The virtual conscience of 'Avatar'

Josh Larsen

December 26, 2009

Very thought-provoking, but I would challenge the assumption that our "social avatars" are not "true to our actual selves." That would be the case for someone who intentionally creates a virtual self that they know is not authentic. However, I think the argument can be made that our so-called social avatars can allow us to be more of who we really are, or would like to be, in real life. Words matter: a "persona" sounds inauthentic (and is in Jungian terms), a "virtual self" sounds too sci-fi (like a cyber-astral projection), and I think "social avatar" too strongly suggests game-play (as though all social media is just one big online game).<br><br>I think reality is much different. For the average Christian enjoying social media, I think a better (though not as fun and trendy) term would be something like our "digital personality." It is who we are when we're online. Just as we express our personality differently in different real-world social environments, our digital personality is authentically us, just in a different social setting. It could be that, for many, their digital personality actually gives them a new kind of freedom to be who they really are, to express their true selves. And that, in turn, might actually create more freedom in their "real" world to be more of that person.<br><br>I like your social avatar imagery and language, but I personally find it suggestively pejorative and limiting. I'm not convinced that a digital personality is a bad thing, or something to be distrusted. It's just a new expression of who we are as real people.

December 30, 2009

I've not seen Avatar and don't intend to. Why? Chiefly because it took me more than 10 years to begin to see the biblical implications of James Cameron's Titanic.<br><br>Here's my question: If the underlying theme of Titanic was the rise and resurgence of the spirit of Nimrod, king of Babylon -- "I'm the king of the world" -- "My heart will go on" -- what then is Cameron's Avatar really all about?<br><br>Nimrod (who was also referenced, last December, at the close of Baz Luhrmann's movie Australia) takes us back to Genesis 10 and 11. So, does Avatar in some way recall Genesis 6, the days of Noah, and specifically those ancient evil superheroes, the Nephilim?<br><br>The Nephilim were the offspring of fallen angels and humans. They were the result of satanic meddling with the human gene pool -- a problem which God then dealt with.<br><br>So, is Avatar messing with our heads and, ultimately, making the infiltrators the good guys, inverting good and evil? <br><br>Is that what Transformers did too? Revenge of the Fallen? (I didn't see that one either.)<br><br>Matthew 24.37: As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.<br>

August 3, 2010

Seven months on, I've still not seen Avatar and still don't intend to. That said, I now see that Avatar is all about New Age cosmology.<br><br>Hardly a revelation, but this was new to me:<br><br>"Meher Baba says that the goal of life is conscious realization of the absolute oneness of God. Meher Baba’s work as Avatar is to awaken this Oneness in each heart.<br><br>"... The drop soul once again becomes merged in the Ocean. It is has now answered the question of "Who am I?" with "I am God".<br><br>"The first drop soul to answer this question is the Avatar. He is responsible for each drop soul after him."<br><br>This stuff permeates rock music too. The Indian mystic Meher Baba ("Don't worry be happy"), beloved of the Woodstock generation and a spiritual guru to Pete Townshend, is said to have been the inspiration for The Who song Baba O'Riley (1971).<br><br>Fast forward to 2004 and U2's Bono (ONE) sang the following lyrics:<br><br>This love is like a drop in the ocean<br>This love is like a drop in the ocean<br><br>and<br><br>All because of you <br>I am … I am <br><br><br>

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