Our initial attempt to describe our understanding of switching
Some of this language feels odd, as we have switched structures since, using we primarily to describe ourselves, and only dropping to singular I when needed to illustrate that it is just one of use we are referring to. It’s a little fluid still, and confusion verbally can occur especially when we have to distinguish between we as in the group of people we are referring to externally and We as our internal group.
Our ability/awareness with regards to switching has developed a lot. But still, this reflects the context at the time:
Connections. Too many, too few. Internal, external. Liminality and blurring. I linger in the thin places while I can.
At the moment these files are numbered sequentially. Not because one flows into the other, but because that is the chronological timeline of authorship. Which as time is a fickle beast, will make little sense. Ask physicists, philosophers and Douglas Adams.
So to look at what I might describe as “the drop”.
That’s the way I (the primary front) would describe it. Perspective for an alter would be “the rise” I guess. In time I’ll see if I can get one of them to write about it. Not all can talk though, so who knows if that is a current state or a permanency?
It’s when I drop out and allow one of the others to take control. I’ve been doing it I think for a while in some situations without realising. I just had it down as the absence of mind. Sort of like “mushin no shin” from the martial arts perspective, a mind without mind. Alternatively with a more modern take, unconscious competence (1). Like learning to ride a bike down a trail, you start by having to really think about the bend you are in, later you get to be able to be thinking about the next bend or two as you are negotiating the current one. Get good enough, and you are not even thinking about the trail, it’s just flow, feel and presence in the moment.
So when I actually look back at situations where I do what I thought was that, I realise that I am letting the person best suited to handle that situation take over.
I talked a while back to my ex-boss (2) about how climbing up a hill I couldn’t get general crap from work out of my head. Monkey mind was chattering away. The first hour and a half was just “work”, grinding out the climb. Easy, non-technical. As I get to the edge of the corrie and the wind picks up, it’s ice and technical scrambling. Monkey mind, and my mind is banished. Except it’s not all mind that has gone, just that I have dropped into the background and allowed the one that can do this to take control.
The I writing this, jokes about the fact that I don’t know how I can navigate, why I can find my way about out there without constant use of tools. I don’t know where North is really (3). But the relationship of places to each other, what the change in ground, vegetation, animal trails, or sound means to where we are going, well that we can do. I can’t explain it, because I am not the one that does it. Sure I can read a map etc, but the visceral, instinctive ability comes from another.
I do not think I can initiate a drop as such. More like the fact that it is a situation that triggers it. Others are there that have different triggers. I don’t have the time to explore them today.
What I need to figure out is if I can switch without trigger, and if we can cohabit and share memories/sensorium at the same time. Not sure how realistic this is.
- Stage 1 - Unconscious incompetence = I’m so bad at this I don’t even realise I am no good at it.
- Stage 2 - Conscious incompetence = I know I’m no good at this.
- Stage 3 - Conscious competence = I can do this, but I have to concentrate on this.
- Stage 4 - Unconscious competence = I can do this without thinking about it.
I didn’t discuss plurality with my boss, just the stress of work at the time and the extremes I had to go to to stop thinking about it.
Generally I could work it out, but I hope you get the point. |