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Background System

Notes by The Crisses.

What is the Background System?

Systems who use this terminology are describing an experience of something going on around or behind the system, something deeper than the system. Some system members may have some communication (possibly rudimentary) with a "power" that can make things happen in the system.

Many folks talk about their "background system" as either a very deep entity or agent in their system, something akin to subconscious processes, or an intelligence that has some control over portions of system mechanisms. Generally this seems to be something other than the usual headmates &/or alters of the system that has access to meta-system processes, and seems to be a part of the fabric of or the energy of both the system as a whole, and the inner world.

We don't think anybody in the community has an exact pinpoint on what the background system is, or whether it's akin to the singular subconscious or not. And of course, all systems are different. So maybe the thing we're all describing is not exactly the same anyway — mine may be a little different than yours.

Those who do have this sense or use this terminology seem to describe similar roles and abilities, and that it is separated from the co-consciousness part of their system; usually it's somewhere deeper in the background.

While systems are always different, enough systems describe something that is similar to this concept that it warrants mentioning.

What do folks think the Background System does?

Here's some things we've heard and experienced that are sometimes attributed to the Background System:

  • If everybody tries to leave front, sometimes the background system will automatically pick somebody to get frontstuck. It's also possible that the background system has a role in triggering headmates front when confronted with panic-worthy situations New.
  • When doing internal landscaping or inner world work, some systems will put out an intention or request for some kind of a change and it eventually appears somehow. This "answering a request" may be attributed to the background system, which is often thought to be fundamentally in charge of the inner world in some way.
  • Another role that the background system might play is in cases where headmates go deep, or go dormant — those headmates may and up somewhere very close to the background system. Often they reappear later, and often they're a little bit different. In our experiences, they're obviously the same person but something also has changed for them on a fundamental level. So they come out of wherever it is they go when they go dormant, and something different about them as well. Whether they join the background system, are in a place closer to it, or these are entirely separate processes is unknown.
  • One more possibility is that the background system may be a place from which thoughtforms (tulpas, functional fragments, system gadets, fictives, factives, etc.) may be created, whether intentionally or not. Often folks who do so consciously will describe deliberately reaching deep inside with a request for something or someone in particular, and it's possible the background system is what fills the request.

How do we find our Background System?

In some systems there are one or more system members who have access to what some folks might consider their background system. For example, in some cases when systems have specific headmates with access to meta-system mechanisms, those headmates may have access to what we're calling the background system where other headmates do not.

Of course it's also possible for systems to not have this at all. The purpose here is to describe what people may be talking about when they use this terminology.

How do we create a Background System?

The background system likely forms without intent, it may or may not predate being plural, not all systems have or are aware of having a background system. While they are intelligent, in our experience the intelligence is not necessarily like conscious thought. It's more instinctual, subconscious or emotional intelligence (or something else…?).

It's possible that if y'all don't think y'all have one (yet) that it may form something like a collective unconsciousness as your system is developing internal community — kinda like a groupthink. So we would say keep working on building communication, trust, and getting system members on the same page and see whether or not a background system either emerges or becomes evident.

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