me naked
spraying flowers everywhere.
9/16/00, just barely

Once, my first girlfriend and I were having sex, and I could see colors behind my eyes, flashing waves, ocean waves rising over me of green and blue and yellow and fiery sunset flowing watercolors flowing into each other.

I described these as they came, to communicate the wonderful things she was doing to me, and got in trouble for not paying attention.

Once, Morgan and I were making out on the sofa, and I saw colors again, flowers, a hill full of flowers, lobelia blue and cardinal red and a burst of yellow and purple irises at the center. I knew he'd understand. I gasped out what I was seeing. He was delighted, he was so excited that I shared. He has so much inside him. He knew what I meant. And he saw me as purple and yellow too.

So he wants me to talk about my inner worlds? I have no inner worlds. A dichotomy: I know I would have must have so much inside me, because I know myself and I know - it just adds up, it must all come from somewhere. I would not NOT have an entire world going on in there. But I have never been able to face it.

When I was in high school, through some combination of intense sustained pressure and my parents' good liberalism, I was allowed to take witchcraft classes. They were being held through an exploratory extension of UCDavis, along with an assortment of equally eclectic courses taught by random community folks. These particular classes were taught by Heather Ash Mackenzie-Gaudet, a perfectly wonderful Witch who filled her own living room with incense and candles and tea, and immersed us in everything from moon rituals to tarot readings to chakra work. We did several guided meditations, with drumbeat and all. But I could never go deep enough to just receive images, or at least I thought I couldn't. I could release conscious control enough to see random things upon command, but some part of me was still watching and analyzing and trying to make sure everything happened the way it was supposed to and trying to record it as it went - with a running monologue on what was happening as it might be described to someone else. DAMNED annoying.

I am afraid to let go of this final control because I am afraid I won't be able to. And so, in a neat stroke of self-fulfilling fear, I can't. And so it is with anywhere else I might go.

this is not a tree i drew, i need to scan
mine
in.
I deeply want to see inside myself. I know there is something there. And Morgan has this great site he asked me to write something for.... So I thought that maybe sexual stimulation was a good key. I broke out the vibrator the other night and tried it, focusing just a little bit on the images I'd seen before.

It worked a bit. I can see that the hill of flowers is a hill; I think I saw the ocean from the top. It is not very tall; it is a slope of wildflowers and grass. Most exciting to me are the bricks. I've always loved bricks and felt - okay - practically sexual affinity with them. With all sorts of other earth elements too, wood and stone and clay, round clay pots and carved wooden bowls, trees, always trees. But the library where I worked for five years was built of bricks, so I had ample time to explore that warm deep energy I felt from them and wonder about feeling so connected to a damn rectangle cube-y shape.

My gosh. What would a tree inside me be like?!

Eew, that sounded WAY more sexual than I meant. Focus, focus. So I could see bricks at the edge of a building. But whether it was a wall, a house, or just the foundation, I don't know. I could only see things in brief bursts before my brain would click in and I would have to worry that I might make things up.

....

i can't really pick a font, here.

So then today I was thinking about this and wondering. What if I had a whole world in there - what if there were people in it - and if there were people in it, could they come out? Now I am disconnecting. Soul Coughing is playing and I don't know what's happening to me. I think my webpage needs a redesign.

Oh, Morgan, I thought I only had a few paragraphs for you!

If - you know? If they could - that would feel really interesting, I bet.... Not to mention doing all kinds of fascinating things to the theories about multiples, switching, inner worlds, people inside.... fascinating, fascinating? it's not a damn petri dish!

And then as I wrote this, I was thinking, you know, I often totally retreat during sex, not from the sensation but from everything else about the outside world, stop reacting, and like... it's kind of like I go deep within but keep my eyes closed. That's near where I am when I see colors and pretty things and stuff inside, except that that's deeper, it's like using sex as a meditative tool but not doing visualization? That's as good as I can explain it right now.

Maybe with more practice I can stay longer. I can see some fun possibilities anyway ;-) ("no, no, you have to fuck me, it's in the name of truth and exploration! honestly! i don't even like it!")

twinkly fuzzy
yellow butterfly image. still very vague.
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 12:53:37 -0700
From: Aidan Nuccitelli
To: inner@shiveringnaked.org Subject: ~i am a butterfly~

ok, i dunno. so last night, i was talking to aeryn (to summarize, she came back and was still convinced everyone hated her and then i fed her candy and it was ok.) and ok i was trying to go to bed and i was sitting on my bed in the dark talking to her and part of my brain was thinking about my inner world stuff and part of it was talking to her and then i remembered how i'm a butterfly, and and... i mean how i get this strong mental image of unfurling yellow butterfly wings of me... and then i thought "that's why i only see the field of flowers and i barely see any of the edges of the house!! and things are in flickers! i don't care about the house cause i'm a butterfly!" and and i flew up and saw more of it and it has pointy things on top! and there is green fields down THAT way ::points down to the right past the house::
and then i was like "but i don't just see this when i close my eyes, i have to look with the eyes inside my head, so it's not real and i'm making it up."
then i decided i wasn't going to think about it anymore if i was just going to go THERE with it!

spooky
twilighty blue flowers
Anyway. Aeryn made a fort!! and the other night, I got home and she was hanging out in it and I went in and cuddled with her. And I found that after cuddling with her for a really long time, I could pay attention to the little things ... let me backtrack a moment....

The way I generally manage to see inside is to sort of... unfocus my inner eyes, whether my physical eyes are open or not, and question what I'd be seeing right now if I were seeing something. That sounds odd. When I'm engaged in some kind of physical activity, I can often see sensations as different colors by paying attention in the right way; this seems to be the same thing, except that instead of "looking" at colors i feel on my skin, I'm looking at ... what a butterfly sees.

And I can see little bits of things, and concentrate on them to get more.

I saw these really pretty flowers that grew as rows on horizontal stems. They were a bright lavender, with darker purple labial blobs underneath that had traces of yellow. (what, haven't you ever seen those little flowers that look like vulvas?) Then I saw them from above; at first I thought it was just a long bar of lavendar and then I realized there were wavy breaks in it and it was a bunch of flowers. Then I saw a huge shiny green leaf (the tall pointy shape of iris leaves, but shiny and darker and with more greens in it, sort of lighter green on the left edge) that was between me and some light blue flowers. they looked like bluebells and they had little yellow streaks inside too.

The next thing I got was a flash of a garden gate that had viney flowers growing all over it. And there were little white things that were probably a fence. I saw other flowers there. It was full of plants and gardeny things. I think time was passing faster there than out here because I saw a blue flower and it got really dark and it was hard to see it. Then i tried to find something I could see and I found a dark green leaf but then it went black too. I think night must have fallen.

a pretty garden gate
That's the impartial re-telling. What I didn't say was that the garden gate thing really disturbs me. I wasn't expecting any... to make an assumption... *human* buildings. Buildings imply the presence of people. I thought about "what if there are people, that would be neat, there is so much I could experiment with," but I guess on some level I REALLY believed that it would never happen. Of course there are also other explanations, depending on what assumptions I make about where it all comes from. There's the "gateway to another world" idea, the "inner landscape" idea, and some others... including the fucked-up old "your mind created this to use in some way and it all represents stuff" idea.

Of course, I didn't see a house with the garden. But it's like there are things that my butterfly eyes see and then there are things that my brain tells me are around them. A little probably-white house.

I had an idea last night - a couple of working hypotheses:

    (1) maybe singletons, when we go inside, see stuff from the point of view of... stuff that can't interact with people and change the world and stuff? This is based on a highly meaningful statistical sampling of One.
    (2) Maybe it's my house. I'm not sure what I mean by that.
    (3) I forget what my other thoughts were :)
Look, I found my spit and image while looking for good flower shots!
Feb. 6, 2002

Gods, I'd forgotten about the butterfly. It's been, like, over a year here. More like a year and a half. We've totally come out as multiple since then, so someone else will just have to deal with "do singletons have inner/other worlds?" Personally I don't see why not. But anyway. Fun to study.

Hm.

Our setup seems to be that er... let's see. We have like three people (Adam, Dani, and Derek) who sort of identify as "fronters," in the sense that one of them is usually out, except that many of the people in our system don't put much stock in that term. There are a lot of times when kids are out just as much as the fronters, sometimes without the fronts even noticing. And who needs that kind of label, anyway. I think Dani puts more stock in it, which makes some sense since the people who are out front the most in a lot of systems also tend to be the people who are invested in that kind of hierarchy and those terms. I'm losing my train of thought here. Anyway the point is that the kids especially almost always have one foot inside, and know a lot more than we do about it because of that. Because (at least this is the conventional wisdom) we have to be invested in making the outside life work and concentrating on this stuff. More importantly (i think) they have fewer ideas and inhibitions about what is "possible" and "real," and so they find it easier to connect to that stuff. I suppose in a way it's like Peter Pan, in that grownups lose the ability to fly and go away with Peter even if they know that he is real and he visits them. Which also makes sense in a way because Lizbeth, for one, adores that book (and musical) and determined never to grow up - maintaining a firm age 8 for just about ever.

What we've found out recently - what, in fact, Lizbeth semi-patiently explained the other night - is that our knowledge of inside stuff works... kind of like water wearing something away. Like, the more drips of some knowledge we get about someone, the easier it is for more knowledge to come, and at some point a tiny dam bursts and the river is just *there* and the knowledge about them just exists for everyone. Although I think I'm exaggerating about that - I think it's more common that some one person will discover all this information about someone or something else in here, and write it down, and it will then be read and discovered by others. In situations where the knowledge is just *there* for lots of people all at once, it's more often because someone discovered it and was so struck by what they'd learned that they shouted it from the metaphorical rooftops and harped on it for fucking days on end. But the end lesson of what Lizbeth mentioned was the same, which is that if we gather a certain amount of information about someone or something, it's like we break down some wall that prevents her from telling us anything about them. We've known this wall is there, of course, and we know it's pretty much just erected (heh) from people's ... I don't know how to describe it. It's the net effect of years of socialization teaching us that certain things are real and okay and certain things are not, with the result being that we can't let ourselves know about stuff inside. I suppose there's also sort of a fear that if we let go of these walls and let them fall, we'll lose control over how much we're out front and stuff. It feels sort of like climbing down a steepish hillside, clinging to branches and stuff so that we won't fall. It's like we only want to tiptoe down things that we're sure of, like we can't just let go and slide down the hill and be inside or be knowing things or whatever.

It's also important to mention that because of walls like that, when people in here come out they often don't have any memory of what they were doing inside. Maybe the kids don't have that problem as much, but like Lizbeth has talked about Rose and Adam playing with her here and there, in different ways, and when they come out their memories and minds are totally taken up with immediate solid-outside-world stuff, so that if you asked them what they had just been doing they wouldn't know. Kind of like if there was a long tunnel between our worlds and they'd forgotten what happened before the long walk here. So maybe there is - who knows.

Lizbeth and Dani also just wrote a story about this journey. Which was extra-useful in that "hey you wrote this down for other people way." Like, I knew about Adam reading _The Secret Garden_ over Lizbeth's shoulder (his favorite book, and one of her favorite books) and being able to see her mental image of secret gardens she wanted to grow or was growing or was playing in inside. Which is referenced at the end of their story there. But I didn't get that we could do this without reading books together, and now I have a better idea of how it all works and how I can do it too.

Also, Dani has been getting really interesting stuff in trying to see what happens inside. This is like hir pet project, I think. Like for example, ze was driving Scott from Piedmont to the city and was thinking something about how it felt like ze was wearing a sweater. Or thought something about hir sweater and realized ze wasn't wearing one, but the feeling persisted. And ze sort of looked down at hirself with hir inner eye and realized ze was wearing a maroon sweater (with blue in it? but not like the wool sweater we own) and looked around some more and saw a garden and was sitting on a garden bench and stuff. Wearing a long full black skirt and stuff, with typical Dani-esque fashion choices. Shudder. ;) Not that I'm any better. Dani's also been getting similar images in this thing that Scott has them do - whenever Connor's over, we make dinner and have a sit-down dinner as a family, and Scott has them all say grace by holding hands and closing their eyes and thinking about what they're thankful for. And we always find that it's curiously recentering and helpful and Dani often gets images of plants and groves of things inside, which is really cool. Grounding, or whatever. And stuff.

Also, there was some other whole thing. Crap, now I forget. Oh yeah - the other night ze looked inside upon going to bed and was lying in this very wide bunk bed (full size, probably, wide for a bunk bed not super crazy wide) and lizbeth was snuggled up under hir arm on the left, and abigail was lying on the right, asleep, with birrd asleep in the middle of the top bunk. And it was really cool. To feel connected like that, and loved and loving, and to be able to see that much. Progress is being made, yanno?

- derek and precisegirl