So l've been looking back at Borges and I'm pretty sure the Circular Ruins was inspired by Mayan spirituality. I did some more research on what David Byrne was saying about the topic. I found an interesting ethnographic study about the significance of dreams, a central topic of the Circular Ruins. The Mayans believed they had something called a way, which is a sort of alter-ego. It is manifested as a sort of spirit animal. The word way also translates as sleep. Mayan Kings would go to wayib, or sacred places of dreaming (like the circular ruins of the story) to connect with their way. Dreams were important source of finding truth to the Mayans, and still are to their descendants. They are considered to be very real in a sense. Many cultures find it easy to connect a supernatural world with the real. Does involvement in digital worlds or online communities today fulfill a desire to connect with something outside of our tangible, physical world?
Also connecting the Mayans' spiritual with our digital, I find the concept of way to be reminiscent of the avatar in today's digital world. We all create a sort of identity online that is more or less based on ourselves, or sometimes represents an idealized version of ourselves.. The internet generation is not the first to come up with this concept. The avatar or online profile provides us with a way to examine who we are and what we want. We've all had to fill out these things and perhaps introspect a little in doing so. How much do we tailor our online identity to fit the way we want to present ourselves? And how do those ideas and digital interactions contribute to who we ultimately become?