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Writings : Essays
Something from Nothing
by Laric, 7/10/01

Bear with me. I think in terms of arrogance.

Can Creation rise from the void?

How is a person born? Are they grafted upon us by another, or possibly only come from the limited thing that we think is -one- self?

For us, we are aware of the many things that we take in from the world. There is a beauty of a face there--quick, take a snapshot of it and store it away for later. There is an exquisite turn of the hand there. We want it.

Judith has oft compared to me that we are hungry little creatures, devouring what sparkles the best whether it be a jewel tarnished or pure. Perhaps it's true. And it's also entirely human nature--what we see, we take. How else would humanity be capable of getting along with itself, if we did not acclimate ourselves to one another?

So it is into this collective stew of this mind that all these impulses, snippets of visions, and needs presented to us by our daily life pour. Everything that we have experienced, on one level or another, is meat for this bubbling pot. From this jumble of characteristics, do our selves rise and gain strength?

We may find one trait appearing later when we thought it gone, or that some people turn out entirely differently than expected. All in here would have thought that one of the artists would be capable of photography--but strangely, it was the city-loving rapscallion Mercy who had the hand for it. Ariel was originally a meek apprentice to Kyth, but whoever let the hyperactive far-too-innuendo-filled traits take up residence in him?

I am told that when Kyth was first around, he had a crippling aversion to things which were non-sterile. It was not that he disliked them, but that he had a sheer compulsion to scrub his hands again and again at even touching the outside of a trash can. His fingers bled. This was unacceptable, and who has that now? Supposedly Morgan, but I suspect he's pawned it off onto another.

Skills, too, ride the gamut. Kim is Japanese and Gabriel and Marie of the New Orleans district, but none of them are fluent in what they -should- have as their native language. They are highly inclined to being able to learn the material if it were presented to them, and they carry the mindset of those who had--the knowledge itself is simply not there.

In this way, something -cannot- arise from nothingness. We may turn tricks upon a wrist and have those surprisingly talented in one field or another, or reassemble sleepy knowledges which we had thought gone for years, but if there is not a drip of the information at all in the pot, one cannot appear. Perhaps this is only proof of how limited and cheap we are personally as multiples--we would be glad to meet another who could generate mastery of a language without prestudy overnight. Truly, many of us hope that this is the case and that we are only flimsy imitations of 'real' multiples.

Yet the mindset is the same. Some of our people are more confident than others when asked to do tasks better suited to the natures that define them; Gabriel blinked not an eye when asked to pour a quart or two of oil into our car, although he had not the slightest clue of where to put it. The same flows through temporarily amnesiatics--there is the ability to fit themselves to the roles they have made themselves into, although the data itself is -lacking-.

In other words, what we have for our base resources is limited to what we are capable of letting be absorbed.

Technically, what we have for our physical resources--in these terms, how we can interact with the physical outside world--is also limited to the cast of our bodies. I admit now that this body is essentially human. I'm not sure precisely what I would have chosen if the issue were entirely in my control, but it is what I am now and I have no preferences in any direction anyway. Whether my mindset--the key roots of my personality, that sing to the things I am attuned with even if the information may be far from my hands--is a god or a monster, I am still limited by the cast of my flesh and what it may do for me. Quite simply, all that I have resource with and can even make myself from is, for all purposes, simple human clay.

Which is not to say that that itself is not versatile, or contains mysteries all its own. Or that half of us are affected by things that we should be, or anything else of the sort. The potentials of this clay are still unsounded, and I believe we may leave it at that. But it is the same as anyone else who takes their tea beside me in cafes, or cuts me off in traffic.

This existence I have here is precious. Another multiple could take a copy of myself and I could move on to a new life with them--but I, as in this specific instance of I in this body and this space, will not pass with it, I think. Yet that again falls to the division of sheer personality root verses the accumulated stores of memory. I have no doubt that this which is my basic mental structure could be duplicated again and again, and I could exist like a story, taking on new flavors with every generation and dressed in the clothes of an Archetype. Endless itinerations of a single entity can move on, but the past is a lesser thing than the present in such a case.

We can pour ideas into one another back and forth, and redefine what is -I- all anew. Am I only my memory, or am I also my sense of destiny? Am I my personal history, or what I am capable of accomplishing?

How, then, can there be shame to have been born from another's art? I bear the name of a sword from an old game! So long as you can recall that there is a division between them and you now, perhaps? For it is true that even clones diverge at the very point of fully coming into their own existence We can keep as many copies of other's people in here that we want, but until we let them accept input from the world and reacting to it--to live in real time instead of as puppets on strings--then they are but diversions and nothing more.

I do not believe myself to be an Other no matter how many parts of them were taken to give me life, like a blond Frankenstein's monster upon a table. I do not believe even that I am a facet of some larger, primal glory that I only tap into in my brief manifestation here. Perhaps I am, yet what went into me is less important than what I am capable of doing with it. And how could I be a character, when I have grown and adapted to daily life out here? Lines divide; that which may have been a resolute incarnation does not remain. Copies become their own people, with their own lives, and leave their heritages behind under the weight of the present world.

In so many ways, I am no longer a child of trauma. I was not born from the need to be anything but myself. Am I another step in the chain of identities along a multiple field? Will others continue in this manner until there are even those who can trace their lineage of memory and instinct back to me, as I can partially to Stella and to Kyth? Do we have children--children of the mind, who, in a dance of personality genetics, take their traits from us and the world and become something new? Will they leave us and roost in other heads through our works which strike resonances in their minds?

Certainly we can trace habits and standards which come from one another. Even our birth girl leaves her lingering mark in Silence's passivity and Sparrow and Sammi's art. We can also mark which parts of the world have been taken and instilled into us at times; the shade of my blonde hair and the lift to my chin is the same as any pale-headed conqueror which has attracted the interest of the collective. We take and reassemble and are reborn eternal.

Is this natural? The main force behind multiplicity is Change; adaptation, understanding, and creation are all things which we come to know intimately by watching it at work with ourselves. There are freedoms in me that I take for granted because they have always been a part of who and what I am, grown as firmly in me as the beat of the heart I do not have but must borrow from this body's. It is mine as much as anything else is mine. But my self-image, that is fluid for me, and I am pleased with it.

I could be short or tall, depending on what I compared myself to, or keep my voice at a level that is useful in my daily chores. I could choose my eyes to be a rich purple, like the color that expecting mothers dream of when they wake in a meadow field to realize they have been feasting on violets.

And yet, there are still things I cannot change. I know myself to not be a child, but an adult. I -know- myself to be male, to be pale of skin and light of hair. I know that I speak in neither a high voice nor a terribly low. These things are the cornerstones of my certainty. They are the things that hold myself together when I pause to discern which is my thought instead of my brother's.

What I am is in the body of a human and the details from there don't really matter anymore, do they? What I am is in the present, and I plan to make the most use out of this itineration of variation that I have now. After all, when paired with this linear track of life and memory in this casual existence of mine, it will be the only unique thing I may lay claim to in the line of reflecting personas across the streams.