Many years ago, I decided to take a Zipline Ride. I paid my money, gathered with my "team" to learn about putting on and adjusting my harness, then followed the guide up a mountain switchback trail. I recall the shock upon realizing I had to hike up a mountain. I hadn't hiked in years due to a stiff and painful knee condition. and I couldn't figure out what I thought would happen. But, reluctant to back down, I joined the end of the line and focused on dialing up memories of when I ran mountains for pleasure. Finally, I reached the top, pleased with my mental focus successfully pairing with younger images, allowing me to override accustomed old-age habits momentarily. Then came Obstacle #2, mounting six steep steps to the first platform.
The others in my group scampered upwards without a thought — a family trio, two adults and a youngster, another single male in his thirties, the guide, and then me, the old man painfully hauling himself upwards one step at a time while everyone watched. Not that they stared at me, but I felt vulnerable and self-conscious. However, Obstacle #3, gazing into a forested abyss, proved to be the worse yet. I never fully recognized my fear of heights until that moment.
Technically, the zip ride should have been the easiest since I didn't have to do anything but sit in the air. But, a paralyzing fear overwhelmed me. Though I managed to follow instructions about attaching to the line and letting go, I struggled to remain present, let alone enjoy a series of nine platforms, before I once again felt ground underneath my feet.
This experience set the bar for my FLASH Trilogy, which takes place at a Self-Awareness Theme Park with a Virtual Zipline as the primary attraction. Based on my real-life experience, I designed five gaming levels using muscle organization readouts to match mine with a prototype, thereby adapting fear signals to pleasure. In the book, the characters have virtual reality to work with, but as the writer, I have only the power of my mind to design the kind of transformation the park Trekkers can hope to achieve when playing the many optional games.
At one point, I realized a triangular connection, with me and the prototype forming the base and an Avatar Hologram as the point. The IMG (Inner Metaverse Game) took shape, and I signed up as an avid everyday Trekker. Initially, I…