August 25, 2021

There's a brilliant project / book / tumblr called Problem Glyphs where artist Eliza Gauger draws (invariably symmetrical) sigils in response to problems people send in. There's a kind of power and magic with these; here's one that's stuck with me since I saw it the other day:


The problem sent in was:
Like a gem with many facets, we all work together to pilot this body. The person we present to the world is a persona. We don't want to integrate, though– we want to become more distinct from each other, more fully formed instead of fused, and we want the courage to tell our friends, so they can meet all of us in earnest
I feel some of this. I feel more well-integrated than this poster does, and am comfortable living being a single person, but I realized "committee" might be a decent metaphor to play with for a while for understanding who I am...in part because I don't want to mistake the strong feeling or preference of a single committee member as being what the "I" truly wants - but I also don't want the committee's spokesperson (my inner-voice/narrative-self) to co-opt my sense of identity, and get to claim to be all that I am. (Nor do I want to overshoot the other way, and say that that my inner-voice is just a facade in front of my more fundamental and emotional self.)

There are different flavors of this same idea -like Internal Family Systems or Minsky's "Society of Mind", (and it might even be parallel to what's taken to extremes in Dissociative Identity Disorder, albeit a much softer, "shadow" version of that)

I've previously played with the idea of inner-child or even inner-dog, but I'm not sure any of those ideas get the idea across as accurately as "committee". (Also, unlike the glyph recipient, for now I don't have much clarity in who the members are, it's not clear if they're consistent and persistent identities or if things are more fluid.)

When I hear people say stuff like "that wasn't me!" about a past action, or "that's not me, that's just my feelings!" - I feel like the "committee" metaphor is healthier than that. I mean, in general, those things ARE/were you, but they were triggered by a part of you - a committee member, so to speak - and you might be mistaking your narrative self for being the entirety of you. (I also think people who say 'the self is an illusion' might be overstating the case. I mean the committee exists - *I* exist - but it's certainly easy to get confused about what that self/I is.)

(Thanks to my friend Cordelia (who has a birthday today!) who had the Problem Glyphs Book around during a party)

Anyone who thinks that the US healthcare is the envy of the world is delusional. You only get the benefits of the free market when you have sufficient transparency. And we absolutely don't.

(And don't get me started on Cigna/Express Scripts. They are doing Melissa dirty right now with THEIR mistakes they won't cover - our pharmacist suspects they try to make actually using a pharmacy a pain in the ass so they can sell you on their mail base service.)