morethanthese: (cecil)
2014-04-25 01:17 pm

Love

You know what?

I was thinking about some things and I realized that I've assimilated someone I know into my concept of "people who are associated with me". That is, the circle of people I've come to view as parts of myself, or as being "mine", or in some other way connected to me in a way that allows my lack of empathy and narcissistic emotions to feel for them.

And you know what else?

It occurred to me that this might mean that I love that person. There's very little logical reason for me to love them (we don't talk very much, we don't share any common interests of which I'm aware, we aren't close) but nevertheless, I could possibly qualify my feelings towards them as love.

And you know what else?

Since literally the only thing keeping me from loving them is the fact that I have not qualified my feelings as love - that is, I simply haven't said I love them - then maybe love is just saying you feel a certain way. Maybe it's not how you feel. Maybe it's just how you choose to view and describe the way you feel. So in theory, I could choose to describe my feelings towards literally everyone as love. If I called it love, and if I chose to view it as love, who's to keep me from saying that it really is love?

Maybe I just figured out something.
morethanthese: (Default)
2014-01-01 03:00 pm

New Years and general not-pleasantness

Hello. It's 2014 now. 2013 was a total sod, so I'm glad that 2014 is happening now. I started 2014 by watching "The Time of the Doctor" (the Doctor Who episode where Eleven regenerates - I hadn't seen it yet, hadn't had the chance) and I think the Doctor's views towards regenerating were pretty good for me to know. He said it was okay to become a new person, because that's how life is, as long as you don't forget who you were in the past. Maybe this year I'll become a new person. I'll become someone who's not a whiny self-pitying sod with a god complex and a co-dependent need to identify with whatever group of person is easiest for me to be part of. That would be nice.

Now, today started out brilliant (I drank three wineglasses full of tea, did a fiction submission, watched Doctor Who with my Aunt Dee-Dee, Uncle Gary, and Becky - my sister and I spent the night at our aunt and uncle's on New Years Eve - I ate a waffle with whipped cream for lunch), and then I...well, I went home to talk to my dad about things (namely how I was going to my grandparents' house today to spend the night - I'd had his permission). I didn't make him angry per se, but I did do something that got an irritated reaction from him and he's not listening to things that my sister and aunt are saying, by which I mean he's misinterpreting them through not properly hearing or comprehending some things they're saying. It's not a big deal (well, not to me, because I'm not at my house right now) but it is business as usual for me, and I don't like that this is business as usual, especially since, for most of the end of December, it wasn't business as usual and I just wish it weren't business as usual.

I'm at my grandparents' house and I'm going to sleep here and I'm just avoiding things now.

I had a conversation with my aunt Suzanne wherein she suggested that I might be a miracle - that is, my very existence might be a miracle, much like, say, in Doctor Who, some of the characters' very existences are time paradoxes - because I'm able to do a lot of things that I simply shouldn't be able to do. (I pick up skills and become good at them in a ridiculously short amount of time, I can do most of my school by getting by on BS skills, I do a number of disordered behaviors that I should have repercussions for but don't). I didn't feel comfortable with that because 1. I don't believe legit God-given miracles are very common and not lengthy enough events to cover the lifetime - no, the existence - of another person, and 2. the only person whose existence I believe was a literal miracle was Jesus Christ, and...well, I do not think it is my place to be put on a comparable level to that of the savior of mankind and all.

It's a real shame I had to refute the idea that my existence is a miracle (as in, a literal one, not a figurative one - not like how Gamzee calls things miracles or anything). I refuted it on basis of the fact that I don't think real miracles work like that. It would be really nice to let someone think I am a literal miracle, but you can't think things based on how nice they seem on a metaphorical level. You can't treat metaphors like they're reality.

No one had ever called me a miracle before and now I'm sad I had to explain to her that I wasn't.

I apologize for how rambly this thing was. Due to anxiety due to the thing with my father, I took one of my anti-anxiety pills, and they calm me down but they make my head go all funny, and yeah.
morethanthese: (Default)
2013-12-20 09:27 pm

Moments of self-awareness

I've been having these really bizarre moments of self-awareness lately. And it's not pleasant self-awareness. It's the sort of thing where you realize that you exist and everything you're doing and have done have happened to an actual person and that person is you and everything gets existential for a bit and you can't quite get over it for a while.

The first incident was on Tuesday. It was night, and I was at my grandparents' house like I usually am on Tuesday nights. My grandparents were asleep, and I went to the bathroom and noticed myself in the mirror. Maybe it's because they have a lot of mirrors in their bathrooms so I saw myself reflected more times there than I'd see myself reflected in most bathrooms, but I saw myself in the mirror and thought, "This is me. This is the body I pilot. I am looking at a human's body, and it is my own. It is the one associated with me. This is me. I see actually me in the mirror." And it was one of those moments and I had to leave the room and just sort of calm down for a bit.

The second incident was on Wednesday. I was in a bathroom again and I saw myself in a mirror again, and the same thing happened. Not quite as intensely, but it happened.

The third incident was on Thursday. I was trying to wake up my Arthur Shappey facet, because we were finally going to do a "cookie party" at my aunt and uncle's house that I had promised Arthur we'd do (he likes Christmas and I asked him if he wanted to do "Christmas stuff" with me, and this was the most appealing "Christmas thing"). He was sort of there but not entirely, and I wanted him to be there to enjoy it, but it just wasn't working. And then I realized how weird it is I have people in my head and how they're not really associated with my body, they're associated with my mind. And it was just so weird and I realized the surreality and weird layer of existence associated with them.

There was a bit more about Thursday than just that, though. It was also on Thursday that I realized, after two days of writing-related difficulty, that my characters didn't feel real to me and never quite had. There's a certain extent to which I'm willing to stretch my definition of "reality". I accept the world around me as real in the sense of physical reality. I accept the things in my head, like my facets, as reality in my head - you might call it head-reality. I accept religious things like God and angels as real in not just a physical sense (in that they are things that exist not just in my head) but also in a surpassingly-physical sense - like a super-reality, one might say. I accept stories and fiction as reality in their own contexts - not like I actually think things like A Wrinkle in Time or The Great Gatsby or Doctor Who happened with real people, but I accept them as having a sort of continuity that makes them "real" in their own contexts. There's different kinds of real.

Anyway, I'd been having trouble with my writing. I didn't feel motivated to write, and I didn't care about the story. I kept productive during those two days by writing some details about one character's backstory (or rather, things he did before the story's start) that would help me further the story's point if they actually appeared in the story, but I don't think I'm going to be able to conveniently work them into the story. I don't think that's what made me come to my realization, but I did realize that I hadn't been able to see my characters as real. I was invested in them and their relationships, but I didn't feel like they were real. I didn't believe in them. And as a writer, you have to believe in your characters and you have to think they're real on some level. It just wasn't working for me.

I told all my grandpa about this today while I was hanging out with him. He asked me how I was going to deal with it. I thought about it for a moment and said, "I'm going to stay away from mirrors." He laughed. I went on.

"I think I'm going to dissociate for a bit," I said. "I live in pretty much a constant state of dissociation - just doing things and not really thinking that it's me who's doing them. Just doing them. I think the reason other people don't think about these things like I do is because they're busy doing their own lives and not thinking about the fact that they're the ones doing them, that they're actually them, doing things in their bodies, in this reality. So I'm going to distance myself from the fact that I exist and just think about other stuff. Which is kind of the exact opposite of my problem. It's kind of ironic."

(My grandpa thought this was all quite interesting, and he said something to the effect that this is why he likes talking to me. We can get curiously philosophical together.)

That's been my experience with realizing that I'm real and that I exist and I pilot a body in the physical world and weird stuff like that. Interesting stuff to think about, as long as you don't have to think about it for too long.
morethanthese: (Default)
2013-12-02 12:04 pm

OFF

I said I would write an entry about the game OFF and the effect it had on me. Here's the entry.

Before I start talking about the effect OFF had on me, though, I think it would be good to explain what OFF even is, because some people don't know what it is. Warning: if you intend to play the game, I would suggest not reading past the first few paragraphs or perhaps not even reading this at all, because it contains major spoilers.

It's a French computer game (translated into English, don't worry), made in RPG maker and created by a chap operating under the name of Mortis Ghost. In the game, you control a figure known as the Batter, so-called because he resembles a baseball player and uses a baseball bat as a weapon. The first person you encounter is a Cheshire Cat-like figure prone to using big words. He's called the Judge, and he starts off guiding you through the world of the game. Interestingly, he is aware that the Batter is only a character who's being operated by someone he calls the Puppeteer. The Puppeteer is you, the player, and this fact ends up having plot/symbolic significance as the game goes on.

Anyhow, the Batter has a mission: to purify the Zones. (The "Zones" are the different parts of the world of this game.) At first we think he just means he wants to save the world from the spectres that haunt it, but as we go on, we find out that, to him, "purification" means death. We never quite find out what's so "pure" about killing people (and, indeed, the whole world, because his actions result in pretty much the death of everyone and everything in the Zones), but the Batter never wavers in his convictions, and we play on. As we go further on, we find ourselves doing increasingly morally ambiguous things, like killing the Guardian of Zone 3, whose death, unlike that of the Guardians of the previous two Zones, does not feel like the death of a Not Very Nice Person or a mercy kill. It's at that point that a lot of people question whether or not they were doing the right thing by helping the Batter in his quest, and after that point, you get to explore the "purified" Zones, and...well, it's not very pleasant. Everything is white and dead, and everyone is gone (except for one surviving non-player-character, whose presence just makes it even more creepy).

As you play on, you end up going to "the Room" (a place that's even more surrealistic and creepy than anything preceding it and where you get some information that may serve as plot details...or, then again, maybe not). While there, you kill someone who doesn't even fight back (with that someone being a child), and this tends to be seen as the Batter's moral event horizon for those who don't think the results of his actions towards the Zones qualified as such. When you reach the end of the game, you're about to flip a switch that results in the total cessation of everything in the game's reality. There are two endings at this point, and I'm not going to spoil what they're like, but the player gets to choose, and there's one in which the Batter wins.

Here's why this game had such a profound effect on me. When I started off playing it, I believed in the Batter and his quest. I'm something of a Lawful Good (or at least, I try to be) and characters who have quests and goals that result in good effects (or at least effects that sound good, like "purification") really really appeal to me, because that's how I would like to be able to see myself. I also hold the belief that some things that might seem morally dubious might be acceptable depending on the results. To my worldview, the highest moral goal is that of helping people, and if an action involves or results in helping people, and the harm/negative effect caused by that action is not greater than the positive effect, then that thing should be done. That's why I didn't experience any sort of moral qualms about doing the things I did while playing as the Batter. All of it was justifiable to my worldview. It wasn't until I saw the "purified" Zones that I began to think that the harm I caused outweighed the good (there wasn't any good in the end, really), and it wasn't until I killed the child that I began to think that my actions were really incorrect and that the things I did maybe weren't all justifiable.

This contrasts heavily with the experience reported by most people who play OFF. They say that, at some point, they realize that what the Batter is doing is wrong, but they play on for whatever reason. They know that they, as the Puppeteer, are responsible for some pretty bad things, but they don't change their behavior, though they do feel remorse. I didn't have that experience. I was like the Batter himself. I projected my own worldview onto the character, and I realized that the actions undertaken by this bastard were actions I considered acceptable, at least in their context. (To be honest, there are some pretty bad things - I don't want to say what they are - that I think might be the right thing to do, under certain circumstances, and the reason I wouldn't do them is because I don't think it's my place, which implies that it might be the place of other people to do them.)

If I'm going to be perfectly honest, I felt both guilty and betrayed by the end of the game. Had I been looking at the game critically, I probably should have worried about the Batter's quest of "purification" from the start, but I identified and related to the character so much that I believed in him. I believed in the Batter. Even 'til the end, I believed in him, and when he started doing truly awful things, I felt betrayed. Wouldn't you feel betrayed if you had been following and relating to and believing in someone and they turned out to be a monster at heart? That was my experience in regards to the Batter in OFF.

This made me realize that there are some seriously wrong things with my worldview. Even though I still think there's little wrong with my actual ideas of right and wrong (i.e. morality), there are problems in regards to how I think people should enact right and wrong (i.e. ethics). When people ask me the difference between morality and ethics, I tell them that morality is right and wrong and ethics is what you do with it. And...well, if my experience with OFF is any indicator, some of my ethics are seriously messed up. As I was trying to correct this part of my worldview, I realized that some other parts of my worldview are seriously messed up as well. One of my problems is a need to feel superior to people. Like the Batter, I believe that I am "pure" (well, I never used that term self-referentially, but I do believe I am inherently better than many other people because of my religion and my interest in morality and helping people). My belief that I am "better" makes me think that my judgment is inherently better than some other people's, that my heart is always in the right place, and that I am superior. In trying to correct that train of thought, I realized that I feel a need to be "better" than other people because I don't think I can be "good" without being "better". (It has something to do with my belief that, as soon as you describe something, you imply that there is an ideal by which you are judging it, and you can compare it to other things and say that some are closer to or further from the ideal; "more" or "less", "better" or "worse", etc. I might write an entry about this idea later.)

That's what I got out of the game OFF. When I got into the fandom surrounding OFF, well...that was rather a different thing. The OFF fandom, in case you didn't know, is flipping insane. (This contributed to my formation of a theory about fandoms and why some are crazier than others, and I will probably write an entry about that, too.) Sometimes it's a crummy, stupid insanity, and sometimes it's a funny, awesome insanity, and sometimes it's just a "WTF" insanity. I made a text post on Tumblr about it, a text post that became somewhat popular. It read, "I really like OFF. I also really like the OFF fandom. These are two totally different things, but I like both of them." The people who reblogged and liked it were undoubtedly all OFF fans, so the fandom acknowledges how crazy they are. I wonder if it's because they all played a game that made them have deep thoughts and realize important things, and in trying to deal with it, they all sort of went crazy and decided to conform to the opposite of what the game really is.

But yeah, that's what happened with me when I played OFF. I had an experience almost completely opposite to the experience most people had, I realized a bunch of awful things about myself, and I realized I had to change them. Also, I found a bunch of crazy and silly people on Tumblr and I found a fandom to partake in, and that's going pretty well so far. The experience wasn't all bad. Not in the least.