Non-visual Ways of Being (by fuzzyjayling)

(This is a less magic-focused version of this article.)

A common theme that runs through many of our posts is visuality. You go to a place and you see people and places. Or you see Others nearby. These are all concepts laden with visualisation and sight.

For a variety of reasons, some people don’t work this way. For one thing, you may have trouble moving your consciousness to another place to begin with. For another, you may simply not see things that way, for a number of possible reasons. Some people don’t have other-worlds.

So I want to take a stab in the dark (har har) at some thoughts on another way of being, doing plural magic.

The basic concept is this: consciousness is a product of a body here, a brain. There is a sense of immediacy, a sense of self, and a sense of a regular passage of time. You can point to something and say, ah ha! I am, and I’m here.

This is a resource that’s shared when systemmates come to the front. As I mentioned in the Fronting How-to, when you switch out, you become their systemmate. They have that I am, and I’m here; and they’re looking at and listening to you from here.

That consciousness can sometimes be moved; this is what I call journeying. You’re moving your perspective, your sense of is-ness and view, into the other-world. It’s almost like a guided meditation, except that other-place is doing the guiding.

What do you do when you’re not doing any of those things? Here are a couple of examples.

Listening. Sometimes you just hear a systemmate talk. It sounds like when you talk to yourself in your head, hearing your words as if they were spoken. Except you hear their words, their songs, whatever they’re doing.

Telepathy. Sometimes a systemmate’s thoughts simply enter your mind whole. It was as if you thought the thought, but it wasn’t yours. They tend to have a particular energy or flavour of someone else. They are often gestalts: you don’t think out the words “I need to go to the store”. Instead you do something like having the feeling of needing to go to the store. If you want to express happiness about being around someone, you feel it first, then you translate it into words to speak. (At least, that’s what I do.) Telepathy is sometimes a product of this, your mind translating their thoughts into words for you.

Memory Recovery. This is sort of like telepathy, but instead of hearing someone else’s immediate communication, it’s simply there like something you remembered. Like remembering having been to the store earlier in the day; perhaps you remember a few fleeting images of what the store looked like, how it smelled, what happened there. You can remember, oh, they had a Halloween aisle right now, without even remembering what it looked like. These can insert themselves into the flow of your normal memories, and are as much about a place as a person. In much the same way, you could find yourself perceiving sensations of various kinds (or even simple knowledge) of something happening in an other-world, or of one of your systemmates.

This relates heavily to some things that Sparrow wrote here: Recovering memories.

Empathy. This is just like telepathy, but with feelings instead of concrete thoughts. You could feel, for example, the love a caring systemmate has for you.

These things are all totally valid ways of working it. For me, one of them often proceeds some deeper action. I will sometimes randomly hear wind in trees or have a notion of a place, and I then journey to it. Sometimes, I’ll have a thought or memory related to a systemmate, and they immediately show up after that. It seems like either magic or coincidence, but I personally think that this was my own internal processes announcing their presence.

Play around with these ideas! They can often lead to much smoother and less cumbersome communication. They might also lead the other direction, from something that is surface and cursory, into having full on systemmates with whom to speak. Here are some exercises you can try:

Speak to a systemmate. Just say it into your mind, “Hey ____, are you around?” and then listen. Sometimes you’ll get an answer.

Query for memories. Do you have an other-world? You may have one and not realise it. If you do have one, think about a place you’ve visited there, or know of. Wonder how it’s doing, what it looks like, who’s there. Sometimes you’ll suddenly know the answer. Sometimes it takes a little time, or becomes “filled in” as you wait or focus. If you don’t have one, I will say that often strong wishes are an indication of something that’s already true. I’ve heard more than one person say “oh geez, I really wish I was plural”. And then they find out they can do it after all. If you let your mind go blank, what sort of imagery comes into it? This could be any sense, too — sounds, smells, physical sensations. Follow those strands and try to remember more about it like remembering a dream.