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Asker Anonymous Asks:
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I was reading about otherkin history yesterday (there are so many stray links around I couldn't tell you the site, it could have been that timeline), and it said some elves were spawned after reading the Silmarillion. Being that that's a work of fiction, wouldn't those elves be considered fictive?
jarandhel jarandhel Said:

That’d depend on whether they believe themselves to be Tolkien elves from Middle Earth or not.  If they do, then they’re fictionkin by definition (fictives are slightly different and involve multiplicity - they’re what used to be known as “soulbonds”).  If they don’t, it’s possible they were just inspired by similarities between Tokien’s work and what they remember, such as the admitted similarities between Tolkien’s elves and the Norse Álfar.

fromfiction:

(reposted from its original source here. Original post date 1/17/2010, by me)

When I saw James Cameron’s Avatar, I knew for a fact that it was going to awaken at least some people; possibly a lot of people. The movie had a lot of elements that help trigger an awakening: powerful visual imagery; unearthly flora and fauna, even transhuman spirituality. And enough people saw it that odds are, if there were slumbering Avatar-kin out there, they were going to see it, and be moved by it.

Its obvious to me at least that the more people exposed to something the more likely it is that one of them will turn out to be kin of it; not because seeing it makes them kin, but because they were already out there, but didn’t know who they were until they saw it.

Unfortunately, the more people exposed to something generally means the more popular it is, and the more popular it is the more Taboo it becomes to believe you’re kin of it. People accuse you of jumping onto a bandwagon, or worse, being ‘flavor of the week’ kin, or only saying that you’re kin because the work is popular.

Don’t think that this is only a problem for fictionkin/otakukin either; more traditional otherkin run into it as well. You can not tell me with a straight face that there weren’t a huge number of Elf-kin awakenings precipitated in the wake of the release of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I was there, and I know they were. Oh most of them won’t admit that it was LOTR that triggered their memories, even if they don’t believe they’re Tolkien elves, but simply received the first mental ‘push’ from there; because to do so would be to be mocked and ostracized. Why? To maintain some thin veneer of otherkin ‘legitimacy’.

The fact is that works, even myths and legends, become popular because they excite strong emotions in the people who are exposed to them. Strong emotions in someone who really has an undiscovered past life are the thing that is most likely to trigger them to remember it. Very few kin manage to rediscover their identities without some kind of exposure to material that is similar to their other self. This is NORMAL; this is natural.

Suddenly waking up when you’re 16 and remembering that you were an [insert kintype here] without first being exposed to stories and descriptions of [insert kintype here] is frankly weird! Why? Because these are really things that we’re not supposed to remember, or else EVERYONE would remember them naturally. Being a kin means one thing, you have emotional issues and unfinished business attached to your past self that you are incapable of getting over. Spontaneous memories means that those issues are so close to the surface even a new self can’t even start the healing process. Normally the past identity is buried by the new one, only to be triggered when a kin is exposed to ideas that cut through the new self and remind them of what was before.

The more people see a movie, the more likely it is to reach someone for whom it hits too close to home. I have little doubt that some of those awakened by Avatar are on only the start of their spiritual journeys and will turn out to have been elves, or wild fae, werefolk, etc, just as many of those awakened by LOTR eventually and through much exploration found out more about what had been reality for them, and maybe it wasn’t exactly like Tolkien’s writing. But for some of them, that first burst of enlightenment really was the truth. Legolas is out there- hoping to the high heavens that no one calls him on it.

Something being new and popular does not make kin of it more unlikely. Likewise, something being obscure and repulsive doesn’t make being kin of it more legitimate; it just makes it sound more legitimate because of the way humans in a society think. Every kin who sincerely believes who he is deserves the benefit of the doubt, no matter what or how recent his origins. If Twilight depicted more traditional, relatable vampires, I have no doubt we’d be seeing more vampire kin right now, like when Anne Rice’s books were popular. It’s not even about people being from these works; it’s about being exposed to new ideas similar enough to hidden memories that they trigger new thoughts, and uncover old memories. By no means should we automatically believe a person’s claims, or even their sincerity in them, but if a work being popular was all it took to make people claim they were kin of it I would see a lot more Harry Potters, and I haven’t met one yet.

Let me ask you something: where are all these Na’vi-kin now?

Last I checked, tireanavi and tothehometree and the na’vi anti-defamation league had all been revealed as trolls.  The people who jumped on the bandwagon less than a month after the movie had been released?  A combination of fellow trolls, and fans following a fad who got trolled and who abandoned their new “identity” after that was revealed.  I’m not currently aware of even one Na’vi-kin still active in the community, much less one that joined the community during that time period.  Which really undermines most of your points in this essay.

As I said at the time:

My biggest problems with Na’vi-kin
(utterly apart from the number of people adopting it as a persona to troll the community, which seems to be the most common)

Avatar premiered on December 10th in London. December 18th in the US. It is now January 28th. In one month and 11 days (less, actually, since many of these na’vi-kin entered the community earlier than today) has there really been enough time to explore your connection to the archetype of the na’vi? Of the fiction-kin I respect, I can honestly say that I’ve never seen that kind of rapid reaction. Instead, I see them going through long phases of denial before the connection becomes too overwhelming to ignore.

And even then, the reaction is not “how right it all seems”, as seems common with the current batch of Na’vi-kin. The reaction, almost invariably, is how much the fictional source diverges from their actual experience. Part of the actual exploration is taking it deeper than the words on the page or the images on the screen. I’m not seeing that so far.
That remains my position on the subject.  And to this day, I still haven’t seen even one supposed Na’vi-kin who has done that type of deep exploration.  Who has gone beyond the two-dimensional stereotypes of indigenous cultures paraded about in the world’s most expensive remake of Fern Gully and could actually talk about what it was to BE a particular individual Na’vi — how one tribe differed from another, how one family differed from another, how it felt to bond with their mounts, what it actually meant to be connected to one another through the tree of souls, whether they experienced Eywa as a classic personal deity or something more impersonal/less akin to consciousness as we know it,  who can talk about the dangerous wildlife of Pandora, and how its existence fit in with the idea of every living thing on that planet being connected to one another through Eywa, who can talk about other Na’vi who were not all just the epitome of the “noble savage”, and so on.  Have you?
Sometimes a fad is just a fad.

owl-epsilon:

my theriotypes are from reincarnation. my fictive types, i feel, are not. 

I wish there were a clean way to split this into a separate thread on tumblr.  Anyway, question - if you don’t attribute your fictive types to reincarnation, what do you attribute them to?

Hello. Sareth told me to come to you about soulbonding, I think it's called. I think I may have some sort of soulbond relationship with a character of mine [I'm a writer] that is closer than most people and their characters. She's been with me 4 years, and has a knack of commenting on things in my head. We share similarities but are different too [she's sassier, more sexual]. I just feel very close to her, like she's instinctual in my head or something. >.< What do you think?
jarandhel jarandhel Said:

That does sound like soulbonding to me, but ultimately whether or not you consider it a soulbond is up to you.  Here are some links on the subject:

http://childofmana.tripod.com/soulbonding.htm
http://www.zensenbutai.com/histsb-essay.shtml
http://www.karitas.net/pavilion/library/library_sb.html

catbountry:

Consider this an educational experience.

Just posting (again) that I know the people involved in the FF7 House stuff and can confirm that it’s true.  Renee/Hojo/Metatron/etc ran the angelkin mailing list prior to me (though I’d previously been a co-mod under another owner) and I’m still cleaning up the mess.

cruelfeline:

And I’m putting it under a cut because lord knows y’all don’t care about this.  But it is cathartic for me, so TA DA.

Also, I’m going to actually tag it.  Because I feel like living dangerously.

Read More

rabidwolfie:

So much information. Had to take some time to read over this one carefully. A lot to think about. But that’s what makes these kinds of things interesting!

Heh, yeah.  Sorry for the delay in replying again, I’ve been working two jobs and trying to move without the benefit of having a car, so things have been hectic around here.  And I wanted to give this post a thoughtful reply, not just something slapped out in ten minutes or so.

For starters, you sound like you have some interesting stories to tell and I’d be happy to hear them some time in the (hopefully) near future. My opinions may or mat not change at that point.

Heh, it’s overused at this point but I rather like a quote from The Matrix Reloaded:

Commander Lock: Dammit, Morpheus. Not everyone believes what you believe.
Morpheus: My beliefs do not require them to.

My question about past-life memories were two separate (technically 3 but anyway) questions that I should have worded better. “How do you suppose memories from a past life are carried into a new life?” What mechanisms or process do you personally think takes place to allow this? I ask out of sheer curiosity. WHY do you think this takes place? Whether or not there’s a higher reason for it/divine plan/whatever or is it from extreme trauma making it imprint on whatever constitutes a soul? Why would memories of another time be transferred? This subject alone could be talked about for days I imagine so I won’t go into it too deeply here, but it does fascinate me.

I don’t claim any special knowledge as to the mechanisms or processes.  My personal theory is that there are lives which touch us deeply enough to leave an “imprint”, “impression”, or “echo” in our souls (though I use these terms metaphorically rather than literally) though I don’t think it needs to be trauma that causes such an imprint.  I have memories that are traumatic, and others that are quite the reverse.  Emotional content does seem to play a role, though… I don’t really have memories that I would describe as “neutral”.  As for why memories of another time would be transferred, my guess would be for the same reason as we retain memories of earlier periods in our present lives: it affords us the ability to learn, from our successes and from our mistakes.  Whether that’s the result of some spiritual equivalent of biological evolution or the result of some higher power/plan, I have no idea.

In my belief system I do believe that everything living (no idea if bacteria is truly alive or not) has what I’m going to call a soul for sake of convenience. The soul is not autonomous and mostly acts as an information gatherer. All memories, personality, and what-not is believed to be wiped out upon death. And by that I mean non resuscitative. What happens next is long, complicated and not really nessecary so I’ll save that for a future conversation IF interested, and if not, no problem. But I bring it up because I don’t really understand at this point how such information as experiences and personality can be carried over beyond the death of the individual.

I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on this, yes.  Personally, it sounds very strange to me to attribute information gathering to the soul and then suppose that physical death would put an end to that information.

I also want to mention that you said when you talked to several other people you’d never met previously, your memories matched “to a significant degree”. Were there other details that did not match? As that might be indicative of something else as well.

I said to a significant degree because there were things that one of us remembered that the other did not.  In some cases this was simply because one of us was present for the events remembered and the other was not.  In others, the cause is less certain: for instance, Arhuaine and several of the others who remembered Alorya had memories of a land to the west of ours with specific attributes.  None of what was discussed in connection to that land rang a bell for me.  It may be the case that I never went there, or it may be the case that I simply haven’t hit upon something that would trigger those memories.  I’m not sure.

Again, going by a general example, completely unrelated people can have similar thought patterns. I got an email once where it was a list of things to do and then it gave the answer. The only part I remember out of 20 or so questions was “Without thinking about it, name the first vegetable that comes to mind.” I wish I could remember the answer. I THINK it was carrot, but I could be wrong. This was years ago and my memory is terrible.

Whatever the answer was, it was correct for both mom and myself. I sent the email to several friends of mine who I had never met in person, and all but one of them said that every single answer was the same. (Now that vegi question is going to bug me until I remember what it was)

I was not related to the person who wrote the email, nor had I ever met them, it was one of those chain-letter types. I was not related to any of my friends who I sent it to, and yet all but ONE out of all of us came up with the same exact answers as the email that none of us had seen before. (Maybe it was cabbage) We had similar thought patterns despite all being from different backgrounds and locations. And as I used to prefer the company of those older than myself most of the time because I got bored quickly with my peers, they also had diverse ages.

There are, certainly, types of questions that people tend to answer similarly.  And yes, carrot is the most likely followed by celery.  That’s really not the kind of thing I’m talking about, though.  Simple answers certainly can be obtained through sheer coincidence across anyone who is a member of Western culture (someone from asia, on the other hand, is significantly less likely to answer carrots or celery as the first vegetable they think of).  But complex descriptions of culture, people, places, events, cuisine, etc?  That seems far less likely.

One of the things I remember that others had independently remembered as well is the “blue plate special” (metaphorically) at a particular tavern. We’ve remembered the same location for the tavern relative to other landmarks, we’ve remembered the food being served in a hollowed out loaf of bread, we’ve remembered a barley-like grain forming the bulk of it along with other vegetables we were unable to individually identify and meat (possibly venison) in a thick gravy-like sauce.  We remember it being eaten with wooden spoons carved in a very particular shape.  That’s a lot of detail that all corresponds.  It’s a lot more than just “carrots”.  And while yes, the list you mentioned was more than just carrots as well, it was all things that individually were likely to be the #1 answer for each question.  That’s not the case with this.

For the schizophrenic analogy, I don’t know if I personally would be suspicious if three or more saw the same hallucinations unless they were the EXACT same without deviation. From what I’ve read, many share similar hallucinations. Not the same but very similar. This is thought to be caused by the location of the brain that is being affected. Of course it’s not hugely well understood yet and I don’t keep completely up to date on these things like I should. But to my personal understanding, by stimulating certain parts of the brain, thoughts, emotions, memories and even actions are controllable to a certain degree.

As I understand it, general themes are similar but specific details are generally not.  Religious themes, conspiracies, surveillance, etc.  But one schizophrenic will believe that they are a saint, while another will believe they are Jesus Christ, and another will believe they are the antichrist.  One schizophrenic will believe they are being x-rayed as they walk down the street while another will believe satellites are listening into their thoughts.

Back for a moment to your elfin (is that the right word?) memories. The fact that you share these with other people that were previously complete strangers. Did any of you share relatively similar interests, like particular fiction, read the same book, watched the same movie, etc that could lead to coming to similar conclusions? Maybe all of you talked to the same person some time in the past who shared ideas who was since forgotten and the connection never made?

There’s a bit of debate as to the right word to use.  Some people prefer elfin, I personally prefer elven.  As for your other questions - I’d say our interests were broadly similar, but not identical.  Arhuaine was a huge fan of Bablyon 5.  I’d liked it, but hadn’t seen nearly as much as she had.  We both liked the X-Men, though I think I was more of a fan than she was - I’d read more of the comics as a child.  I could go on, but you get the idea.  There was overlap in our media preferences, but not an exact match.  Many things she’d seen or read I had not, and vice versa.  And to the best of my knowledge, there were not any books specifically about elves that we both held in common save the Lord of the Rings trilogy itself.  And, frankly, I don’t see how simply having similar tastes in media could lead to identical recollection when the things recalled do not match the media in question.  Tolkien never involved winged horses or shape-shifting, for instance, while our memories do include them.  And no, I don’t believe we all spoke to the same person in the past prior to remembering these things, though we ended up being friends with many of the same people after joining the community.

If the suggestion is that somehow, through having a similar taste in media, we independently synthesized said media into an identical mixture down to names, places, events, cultural elements, etc then again I would frankly find that more miraculous than simply remembering another life.  Even people intentionally writing fan-fiction, with a shared canon, don’t tend to have their derivative works agree to that extent.

When I ask all these questions, it’s not that I disbelieve you when you say you’ve already asked them, it’s that I wasn’t there when you asked, so I don’t know what questions were or were not gone over, nor what the answers were, so I apologize if I’m going over anything you’re tired of talking about.

No need to apologize - I pointed out that you were unlikely to ask any questions I hadn’t already considered not to forestall you from asking them but to explain why it might seem like I have an answer ready for each of them.

(via rabidwerewolfie)

forget-transcorporeality:

We have a submission! Please not this is NOT necessarily my opinion, but I’m posting it for discussion.

There are plenty of reasons not to like the idea of transcorporeality. There’s erasure, misinformation, fundamental differences

Let’s look at the LGBTQetc community. Lesbian, gay, bisexual,…

I agree with every word of this.

silveth:

I can’t speak for otherkin on DW, but as the owner (salfarro and I co-mod, but in LJ terms I am literally the owner) of otherkin on LJ, I can tell you that I don’t have a problem with experiental/sharing type posts there - although fictionkin should probably be prepared to be challenged. (That comm is not intended as an “anything goes” kind of safe space. There are also fictionkin comms on LJ, but as I am not a member of that segment of things I can’t tell you what are the best places.)

The fictionkin community largely took off on LJ before tumblr was ever around.  There have been a number of groups there for fictionkin, many of which are now defunct, but there are some that are still active:

http://embodied-past.livejournal.com/profile
http://from-fiction.livejournal.com/profile

This is a list I’ve created of all the active community blogs I know about on LJ and DW: http://anotherwiki.dreamhart.org/wiki/List_of_Active_Otherkin_Blogs

I’ve started adding tumblr, but that section is very much a work in progress as there is no convenient way to search for shared/submission-based otherkin blogs on tumblr that I’ve found nor to get much information about the blog itself (owner, date created, number of posts, etc).

There’s a similar listing for mailing lists: http://anotherwiki.dreamhart.org/wiki/List_of_Active_Otherkin_Mailing_Lists

Forums will be the next group I tackle, but for now there’s a preliminary list of them here: http://dreamhart.org/links/#otherkin-forums

genuineferalswagger:

goblingrrl:

It’s like the fucking Na’avi kin all over again. Hmm, don’t hear much from those people anymore.

Whatever did happen to the Na’vi-kin? It is kind of weird that you don’t see them now, which kind of makes me wonder…

The people running the Na’vi-kin communities came out publicly as trolls, that’s what happened.

(via genuineferalswagger-deactivated)

rabidwolfie:

YAY!! Finally an intelligent debate!

*grin* Likewise. :)

Likewise, you bring up some very valid points and I shall attempt to address them all. If I miss anything, I apologize, please feel free to point it out. I will also say that not knowing your exact situation, nor am I asking for details, anything I say and any example I give will be of a general nature rather than directed specifically at you. My fault for not also saying this previously.

Heh, no need for all the disclaimers with me.  I’m not easy to offend unless you’re trying, and I don’t mind sharing more specifics about my own situation though there are certain things I would prefer not discussing publicly.  If we tread near any of those, I’ll say so.

Starting with shared memories. Again, not being familiar with your situation (although that does sound intriguing), just in a general sense, if someone told me that they shared memories about specific places or events with complete strangers, I would be interested.

That has been the case, for me.  Focusing just on my elven memories for a moment, I found five people who were previously strangers to me who shared memories of the same people, places, culture, and events.  More if you count multiples individually, but I suppose that’s a separate debate.  Three of these were in England and were significantly older than myself - I was closer to their daughters age than to their own age.  Another was in North Carolina and was four years older than myself.  The last was in Maryland and if memory serves is slightly older than me but I don’t recall exactly how old.  I myself was born and raised in southern New Jersey.  We never had any contact prior, and most of our communication was via the Internet so there was little chance of any form of cold-reading intentional or otherwise.  Yet our memories matched, to a significant degree.

I would first want to rule out similarities by chance. For example, two people dream of the garden of eden and the tree of life has cherries for fruit. Neither of these people particularly care for cherries. One day they meet and just happen to talk about this dream and are amazed at this detail. A myth is born.

Well, cherries are very common, in all parts of the world and through diverse backgrounds as well as cherry flavoring. Both of them could have seen the same or a separate item that was then, by the sheer happenstance of chance, was then tossed into a dream. (I’m not even saying they had the dream on the same night). Chance is unpredictable and uncontrollable, so it’s typically ignored in most of these cases.

I understand and agree with you on this.  It’s actually something I’ve ranted about in the past in the otherkin community when someone comes in asking “does anyone remember the white city?” without any further details.  On modern Earth alone there are multiple cities called “The White City”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_City  It’s literally impossible to provide a meaningful answer to that question, and I’m always annoyed by the number of otherkin who will jump in to such conversations to say that yes they remember the white city too before that’s pointed out to them.

In my own case, however, it’s more than just incidental details that were shared.  For the elven memories alone, there was a mailing lis where we posted 417 messages about the things we remembered about Alorya, and the list itself was predated by a private email conversation carbon copied between multiple people for roughly six months.  Usually with several reply-chains each day.  And quite lengthy ones as well - it was, at times, split into several threads for the simple fact that it got too long for our email clients to handle.  I have difficulty accepting that degree of agreement could occur by coincidence.

You also bring up telepathy. This is something I have almost no understanding of but I love to study the phenomenon. I am not psychic. I never claim to be one unless it’s a joke. I have never personally met anyone who is, although I do believe it is potentially possible.

However, people that know me in person will often believe I have psychic abilities, no matter HOW many times I say I don’t, because they don’t understand how I work. I can tell moods, I can finish sentences, I can discern a lie, and often I can tell what people are thinking even when they don’t say a word. Now someone observing me doing this on a daily basis with no other explanation could easily come to the conclusion that I DO have some sort of extra-sensory abilities. The truth is, I know how most people work.

I read body language that most people only notice on a subconscious level, and despite everyone’s unique differences, most of them fall into easily recognizable patterns which can lead to educated guesses about thoughts, motives, mood, etc. Nothing supernatural actually takes place. And while I am not counting out telepathy completely as a cause for anything (although it would take a hell of a lot to convince me of it) the subconscious is also more powerful than a lot of people think.

What you’re describing sounds to me like a form of cold-reading.  I won’t say it’s impossible, but it’s very difficult to cold-read well over the internet.  Most of the cues which would guide a cold-reader simply aren’t there.  

You hear, see and feel things that you tend to disregard or block out consciously, but everyone is still affected by their subconscious. Advertisers and politicians use this to their advantage often. We can not rule this out for general cases of such things as memory recall or shared experiences.

Personally, I find the idea that I have sufficient shared subconscious inputs with individuals from different age groups, genders, even generations and nationalities to independently produce a coherent narrative of the same people, places, culture, and events rather more fantastic than the idea that I simply shared a past life with them.  

I don’t know much about the other two so I’ll leave it at that. As for wish fulfillment. This is MOSTLY pointing at people who claim to be anime characters or really unrealistic things (winged tiger example again) that they wish were true, but yeah, this can indeed apply to almost anyone.

My two fictionkin lives are anime characters.  No, I’m not going to say which ones.  And my headmate, Alaereth, while not a tiger is a winged anthropomorphic cat who I affectionately term a “kittyfae”.  In the case of the anime lives, I can confidently state that I would not have chosen to be either one.  a) I don’t like the two people I remember being. b) If I were reading the media as fiction, there are other characters I would connect with much more strongly than the ones I remember being.  Hell, in either fiction I prefer the main characters to my own character. c) I’m not really a fan of the fictions themselves.  As for Alaereth, he’s really not the sort of feline I’d want to be - I’ve never pictured myself as an anthro housecat, I’d much prefer to be an anthro cougar, and if I was going for a winged look I would have chosen almost any sort of wings other than faerie wings which have never appealed to me.

The short version being, sometimes your “wish” is granted in a roundabout way that can be more mentally or environmentally convenient.

(DISCLAIMER: I do not in any way speak for ALL furries, merely myself)

While I think I understand what you’re getting at here, I still don’t find it to be the case in my own experience or with the majority of otherkin and fictionkin I know.  

I also want to touch on “the memory is rather reliable”. I wish mine was. It’s horrible. I can remember an incident from when I was in preschool involving Halloween cupcakes. Ask me where I just set my pen five minutes ago, and I really couldn’t tell you.

That’s actually my point, though, and what I meant when I said memory is rather reliable but not perfect.  Yes, people are apt to forget things.  People are apt to mix things up.  But if I ask you where you set your pen five minutes ago, you aren’t going to remember an elaborate trip to the planet Beta-Five-Seven where you shoved your pen into the eye socket of a Denebrian squid.  

However, there’s more than that. People who use “memory recovery” often get completely fabricated memories that may not even be fused. Memory implantation and manipulation is not well studied but well heard of.

"The researchers show that positive and negative false memories about a childhood experience can be indeed implanted and that, once implanted, they may have very real consequences in changing our behavior, and the way we think and feel about the experience. This is why the whole concept of recovering “forgotten” memories of your childhood is so fraught with danger. Memory is not like a video recorder, recording every moment of our lives in accurate detail. It is a murky, complex system that can be manipulated, as this research shows.” - http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/04/03/how-easily-is-your-memory-manipulated/

I remember watching a movie once years ago about a girl who had nightmares, so her parents took her to a therapist. Suddenly the girl was remembering all manner of completely fabricated things that may or may not been planted by the therapist, including her parents holding secret satanic rituals, sacrifices, torture, and although it was heavily investigated, not even the smallest scrap of evidence for any of it was ever found.

Except all of this, including the post by psychcentral, relies on hypnotic techniques of memory recovery.  I, and those whom I have shared memories with, don’t engage in that practice as a rule.  No, not even recovering memories through meditation.  For us, memory recall has had more in common with the flashbacks experienced by people with PTSD - something, be it a sight or a sound or a smell, will trigger a flashback wherein the event is relived.  Sometimes this will be one brief scene, a literal flash of memory.  Other times, one memory will trigger another and another - what I term a “memory flood”.

This is not the case with all otherkin - I’ve known people who have been in the community for years who have only vague dreams to point to as memories.  Others do in fact engage in hypnotic regression or meditative past-life recovery techniques.  I’m wary of either method - the former because sometimes a dream is just a dream and a cigar is just a cigar, the latter for the tendency to create or implant false memories.  The flashbacks, on the other hand, simply happen.  I’m not in an altered state of any kind.

When enough of certain endorphins are released into the brain, we hallucinate, and the hallucinations can also be mistaken for something much more real than they really are. People suffering from schizophrenia suffer through many hallucinations. They hear voices, they see monsters and shadows, they can have terrible paranoia, and to them it can be completely real. It could easily be rationalized that they are getting a glimpse into another dimension, but it is much more LOGICAL that they are simply experiencing chemical imbalances in the brain.

I agree, it is.  On the other hand, if you had three or more schizophrenics who didn’t know each other and with varied backgrounds independently reporting identical hallucinations, I personally would think there might be something more going on.  ”One time is chance, two times is a coincidence, three times is suspicious…”

The brain itself (no, I am not a student of medicine or psychology, I just like reading about things that interest me) is a very powerful and mysterious organ that we do not yet fully understand. However modern medicine is finding out more and more. Much like religion, the more we find out how things work, the more these answers replace the previous mysticism. And while I do believe in something like reincarnation, I am more than willing to stop believing it if something else makes more sense.

Same here.  For me, reincarnation appears to make the most sense.

As for past life memories, why would you have memories? What would be the purpose of them? Is there really NO other possible answer? A shared thought pattern, subliminal messaging, subconscious signals?

I’m not sure “why” is a useful question in the form you’re using it.  It’s like asking “why” is there gravity?  Not how is there gravity, as in the mechanism for it, but the reason for gravity to exist; the purpose it serves.  That presupposes there to be a purpose for a given phenomena, which implies there must be a sentient force guiding that phenomena with a plan.

IF there must be a why, in this sense, I might guess that it would have to do with learning from the past much like our memories of this life allow us to do.  I do note that for myself, and others whom I have shared past life memories with and find credible, certain patterns seem to repeat between lives.  Remembering previous lives may provide a way to break certain unwanted cycles.

As for the other possibilities, I’ve considered them.  I find the idea of a shared thought pattern to this extent between this many people who have never met, are not of the same age, do not have substantially similar life experiences or tastes in media, and not even of the same nationality to be extremely unlikely.  I would consider that more miraculous than us having simply shared a past life, as it would require vastly more factors to converge.  Subliminal messaging or subconscious signals I find unlikely over a purely textual medium like email or instant messenger, which is where most of my conversations regarding shared memories have taken place.  

Again, not knowing your story, these are simply vague questions and assertions I would ask of anyone in your position, none of this is aimed specifically at you. Personally, I believe that not everything the mind and body tells you can always be believed. Therefore EVERYTHING should be questioned, even your own thoughts and emotions, and everything else ruled out completely before moving to the next step of supernatural.

I completely agree, and you haven’t asked anything I haven’t thought of myself or been asked before.  I’m not offended to be asked this stuff, and if you actually came up with a hypothesis that seemed to fit the facts better than past-life memories of another world in a universe that operates by different physical laws then I would be forced to give it serious consideration.  Though, frankly, after 13 years I think I’ve already considered most of the alternative hypotheses that are compatible with known science.  And even some of the ones, like telepathy and the collective subconscious, that are only compatible with fringe science.

I apologize if I got too wordy, I have a bad habit of rambling. Did I leave anything important out?

No need to apologize. :)  And not that I can think of, no.  Did I?  I trimmed a few sections for length, but I think I addressed all your points.

(via rabidwerewolfie)

SO!

lady-labyrinthia:

I’m just being a curious little bugger right now, and want to ask a question.

Do you, personally, classify Fictionkin as Otherkin? Or, better yet, do you believe the claims of Fictionkin to be legit?

I’m not saying if I do or don’t or any of that. Just curious.

Much love!<3

-Calico

As for whether or not fictionkin, by definition, are otherkin?  Yes, I think they are. Even the human ones: one of the earliest otakukin in the otherkin community, the group which originated the concept of fictionkin/mediakin, claimed to be Yusuke Urameshi from Yu Yu Hakusho.

As for whether their claims are legitimate? Some fictionkin yes.  I count myself among these, though I’m not public about the two fictionkin lives I remember.  Others, no.  I find many people jump on the bandwagon with regard to claiming they are popular media figures, and in many cases this seems to be attention-seeking behavior.  Ultimately, I judge based on the individual and their behavior as well as how consistent their stated beliefs are both internally and with known facts.  

This is my approach with non-fictional otherkin as well.  For instance: I would be highly skeptical of an otherkin claiming to remember an agrarian society which was also nomadic, as this lacks consistency with any known agrarian society and would not logically follow from the agrarian social model.  

Been meaning to reply to this, but with the big storm and everything I hadn’t had a chance till now.  You do bring up some good points, but I think the overall thrust of your argument falls fairly far from the mark.

First, I’d like to point out that the issues you’re raising are in no way unique to fictionkin.  While I have two fictionkin lives, the many-worlds hypothesis is just as relevant to my experience of being elven as it is to my experience of the fictional lives.  And for very similar reasoning: I have memories which other people from different backgrounds, generations, and nationalities have been able to independently confirm, to the point of being able to mention details which I had chosen to hold back from sharing.  

In the case of the two fictionkin lives, I had these memories prior to being exposed to the media, and others have been able to confirm them - including the parts that diverge from what is shown in the media (things that happened “offscreen” or that would not have been deemed suitable for the target audience, etc.)

As I see it, there are a few possible explanations for this:

  1. Past lives.
  2. Telepathy.
  3. Collective unconscious.
  4. False memory syndrome.

Let me start with the most scientific: false memory syndrome.  While there is some evidence of human memory being malleable, in most cases this is to a fairly minor extent.  Memories can be manufactured of seeing Bugs Bunny at Disney world because he is a familiar character and there were other cartoon characters there.  Likewise, memories can be manufactured of being lost in a mall as a child because most children have been lost at some point in their childhood and most have been in malls at some point.  It’s a matter of merging two experiences that people have actually had.  But much fewer people can be made to falsely remember a painful and embarrassing enema that they have never had.  The further an event is from our actual experiences, the harder it is to get someone to falsely remember it, even with someone actively trying to induce the memory.  And there has, to my knowledge, been no study of FMS which suggests outlandish memories could simply arise on their own.  Normal human experience supports this: most of us do not wake up thinking we just had a pleasant trip to Mars for tea with Sir Walter Scott.  Our memories are fairly reliable, if not perfect.

Moreover, the FMS hypothesis fails to account for two aspects of otherkin experience: first, that otherkin recognize that these memories are not from this life, and second that multiple otherkin share memories of the same places and events without prior collusion or even contact between them.

The collective unconscious and telepathic theories are both attempts to explain the shared aspect of otherkin memories.  In short they claim that both individuals who share a memory are either tapping into a pool of shared imagery (the collective unconscious) or directly into each other’s minds.  Putting aside the fact that each of these hypothesis are as supernatural as reincarnation itself, each of these fails to account for some simple facts.  The telepathy hypothesis fails to account for the fact that both people are remembering things from independent perspectives, even remembering events which the other party was not present for.  The collective unconscious hypothesis fails to account for the fact that many otherkin remember being creatures, or from places, which would not be part of the collective unconscious.  While Homestuck may reasonably be said to be part of the collective unconscious, neither the Elenari nor Krenar Dragons were.  Alorya certainly is not.  (I realize there is now a fantasy novel about a place called Alorya - from what I have seen, there is no connection with the elven world by the same name, the usage of which predates the novel.)  Both theories also fail to account for why I would share memories of one life with one person, and another life with another person: if telepathy, would they not both access all of my memories?  If collective unconscious, would they not both have equal access to all of the imagery involved?

This leaves past lives as the only remaining theory that seems to make sense.  And as those lives clearly could not be on Earth, and involve events which break the laws of physics in this universe, it seems logical to conclude that if they are memory they must be memories of universes other than this one.  As far as I can see it’s the only theory which explains all of the observable facts of my experience.

And as far as “wish fulfillment” goes, frankly if being otherkin was wish fulfillment for me I’d be something very different than I am.  I’d have chosen to be a cougar, even wrote furry fiction of myself turning into a cougar set in the Winds of Change universe when I was 16 or so.  Instead, if I have a connection to any animal, it seems to be a deer - a pattern that has repeated through several of the lives I remember.  My headmate, Alaereth, is feline but closer to an anthropomorphic housecat than a cougar and is not at all the way I pictured myself in that fiction.  I’d also have chosen to be a wizard, in the Raistlin/Elminster/guy-with-a-staff sense rather than the Harry Potter/swish-and-flick sense.  None of my lives have involved that.  While I have memories of good lives I wish I could go back to, none of them are things I would have wished to be prior to having memories of actually being them.  In fact, if you told me a few years ago that I would ever have fond memories of a life in which my culture practiced ritual cannibalism, I would have thought you were crazy.  Now, having had such memories, I almost think I would prefer that ending to burial or cremation myself, were legality and health risks not concerns.

Having heard this data, could you offer an alternative hypothesis from the many worlds one which fits all aspects of my experiences?

The response I got to a message sent to http://hate-help-hotline.tumblr.com/

My point is now the #1 recommendation on their igethate page: http://hate-help-hotline.tumblr.com/igethate

But hey, I’m just an old fogey who doesn’t get how things actually work on tumblr or what would help people… ;-) 

If someone plays in traffic and gets hit by a car, it is not victim blaming to call them an idiot. If someone baits trollers and then gets butthurt when they send nasty messages, telling them to disable anon and not KEEP BAITING THEM is not victim blaming.