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Levels of Being
by Laric, 7/30/01

Ah, for the amusements of being able to clarify what our Stella has come up with.

One of the touchier points of her analysis was that it implied that people were or were not complete, so to speak--not real, or so on. Stella shies away from taking terms of esoteric form, but we'll go with that for now.

Identity itself is no more than a simple way to process raw data from external sources--reading external and internal worlds as the same influences here, for the outside portion is outside the ego-state here--into information, which is then stored and acted upon. We have established that an ego-state is formed from memory and behavior, which can translate accordingly into potential energy and kinetic, the stable and the dynamic. You can remove memory and you will not change basic, fixed aspects of behavior until the mind ingests a contrary set of beliefs through its new memories. Often, depending on flexibility of the ego-state, you cannot enact a radical change upon the identity simply by stripping it of its past. It will continue to process information in the same way and react as it has learned how.

There are matters such as gender or planetary origin, but think well here--how much does it matter after the fact? You can have an equivalent mindset to a male if you are born female, or an Earthling if you are other. Quite simply, all else is cosmetic to the details. While there are a wide amount of different effects that environment can have upon how the specific mind will learn to process information, they can be duplicated by similar circumstances. You can toss all these things down to numbers if you would like, but I'll refrain.

Hence, detractors from plurality who claim that minds which stem from what they would consider to be irregular origins are flawed to begin with can go hang. However, we must similarly hold to the idea that, just because a person may have divine origins, it means nothing unless they do something with it. All our beginnings, whether virtuous or sinful, are in the past now. Like memory, they can be stripped from us and we must continue going onwards.

There is a simple rule that exists for most minds, which is that there must be a certain amount of energy given to them to survive with. It is the act of being that allows minds to hold themselves together. Those who are kept from it begin to fade away until they are left to single, crystallized memory-states--there is no kinetic energy of being, only dormant patterns of thought which are preserved and may be lost. We must call back those who have stepped away into sleep or to their own worlds. Certain groups are more inclined to having a larger or smaller number out and active on a daily basis, and it is by this that we may attempt to describe plurality--not by the grand total of the population, nor by trauma, nor by variety or lack of.

There is a give and take to plurality. We are not of infinite capacity--although our variety and potentials are as high as we allow them to be.

Here now--let us return to Stella's discussion, specifically at the point where she draws lines for general assumptions of levels of multiplicity. Now return.

We'll go by levels, and define them by visuals here.

The first level, which most people would like to believe themselves to be, is that of a single, bounded individual. There is only room for that single ego-state to exist, and all of its energies are bound up into holding itself into a singular state as such. All information received is done through a consistent viewpoint which never changes, and all reactions and processes are consistent for the overall group--a misnomer, really, since there is only a single individual here.

The advantages to this state, of course, is that reality is essentially a constant. The disadvantages are various as well--it is easy to fall into the concept that all existence is no wider than that which one can see with one's own eyes and hear with one's own ears. Other minds do not exist, for there is only room for yours.

Now, going on to the more midcontinuum level--which I admit must be rather assumed on this point, as we are not personally mid-conts--we have a similar situation, although with divisions.

There is a group, but it is largely still together and there is still a sense of 'I'--to varying degrees, naturally. A great number of people are this way, and instead point to claims that it was 'situational identity' or a 'strange mood' to attempt to excuse themselves.

Here, you can see the energies of the various minds as extending past the major I-level (marked in red), skipping other parts, and overlapping others. The advantages to this state are naturally as high as the amount of ego-states, for a number of different viewpoints and responses to situations are always useful. Here is where the disadvantages begin to appear, however, for more energy must be directed towards conceiving of a consensual reality for--in this case--four viewpoints. There are more aspects to the information being received, and therefore more work must be spent upon sifting through for an answer.

Now onto full plurality.

Society would have us believe in this model--that full plurality is dysfunctional, and that each person is but a 'part' of a whole and therefore incomplete on their own. We who are plural know better, although we must still admit that there are still those of us which do fit the profile of a fragment, and are functional only. Perhaps to say that they are more memory without action would be better, or perhaps that is even needless to explore at this point.

Here would be a quick, if more accurate model in comparison to a singlet:

As seen, we cannot increase our own energies--the general ego-realm which we happen to perch inside and manifest our own wishes through--past that of what we are given. Primarily, this would simply be due to the factor of time. There is a certain amount of that, observed, that most of us must take if we wish to maintain our own personal strengths inside our own groups. For example, if one of us may be talented in internal reconstructions and they take a few years off, then when they return--even though they recall the mechanics perfectly--they are not quite strong enough, somehow, to be able to enact the same effortless movements that they had been capable of before. They must recover themselves. They must take up the space in the internal energies once more, often pushing another aside, before they can act as smoothly.

As plural-states, what we are capable of is the clean and easy trick of stepping aside to allow another ego-state to take our places. We do not have to retain absolute control over a person, limiting them to a finite state within the circle of our given mental territory. However, when they are there, they are limited by that very terrain, much as those who rise up from or step inside our minds have only the resources of what has been dumped inside.

This difference with plural communities--that we do not have as much an issue with simply moving aside and letting another ego-state take the energies necessary to be up front, so to speak--is what gives us our strengths and weaknesses as well. We do not require the world to be bounded precisely and only within the confines of our own head, and it's rare to find a group of us who firmly and absolutely believes that the only ego-state which matters is their own and that empathy and the understanding of others is pointless.

However, we must spend more of our time on internal maintenances as well as sorting through information to wrap up a general--although loose--idea of the realities we move through. Like the simplicity that technical origins have upon lasting identity patterns, being plural does not -automatically- generate any more mental capacity than a singlet may have. All these things are is a decision of what to spend energy upon and where, and in what sort of form.

The amount and type of connections that we have with other ways of life which extend outside that circle of influence--which could be thought of as the body or the general mind--are not to be counted when a group is to be thought of. In plainer terms, the sheer number of people which a plural group is connected to means -nothing- for how real or imagined they are. What -is- to be counted is the level of those who step up fully and take over on a daily basis, or in other words, the number of complete 'I's which manifest themselves to function on a daily basis. It is practice, not potential, although we may slide up and down the ladder as needed.

Certain multiple groups are more comfortable with many, or with few. Midcontinuums may have a primary ego-state up front at all times and never fully step aside in giving way to another. Singlets, of course, rarely do, and often blame it on the stress of the moment and nervous breakdowns later.

Forget numbers. Forget details such as gender or species. Count only the amount of times when two or more ego-states meet and in what capacity, measure only the level up front which draws upon primary energies of existence to remain dynamic and motile. This is a simpler question than trauma and sanity--this is only a look at how a subject's mind may divide out its own energies into where and who. Now, analyze us, society. Now tell us why we cannot be part of a natural range of existance.

I'm listening. We all are.