Do Multiples Exist? - 2005 Remaster (017) Transcript
<voices overlapping, music in background>
Oh! Good morning — oh! Do we have to get up?
Keep it down; I’m trying to sleep.
Yeah, we want to make that recording.
What are we going to record today?
What? What recording?
You know, the one about multiplicity.
You know, the usual — we’re trying to make a difference in the world or something.
Well — I just really wanna help people!
I have no idea what to say.
I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there who have really good questions, and need really good answers.
Why talk to them? It’s not like anybody gives a shit.
Well what makes us an authority?
I don’t really think it matters how long we’ve been multiple, or how long we’ve known we’re multiple — we’re multiple!
<Aliessa laughs richly>
Episode 17: Do Multiples Exist? - 2005 Remaster. So this episode is the one that stopped my 2005 podcast in its tracks. There's value in the content, but there was a horrifying hum on the recording that I couldn't fix with my editing skills back then. And I was really frustrated with this episode, so I allowed the whole thing to derail me. There was a couple of episodes in a row that just weren't the right quality. So here I am in 2017. And we have the editing skills needed to fix the issue. But because it was at the same frequency as part of my vocal range, the quality of the episode suffers a little bit, you'll you'll hear there's a difference in my voice. Please bear with me. This episode is about the content and the passion behind it. And we'll revisit the topic of do multiples exist again, and why this topic is valuable, with much better audio quality in the next episode. Just a little verbal trigger warning here: we curse a whole lot in this episode, especially once we start talking about 'false memory syndrome' asshats, who use the fact that memories can be fabricated as a way to debunk all people with memory disorders from submitting evidence in court or calling them out on abuse.
There are a lot of questions out there from scientific communities, you know, such as psychology and psychiatry and so on, and laypeople, also about whether or not multiples exist. Well, yeah, a two fold problem here. At least a two fold problem. The main part of the psychiatric community believes that it's all structured differences in our heads anyway, just, we have somehow compartmentalized ourselves, but we're all one person. The question of whether or not we exist becomes kind of ludicrous. Because it's simply a different way of structuring our, our way of thinking. In that case, if that's what they really think, then it takes a lot of gall to say, you know, well, do we not exist? Well, you just said that we're still singleton, we're still one person, but we've divided up our experiences in our brain in such a way that we can only access certain parts of it at certain times. And there's personality traits that go along with each of those. And, but we're not really actually different people. Okay, they take great exception to our insistence that we are separate people, our demand for autonomy within the system. These are the same people of course, that has studied Freud and studied Jung, as far as psychology goes, and they'll certainly buy into the fact that that everybody has a shadow self, and there's the Anima and the—animus, animus, anima. And then there's the ego and the ID, and the super ego, and so on. So they're saying is everybody else except multiples is allowed to sub divide their personality to make their lives easier, to make processing information easier, to divide up their conflicting emotions and thoughts, their differences of personality. Everybody else can do that. But we're not allowed to. We can't subdivide it yet further, we can't have those pieces take on too much consciousness. Because that challenges how people think about themselves, how singletons react to themselves. It would imply that there's a spectrum, because really in life, there's very few things that are absolutely absolute, black and white, you know, there's one or the other. There's no in betweens, that doesn't really happen in nature very often. Yes, a pine tree is not a porcupine, but even within mammals, there's a great deal of spectrum, you know. Who's to say in a particular animal is mutated? Perhaps it's only going between itself, you know, between one species and another, and so on. You can't, you can't say that. Differences within a species exist and so on. The forest is not just one shade of green, for example. If if multiples are somewhere along a spectrum of personality division or compartmentalization, then you have to face the fact that there's going to be singletons that are at least partly, or more tending towards, being multiple. Well, this would explain why Freud and Jung were able to find it ego, super ego, anima, animus, shadow self and so on. Because it is pervasive. I mean, there are many multiples, who are more like singletons and many singletons who are more like multiples, within the groups. There's no absolute dividing line between them.
Okay, so that's taking it, you know, from the, that particular group of psychological thought. There are other groups of psychological thought that do not even believe that you can subdivide your memories and so on. You can't even do that much. They may or may not believe in the id, ego superego theories. They may have their own theories, probably behaviorism and so on, where it's not about what you are, it's about how you act. And to change your behavior, you change how you act, change your personality, or so on.
Behaviorism works very well when trying to change flaws, and, and reactions and so on, but it does not necessarily forensically describe a person. It's very action oriented. So holding on to behaviorism as 'this is who people are and how people are' is very difficult. It's how people act. And yeah, indeed, you know, when, when multiple acts, you know, it's still gonna be recognizable as a person acting. So you know, it's a person, they have activities. It's studiable, it's, you know, you can, you can categorize behaviors, according to the activities and so on. It's, it's a very scientific field of psychology, it's very based on experimental observation. You know, you observe a person, you see their behavior, you ask them to change the behavior, you observe the results, or you do something to change the environment and see if it changes the behavior and so on. It's very scientific, very straightforward. Well, behaviorism really has no business delving into my head. I mean, that's just not what behaviorism does. If behaviorism wants to sit around and study me in different situations, and see how I act and how I act differently, given different stimuli. That's fun. It's all well and good, but don't tell me what my head is like, from your observations. That's just absolutely ludicrous and impossible. To tell me I am not different distinct personalities, that I don't have the perception of being different inside of my head, that I don't feel different. These are not observable. They can write these down on their little clipboard and little check boxes and study it and do experiments based on how I feel. Certainly, they can take a questionnaire and they can study my handwriting and, and so on, and they're gonna see differences. Oh, there are definitely—you don't want to see my notebooks. Don't make me pull out like a scanner and like scanning my handwriting because it's, it's all over the place every page. So there'll be like two lines in one handwriting, two lines in another handwriting. It's just, it's all over the place. They want to sit around and they want to study my handwriting, they're more than welcome to, but they're not going to come to the conclusion that I have different different personalities. Because they don't believe in different personalities. In fact, in behaviorism, they probably don't believe in personalities, period. They believe people have patterns of observable behavior. It's it's going to cause a conflict within the psychiatric community when you compare such a drastically different philosophy from the philosophies that study how we feel, and how we perceive our lives, and how we act based on our feelings and our perceptions. Those are different. That's not observable phenom—phenomena. And questionnaires are kind of shaky evidence in behaviorism, where in other fields of study, they're quite valid for studying that person's perception of their experience. As long as they're not lying on the questionnaire, they're being as accurate as they can about observing their own experiences. There was an entire field of philosophy—not philosophy, maybe it is philosophy—but of psychology, that was based on one's own perceptions. And they had trained—I forget the name of it right now—they had trained people specifically to observe and to track what they observed as scientifically as possible. And even then, it was practically thrown out the door because it's still too subjective.
So that we get into subjective reality. Okay, even a scientist, even a highly highly trained, scientist, cannot accurately record their own observations. So now we can almost throw the human, the—not the humanists—the behaviorists out the window too. Because we build the machines that measure the behaviors, we build the questionnaires that the scientist is doing the observations fills out while observing the behavior of a child. We have our limitations, we are not objective. Not a single human being on this planet is objective. The person that writes the program for the computer that evaluates behavior is skewed. The person writing the program is skewed. How can the program be anything but skewed? You see this when you sit down and you're using a word processing program—I don't know if you've tried more than one—but the experience of sitting at the computer and using the program is different depending on what program it is, because the people behind the program who wrote the program are different people. It's gonna feel different to be interacting with this program based on the philosophies and the, the projections of the people writing the program. They're trying to project how you sitting at the computer, and using that program feels about a button being a certain place. They're going to project about what your needs are, you're going to go "Well, what I really need is a one button solution to change two paragraph marks into a tab." And that's not gonna exist, they're not going to have anticipated your need to have this button. Okay. What they thought that you needed was, was the ability to raise and lower the text, so you could superscript and subscript it. Even though it's an feature you never use, there's a silly button sitting there in the palette you never needed and you're never going to need. Why they thought it was so important they had to put a button there for you, you can't figure out. Okay, so the same thing is gonna go for science, when science is writing programs. Sure, the person sitting there and writing the program is going to try to make the most objective program possible to analyze the statistical data that people plug into it. But then there's the error of the people plugging the data in. And then there's the perception, the programmers perception of what the scientist needs to know, and how to calculate that result. What it essentially comes down to is observing what I think and how I feel as a science is ridiculous. It does not render the field of psychology unhelpful. It's extremely helpful. But you definitely have to take everything with a grain of salt. Just like you have to take everything else in life with a grain of salt.
So psychology wants to tell me who I am. They want to tell me I'm imagining that I'm all these people. Well, that's really really difficult to tell me that I'm imagining that I'm all these people, when I'm sitting at a restaurant, staring down at the plate that somebody else ordered and I'm a vegan, and I'm looking down at a plate full of meat. That's really fucking hard to tell me, you know? Do I have the perception that I'm a different fucking person? Yes, I have the fucking perception that I'm a different person, because I sure as shit didn't order this fucking plate full of animal flesh, because that's not what I eat. Okay, I'm not speaking personally, but I'm saying this is it. An experience I as a whole have had. My 'I' is pretty constant, but who is 'I' at any given moment is not And that's even different from multiple the multiple. Many multiple switch who 'I' is. 'I' is not every person in there. I'm pretty strange when it comes to that, I'm definitely out of, out of the ordinary. But for me, you know, I order a plate. I can even remember vaguely somebody having ordered it. Even though it was only 10 minutes ago, I may have switched. And I'm like, "Oh, yeah, person ordered blah. Eww, I don't want to eat blah. I, I want a salad. I want steamed vegetables. I want some rice, things like that. I don't want to eat this." Why in the name of hell would I waste my money and my time ordering something I'm not going to eat, if I were one person? Tell me that. What is it that in this 10 minute span can make me change my eating habits from "Wow, a steak sounds real fucking good. I'm going to waste my money buying a steak from these people." to "Eww, that really turns my stomach. I don't want that." You know, that gut wrenching "Eww, I can't eat that feeling" at looking down to the plate I ordered. And I know I ordered it. I'm not, I'm not so compartmentalized that I have no memory of somebody else ordering it. I very, very well remember somebody ordering that piece of meat. And there it is in front of me.
Do multiples exist? Well, when it really comes down to it, not a single fucking scientist has proven that the world exists. They can't disprove that the world exists, but they can't prove it either. And there's plenty of philosophies, you know, schools of philosophical thought—not psychological thought—philosophical thought that deal with whether or not we exist. Whether or not this world exists. Whether or not the steering wheel in front of my hand is really in my hand or not. Whether I an, an incorporeal being floating around imagining that the world exists, or even as a group mind, a group of people sitting around and imagining that the world exists. I mean, when it comes down to it, what does it fucking matter? We can't prove a damn thing exists. You can't prove multiples exist. Don't even bother. What really matters—okay, to get back to subjective reality—what really matters is what I perceive. What really matters from person to person is subjective reality. You ask somebody whether the sky is blue, you're gonna get their subjective reality. Okay, if a person is blind, they're gonna say, "I don't know. what is blue?" What matters to them is you ask something about a color and you know, "Well, I've heard it's blue, but I can't see it. I don't know that it's blue." That's subjective versus objective reality. Objective reality assumes that there is some way of making a perception without your opinions and your prior experiences coloring it in some way. I think objectivity, it is something you can approach but never get. You can certainly learn to filter out a lot of your own personal perceptions and experiences from your observations. But we're trained from the moment of birth, or earlier, to perceive and to believe in things that we see, that we hear, that we touch, that we taste. And we find comfort in that, you know? Separating yourself from your subjective reality sucks. Being a multiple and dissociating all the fucking time. I know this for a fact. It sucks. It sucks feeling so separate from the world that you have no personal investment in what it is that you see, or feel, or hear, or taste, or touch. So achieving objectivity is a goal, but it's one that's unattainable. And so science is continually struggling for this goal of complete objectivity.
And then the other problem is that, since we're talking about a subjective experience. Whether there's other people that walked into my body. Whether I split my my mind up into distinct entities who each have their own personalities. Whether or not I am a single person that is faceted instead, and rather than completely split, I just simply turned my face and it changes. You know, like, like one of those people is wearing a mask on the back of their head and the front of their head, you know. So whether it's all inside the same person with outer layers that have different perceptions and personality traits—no matter what it is, is going on inside of me, it's inside of me. The minute you achieve complete objectivity, you lose the ability to observe what is going on inside of me. If you're going to eliminate the questionnaires and the quizzes and the interviews, if you're going to eliminate my opinion or my perceptions, you're going to eliminate my multiplicity. That's like asking somebody—it's, it's very akin to saying "Well, nobody thinks. Nobody thinks. Why? Because I'm a scientist, and I can't observe you thinking." And you could turn to the scientists and say, "Well, don't you think?" "No, I'm not allowed to think. I have no opinions whatsoever. I have no ability to think." But you can't observe thought. So nobody says people don't think. They strap a little things to your head and they watch the brainwaves and they assume that you're thinking. They assume that these patterns of electricity going back and forth in your head are thinking. They're thoughts. They're trying to prove it. You know, they're trying to say, "Well, think about moving that cup" to 10 different people and see if the same brainwaves come up. But what if everybody puts the the circuitry in their head in a different place? They've done enough experiments strapping, you know, electronic gadgets to multiples' head and watching the patterns change to know that, at the very least, something observable is going on when we switch. Watching the EEGs with a multiple is quite the exercise and entertainment. But it still comes down to a "Could you please switch to Frank again? Okay, could you please switch to Sue? Alright, let's try Leo." But what are you gonna do? You know, at that point, well, is really that, you know, the multiple is switching personalities? What are they doing, you know? At that point, you can't fucking tell. If you're taking their word for it they're switching their personalities, and for all you know, they're they're just scratching their left eyeball. You know. You're you're observing the fact that every time you say, every time you say "Be Frank," you know, they think about moving their arm to the left. Every time you say "Be Sue", they're thinking about, you know, having sex with somebody. So you get to watch the brain patterns for all these things and it's not really actually a different person. How are you going to prove that? You can't prove shit. You really can't prove shit. So do multiples exist? All right. So we've eliminated objectivity. There is no objectivity. Fuck objectivity. You just, you're never going to find a scientific book or study that says "Yes, multiples exist," especially based on a science that is entirely hinging on disproving things. The best way to prove that something exists is not be able to prove it doesn't exist. That's really what they do. They sit around disproving things all the time. And by process of elimination, they figure "Well, since nothing knocked down my theory, my theory must be correct." So in order to prove multiples exist, they have to attempt to disprove it. And who the fuck are they using as their subjects to disprove it?
Alright, I'm considering, you know, we can, we can really just throw all of this scientific observation of multiplicity out the fucking window. So you've got societies, you got like whole groups of people who are betting, essentially, they're, they're absolutely adamantly convinced that multiples don't exist. They have a high stake in it, because they've been brought to—you know, they're usually founded by people who've been brought to court by multiples who've been abused and so on. And for some reason, multiplicity is, you know, part of the evidence against them. Or maybe—whatever, you know, some sort of resentment against the claim that somebody is multiple. These people have, they have a mission to prove that multiplicity doesn't exist. [Sigh.] And, you know, I've got my mission and my mission is to be me. And if I'm gonna be me, that means I'm multiple, or at least I perceive that I'm multiple So I'm going to say "Look, you know, my subjective reality disagrees with yours. My multiplicity exists." I don't really have any days where I wish it doesn't anymore, but it would have sure been helpful a very, very long time ago n my life, had I not been multiple. Had I not been multiple, there was a lot of stupid things that I did that I wouldn't have done. I'm not saying that, you know, "I'm not to blame because Sue did that." I'm saying, "We, we as a group, would not have this responsibility for this stupidity that we allowed someone else in our head to do." And there's a lot of examples in my life of stupid shit. Hey, I can do a stupid multiple tricks fucking show. There's a lot of examples in my life of how we fucked up because we're multiple. And I don't think we would have fucked up if we weren't. We still have group responsibility for everything that we, anyone in here, has done. That's not the issue. The issue is, we did stupid things because we have all these conflicts of desire and different personality traits. We have different needs, we have different desires, we have different likes and dislikes. And it's all over the place, because there's just so many of us, and, and that has driven us to do some really stupid fucked-up shit.
So I think the only valid way to say someone is or is not multiple is find out from them. I can definitely observe people's behavior and suspect multiplicity. But really, frankly, you're not multiple, you're kind of this pre-multiple state. You're not really multiple, until you're multiple. You're not multiple until you acknowledge within yourself, at least partially, that you have all these different people. Otherwise you're mashed potatoes, you know, you're you're just this mishmash of different and conflicting things that can't get anything straight. You know, you're constantly doing and then undoing things because one of you wants it and the other one doesn't. Yeah, it makes your life a minor mess. You can't decide what car to drive. You can't decide what girl to date. You can't decide what to do on a Saturday night. You can't decide anything, and it just makes you a mess. I mean, at least if you acknowledge "Well, Joe wants to go out and Sue wants to stay home. Why don't we go out for just two hours and come back?" Or whatever, you know, you can you can make compromises, you can do something with it, you can work on it. My opinion is that multiplicity exists as long as the self-identity of being multiple is helpful. It settles something for you. It helps you figure out what to do with your day. It helps you get up in the morning. It helps you feel more confident about yourself. It answers your questions. It does anything—anything of use to you. Not impressing other people not doing stupid, multiple tricks. But it actually on some core level defines your boundaries, defines yourself, allows you to sit down in your head and have a conference so you can actually make up your mind about something important. Whatever it is, as long as being multiple is useful, being multiple exists. You can disbelieve in multiplicity if you want. You know, you can claim I'm an idiot and I'm just fucked up, I'm just schizophrenic, whatever. You can claim whatever the fuck you want. But I am multiple. I am multiple until the day that being multiple ceases being useful for me, ceases answering questions about myself or helping me deal with myself or helping me organize my life, and so on. That is the end of this show. Bye.
Thanks for joining us for this episode of Many Minds on the Issue. Your Patreon support will keep this podcast coming. You can find more information, resources, and our Patreon link at K-I-N-H-O-S-T-dot-org Kinhost.org.