3191. "Ooops!? Sorry!"
Here are two situations to think about:

 A man stands in front of his house and sees the
 the neighbor's kid looking over the wall that
 divides their properties. Figuring that the kid
 wants to steal his apples like it did in the past,
 the man takes a bow and shoots an arrow through the
 head of the kid.

 After doing so, the man finds out that what he
 thought was the head of the neigbor's kid
 was really a pumpkin lying on the top of the wall.

 A man stands in front of his house and sees a
 pumpkin lying on top of the wall around his garden.
 For sports, the man takes a bow and shoots an arrow
 through the pumpkin.

 After doing so, the man finds out that what he
 thought was a pumpkin lying on the top of the wall
 in reality was the head of the neigbor's kid who
 was looking over the wall.

The two cases above may appear 'artificial' and not likely to happen too often in daily life.

However, upon closer inspection, the opposite seems true. The case of someone _deliberately_ hurting someone 'successfully' is rather rare compared to the
two examples above.

Surprisingly, the vast majority of all destructive actions appear to fall in one of the above classes because of the inherent limitations of human perception.

The quality and reliability of a human perception, for example 'vision', is limited by many parameters:

- objects as such can only be seen through the reflections
  of light. Objects are principally invisible in this
  world and sources of lights _themselves_ cannot be
  seen either;

- the reflections pass through the filter of the medium
  between the object and an observer, typically air;

- after filtered by the medium, the reflections of the
  object in question, will enter the eyes of a human
  observer and will be filtered another time by the limits
  of eyesight of the observer and by the 2 1/2 dimensional
  view of bi-focal vision;

- the thus filtered reflections now become _interpreted_
  by the mind of the observer, a process that depends
  on the past experiences of the observer;

- the interpreted information will now be compared to the
  _intention_ of the observer which typically is _not_
  as clear cut as, for example, 'destroy the object' but
  which is embedded in multi-layered dependencies.

The question of 'guilt' and 'responsibility' has been with humankind ever since humans arose to self-conscious thinking. Gotamo, who had been presented with the two examples in the beginning of this chapter, reportedly answered the following:

"(In terms of individual responsibility) the man who _intended_ to kill the child but whose arrow missed its target, is 'guilty' of murder. If it wouldn't have been for his lack of perception he would have indeed killed a child.

The man who killed the child thinking it was a pumpkin did not have the _intention_ to kill and is not guilty of murder. However, because of his action despite restricted perceptions, he is guilty of gross negligence."

Gotamo's response was given here as an example. Everybody has to come to his or her own determination of standards of evaluation. A judge in court, for example, cannot assume that the true intentions of the man in the example can be known - he's likely to lie, after all.

In any case, the ramifications of such a standard of evaluation are surprising as soon as one takes into consideration that _all_ human perceptions are inherently limited, thus never perfect.

In other words: if there is a truth out there, its perception is always filtered and evaluated:

Perceived Reality is _always_ Virtual Reality.

The consequences of this circumstance have become amplified beyond imagination in modern times because:

- The possible damage of an action (or 'leverage') has
  increased dramatically through the use of machinery;

- parts of the chain of filters in the perception process
  can be replaced with artificial filters and pseudo-sources,
  such as cameras, telephones, etc.

Here is a seemingly extreme example:

In the 20th Century Fox movie 'Toys', children are trained to use Virtual Reality toys such as remote cars, air plane simulators, close combat simulators, etc.

However, in this movie, the remote cars are not small little dune buggies but _real_ tanks, the airplane simulator outputs and inputs are connected to _real_ airplanes (drones), the combat figures are soldier-robots, and, you guessed it, the guns and weapons fired are fullsize and are using _real_ ammunition.

Of course, the poor, innocent kids are not aware of the _reality_ of the game. But neither is the person who is turning the switch to start a nuclear war: to avoid the
possibility of noncompliance, the military leaders do not tell their operators if a war is _real_ or not and they do _test_ the compliance of the operators by simulating nuclear attacks.

Thus, 'virtually', the planet we're living on, has been destroyed by nuclear weapons many times over in the minds of operators; not just for fun but to earn a living.

Now, one could just say: "Ooops!? Sorry!".

But one's path through the game of life is determined by not only the conscious intentions but also by subconscious reactions and superconscious plans and expectations.

In this light, pretending that 'there are accidents' is a failure to assume responsibility.

The same is true for the brighter side of life:

fortunately, there is no such thing as luck.

Just wishes, forgotten, from a long time ago, that suddenly come true.

And beyond disaster and fortune, there are domains from which  the games in this world can be perceived as they are:

   Games, played since endless times, over and over again.

But most of the players are not playing anymore: like notorious gamblers they are addicted and can't do anything else anymore than gambling compulsively.

Every once a while someone realizes this. Realizing this, he becomes satisfied. Satisfied, he collects his chips. After having collected all his chips, he stands up and calmly walks out of this casino called life.

Copyleft © 1998 by Maximilian J. Sandor, Ph.D