We can communicate with the living online, but their words live on after they die. There are stories of email groups where people reply quite consciously and deliberately to the posts from someone who is dead. Through such services as project Guttenberg the dead poets and novelists have come back with their text more alive than ever as we search, and cut and paste their words into newer living documents.
The last book of the Odyssey begins with an epiphany of Hermes, which may poetically bring to life something of the experience of being in a mind rather than a body space:
Meanwhile the suitors’ ghosts were called away by Hermes of Kyllene, bearing the golden wand with which he charms the eyes of men or wakens whom he wills.
He waved them on, all squeaking
as bats will in a cavern’s underworld,
all flitting, flitting criss-cross in the dark
if one falls and the rock-hung chain is broken.
So with faint cries the shades trailed after
Hermes, pure Deliverer.
He led them down dank ways, over gray
Ocean tides, the Snowy Rock past shores
of Dream and narrows of the sunset,
in swift flight to where the Dead inhabit
wastes of asphodel at the world’s end.
From the section “The Hermes of the Odyssey” in Hermes Guide of Souls by Karl Kerényi (1942)
We can see how Hermes connects with the disdain for cyberspace we have discussed. The realm can be a Hades, and in our disembodiment we become ghosts.
The idea of ‘archive’ is often used for storing old records. On the net everything at the moment of its birth is archived and thus the latest pop song is as easily accessed as the ideas of people long dead re-published on the Net.
Here is my essay – this one section from it.