One wonders the precise point in historical time when Man decided to consciously escape the harshness of the objective world. It is perhaps when Kant identified the bifurcated world into the phenomenal world which we experience through sense perception, as opposed to the “noumenal” universe beyond our ability to perceive or even experience. By creating such a distinction, he at once solved the problem of metaphysics by banishing that which we cannot experience, into a segmented concept of irrelevance.
But within the perceptual world of our daily experiences, we then went on to create other worlds — ones which included virtual realities. At first, one had to travel elsewhere, to video arcades and malls, in order to escape for a brief moment into the world of other galaxies and wars fought within the constraints of 2 x 3 screens. Then, such parallel universes were allowed into our homes through video monitors hooked up to television sets and the like; then to desktop computers, and the rest is now ancient history.
Our escapism into the virtual reality within the perceptual reality of our categorical constructs, continues with each breathtaking “new” and “better” invention, allowing us to lose ourselves into the fantasies of our own making. But the harsh reality of the world around us does not diminish. When, for example, we are hit with a medical condition such that no amount of escapism works to make the impact disappear, then we have no choice but to directly confront and engage the reality of life.
For Federal and Postal employees faced with the reality of the medical condition, such that the medical condition impacts the ability to perform the essential elements of one’s job, it becomes important to confront such a reality by gathering all of the useful, pragmatic, and helpful information in making the proper decisions for one’s future.
Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS; how that impacts with one’s age, number of years of Federal Service, etc., must all be taken into account in making a proper decision. Such a time as now, when one is surrounded by parallel universes of playful electronic media, must be set aside in order to “deal” with the reality of one’s situation.
Virtual Reality is just that — not quite real.
The reality of the real is what must come first, and for the Federal and Postal employee who must consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, the historical context of the Kantian separation of our two worlds merely voices an interesting moment in history, but one which has little to no impact upon one’s everyday world of realities.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire