When alchemists were talking about turning lead to gold, they were talking about turning a leaden consciousness, which most of us exist in during our lives, into a golden consciousness, which is a much better place to be.
I'm not personally connected to the Internet, although nearly everyone that I know is, and many of them have a great time and no problems with it. And on the surface you can see that the Internet could go an awful long way to educating, enlightening, informing and connecting the world.
Because our entire universe is made up of consciousness, we never really experience the universe directly we just experience our consciousness of the universe, our perception of it, so right, our only universe is perception.
Art makes us feel less alone. It makes us think: somebody else has thought this, somebody else has had these feelings.