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The Plurality Perspective of Human Systems

by the Crisses

We have been thinking more and more about the big umbrella of "Plurality" and having spent a good bit of time with a wide variety of plurals in our lifetime, including our father (in denial), many lovers/partners, quite a number of in-person friends, online communities we have participated in and forums we have facilitated, and more recently the 2 plural caucuses in the last month in DC & Philadelphia (July-Aug 2018):

Plural is a big umbrella. It includes those with aspects and facets who are not "one" but also not quite sure they're "many people" either. It includes multiples (many people), it includes those whose many are not (always) human, it includes those whose Front is a portal to another world inside, those with no internal landscape, those who somehow chose it consciously in some way shape or form, those who were forced/manipulated/programmed to be plural, those who acknowledge that the experience of life is complex and multifaceted and that their spirit companions and guardians may or may not be "all in their head", and it includes those who simply ARE that way with or without knowing why, whether or not they attribute it to their experiences of trauma (or lack thereof).

The wider net we cast, the more inclusive we are, the stronger we will become. There's myriad lessons we can learn from this beautiful multifaceted tapestry of plurality that we will never learn if we're busy generalizing traits and acceptability and wasting cycles trying to determine whether a system is "real" or "fake" — this is not in question at all.

Our only exclusion criteria is whether or not someone is an asshole. Assholes should be removed from any community based around identity. Assholes include people cluelessly rude and unwilling to self/selves-correct through to horrifyingly and purposefully abusive.

With such a wide net cast, it may be that one day the overwhelming majority of humanity identifies as plural and singlets become the minority. And we won't be sorry — but we shouldn't be rude to them or stigmatize them lest we've forgotten our roots. Our umbrella includes questioning, singlet allies, singlet partners/spouses/spices, etc. because we need their strength against the stigma society casts against us and because we're not assholes. ;)

This means when a singlet gives the usually-considered-lame excuse of their separate roles, perhaps we should nod and say "You're right — maybe you're on the plural spectrum, too. Let's talk about how you experience the separateness of your roles. Do your roles ever conflict or fight? Do you ever have any memory compartmentalization between your roles? Does anyone ever comment about how different you are when you 'let your hair down' after work?"

This is always possible because there's a continuum of plurality. It's not a black-and-white, on-and-off. It's a big beautiful bell curve, a spectrum or contiuum. And we often find ourselves explaining that being only strictly one person-per-body regardless of whether one is dealing with work, home, kids, parents, etc. is actually maladaptive. You can't treat your children the same way you treat your spouse (yipe!!!), and if you can't adjust to your environment you can get into or cause trouble. The next time someone says your switch was "convenient" explain this to them. Yes, adapting to your environment and inputs is a positive survival trait (whether singlet or plural!). Everyone healthy and functional does, too — just that plurals often take it to an extreme and become an entirely separate individual highly tuned to said circumstances, sometimes down to completely separate awareness and/or memories.

Being a singlet is highly overrated. Sometimes being plural is, too. Eventually one day the spectrum will hopefully be accepted variations of human normality — but right now the assumption is singlet normativity and that's become plural oppression. And we've had enough of that.

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