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Thread: Therianthropy and Plurality

  1. #11

    Re: Therianthropy and Plurality

    That's an interesting theory. What do you think forms members? What is it that supplies the script?

  2. #12
    Newbie BluePrimula's Avatar
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    Re: Therianthropy and Plurality

    This is kind of an embarrassing answer, but I wish I could say I knew... Systems vary in how they were formed and how they "tick", and each one has to figure out the how's and why's themselves. I actually only realized I had systemmates about two years ago, and I wasted the first several months assuming we were formed by trauma because the systems around us believed that was the only way. (There's a lot of argument and conflict in the community right now when it comes to which origins are valid.) At this point we're still figuring out *how* our system works in a practical sense, since that helps us the most on a day-to-day basis. When it comes to origins and causes, aside from "it wasn't severe early childhood trauma" we kind of don't know yet. Theories I've considered have been 'a natural neurological difference our brain was born with' 'at least one member was a soul that came from elsewhere' 'we all have souls and spiritual origins' 'dissociative states' 'IT'S ALL FAKE AND I'M IMAGINING IT' etc. (I deal with a lot of self doubt.) We have specific memories of one or two members forming, which seemed like they came from the "inside" and not from elsewhere, but... it's still speculation. At this point I guess we're still figuring things out.

    If you're curious about systems in general, common explanations are early childhood trauma, born neurological difference, that their body is a hub that many souls from another world pass in and out of, trauma that occurred later in life, a mixture of multiple causes - plus there are people who intentionally create "thoughtforms" (psychological entities in their minds) or purposefully practice spiritual medium work. There are also systems who decide they don't care about how they formed at all and have no desire to analyze it. In that regard I'm honestly torn because I'm a naturally curious person, so in some ways I do want to know - but at the same time, analyzing it tends to trigger my self doubt and send all of our emotions into chaos, which is very stressful and unpleasant.

  3. #13

    Re: Therianthropy and Plurality

    I don't remember how I got here either, so no worries.

  4. #14
    Newbie BluePrimula's Avatar
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    Re: Therianthropy and Plurality

    Hehe, thanks! This response made me chuckle (I'm not sure if you meant your physical birth as a baby; if so you're right and also that's pretty funny )

  5. #15

    Re: Therianthropy and Plurality

    I try to bring the lulz when I can, but I do think it's interesting and I'm trying to wrap my head around the day to day details. For example, where and how or do you...or even could you shelf a 6 year old identity while an adult identity has intercourse with the shared body? How are competing sexual orientations handled, or opposing tastes in food?

    With respect to potential non-human identities, how and in what manner of communication is the narrative content of their experience relayed? Do animal identities have human experiences and human thoughts and the use of human language to describe those experiences to the human identities? On that note, even more fundamentally, what demarcation is there between "animal" and "human" in the production of that narrative content? What signifies that A is a human experience whereas B is an animal experience?

    Have you ever considered being part of a clinical study? Experiential content of this kind would almost invariably advance the study of conscious experience. Some of the more popular theories of construction might even shed light on how all this could happen at a functional level. AST being a dead ringer, as an example.
    Last edited by Rhythm; 22 Jan 2020 at 05:05.

  6. #16
    Newbie BluePrimula's Avatar
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    Re: Therianthropy and Plurality

    To answer these questions from my experience alone (many systems experience these things very differently):

    When one of us is "fronting" (controlling the body), the others are generally "asleep", in a sense. They're not alert to what's happening in the moment, but our brain fills them in later when they do front. The littles are not alert when sexual stuff is going on, but they *are* able to remember the events after the fact. Generally they deal with that by emotionally distancing themselves from it and just choosing not to think about it much; for the most part they don't care, but it *is* kind of awkward sometimes. They know more than most kids their age would know, which is not ideal but we have no way of avoiding it.

    Other than that sexuality can be difficult for some of my systemmates due to incongruency between their identities and their bodies (for instance our gay 35 year old male member who is stuck in a female 21 year old body). We're honestly still working out some those issues. At the moment we only have one sexual/romantic partner, who is only my (the host's) partner, and is only a platonic friend to everyone else. Because our presences in the body are compartmentalized, and don't happen all at the same time, whoever is awake and fronting at any one time just makes decisions based on their own tastes (ie. in regard to food, clothing, or sexual preferences). There is no argument or frustration because they're the only one around to make the decisions or care, because of the whole "awake/asleep" deal.

    When it comes to nonhuman members, all of our nonhuman members are actually fairly humanoid. I personally identify as a therian, and consider myself to be both human *and* animal. Our other nonhuman members are a demon, and a skinwalker (which is based on a Navajo myth about evil witches who can shapeshift into various animals). So we're basically all fairly human-like, and can think and speak like humans. I am basically an "animal person", our demon is a humanoid mythical entity, and our skinwalker is like an "animal person" in a completely different interpretation of that phrase. Regardless, our nonhumanity doesn't hinder our communication or functioning.

    In regards to your last point, yes our experiences could probably help advance knowledge of complex subjects, potentially in the fields of psychology and philosophy. BUT, sadly that is not possible at this point. Psychology has already determined its stance on plurality, which is essentially this (paraphrased by me):

    "Plural systems are a result of a mental disorder (either DID or OSDD) and are invariably caused by severe childhood trauma. The "people" in the system are actually just fragments of one whole, and are more like separate dissociative states than full, separate people. Plurality is innately harmful and pathological, and the ideal treatment is to combine the parts back into one whole (normal) person."

    And those are just the psychologists who believe in our existence at all - many are actively and loudly against the idea that such a thing could possibly exist, and claim that it's absurd. For reference, some of those points do hold true for some systems - for instance, the "caused by trauma" bit is true in some cases, and the concept and treatment of DID is helpful for some systems. I don't believe that the disorders themselves are completely non-existent - it's just that the model doesn't fit for quite a few systems. But what all of this means is that psychologists are mostly only interested in studying disordered systems that fit into *their* idea of what plurality is. In my experience the idea of multiple people in one body is so mind-blowing and goes against people's assumptions and psychological viewpoints so much, that psychologists will do back flips in order to either deny or stereotype our existence and assert that we're not *really* separate people. It's pretty depressing, honestly :/

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