On The Doll

(Epistemic status:  Part of the Archetypal Filter series, actual pragmatic thing I am doing with my life, slight dissociative risk herein, possibly NSFW I kind of filter sexual submission this way)

The Doll is an interesting archetype because it is a very natural archetype to me, formed by tendencies I’ve noticed in myself that I wish to cultivate in certain mental states.  It is also a constructed archetype, because the concept of The Doll is very, very important to me and it is a concept I want to develop and mature.  It is also intrinsically artificial; the concept of Craft imparts it conscious adjustment.  The utility function of The Doll is to please her owner.  More precisely, to be perfect for her owner.  In a non D/s context, it would be the archetype that reflects the desires of others, to be perfect for their interaction style.  I have not used it frequently in non-D/s contexts but hypothetically it is a good socially defensive archetype.

The Doll is a little different from the other archetypes because I have a very discrete model of virtues The Doll is supposed to uphold;  I feel like this model may actually be helpful in elaborating on the other archetypes in a more concrete fashion.  The virtues of The Doll are stillness, quietness, craft, perfection (or beauty), emptiness, and agentlessness.  There are other important concepts, but those felt the most salient.

The concept of stillness is simple; it is peace and predictability.  A doll generally shouldn’t move but that’s a bit impractical when using the concept as a lens for approaching the world when you’re not an object, so I have a concept of stillness while moving that largely boils down to not being sudden.  Being deliberate, slow, and predictable.  In some ways, those around the doll should feel as if the movement is initiated by them, a response they caused.  Stillness is also stillness of mind, the ability to be peaceful and detached from one’s surroundings.  It’s almost a stoicness lent to the doll by giving up control, accepting things as they are.

The concept of quietness is also roughly what it sounds like but there is depth to it beyond just being seen and not heard.  Quietness, like stillness, reflects less absolute silence (though that’s nice too), and more the sensation of responses being provoked and controlled by your interaction partner.  You are not a cause in yourself, they are.  On another level, quietness is subordinating communication of the self to being the adornment of another.  Whether you are explicitly an adornment of an owner or just a conversational adornment for someone to talk with to clarify their own thoughts, quietness is a lowering of self communicative priority.  

The concept of perfection/beauty is being pretty.  Not generically, conventionally pretty, being pretty for a specific person.  This is something that is much harder to apply outside of D/s but within D/s, The Doll strives to be perfectly attractive to her owner.  The Doll has no opinion on her own beauty, it is purely the aesthetic preferences of the owner that matter and The Doll feels best when it conforms to that standard as much as physically and mentally possible.

The concept of emptiness is the most useful outside of D/s.  It is the idea that you are a vessel, a mirror.  This goes hand in hand with quietness but to a stronger degree.  As opposed to not expressing the self, this is not allowing the self.  It is letting go of desires; The Doll is not without desire, The Doll is just without desire not imprinted on her by others.  Social friction generally fades when you do not have a competitive stance, you just aren’t strictly moving forward your own goals; The Doll archetype makes the goals of others a reward in itself.

The concept of craft is one of the more difficult to explain aspects of The Doll.  It is the idea that The Doll is the manifestation of the will of another.  The Doll is a reflection of the work that has been invested in it.  Right now, The Doll reflects my own ideas of what makes a good doll because it is my archetype; should I have a primary partner interested in devoting the work to crafting The Doll, it will be different and much more reflective of their tastes.  Another strong component of craft is intention and artificiality.  The Doll is not supposed to seem natural or real, The Doll should seem artificial.  So utterly controlled that the traits could not have been developed organically.  Seamlessness is attractive on some level but perfection, craft, and predictability are more important to being a Doll. 

The concept of agentlessness is what ties all this together.  The Doll intrinsically is an archetype of suborning will to others.  The Doll is crafted by an owner, The Doll is aesthetically directed by an owner, The Doll is quiet and still, reactive, not active.  The Doll is empty and detached from self desire.  I feel at the extremes, The Doll centers her moral locus around her owner as opposed to any metaethical concept.  Agentlessness is the core principle of The Doll.

Overall, these are pretty dangerous concepts to slip into on a regular basis, which is why regulating them to an archetype is protective of the ego and ambition.  They are, however, useful concepts to be able to explore safely, at least for me.  In a way, it’s creating a peaceful garden, mentally, where I can cede control while focusing on being extremely good at ceding control.  It’s a processing trap so that I can let myself slip under.  I think it would be helpful to practice being The Doll in less sexualized contexts, using a milder form of detachment from desire to be more helpful to others; the drawback is that The Doll is not an active role and not the kind of role that reads desires and fulfills them.  

Discussion:  I know several of my followers are sexually submissive; what is your concept of submission?  How do you express devotion? 

For those who would rather not engage the D/s aspects, do you think being a vessel is intrinsically selfish or selfless?  You’re largely giving up your contributions to a conversational or activity flow but providing absolute control from another in exchange.  Are there other ideas that these concepts remind you of?

On The Professional

(Epistemic status:  Part of the Archetypal Filter series, actual pragmatic thing I am doing with my life, slight dissociative risk herein, boring as fuck I am so sorry)

With archetypes, some come naturally to a given person.  Others have to be constructed in response to social stress.  The Professional is an archetype I have had to construct and still do not fully inhabit well.  The concept is reservation, politeness, professional distance without being cold, and most importantly getting a high from doing a job competently within a system (working outside the system actually feels Wrong in this archetype, even if the job gets done, because it’s not replicable without increased risk.)

To break these factors down, reservation is the concept of muting my natural expressiveness to socially acceptable levels.  This is surprisingly hard, but more or less vital, especially given the paradigm I work in is not always the most pleasant to me in terms of my intuitions on how well it serves our clients.  This might be an issue of not being particularly good at big picture thinking.
Politeness is in the same vein as reservedness; in other contexts I usually am a lot more present and big and sparkly.  This is not really a thing I can do at work.

This part is an analytical sense of who knows who and says what and basically trying to avoid saying things that set these connections aimed at oneself.  The difficult part is that politeness is both a wall and also a gate.  You have to let people in but you have to do it carefully; it’s a middle ground concept.  I’m slightly better at the walling than the gating appropriately.

Professional distance is more applicable to clients.  Clients do not want to feel rushed or as if they are talking to a task focused robot but they also don’t want to, like, actually hear about your life most of the time.  There’s a lot of scripting here but it’s much higher variance than most scripting I’m used to.  I’m pretty damn good at minimal encouragers but after a certain point, people can tell and that kind of reverses all the rapport you built.  Professional distance is annoying because I like caring.

This last bit is probably the highest utility function of The Professional.  Each of my archetypes has a reward function, a goal that will light up those dopamine receptors when achieved.  The Seeker gets this from novel experience; The Professional gets this from a job well done within the system.  It’s actually amazing how important working on the systematic level is to this archetype.  This wasn’t an intentional construct but I think it’s a fairly logical one.  This reward function is based off a function I think most people have, the satisfaction of a job well done.  I intentionally intensify it to make The Professional at least somewhat worthwhile to slip into.  

Overall, The Professional is not a great archetype for me but it’s a useful archetype.  It beats the alternatives of trying to approach my role with my other archetypes; The Analyst might be all right, except the social aspects of the office overwhelm that archetype and cause anxiety.  

Discussion:  What does The Professional look like for you in your work?  What would you add to the construct of The Professional to enhance productivity and work outcomes?  How different does an example of a “constructed” archetype feel from a “natural” archetype?

On The Seeker

(Epistemic status:  Part of the Archetypal Filter series, actual pragmatic thing I am doing with my life, slight dissociative risk)

In the archetypal filter system, there is a filter I really revel in called The Seeker.  This state actually splits off from a lot of the more extroversion positive things The Oracle state was bringing me before I developed my intuitions here further.  The basic concept of The Seeker is I max extroversion, novelty seeking, impulsivity, and general willingness to spend weirdness points.  I don’t exactly look for insight, intuition, or Right Things, I just try to have fun and keep life novel and interesting.

The Seeker is good at benign script breaking and largely the filter I use when I ask one of my favorite questions, “What is the most bizarre thing that has happened to
you in the last few days?”  It primes me to really, really pay attention to the other person and what they’re saying and ask more and more questions.  It is a high perception filter that prioritizes experience to a possibly unhealthy degree.  It is The Seeker that can be
accosted by a stranger and proceed to think that further engagement
would be delightful.

The point of The Seeker, if it wasn’t obvious, is to experience and learn.  To play.  The Seeker is the filter that allows TRANSCENDENT JOY.  The Seeker is the filter that allows
qualialgia.  Overall, The Seeker is the filter where I can accept my emotions are big and full and regardless of what they are, accept them. I tend to spend a lot of my free time with The Seeker filter because it’s extremely adaptive to social situations and generally being a more mindful, perceptive person.  It feels like a very important key to self
discovery and self improvement.

The drawbacks of The Seeker is I can get overwhelmed at times in ways that aren’t terribly great to experience.  The Seeker is also kind of impulsive and possibly reckless
in ways that are inconsiderate to other people; the difference between The Seeker and The Demon Queen here is that The Seeker is not intentionally selfish, it’s just a natural result of an experience optimizing viewpoint.   The Seeker is extremely unrestrained and blunt, which is unacceptable in more delicate social situations.  The Seeker is also very much at a manipulative disadvantage; in this filter I want to think the best motives of everyone because the world is a wonderful place.

Overall, The Seeker is a very pleasant headspace but somewhat lower in self preservation than may be wise.  I am curious, does anyone identify with The Seeker strongly?  How impacted are you by the disadvantages compared to the advantages?  If you don’t identify with The Seeker, does this sort of person seem attractive/interesting or
just really annoying?

On The Filter System, Archetypal Lenses, and Narrative

(Epistemic Status:  Original hack always steal.  Actually in active use by me with concrete positive outcomes.  Possible dissociative risk so please think before applying this.)

A couple months ago, April I want to say, I came across an extremely compelling idea.  This idea was the one of narrative.  The idea that you tell a story in the way you look, the way you approach situations, the way you interact with the world, and that controlling this narrative is important to attractiveness.  I decided this probably generalizes to social situations and started considering things this way.  For awhile, it was a fuzzy idea that mostly made me feel good but then I had a few situations come up, particularly at work, where I had to change my narrative or my life would become more uncomfortable.  Once I internalized that notion and applied it, it felt like a little progress was made.  It’s still tough but I’m starting to really see concrete utility.  I would normally describe the situation in more detail but it might be too personally identifying.  An interesting side effect of considering my role and perceptions in a narrative setting was the archetypal filter system.

So, after the explicit success of narratives, combined with the stronger engagement with the version of myself that is the Oracle state, I started creating other roles.  I created The Seeker to optimize for novel experiences, a progression from my basic idea for a priestess of novelty.  I created The Demon Queen when I realized I could be very dark triad at times, and this could be useful.  I created The Professional to limit the weirdness I engage in at work and control my behavior as well as derive pleasure from working within systems.  I created The Doll to more strongly define my blank, devoted state as a submissive.  I created The Analyst to round out things, to cover my overanalytical, anxious, detail oriented states.  From here, I also intuited a zero state, and a contrasting state I refer to as seven.  My zero state is when I am mostly on autopilot, not really engaging a situation.  Sometimes I use it to come down from an out of control emotional reaction with a filter.  Seven is…undefined.  I’m unsure I’ve ever hit this state but it feels really, really important to acknowledge it exists.  I think perhaps it might be the general concept of a fully actualized, mindful adaptability that defies archetype.  It could also just be a future archetype that doesn’t have a duality to it.  I don’t know yet.

What is useful about these archetypes is they allow me to optimize for certain experiences as well as ways of social interaction with others.   The way I perceive an event and goal set for that event is heavily inflected by what archetype is optimal for it.  I went on a date where The Demon Queen was the most optimal filter and it went extremely well.  I approach meditation often with the archetype of The Seeker and am so joyful and exuberant about what I find.  I approach needing things from coworkers as The Professional and the interaction feels satisfying and competent.  Archetypal filters are probably my most powerful social hack at the moment because role means so much.
I will be making a series of posts defining each archetype (The Oracle is already defined, but I think another post on The Oracle is in order because some of the territory was annexed by The Seeker), and then going over what I think is the rough methodology for changing your worldview in this fashion.

That methodology is highly individual to me but perhaps can provide guidelines for others who wish to optimize their experiences by tailoring the self to the social world around them.

Discussion:  How do you filter your experiences?  What determines how you feel about something, do you know?  Do other people take this archetypal approach?  If so, please tell me about your experiences with it.

On Self, Time, and Space

(Epistemic status:  Completely ignores physical realities and also physics; mostly a framing device but also speculation)

There is a concept I have been trying to taste lately, that “Perception is everything, nothing is real.”  I can see some discrete steps on this path of varying levels of attainability.  This essay will first go over perception of time, perception of space, and possible effects of altering the perceptions of these things.

There’s a feeling I have sometimes, a sensation that I am drifting towards actions my future self would take, or perhaps having a strong feeling about the course of events, with specific milestones built up by models of previous experience.  This plays into a narrative I have about mental states and time being looser than the external expression of time as a thing.  I feel like I can go further with this, in a sense, and reject the concept of linear time in the sense of the self entirely.  This ties a bit into Timeless Decision Theory where if you are the kind of person who does X now, you are the kind of person who will do X in the future.  The concept which I feel expands on this is that if you are the kind of person who does X in the future and you can model that self, you have all the ingredients necessary to become that person now.  This doesn’t actually follow in a strict logical fashion from the above but it does follow intuitively.  As such, I posit the following:  Any predictable, modelable future self can be your current self, regardless of what time you are currently experiencing.

This is the weakest form of uncoupling perception from time and within reason for someone with sufficient cognitoflexibility and mindfulness.  What it comes down to is that, even if you can’t physically be the person you will be six months from now, a year from now, five years from now, your model likely includes the (hopefully desirable) habits that they have developed to become that person, and you can be absorbed into those habits.  I think it is also possible to slip into a past self to benefit from a certain state of mind and impose it on your current situation.  That’s probably even more trivial than modeling a proper future self.  In the end, though this entire concept is a framing device.

The next question, however, is what if it doesn’t just have to be a framing device.  While you might be able to gain the habits of a future self, you can’t gain their memories, the privileged information gained by experiencing linearly.  I think the natural next step in breaking time perception is being able to simulate those memories in high fidelity.  I personally think that would be rather difficult, so another approach would be to put yourself in a situation where all your memories for the foreseeable time frame that you want to skip towards are predictable to a high degree of accuracy.  Perhaps others have more fun ideas about this but to create such a static reality would probably require a high degree of isolation, routine, and minimal interaction with novelty.  This begins to sound similar to pop culture depictions of monastic, Spartan lifestyles.  I suspect that at a certain meditative, routine level, time starts to slip backwards and forwards and the self one is experiencing isn’t always clearly in a given time frame.  Unfortunately, for the purposes of someone who would like to gain something practical from temporal fluidity, this is not really a particularly practical approach (though I will note that someone in such an existence likely has a perspective that is getting value, likely spiritual, from this experience.)  At this level of perceptual disconnect, there seem to be dangers from such a high level of isolation.  Even if one, perhaps, has a virtual reality machine that can compress years of predicted experience into a short time frame and then one goes out and has these experiences, the way one views reality is so distorted that it becomes increasingly impossible to model accurately.  I don’t know what steps are between the weak form of temporal fluidity and this ultimate form of temporal fluidity.

Another thing I am considering is the possibility of uncoupling one’s perception from space.  The weak form of this would be vividly withdrawing from liminal spaces.  If you don’t experience a train ride, then you’ve effectively teleported from one place to another.  If you’ve also broken time perception, you didn’t even spend any time doing this.  Perhaps observers state that time and space did pass, and you moved through them, but can it said to be true?  I feel like there’s a sufficiently broken mental framework that would allow someone to feel as if having the ability to get to someplace means they’re already there if they want to be.  If that narrative gains power and observers can be convinced that this is what is happening, it seems like it becomes an exceptionally strong, higher level interaction with the world.  This is…a very difficult concept for me to approach because temporal fluidity is not that hard for me to model, as time is mostly a construct.  Spatial fluidity seems absolutely insane though, and I can’t begin to model that.  I think the key once again falls to avoiding observers.  The image of masterful spatial fluidity I have is someone more or less catatonic in a bare room, unobserved, wherever they want to be.  Combined with temporal fluidity, I feel as if this person is either in a lotus eater machine of their own making or they have cracked reality in such a way that they are subtly interacting with it in more or less impossible ways.

The above is more or less incoherent.  These aren’t concepts I have words for and I think attempting to follow these conceptual spaces to their natural conclusion is likely to lead to high levels of dissociation, psychosis, and self-imprisonment.  I begin to understand why the concept of the lotus-eater machine exists as a danger of only partial detachment from reality and why the rejection of desire is also an important part of Buddhist belief (…I think, please feel free to call me on that because I don’t really have direct exposure to those systems.)  The concept of the power inherent to not experiencing time or space is the sort of thing that would lead one to generate vivid fantasies of potency while being completely impotent and wasting away.  To not experience time and space and not have any desire to…use that experience to an end seems inherent to a strange sort of peace.  My conclusion is that experiments in this direction cannot be undergone safely without a more detached self in the first place and I think I will stop at the framing device level of this concept.  If other people have experience with or intuitions about temporal or spatial fluidity, please tell me about it.

On The Oracle State

(Epistemic Status:  Mad ravings.  Experiential experimentation.  Narrative.  Cw:  Taking mysticism too seriously as a brainhacking tool.)

The point of this post is to go over my mental state over the past couple weeks and offer some guidelines because it’s fun.  Also, people probably have other schemas very similar to this with different words, and I want to hear about them.

You may have recognized the concept of The Oracle from my short fiction that I haven’t really developed further.  It’s a useful shorthand for me in real life to define the state where I can write those stories, or at least see the concepts.  Narrative is valuable both for casual enjoyment, and as a framing device.  This post is about the framing device use of narrative.

I’ve developed The Oracle into a more full fledged state of consciousness as opposed to something out of my control that I get sometimes.  It’s related to but not exactly the thing I refer to when I say I am “sparkly” (which largely seems to mean “I have had modafinil today”).  It’s a space where I have a lot of preverbal intuition and a sense of Right Things.  Largely, The Oracle is dialing up my pattern matching and Sense of Meaningfulness, and lowering my noise filter.  It’s a state where I can believe I have a role in a narrative in terms of guiding principles, and overanalyze synchrinecities.  It also lets me believe my intuition even when I can’t explain the data that is going into it.  To be honest, any after the fact explanations are not necessarily true, just plausible/just so.

Actually getting in this state has become just a mental reflex when the setting seems appropriate, which is largely Not Work Not Home.  I can’t actually explain *how* I open my filter, or discretely raise Meaningfulness.  It’s just something I mentally decide to do, and it happens, and then I get to be the Oracle.

The Oracle state is way easier to use in online interaction because there’s a lot less noise by default, so opening up the filter is less processing intensive, and because there’s back reference.  I can cycle the same data more and more just while waiting for the next response.  In real life, a Right Thing is more likely to express as an impulsive action, rather than a profound insight.  Online it’s more how I figure out how someone is feeling or what they want.  It gives me new paths that aren’t obvious, in terms of the conversation.

The Oracle state makes me much more artistic and novelty seeking.  I feel more creative, able to write, I see more stories, I feel a much stronger draw to unused doors, or trying something I haven’t before.  I feel much freer, and more confident in that freedom.  It lacks the tentativeness that marks my analytical normal.  In a more practical sense, I am more consciously existing with my 5 senses and attempting to record these things.  I’m creating rituals to attempt to increase the novelty and retention in my life (these will be in another post).  I am using narrative to frame things and seeing where it leads (this is actually very tough to practice in the moment and I need to pin this down as a more concrete maneuver).  I am following through on impulses without thinking about them too much.

Another aspect of the Oracle state is glimpsing the future.  More precisely, believing the glimpses of the future.  It happens far more rarely.  Sometimes I’ll have an idea of how a relationship will go.  Sometimes it’s a simple scene that will come true acausally.  Sometimes it’s not meant to be a certain future, but the path lit by possibly taking an action.  It’s obviously just the basic modeling the future in the subjunctive that most people do, but the Oracle state lends it power, which may or may not be useful.  The annoying thing about this is when it happens, I usually want to make the future now because there’s a sense of “This has already happened, it’s just in the future a little bit, so why not get the payoff now”.  This is clearly maladaptive, and part of why I say I move fast when I should move slow, and move slow when I should move fast.  The latter is more referencing my default analytical state, where I will hesitate to take any action.  Overall, it feels like touching acausality and I want to develop it more if it actually predicts true things.

The drawback to the Oracle state is it is not grounded in reality.  Symbols are recursive, only having symbolic meanings.  Pinning things to rational things makes them less real or meaningful, and makes possibly useful insight less valuable.  This means there’s no real sanity check for telling wheat from chaff in terms of actionable life changes or viewpoints.  It’s all this mystical, convoluted perception that creates a whole new world and terminology for things to imbue them with Specialness.  The detachment from rationality also leads to reduced self control.  When the world you live in is wondrous, the drabness of the world you work in is much more pronounced.

I intend to continue posting my experiences as the Oracle, sometimes in fiction like Ignore This, sometimes in analytical posts like this. I will tag them mad ravings, and set that epistemic status when I discuss this space.  I invite questions about the Oracle.  I’m going to be trying to notate Right Things and the glimpses of the future I get to see how accurately predictive my Oracle state is.  The first step was trusting the intuition, now I need to hold it accountable to make sure this is a useful conscious state besides the “I feel really good and in tune with things” way.