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Litmus Test

What is a Litmus Test?

It's a technique for asking yourselves questions (usually true/false, though you can get more details when you get good at it) while tuning in to your body for answers.


The litmus test involves feeling the physiological reactions you have to things when they're "not right" versus the feeling you get when something is right.

Our body is a very sensitive sensory organism. All day and night it gathers information, and it's very intelligent about sorting information and allowing important nuances to float into the surface of consciousness. Even those who are unable to fully filter are likely filtering some senses more than others.

As people with a larger capacity for dissociation, we have likely been through a lot of cognitive dissonance with our body, and likely need to get re-tuned to recognize our innate traffic lights that our body sends us in various situations. The litmus test is a great way to introduce a body-mind connection and use the body's innate wisdom and observations to help serve us.

Also, the litmus test gives us ways to have rudimentary conversations with system members who are non-verbal or are stuck in the There & Then. We all have this nervous system network for communicating information, and can at least work together using some basic truth testing and asking questions of each other that can result in getting to know each other and ease tensions in your group considerably.


During a peaceful or quiet moment, make sure you're comfortable and that there are no distractions. It's time to just listen to yourself.

Think of something true about you: "My favorite color is blue." and study how you feel about it, there should be a feeling of calm inside of you, of comfort with this mental image.

Think of something ridiculously patently false: "I am standing on my head." "I am a purple gorilla" (unless that's true) or whatever. Study how you feel about this ridiculously false statement, you should have a specific feeling, perhaps in your head or in your gut, about the falsehood. This is how you can tell when you're lying to yourself.

Test several truths and falsehoods of different sorts to see if different information reveals itself in different areas of your body.

To develop mo ore nuanced Litmust Testing, start playing hot & cold with blatant ideas and get an idea of how you feel about various degrees of truth, how to get closer to the truth, farther from the truth.

Reality Testing

Once you get reasonably good at it, you can test out "thoughts" about memories, test for lies you've been fed, root out unintentional or unconscious cultural programming you have gotten from people around you or society as a whole, etc. Try to be able to tell the difference between fear/anxiety and the feeling of discomfort from lying to yourself. There's plenty of cases of the truth being something we're not very comfortable with...but it is unfortunately a "truth" about us regardless.

Confusing Questions

The litmus test can work well for multiples as long as you don't try to be too broad about your statements. "We should eat chili." is not a fair statement to question — it may result in confusion. Ask about concrete factual items, rather than about opinions that may vary.

If you are investigating information about someone specific in your system you can work with statements about them, such as "Pat is an adult." and that will get you a gut reaction that will vary depending on how close to the truth that is. If you find that's far from the truth you can verify the answer with "Pat is a child." and see how that feels. It might be that Pat is neither an adult or a child in the sense you're picturing them, in which case you may have to think outside the box or contend with a mystery about Pat such as that they age-fluctuate between 6 and 60, or they're "a ghost"or a toaster and thus of no age.

Twenty-Questions Variation

You can use several statements and the litmus test to determine what's going on. First pick broad statements and then slowly narrow down to eliminate other topics...such as "It flies." (no) "It swims." (yes) "It's a fish." (no) "It lives in water." (no) "Its an amphibian." (no) "Its a mammal." (yes) "Its a mammal that sometimes swims." (yes)

Tricksy Dissociation!

Our original example was to try "I am sitting in this chair."

Our body can't really lie. If you're not attached to your body, your body may be sitting in the chair, but since the "I" is not in your body, then you will get the "not true" feeling (or a degree of not-trueness). Try something certainly true and it will lead you more soundly, and try not to get tripped up when it calls you on a technicality.

To be more precise, I should have used "My body is sitting in a chair." as the example.

Hmm, so why do I get an awful, squelchy, lie feeling in response to "I am sitting in a chair?" LOL. But seriously, this also works for actions in our case, if the empath is sitting front and goes to do something in the internal or enven external world that doesn't fit, is dangerous (like too big an action when something small is required), or perhaps just bugs someone, then she can get feedback through the body that says, "Nope!" or "Try that again in a different way." Bodies are wonderfully smart animals and will tell you all kinds of interesting things once on learns to listen to them and give them credit. Yay Body! ---Seachild

Someone else had this issue also, and the "squelchy" feeling when you say you're sitting in a chair is probably because of dissociation so I made a different example and made a note that your body will call you out on even a lie like "I'm sitting in this chair." when you are actually not in your body at the moment. "Yay Body!" indeed :) ? caught on a technicality.
--- Crisses

Not sure if this would make things too complicated, but it might also be a good idea to get a feel for when you're poking at something that shouldn't be poked at. I'm a very curious person, but I've learned there's some things you may not want to know. --- Jaki

Jaki -- what I find is when I poke in the wrong places, or places too close to revealing information that best lay at rest, I will suddenly start getting either very distracted, or so dissociatively sleepy I will have microsleeps even while sitting up. Tunnel vision. Brownouts. If I mentally "Step away from the bomb" then these things immediately go away. So someone in here is saying "Uh uh. You're just not going there." We've learned to listen.
--- Crisses

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