endorphins people experience when visiting physical natural environments. The goal of doing so is to help users approach any subsequent activity in a fresh and positive manner. It also allows users to unleash better creative thinking. Canada-based Hoame is another company that uses VR to offer deep, guided meditation practices that can be set in different virtual environments.

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Why it matters

As the polycrisis era continues and given the complexities of how traditional religions affect modern life, we can expect the search for secular transcendence to only grow in the coming years as humans seek ways to find deep connection, meaning and awe. VR and the metaverse have immense potential in providing this through virtual environments that bring users a new state of calm.

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