(This is a less magic-focused version of this article.)
Sometimes you get a general sense that the thing you’re talking to may not be the thing you think you’re talking to. You want to know that you’re receiving true advice/conversation, and not paper cutout of the systemmate you thought you were talking to, the fears of your subconscious, etc. So we’ve developed some authentication systems, so to speak.
I’ll refer to something called shadows or echoes below, which are sort of like subconscious fragments of the fronter, which some might call a shadow self. (I’m not too clear on the terminology, so my apologies if I get it wrong.) Nothing particularly harmful, but it can be distracting either way.
A curious thing was discovered. A shadow or echo of a person from the other-world/headspace, who might stand in and fool the fronter, seems to be unable to speak the systemmate’s true name. Sometimes not even their nickname. So this is typically the rock standard we fall back to if we need one. It’s quick, easy, and almost never fails. (In fact, the times that it has “failed”, it’s seemed more like different versions of us, perhaps our own echoes perceived by others.) But it does require knowing their name, a good reason to get to know everyone you work with.
A second way is that, that other-world/headspace being steeped in feeling and metaphor (like a dream), each person you meet has a certain feel. It really isn’t one of the normal five senses, so it’s hard to be metaphorical about it. But you can imagine a texture of something you touch, or a smell, or a taste of some food. You know if it’s even a little bit off.
This may not be true for everyone, but we’ve found that, in the most extreme cases, if one of us is a little bit “off”, we can’t successfully front. It’s like a failsafe mechanism. A true echo or shadow can’t even get close. So this is comforting to all of us: there’s little chance of a mistake.
What do you do if you run into a situation where you’re talking with or perceiving an echo? There are two separate scenarios, really. The first is when the person you want to reach is there, but… for lack of a better analogy, it’s like your glasses are smudged. In this case, you can often sort of reach through the echo, looking for that perfect person-sense, and pull them through the echo. (This is a recent development for us.) The second is when there is only the echo; you might call this wishful thinking: you think you’ve found the person, but you’re seeing a bit of your own subconscious or shadow self. There’s little to be done there but to move on and look for the person elsewhere.
In the worst case, it is disappointing, but you may simply have to give up and try again later. This can sometimes happen if you’re very distracted, very tired, or otherwise frazzled. Your mind is an instrument that is used to reach that other-place, and if it’s not working well, neither will your visit. And sometimes it just seems to happen by some as yet unknown condition.
I’m not as good of a writer as Fuzzy (a little verbose and unorganised), but I hope that was helpful!