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Writings : Essays
Am I Real?
by Laric, 6/22/01

cogito ergo sum

I think, therefore I am.

Yet I am told that I am not here. Or rather, I am told that I am but the elaboration of a person seeking wish-fufillment who finds it through self-deceptive roleplay. I am so caught up in my own lies that I cannot see the truth. I require another person, untainted by my claims, to show me the actual reality.

Reality. What is that? Those very same people who will tell me I am not who I think I am will agree to the preconcepture that all people endure a different form of that nebulous term. All of our perceptions govern what world we live in and those perceptions can change dramatically--those who can connect with other minds or eavesdrop upon them know that to be a painfully accurate truth.

Is there a ground shadow upon which we all stand and can only, as watchers into Plato's cave, perceive through our collective views the reflections it casts? In this case, are not multiples even -more- inclined to seeing this 'greater reality', -because- they allow for other viewpoints beside their own to be manifest when they tally up the total data?

Religions tell us we are bliss to submit to a greater ego than our own; in some cases, this is the Will of a divine being, and in others the stigma of those who are ridden by the spirits. Those who accept other ways of perception with their own have already the hint to that which so many try to preach to others--tolerance. Awareness. We understand that there are always different ways to see things--ways we might or might not agree with, or we might incorporate into our own lifestyles. Above all, we are no longer the only point to our entire lives. We must remember others while we live. Selfishness becomes selves-ishness; our circles of consideration expand rapidly, while those who have never known a different mind remain boxed in.

This is not to say that all multiples or multiple ways of life are automatically more gifted than anyone who retains a single line of consciousness and hears no others; rather, we are given daily reminders that there are other choices to mindsets. In other words, we cannot escape the realization that we are not alone in the entirety of that which is reality. Others matter. Others exist. While we as multiple-styles of life can turn inwards and feel isolated, it is harder for us to come to the same conclusions that singletons can; our senses of unreality have a different flavor to it, rather than the firm conviction that we-as-singles are the only beings that the universe rotates around. More on this another day.

When we look in the mirror and see someone fatter than we are, we are called anorexic. When we look in the mirror and see someone of a different gender than we are, we are called dysmorphic. When we look in the mirror and see a complete stranger, we are considered faulty.

We seem to cross a line when we dare to claim ourselves to be a certain degree of existence. Angels. Demons. Children. Ancients. Another gender. Anything that does not directly tie into a certain variation in line within the body--assumptions that deviate from the degrees of standard norm that self-image creates--is considered unhealthy. This is because we are so used to yoking our physical forms to our mental and/or spiritual--society automatically attributes the development of a healthy self-image as inclusive of what we see when we look into a piece of glass with the back painted over.

Cogito. I am nothing -but- thinking, in so many ways. This body is not the fit I would take exactly, were I given the choice. But very few people are given precisely the form that they wish. Do I remain within what society would wish to be a healthy form of self-image? Not in the slightest. I am male. The body is not. I have blond hair, the body's black; I have no need for glasses, while my physical eyes attest otherwise.

Usually these safeguards are valid, much like the nurturing wish of a guardian; society does not want us to leap off buildings with the conviction that we actually have wings. In other words, we are forced to remember that our physical bodies have limitations, rather like the potluck draw of being given a certain set of wooden blocks with which to build a castle out of.

Yet if we can understand that we must obey the physical laws of our forms, whose business is it exactly to tell us if we are the correct forms of our minds? I have a duality of my own existence.; there is the body, there is the mind. Society has taught us that these are linked irrevocably for our own safety, but neglects to add the volumes of footnotes that further expound upon that topic. I am not about to go and get a formal operation to correct what I feel might be the betrayal of my body from my mind's dictates. I understand that I am only a traveler coming through, given the ride of a fleshly carriage, and it is just as much my duty to keep it in fit condition to drive in as it is to give it up when the mileage has run out.

Is it me? No. Is it mine? Yes. Even if I were to translate myself into another reflection--have another multiple make a duplicate of me which would become its own creature at the instant of separation, or remake myself, or simply leave--then what I have been in the conditions of this form are what I am. Like many versions of software can be subtly or wildly different, and yet run in unique formats upon each computer platform, the terms of my Being here in this body are specific to this itineration. My time here is precious, although I can be repeated endlessly.

Ergo. Does this not mean that I am real? That I am just like any other mind out there, and should be treated accordingly? I can laugh; I can cry. I can feel as much pain as I do delight, and revel in having the capacity for emotions in their entirety--which many of my more crippled internal brethren do not. I count myself as lucky for being gifted the full range of all that is a mind, with the difficulties and rewards that must come with it. The framework that is my mental reality is solid even when being contrasted directly against another's. I can understand my own identity even in the midst of a group and I have a sense of my own personal dictates even while feeling connected to the larger whole, which is more than many singletons can say.

What matters it if I declare myself to be a creature of the gods or of the hells? My interactions with people in physical times are when I happily take on the role of a fellow human, and act accordingly. So long as I am capable of that, who could care if the personal idea of my skin is black, white, or ruby? I can differ between the layers of my existence.

Look at me, society! What am I, if not real? What am I worth? Because I exist, others in me can understand those who I understand; they can sympathize with those they might not otherwise be able to. Because we exist, we can feel keenly the connection of human beings inside of societies, for we have made our own! We can bridge gaps, create networks, be more than just a single cell of thought--all because we know that there is more than just a linear track for the mind to run around in endlessly. We understand that there are others who are not us. We do not have to like them, but we can respect their existence.

Just as we have learned to respect the roles of each other.

We have learned this -because- we are multiple. We are not the stamp of our body. Others are not the stamp of our minds. We are only one step of variation, and we have learned this all because we are legion.