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October 10th, 2005


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02:03 pm - The self is like a diamond as big as the Ritz
Reading Cosmic Trigger, I came down with something. It's one of those things about RAW's work: it's got infectious ideas. I may not be convinced that these ideas are good, but they certainly resonate.

Anyway, RAW partitions off his personality into several facets. He seems to define them by a captialized word: Shaman, Skeptic, Mystic, and Poet.

I never planned to pick this up. At some point, though, probably about two or four months ago, I started doing this. I talk about things, though, I've begun to slip into this (rather useful) method of describing what's going on.

The Magician, for instance, is the one who has no fear, who laughs. He's not as strong as he used to be, but he's my first line of defense when things go wrong. He tests the waters when he knows there are pirhanas in the river, dances with tentacles, and sings in the rain.

The Shaman rarely bothers to come out, but his interest is perked by certain things. He's never been a big part of me, really. Well, not since I realized that DJ Conway was full of more shit than anyone I'd ever read.

The Scholar cuts through the bullshit, and is probably half the reason that the Shaman went into hiding. The Scholar pointed out early on that Shamanism has no place in Celtic religion as I practice it, and so the Shaman decided he wasn't going to be very important either. These pieces can fight it out, too, and sometimes come to understandings.

The Historian is slightly different than the Scholar, and he gets hung up on little hour-long documentaries on the Falkland Islands war, recreating and reenacting things in an accurate manner, and any map that shows troop movements (regardless of battle or time period).

The Priest turned tail and hid recently. He's afraid of coming out. Of all the roles that are played within me, this one has had the hardest time with everything recently. Gods, I want him back.

There are other parts of me, more complicated and less complicated parts. But for now, this is a good start.
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "Everybody's On the Run", -JB

(31 comments Leave a comment)

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[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:October 10th, 2005 07:18 pm (UTC)
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Ooh, that sounds nifty!

No, really.

I've considered it, though, as a possibility. I will have to rent this movie, as I've never seen it, but I can see the potential for it.

However, each "compartment" as you call them has a definite job. I've never really seen them as being overly neat, really, and they tend to ebb and flow and manifest themselves in situations where a certain sort of personality is needed. Sometimes two or more might become active at once, and they can fit within each other like those silly Russian dolls.

I do lots of different jobs for lots of different people, though, and the necessary ego, humility, and work ethic is different for each sort of job.

When I act as a worker for OSU, for instance, a large ego is a hinderance. Customer serivices is not something where you want to be "right" all the time.

On the other hand, if you're a magician and you're not "right", you're in danger of a lot more than nothing happening. Ego is a primary tool of the Chaote.

When I'm playing the generic "guy", there's no need for work or humility. . . I'm supposed to be watching a game on TV or playing a video game. My ego is flexible, tied to my team or my skill or my brand of beer. This one has it's uses.

When I'm working as a priest, though, I settle into a single paradigm, one in which there is a definite need for humility and hard work. Ego is a stumbling block here, one that I need to put away.

Then again, I need the magician in ritual, too, so he becomes a part of the priest, as does the seer and the bard.

One skill everyone learns about church is that it's a place where you act differently. You dress differently, you speak more politely, and you sit quietly (if that's the sort of church you attend). Basically, that's all these things are: changes in action and thought pattern that are partially controlled by the person, and partially controlled by the environment.

If you want to see how difficult it is to override the environmental factors, go into a church and try to curse.

In the end, these aren't really personalities as much as they are facets of who I am. I can look through several at once, if I need to, and so far as I can tell, they react to me and my situation only. Sometimes they react without me needing to tell them to, but if they do that, it's because they've been trained to.

When I get the first words of a particular prayer out, the Priest shows up. When I grab a sabre, the athlete comes out to play. When my hand touches a bag of runes or I watch a flight of birds, the seer shows up. In all, I'd class them as natural reactions to subject matter and learned behavior.

When I say that certain prayer, I know I will move through a set of actions and thoughts that naturally follow. When I have a sabre in my hand, four years of learned behavior takes over. When I look at birds flying, I'm reminded of the practice of augury, and my body goes through the motions of trying to decipher it all.

Make some sense?
[User Picture]
From:creature_tamer
Date:October 10th, 2005 07:30 pm (UTC)
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Oh certainly, and see my above response. I just think it's a little worrisome if certain personality aspects are being assigned "blame" for particular actions that you regret. As you'll see if you decide to rent "Raising Cain," this gives the other personalities carte blanche to commit atrocities because they can just blame it on the whimpering child huddling in the corner. But I don't want to spoil the movie.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:October 10th, 2005 07:36 pm (UTC)
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Ah, thanks for the no spoilers :)

One thing that all my facets seem to insist on is personal responsibility. They're annoying about taking the blame when it really is their fault. Consider it a bit of "trickle down economics" of the soul. . . I'm very concerned with it, and so all the smaller, less well-to do personalities are rich with personal responsibility, too.

I myself, as the dominant personality, can point to them and say, "Yeah, the Magician did that of his own will. What a wanker." Yet when I'm saying that, I do still realize that I'm actually pointing at myself. And I imagine that's an important distinction between being sane and needing a straightjacket.
[User Picture]
From:singingwren
Date:October 10th, 2005 10:01 pm (UTC)
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If you want to see how difficult it is to override the environmental factors, go into a church and try to curse.

*giggles* I seem to remember you doing this right off the bat, actually. And me for some reason bringing up Queen of the Damned, which I also got elbowed for. Whoops, damn amoral heathens. Good thing we were talking quietly.

We did just fine after the initial confusion, though, and what you say held true. Once I had determined that I was Christian and there to pay homage to God, cursing do not cross my mind. It would have been Wrong. I was very muchly so comfortable settling into the religious environment, or at least I was up until I was suddenly thrown into an alarming social gathering in the middle of service that involved frantically shaking everybody's hand and wondering what was going on. I was definitely riding a new horse down an icy hill there, hahaha. Hopefully, whenever we get our asses... er, buttocks to Mass, I will be better prepared. :P
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:October 10th, 2005 10:19 pm (UTC)
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I did manage to do it in church. Of course, I overrode that by short-circuiting the mental pathways that would usually stop that. Namely, I no longer consider "damn" a curse-word.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 10th, 2005 10:28 pm (UTC)
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Hmm, that's fun! I do the same thing.

Amusingly, a group of people I knew once got into a discussion about me cussing, because one of them had been surprised to hear me say something (I think it was "bitch.") Anyway, they said that they had never heard me cuss before, to which the others pretty much laughed in their face. Somebody said that I used the word "damn" (and "thrice-damned") all the time, and upon reflection everybody agreed upon this. They told whoever had been shocked to hear me cuss that they probably just hadn't noticed because i use it so naturally.

The entertaining verdict on "damn":
"When Anna says it, it's not cussing."

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