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  1. I'm not the best when it comes to brushing my teeth. I forget to do it sometimes, or I get too tired and skip it. I know it's a problem. So I have to get dental procedures done somewhat often. And given that I don't have dental insurance right now, it's even worse.

    One of my teeth has been hurting like crazy for the past few days. It started a week or so ago, hurting only when I chewed with it, but for the past few days it's been hurting constantly. I avoided going to the dentist for a while because I don't have insurance. Finally though, I called yesterday to set up an appointment this morning. So I went in, and the dentist said that I need to get a root canal. Wonderful. The soonest I could get an appointment was for Friday, so I'm going to have to rely on painkillers until then.

    The cost will, of course, be insane. This in turn has set me back into focusing on figuring out the insurance situation. When I sent my appeal for the COBRA insurance they told me it would take no more than 4 weeks. We're now on week 5 and I haven't heard a thing. They told me I'd receive a form in the mail, which never happened. I keep asking them about it and they keep telling me that they don't have anything to tell me.

    I had backed off a bit because I was told that after I've been at my current job for three months, which I'll hit at the start of March, I can get insurance through them. But when I went to look up the details of that plan, I sawill that the website said I was supposed to sign up right when I started working here, not 3 months later like I had been told. Now enrollment is closed. So instead of it being too early, now it's too late. I'm going to call them and hope that they can help me out here but I can't be sure.

    Oh, and did I mention that if the root canal doesn't work, they'll have to pull the tooth? Yeah, I never thought I would be hoping for a root canal. I've never had one before, but I have had teeth pulled, and it isn't fun. So just to recap: my tooth has been hurting like crazy for a while now, I won't be able to do anything about it until Friday, what they do will either be a root canal or pulling the tooth, I don't have insurance, and my main avenues for getting insurance become less and less likely to work over time. Also, for the time I'll be out of the office on Friday, I won't be getting paid, because I still work in an hourly temp position.

    All sorts of fun things happening here.
    Monique and Gryneos like this.
  2. So it isn't exactly song lyrics, but close enough.

    It's once again time to talk about Pan. Meaning my tulpa, in this case. It's time, specifically, for a confession of sorts. Granted, I'm sure I've discussed all of this before, but in part because of his constant insistence that I keep it in mind, I want to talk about my reasons for creating Pan.

    You might have noticed that I've finally started making use of the system member feature on the site for him. His box is green, because you know, nature and grass and fields and all that. That was my choice, not his. There is a reason I never did this before, even in the few cases where he has talked on the site. And that is because I was worried about why I created him.

    Now, to be clear, the main reason I created Pan was because I felt it would be nice to have someone to talk to. I have a lot to say, as you have certainly noticed, and not a lot of outlets for a lot of it. That's why I write so much on this blog. So that was the main thing. But part of it was a bit less of a good reason: it just seemed like it was really common. I wouldn't exactly call it "jealousy" per se, but it was a matter of seeing so many tulpa and multiple systems and such on this site and thinking, "there's no reason I couldn't do that too."

    So I did, and as obnoxious as Pan can get, I don't regret it. Still, I was embarassed that I was partly spurred on by not-quite-jealousy. And using the text box thing for Pan felt like admitting that as a major reason, to myself, to him, and to anyone else. I held off because I was sort of ashamed. And I was worried; I worried that maybe he was right and I did just have him talk because it was cool. But things are different now. While we still certainly have areas that need a lot of work, Pan is a legit tulpa now, and however misguided I may have been before, it turned out for the best. So now his text will look like this:

    I'm still not going to post much, so don't get too excited. I'm pretty much just sayingot this for your stupid example.

    He's more rude when I ask him to say something on the site than he usually is, but not by that much. In any case, there's my confession.
    Gryneos and Mirath like this.
  3. First off, have you noticed that I'm posting a lot lately? Usually that means I'm dealing with TUF or something. But this time it just means I've been in sort of an emotional state lately. I have a lot of things weighing me down and I need to talk about them. As as one would expect, they're complicated.

    A few non-political posts back, I talked about Extreme Fictional Empathy, or EFE. That's what I call the condition where I feel too much empathy and emotional in general towards fictional characters, to the extent that it seriously distracts me from my actual life. It's a key ingredient in TUF, but also can exist in non-kin-related situations. I noted in that post that part of the reason that I keep dealing with these things is because I go after them. There are positive things associated with EFE and even TUF. For the former, it means the fiction that causes it is a good escape and has its story told well. For TUF, it's the same, but also it means that the fiction lets me feel closer to my past life.

    As such, sometimes, especially when I'm in an emotional sort of state, I seek out things that will cause one or both of them. And, as is probably obvious, I'm dealing with that now. Usually it's video game RPGs that do the job, and I've been trying to find a good one for a while. It had to be one that would at least come close to giving me EFE, with an interesting story and a relatable player character. I had to choose between a couple of possibilities, which was difficult for reasons I'm pretty sure I discussed in other entries. Eventually I decided on Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth.

    It's a fun and interesting game, but it hasn't exactly been what I was hoping for. The lack of character development and the translation errors make it harder for me to really jump into the game. I like it, and I will keep playing it, but it isn't even close enough to EFE. Now, also keep in mind that whatever I'm playing now will likely be dropped in the first week or so of March, at which point I will start playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

    So the question is, do I switch to something else and hope that whatever I try next brings me to that point? Should I keep playing this and get to that point in other ways? Or, do I stay away from EFE and TUF as much as I can? It isn't just games that do this, though I can think of a few I might be able to play to get the effect going. Reading and writing stories associated with certain traits, like transformation, has also done it in the past. I'm not sure. It might be better for me to avoid it, as I'm already constantly getting distracted.

    I guess what really worries me, rather than this specific game, is the question of whether there are any other games out there that can grab me like that. See, I'm a bit weird with games. If a game doesn't grab my interest pretty early on, I have trouble getting myself to play it. I also have trouble getting myself to play older games, for whatever reason. Even if I really want to play these things I have trouble getting myself to do so. This game, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth, is one that I've known about for a while and planned to play for a while. I really thought it would bring me to the brink of EFE, and was saving it for when I needed it. Now that I am playing it though I find it isn't quite what I was after.

    I can think of a couple more games that might do it, but that's all. And some of them are older and thus already hard to play. So I'm going to keep playing this one for now, and hope that it gets better in this regard. It is a good game, after all. I'll try to find a different outlet for the feelings.
  4. I'm not looking to continue arguing, which is why I turned off comments for this post. I'm just posting this to defend myself. Given the nature of the conflict, I figure it only makes sense for me to present evidence of my claims.

    I cannot quote the original post that I responded to on that thread for reasons that should be pretty clear, but you can find it yourself. The member in question responded to what I had previously said by quoting two debunked fake news stories. I remember that one of them was this one:

    FALSE: Hillary Clinton Freed Child Rapist

    This is how I replied:
    "Neither of those things is actually true. There are several fact checking websites that can explain that in great detail. Before talking about this stuff, and certainly before voting, try to educate yourself. I won't lose all respect for someone who votes the wrong way for a good reason, but if you vote based on lies, all bets are off."

    You are free to disagree, but I believe it was clear that I was saying this in response to the specific pieces of information that were being referenced. Was it the kindest way I could have said it? Maybe not, but the responses I received were at least as as bad. That's why I believe I was treated unfairly. I don't want to quote any of the posts that came after mine because I don't want it to look like I'm attacking anyone in particular.

    As for the question of why I'm bringing it up now, there are a couple of reasons. One is because I just learned about something that is connected with it, and the other is because I left the site for a while after these events and was only reminded of the specifics recently.

    That's the last I have to say on the matter.
  5. (This wasn't supposed to be a political post when I started, but it ended up going thst way)

    I'm disappointed in this site. I can't very well say why here, as even though I wouldn't expect my concerns to offend anyone, it still doesn't seem like a good idea. To some degree my concerns are embarrassing as well. So I don't want to air them publicly. But I don't want to go without saying anything about it, so what we end up with is a very vague post. Sorry about that; this one is more for me to vent than for communicating. These events happened a while ago anyway, though I'm only seeing the full brunt now.

    I'm not perfect, I know that. I take things personally, and I get emotional about things that are important to me. For a lot of that, I will apologize. But I will not apologize for being honest and telling the truth. I'm not talking about personal truths; I understand the worth of a white lie. But when there are real consequences at stake, it's ludicrous to suggest that I should just let people spread damaging lies.

    A while back, before the US Presidential Election, I had an altercation with another member of the forums. This member was defending their position with false statements, and not harmless ones either; these were statements that attacked someone and affected the outcome of the election. I saw it as my duty to explain the truth. And I was dismissed. I was told that the truth didn't matter, and that I had no way of knowing what was actually true.

    I fought back, of course, because I believed that this flawed logic would lead to very bad things, which it has. We now have a President who believes manipulating people with lies is ok. And it's no wonder, since that's what got him elected. But I'm not here to talk about him or the person who I argued with. I'm hear to talk about the consequences, since I think I'm the only one who saw any. These consequences in turn affected other things, the things I don't want to get into on a public blog. The bottom line is that I feel I wasn't treated justly.

    I'm not trying to be passive-aggressive here, though I realize how much it might seem that way. If I thought it would make a difference I would contact the staff directly. But again, it's not the consequence itself thar bothers me. It's what that consequence might mean and might contribute to. It's how it affects my time here. In other words, I'm not mad at the site's staff; I just disagree with them about some things.

    I'll have to do some thinking about this. On one hand I feel betrayed, but on the other hand I know that my expectations were my own fault. I have to dig in a bit more about the decisions that were made and what they mean.
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  6. I did say I would be back soon to talk about EFE and here I am. Specifically I want to talk about my current bout of it, and the conditions in my life that interact with it. In order to discuss it, it might help to give details. But since this is something from a game, I will note that the explanation contains major spoilers for Fire Emblem Fates and its DLC.

    Without going into too much detail, one of the DLCs for the game reveals that three of the characters in Fates are actually the same as three characters in the previous game, Awakening. They agreed to change their identities and live in a different world for some long period of time in order to help save that world. This leads to a difficult choice they have to make: whether to stay with their new friends in the new world, or go back to the old one. They apparently choose the latter, but it means they can never come back to the new world.

    It's a bittersweet story to go with the rest of the game’s bittersweet story. Both Awakening and Fates have been games I've connected with a lot, and have caused EFE before. So this hit me right in the feels. There are a lot of ways I want to branch off from this, so let's go one by one.

    First, the whole reason I went back to play the DLC of Fates was because I was looking for a return to the deep character connections that cause EFE. Just like TUF, there's something good in it that draws me to it, even though I know full well that I'm putting myself in danger of harming myself psychologically. And I suppose that is the difference between a normal emotional response to a story and EFE; EFE is when the emotional response lingers and becomes distracting and depressing. And yet I seek out things to which I will have an emotional connection, because who wouldn't? Another way to think of it is to say that EFE has a positive and negative effect at the same time, just like TUF sometimes does. That's why at the same time that I'm attracted to the DLC for Fates, I'm also kind of resisting finishing them. That could be another reason though, which I will get to later in the post.

    This isn't to say that every depressing or dark piece of fiction, or even any with characters I can relate to, will cause EFE. It depends on a number of things, some of which relate to the specifics of the story and some that don't. On the external end, I think there are a couple of recent things that made me more vulnerable to this. First, one of the characters that the DLC focuses on I've been using a lot lately in a different game, Fire Emblem Heroes, which includes characters from throughout the series. As such, I know more about the character now and have a closer connection to him. There have also been hints of other things that can cause EFE recently, which may have made me more vulnerable when I dove into this one. There's the RPG campaign I've been talking about, and there's also another game I recently played just a little bit of, which has at least some of the story and game traits that cause EFE.

    As such, I should now talk about the internal influences, the things in the work itself. The stories I connect most with, which are both the ones that I look for and the ones that can cause EFE, often involve a player character who is at the very least named by (and presumably after) the player. This is the case in Awakening, Fates, and plenty of other games that have caused this, though not all of them. Another common thread is that the stories focus on interpersonal relationships, especially between the player character and his/her friends. This is also the case for Fire Emblem. Finally, if there's something different or special about the player character, that helps too. Because who wouldn't want to pretend to be special?

    These are obviously common threads for a reason: they are designed to make the player more invested. And sometimes that's all they do. Other times, they cause EFE. Why? Well, like a lot of people, I look at RPGs as an escape from my real life, a retreat into fiction. But, as Pan puts it, I sometimes retreat too far into fiction. If the story and characters are done well enough, I find myself caring about them as much as I care about real people, or maybe even more than I care about real people. The game's story feels like an alternate life sometimes, and my emotional response is as though it was real. Which is silly of course, but it happens, and I can't help it.

    Let me provide another example, of one of the few times that I others saw my emotional reaction to EFE. I was playing a superhero themed tabletop roleplaying game, which was actually run by the same guy who's running the upcoming game I've been talking about, and I was playing as Cyboy. This is a superhero whose powers come from video games. I created the character ages ago, back in highschool, and I've been writing stories about him every since. He was largely based on me, though I did try to separate us more over time. Anyway, in one session, Cyboy was tasked with entering the city sewers to find and destroy a mind control device, since he's immune to mind control. He stupidly went alone and got attacked to the point that he ended up in the hospital needing major surgery, including a new heart.

    This was bad enough, but Andi (my friend and our GM) had to throw a wrench in the works: the donated heart that was going to him was originally supposed to go to a little girl, but Cyboy was moved up on the list because he was famous in the city. So Cyboy (and I, his player) had to make a choice: save himself, or save the little girl. This would be a tough choice for any roleplayer worth their salt, but for me was agonizing. What was meant to be a 10 minute long character building moment ended up taking up most of the session, as I agonized for at least an hour about what to do. In the end I was able to snap myself out of it, but it was pretty bad.

    Granted, my general indecisiveness didn't help there either. And for what it's worth, I don't blame Andi. But the endless obsessing over the Fates of fictional characters fits in with EFE. One thing I often do to negate the emotional response that distracts me when something bad happens to a character is try to come up with my own “head canon” to explain it away. For example, when it comes to Fire Emblem, my head canon says they found a way to go back and forth between worlds. Problem is, I obsessively think about how to make that make sense at least as much as I get constantly distracted by the negative feelings and the attempts to fully understand what happened.

    The need to go over what happened over and over again in a story that causes EFE (regardless of whether it in turn causes TUF) and the concern that I don't react this strongly to real things are topics I want to discuss, but I'll save them. This post is already too long and rambling. It was written over two days, during which time EFE waned before coming back full force. So it's all over the place. This is complicated stuff, so I can only do so much to explain it and stay coherent. More coming later.
  7. I would save this title for a post about alcohol, but that's not a subject that affects me much.

    Inspired by the upcoming RPG campaign and some nagging from Pan, I decided to try out that past life meditation thing again, the same one I used before. The problem is, of course, that once I have an expectation of what I'll find, it's hard for me to go back to something like this. That's sort of why I'm willing to trust (to a degree) what I saw the first time I used it, even though it was just one example: I went in with no expectations. I went in expecting it not to do anything at all, in fact. And what I did see, the Arabian landscape and my form and actions therein, came out of nowhere. There was no subconscious influence.

    This time it was obviously different. I went in expecting to see an Arabian setting and that is exactly what I saw. However, there were a couple of unique things this time around. They weren't as solid as the things I saw last time (which is another reason I trust what I saw last time), but they are new details worth documenting.

    First, the setting itself. It was pretty much the same as last time. The only difference is that while it felt generally "arabian" last time, this time it seemed more specifically Egyptian. This sort of makes sense, based on what I and others said a while back about Egyptian and Greek cultures meeting and merging in certain areas. That said I can also think of things that would influence what I saw subconsciously in this regard. For example, regarding the aforementioned RPG campaign, my friend Nick keeps telling me about how his character will be Egyptian. So I can't really add this part to my working theory.

    The second new thing is something that I sort of glossed over the last time I did this. The guided meditation has you look in a "mirror" in your past life to see what you look like. I was human in the mirror, like last time, but this time I saw part of what I was wearing. It's sort of hard to explain. What I saw was a sort of shirt; it was white, very light, and had a simple but apparent design. This is to say, it wasn't just some generic white shirt, it had a design to it. This design involved holes, strangely; there were holes on the sleeves and a pattern that involved small holes on the collar if I remember correctly. It also had a big opening on the bottom part of the chest, almost as if it was a crop top or something, but the fabric continued some after the opening and it was all one garment.

    What can I take from this? Probably nothing; I can think of some things that might have subconsciously influenced that; for example, it reflects a question I was considering about my past life earlier that day. That being said, since there isn't anything to inspire the specifics, it is possible that this outfit is at least as close to genuine as the other things I "know" about it are. If it is, then it does sort of answer the question I had.

    Specifically I was wondering where I was in the social class system. My previous potential past life memory had me holding a crown, but as I noted at the time, I doubt it was mine. What this clothing suggests is that I was somewhere in the middle. I wasn't wearing rags or super basic clothes, but I also wasn't wearing anything fancy that would suggest nobility or anything like that. So, if we continue working under the assumption that this outfit is a legitimate memory, what else can it tell me about myself in my past life?

    The holes or openings are what stand out most. These, and the lightness, present two possibilities. The first calls to mind the movie Moana; in a behind the scenes interview, one of the people behind the movie said that they designed the title charactet's outfit with a slightly bare midriff because she would need to be able to move around easily in her adventures. Similarly, perhaps I wore this clothing because I spent my time doing athletic and/or acrobatic things. It could mean I was anything from a sailor to a gymnast to God knows what else.

    There is another possible reason for the holes, though it's sort of unsavory and not something one would generally propose about oneself, even describing a past life. But in the interest of investigating this thoroughly, I need to consider all of the possibilities. As such, I can't ignore the possibility that the body was exposed not so it could be used, but so it could be seen. There are a few ways one could interpret this, starting with a vain personality and ending with...elicit activities. For what it's worth, I didn't get a good look at my body itself, but it didn't stand out at all. It didn't seem particularly athletic or anything. So I could be way off track.

    In any case, it's probably none of these things. I doubt what I saw was actually accurate to a past life. But, it's a possibility, and it adds something I didn't have before. I'll have to keep exploring this, and see if the garment comes back in a different way next time. Of course I'll be expecting it, but I was also expecting the setting this time, and it still showed itself in a slightly different way. I hope this is another legitimate clue, but I will need to continue investigating before I add it to my working theory.
    Gryneos likes this.
  8. As should be clear by now, I find that coming up with names for concepts and details makes discussing complicated issues a bit easier. In regards to my kin nature and the related feelings, I have come up with many such terms: fauntaur, The Unstoppable Feeling, The Annoying Feeling, the Impossible Goal, and so on. It can get confusing, but once the terms are understood it's a lot easier to converse, especially as these terms represent things that aren't concrete enough to discuss otherwise.

    Today I have another term to add to the lexicon. It's something I've talked about at length before, as it is a component of TUF and TAF, but I don't think I've ever named it. This new term is Extreme Fictional Empathy. It's pretty much what it sounds like. See, for some reason, I feel like I connect with fictional characters to a greater degree than most. I sometimes seem to have more empathy for fictional characters I've gotten to “know” than for real people. Pan thinks I'm just “retreating into fiction,” but it's just sort of a natural thing. Sometimes it becomes jealousy of fictional characters; I've discussed this version a lot because it's the biggest cause of TUF. But sometimes EFE comes out in non- kin-related things.

    Case in point, I'll describe what got me thinking about this today. Two of my favorite games, Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates, make their mark by having a variety of interesting characters with deep and detailed relationships to each other. That's really what I like most about them. With these games, as with other JRPGs, I find myself thinking about and worrying about the characters a lot, to the point that it distracts me from important things. Recently I went back to the latter game, Fates, to play the DLC I had downloaded a while back. This introduced a lot of new information about a few of the characters, including some major challenges and unfortunate situations for them. This activated EFE, and distracted me all of yesterday evening.

    I'm not stupid; I know that these stories are written with the purpose of getting the audience to care about the characters and what happens to them. I get that characters are supposed to be relatable. What they aren't supposed to be, though, is distracting or depressing after you've stopped reading/hearing about them. This happens to me to an unusual extent. In other words, it's not just typical caring about fictional characters, it's up to and including literally losing sleep over them.

    The reason I bring this up here is because, like I said, EFE is often a part or a cause of TAF and TUF. In the past I've grappled with the question of whether some examples of TUF might just be really strong instances of EFE and not actually kin related. It can be hard to tell; these are all complicated feelings. It could be that TUF is always just EFE for all I know. I think I do a pretty good job of analyzing the feelings as they come, but it's difficult. I will be discussing this again soon, so it's important to give it a name.
  9. A little while back my good friend @Gryneos posted about his experiences as an older member of the otherkin community. I noted in a comment that while I am only 28, (a) that still makes me older than most people here, and (b) I've been part of the community for over 15 years, so I have some of the same thoughts and experiences.

    And it's true, things have changed a lot. To be honest, as what's "acceptable" for otherkin become wider, I find myself concerned about some things. I know, this sounds hypocritical coming from me, but I like to think I've gained some wisdom since I've been here. Let me tell you what I remember about what the kin community used to be like, and you'll see what I mean.

    Back in the day, we didn't have fiction-kin. Ones kin type was generally either a real life creature or one from ancient mythology. We also didn't have too many people claiming a whole ton of kin types. There were no object-kin or concept-kin outside of trolls. And here's one that doesn't come up as much: I don't remember hearing anyone claiming that they are always shifted.

    As it stands, whenever I hear people claim any of these things, my immediate reaction is to think that they're wrong, or not telling the truth. That doesn't mean I actually believe that, of course; on this site I have, for example, met at least two legit machine-kin. But it just seems...wrong to me. But if someone shows that their beliefs are genuine, I have no real problem with them.

    Still, it seems like it's getting sort of out of control. I see people claiming to have 5 kin types, at least one of which is a specific fictional character, and I get uncomfortable. I can't help it. Again, it doesn't mean I have anything against anyone, just that I'm naturally more skeptical in these cases. If you can show me that your beliefs are legitimate and truly held, I don't care what they are, I'll accept them. Both of the two machine-kin I mentioned, I was very skeptical of both of them at first, but both ended up being significant vocal members of the site.

    Some things about the kin community haven't changed at all, though. Chief among these is the debate about how to treat new members who seem to be confused or make grandiose claims. That's always been a problem. I'm usually the one fighting for better treatment of new members, and I always have been. And I still feel that way. But I also think that once the person has answered our questions, or otherwise posted enough to give us an idea, if we think they are misguided or dishonest, we need to do something about it.

    I think everyone deserves a fair chance, but I also see the importance of dealing with people who are misinformed and/or unwilling to learn. I guess that's the bottom line. I think we need more tolerance when people first join, and less after they've already posted some more info. I have seen people slip through the cracks.

    It's impossible to know, unfortunately. That person with 5 kin types one of which is a specific fictional character? They might be legitimate. So I guess I'm going to have to get used to this brave new world, and trust in the staff of the site to keep an eye on things.
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  10. While listening to a podcast about bad movies, of all things, I was reminded of something I mentioned a few posts ago: middle eastern mythology is full of people being forcibly transformed into things, which fits quite well with my understanding of my past life. But there's something about that I feel has sort of been a shadow hanging over all of my talk about my past life: the Arabian “setting” of my past life is something I discovered through one single meditation session. The very first time I used the past life-based guided meditation that I found, I saw a brief but vivid image of myself as a faun running through an Arabian marketplace holding a crown, and that's where it came from. When I tried to use the same guided meditation again, I didn't have much success. And after a couple more fruitless tries, I sort of gave up on it.

    At the time, I said that I was going to stick with this idea of my past life as a working theory because I have nothing else to go on. It's not a solid belief, just a best guess. But ever since my friend announced his new campaign and I realized the prevalence of forced transformation in Arabian stories and mythologies, I've been thinking and talking about it more and more. So it's important, I think, to pause and remember that I really don't have a lot of evidence for this setting. I suppose the aforementioned prevalence is my second piece of evidence, because the forced transformation part I am quite confident about, but that still isn't much.

    That's really all there is to it. As I keep doing research things will become more and more clear. In any case, let this be a lesson to anyone worried about pinning themself down. It's fine to be unsure, but I get how it can be stressful. I think there is value to using a best guess, even if you have little to go from. As long as you can remember that it is just a best guess, it will help make things easier. Given how long I've been searching, I know that it's hard to ever be sure. Taking stock of what you believe and why is helpful.

    P.S. The podcast was "How Did This Get Made?" And the bad movie was Kazaam, if you're curious.
  11. I'm pretty sure those lyrics were meant to reference the devil, but it works for the topic of my post as well. I'm talking about Pan again. That's big Pan, the Greek God, not "Pan" the tulpa. Actually, I think the image of the devil having horns and hooves was based on Pan, so it works.

    As I read and learn more about fauns, the main aspect of my kin type, I begin to realize something. A lot of the traits I associate with myself and with fauns aren't actually necessarily common traits of fauns (according to mythology). They are, however, traits associated with Pan in mythology, as well as the Greek satyrs, with whom he is more connected than the Greek fauns. Now, these differences do make sense; as I said recently, it makes sense that my identity doesn't exactly match mythology. If we suppose that fauns do or once did actually exist somewhere, whatever information we have about them has been distorted from myth and age. And by no means am I suggesting that perhaps my kin type is actually Pan himself. Not only would that be almost comically hypocritical, it doesn't feel accurate. That being said, it does make me wonder more about my connection with him.

    And there is definitely a connection; I've discussed it here before. Information and art related to Pan have been extremely helpful in my self discovery. Almost everything I read about him resonates with me. So as I see it there are a couple of possibilities:

    1. The traits I'm talking about are typical for a fauntaur, and the mythology just misses the mark a bit.

    2. The traits are typical for a fauntaur and the mythology only doesn't match because a faun and a fauntaur are not the same thing

    3. There's a more specific relationship between me and Pan

    If I had to guess, I suppose I would say possibility (2) seems the most likely. But (1) and (2) are possibilities that I've already discussed at length here, so let's avoid repetition for a change and talk about possibility (:relievedface:, even though it is the least likely.

    Now, again, I'm not claiming that I was Pan in a past life. That would be ridiculous. But let's explore other possibilities. Pan did have descendents, according to mythology. In fact, if Wikipedia is to be believed, many of the myths about Pan are actually about one of his sons. So suppose this line continued for a decent number of generations, until the offspring were still very close to their predecessors, but completely mortal. Thus you could have a creature similar to a faun, but not quite the same, with a close connection to Pan. That could be a plausible explanation for what exactly I was in a past life and how it related to Pan. I'm not saying it's likely; I don't have a single shred of evidence to go by, and that's usually what I look for. But it is plausible, and worth exploring.

    There is one major way this idea would clash with my existing ideas of what my past life was: the setting. In the past I said I believed I lived somewhere in the middle east, somewhere “arabian.” But even generations down the line, one would assume Pan’s mortal descendents would stay in Greece. But my recent trip to Europe actually provided a possible explanation. At the British Museum I saw an exhibit showing artifacts found underwater that suggest there was a region where aspects of Greek and Egyptian culture and religion came together. If what I saw during my meditation was actually where I lived in a past life, maybe this explains it.

    Once again I want to make it totally clear that this is just another one of my random theories. It's not my actual belief. “Pan” (meaning my tulpa this time) thinks I only brought it up because I wish it was true, and he's probably right. Still, as always, I don't want wishful thinking OR the fear of it to mislead me. So I still approach theories like this; I just approach them carefully.

    That being the case, I suppose there is one last part of this idea I should explore. As I've already said 100 times, I don't believe I was Pan in my past life. But, if I'm really opening myself up to unlikely possibilities, I can't totally ignore the possibility that maybe I'm...part of him? If you’re thinking that I'm a huge hypocrite for suggesting it, I don't blame you. And it's a very low possibility anyway. Purely hypothetical. What if Pan created “aspects” of himself, or cast off some part of his spirit somehow? Maybe to me in a past life, but as long as I’m throwing out ridiculous theories, maybe even in this life. It would explain a couple of things, like why I can't match my kin type to a particular species.

    Cool though it would be, I doubt it. But I do want to continue focusing on this connection, and maybe figure out what it does mean. It seems like maybe there is something there beyond me being something associated with him, you know? I don't have any realistic idea what that would mean, but it's worth considering.
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  12. As a reminder and a notification: Hamilton lyrics in the title means this is a political post. Also, this post is pretty melodramatic; its driven more by emotion than thought. That said, this one isn't about anger.

    It's about sadness and desperation. It's about feeling, well, helpless. People, especially my boyfriend, keep telling me that the way to save the country is to listen and understand Trump supporters, and help bring about change in later elections by showing people that we're on the same side. That's all well and good, but I really think it might be too late. People are already being harmed by these policies, and for all of the outrage, nothing has changed. Nothing is even close to being changed. The only way we can save the country is for the Republicans to lose control of Congress in the next election, but even that isn't likely.

    I've reached the point where I don't know if we can ever save the country. We have a fascist in power who's already acting like a dictator and who has already started ruining the lives of innocent people, and his party has a stranglehold on the other branches of government. Given that the last election showed own much we've lost of democracy, I don't think voting will really be an issue in the near future.

    And yes, this is personal for me too, in addition to being an international concern. Sure, they're going for Muslims and Mexicans now, but the Jews will be next. Eventually dictators always go after the Jews. I don't want to let them harm anyone, regardless of race, nationality, or religion. But it is important to keep in mind that there is a time limit. If things keep going as they have been, the only option I have is to escape before I become a target. But it's easier said than done; I'm broke. Even if I could find a job in Canada or wherever, I wouldn't be able to get there.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm going to keep fighting, even though I think it's too late for words and crowds to make a difference. Maybe if enough of us get angry enough we can channel that anger into something that will be productive. I can't say what that would be since I don't want to get arrested, but you get the idea.
    Cipher likes this.
  13. Maybe I'll just use Hamilton lyrics as the titles for all of my politics-related posts as a warning sign. Plus this quote is too perfect a fit for me to not use it. Warning: politics incoming. Also a lot of anger.

    I'm not an expert on the economy, nor am I an expert on international relations. That being said, what exactly does Donald Trump think he's doing? Forget the wall itself; everyone already knows why that's a stupid idea. If you need a refresher: it's insanely expensive and not likely to help keep people out. This is pretty well known.

    (Note: When things in here start getting into the second person, the “you” is Trump.)

    Here's the thing: short of maybe a military invasion, you're not going to get Mexico to pay for the wall. It's not going to happen. They aren't scared of you. You can't bully them; you have no legal authority over them. The more you push, the more they will defy you. You can use whatever sanctions you want.

    And let's talk about those sanctions, shall we? Trump says he wants to put high tariffs on products coming out of Mexico. Sure, that will likely cause some trouble for Mexico, and if you're an out of touch billionaire that's all you see. But for the actual people, you know what's made in Mexico? Quite a lot of things, actually. And surely nobody is delusional enough to think that the companies will foot the bill, not even Trump. It's consumers, taxpayers and voters, who will pay for it I don't expect Trump to know how the economy works, but I expect him to understand how businesses work.

    If you don't believe that the tariff will screw over US citizens, maybe you'll believe Fox News, who reported on these problems when Trump talked about using these tariffs against China. It's a bad idea.

    And then there's Trump’s plan to punish cities who don't immediately arrest and detain refugees and illegal immigrants. Or to put it another way, his plan to take funding away from two of the country’s biggest cities. The mayors of New York City and Chicago have already shot back, promising not to give in to Trump's demands. I can't speak for New York, but I can say this much: Chicago isn't afraid of you. We shut down a major part of downtown last weekend because so many people came to protest against you that we couldn't even walk. We will not let you bully us.

    But the honest truth is, as angry as I am about all of this, I'm also depressed by it. Because there's so little I can do. I can't demonstrate in DC; I can't afford to travel. The time for action passed, and as hard as I tried, I don't think I managed to change any minds. But every single federal election is an opportunity. I'm not the kind of person who can devote my life to this, but I'll still do what I can. I can't cold call people, but I can write a good email. I can't go door to door, especially for elections in other states, but I can help spread the right information around. Do I think any of it will help, though? Not really. I'm still going to do everything I can, but I worry that unless he breaks the law in a big and unpopular way, it's too late. Not just to stop him, but to stop all of them.

    There's only one reason why Trump keeps claiming there is widespread voter fraud: so he and his Republican buddies can use their lies as an excuse for even more discriminatory voting laws, ensuring that only rich white people will be able to vote. If they succeed, we’ll have lost the little bit of democracy we have left. We can't let it happen.

    I said I would try to be nice to Trump voters, but it's really hard. Granted, I'm sure that in the off chance any of them started reading this in the first place, they've stopped now. But if any are still reading I have to ask: what exactly did you think Hillary Clinton would do that would be worse than starting trade wars with previously friendly neighboring countries?

    Maybe I'm being overly melancholy because I'm dealing with some serious problems at the moment; I'm not usually quite this dramatic when it comes to politics. Honestly, I'm really not. But I am unquestionably unhappy.
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  14. Yeah, I spoke too soon. I will be talking about politics on this blog. It's the only place I feel comfortable letting loose and speaking my mind, and still having a chance that someone might see ithe.

    But I will try to steer clear of insulting third party voters. People have their reasons for voting the way they do, and I hope that the people with whom I disagree will keep an eye on what's going on.

    As for people who disagree with my political views, well, I'll try to avoid insulting Trump voters too. But you will likely be upset with some of what I write here, and that's ok. You're allowed to be. That's how this works.

    There isn't anything I want to say in this post; it's just informational. I'll have something to say later on.
    Gryneos likes this.
  15. Yeah, twice in one day. Crazy, I know.

    So I mentioned this in a thread already, but in case you didn't read that one: my friend has told us that the next tabletop RPG campaign he's running will take place in an Arabian-inspired fantasy setting where we can play as characters who had been transformed against their will into animal-human hybrids. In other words, almost a perfect match for my past life theory. For those who aren't aware: I don't have a lot to go on, but my main theory about my kin nature is that in a past life, I lived in a similar Arabian Nights-like setting as a human, and was transformed against my will into a fauntaur.

    I'm really excited for this; using the RPG to help me tie back to my past life will be a helpful experience, not just for my understanding of myself, but also for calming the desire to return to that life. But that's not the main reason I'm posting this. The main reason is that there's one aspect of my past life theory I havent really explored that much: the setting.

    I've never really considered what the Arabian Nights-like setting has to do with it. But between this campaign and some other knowledge I have on the subject, I realized that it adds credence to my theory. Forced transformation is a recurring part of that mythology, and since that connection didn't occur to me until tonight, I don't think it's a matter of my mind just choosing a setting that would make sense. The Arabian setting and the forced transformation make sense together, which means I'm more confident about my theory than I was before, which is awesome. I'm finally on my way to a solid knowledge base rather than a system of theories.

    By the way, unrelated to the rest of this stuff: at least until the next major event, I'm going to try to avoid discussing politics here. It doesn't help anyone.
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