Virtual Reality, taking drugs, or seeking Enlightenment, all have one common goal: to achieve an alternative consciousness for the user/seeker that offers escape from the common physical world. There seekers look for an experience where they can explore the limits of their mind -- humanity has always recognized it has limits, and since then has looked for ways to expand those limits outward, increase its knowledge, and live longer.
The cyber- offers a unique new reconsideration of all these goals, as achieving alternative consciousness becomes second nature. People become cyborgs and explore cyberspace with their avatars, and through these means can create themselves in whatever image they wish. Not only can these existences offer an alternative, they can become the norm, like Case in Neuromancer. The body, the mind, and the life all become increasingly flexible.
Friedrich Nietzsche said that God was originally a projection of a people's self-love, best aspects, and highest aspirations. through the cyber-, many look to find themselves one step closer to God.