As I was pondering a comment Splash Kidd made last week on identity, the analogies of masks, filters and windows came to mind:
- masks that project a constructed image that hides underlying aspects of our self
- filters that accentuate certain dimensions of our personality while diminishing or coloring others
- windows that provide a glimpse into deeper levels of our being that are usually hidden
We meet the world through a multiplicity of masks, filters and windows corresponding to roles such as parent, employee, student, party goer, etc. The way we dress, the style and substance of our communication and even subconscious expressions such as posture can vary quite radically between roles. Although this seems to beg the question "Which is the real you?", upon reflection it's apparent that the being behind each persona inherently transcends any particular expression.
It seems to me that all three modalities can be used to consciously explore the multidimensional expression of our being. Although the realities of physical existence limit the roles one can play in the atomic world, virtual identities offer us an almost unlimited potential to break out of habitual modes of expression and connect with new aspects of one's being.
There are many ways to play with virtual identities. Some people have a single identity that morphs into different forms and characters. Others create multiple "alts", each expressing a particular persona that deepens over time through a continuity of narrative. Like just about anything in life, the trick is to be immersed enough for deep and authentic experience while maintaining a spark of an observing consciousness to stay awake in the dream.