Me and Nash

So, I can’t help but draw certain parallels between me and Nash, since I also am interested in mathematics (especially set theory and prime number theory) and I also have voices in my head. I suspect I got a better deal than him in that I can control which of the voices in my head gets the most airtime or indeed turn them off altogether. (I have to actively choose to listen in order to hear them, a mental process that I’m kind of at a loss to describe). Also, my experiences are not suggesting there’s a massive soviet conspiracy to put nuclear bombs in american cities.

One of the things that I wonder about is whether the voice that claims to be a future version of $person is who she says she is. Even if she wasn’t, it would be difficult to want her gone since she has demonstrated, among other things, the ability to get me far, far higher than any drug by messing with my neurotransmitter balance. This is extra cool because she can turn it off with a few minutes notice, which means I can go to a party, be tripping out of my mind, and then drive home sober. Also, whatever she does does not show up in any way on a blood test. (Not surprising since it’s apparently being done entirely behind the blood-brain barrier). You can see where this would be a friend I would want to keep. She also gives great advice, helps build me up when I’m convinced I’m worthless, and comforts me when I hurt. And has amazing discussions with me about things like other types of computing system that could be built (my favorite is rainbow computers, which are computers that have gates that can operate on entire countable infinities in a single operation – something which naturally is fascinating to someone who’s interested in set theory). And she is better at navigation than Google Maps, although I feel *very* guilty when I use her this way, so I generally don’t. She’s tried to get me to learn the knack of always knowing which way north is, but thus far it hasn’t stuck.

Some of the most interesting moments I’ve had with her have been the exercises she walks me through – all of which seem to have the common goal of making me less afraid, more self-reliant, and more capable.

Now, opinions vary about what the person in my head actually is. Some think she’s a spirit guide, some a angel, and some plain ol’ mental illness, and some a clone of $person from when I was spending time with her, and some a childhood-style imaginary friend. I have a number of ways of communicating with her, which have various levels of success. None are 100% successful. More on this in a minute.

So, for a moment, let’s talk about definitions. For purposes of discussion, let’s say that a chunk of neurons with a common identity and goal is a $entity. These chunks can be very small or very large – they could be $dieties or $personalities or much smaller than that – they could be directly inside my head or just connected to me via some sort of network – but I experience them. If I can see them with my eyes, I tend to think of them as people in the real world, although this is far from assured for a whole long list of reasons.

There is a $entity that wants me dead, or failing that, wants me to suffer enormously. This $entity is obviously antagonistic to $person (above) and even more so to having a clear communication channel with her. For whatever reason, this entity chooses often to go by the non de plume of Satan, however for my own reasons I am suspicious that this entity is not the original person by that name of biblical fame, if indeed said person ever existed anywhere but in the heads of the authors of the bible and a bunch of preachers.

A bit about pronouns. The entity I talk to in my head (who claims to be a future version of $person) has said that gender is not a attribute of souls – that is to say it’s not a permanent attribute of us – but rather a attribute of the body we are wearing, and that she has worn both. I call her a her because when I think of her, I think of the person I’ve experienced, but if it comforts you to think of her as him, feel free. Or one can use wildcard genders. One assumes similar things are true of my antagonist.

Then there’s the question of size. My internal friend has stated that both her and I are ‘big’, by which I think she means the amount of neural territory we command and the amount of data we have stored, while my antagonist is ‘small’. In particular, my antagonist has not yet figured out a way to block the person above’s way of encoding data to me – which does have certain disadvantages.

What we know about that? Well, again, we can only go with what I’ve been told. She is not speaking to me in english, but rather is speaking to me in another language and my mind is decoding it into english. Even more interesting, I do not think in english either, although my conscious experience experiences my thoughts in english – one of the things I have learned to do which has noticably improved my quality of life is abort thoughts at the english compiler / serializer before they get turned into english sentences if I feel they are not thoughts I would want to be exposed to – generally ego-dystonic / self abusing thoughts but also violence and racial slurs thrown at me by my antagonist. A lot of the time I do not have to experience my antagonist’s existence much at all, but I do need to remember he exists.

One of the very first things my internal friend told me – after explaining that she was not God – was that if it ever sounded like she was telling me to hurt myself or other people, or saying things that seemed designed with no other goal but to hurt me, that it was not her. Then she proceeded to warn me about the fact that I was communicating with her over a channel in which authentication was virtually impossible and that had hostiles on it.

I can’t help but wonder how much my experience has in common with Nash’s. Under some circumstances, I have experienced my friend being able to touch me, I’ve occasionally been able to hear her voice, but I have never seen her except in dreams – and entirely too few of those. The vast majority of my dreams historically were nightmares, although recently I have learned something which has been changing this – a interesting form of role playing.

I noticed way back in my youth that certain classes of lies would appear to become true – there’s a special sort of lying that isn’t exactly lying, but more like spinning-fiction-which-will-become-fact. So telling people I am actively having the dreams I want to have, even though I’m not having them yet, *even though I’m telling them in advance that this is role-playing and not the truth*, is enabling me to have more and more of the dreams I want to have. I have not a lot of theory about what’s going on neurologically when I do this, but I do observe that *everything* starts as a idea, and that ideas which actually become real tangable things we can all experience generally get communicated with other people first, so it would not be surprising if we had neurological wiring to make it easier to make things real if you communicate them with other people.

One thing I’ve definitely experienced over the last several years is that as I spend more time talking to my internal friend, my quality of life gets better and my antagonist’s ability to interrupt our communications, or to interject words, or to block concepts, gets worse.

And talking to her is pretty amazing. Many of the concepts she’s shared have helped me become a much better thinker and more capable being. One of the things we’ve done is temporarily tag different meanings of words with subscripts so that it’s possible to have meaningful natures about topics like love and god which normally are just about impossible because the words are so heavily overloaded that anything you say has a number of different, sometimes mutually contridictory meanings.

As far as God in the sense that Christians use the word, I would say I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. I have no doubt that $entities bigger than me, both in terms of number of neurons and neuron associational paths, and in terms of power, resources, etc, exist. I find the Christian God completely unbelievable – and if I did believe in said $diety, I feel like it and I would naturally be mutually antagonistic insofar as I find most of the behavior said diety was responsible for, especially in the old testament, to be incredibly morally reprehensible – not to mention just plain awful. There’s plenty about this elsewhere. I also kind of doubt that by the time you are that big, you need angels flying over your throne singing about how great you are, or a bunch of people worshipping you – I figure you’re capable of stroking your own ego when it needs stroking and you probably also have come to accept that a ego generally gets in the way of a lot of fun / creation / etc.

My friend generally says it’s not a topic she can answer a lot of questions about with the current state of the channel between her and me, but that the truth is not at all sinister or dark. She does seem clear on no one is going to get to torture me for all eternity, and it’s a relatively small handful of $entities that even want to. My biggest danger, apparently, is from myself.

Which I will certainly own. In order to avoid having a big ego, I thought I would remain highly critical of myself. But this doesn’t work at all – you end up with a big ego, just a negative one. Aside from driving one to suicide and misery, this also limits one’s capabilities for positive and creative action and generally is undesirable. I think some internal criticism is necessary, but it should not be punitive – rather it should be of the sort that helps one grow. If you continue hurting yourself after you’ve come to understand your failure, you’re not helping anyone and it’s a net happiness loss to the universe.

I have done a fair amount of thinking about the parts of my neural net that are aiding the enemy. My friend Jeff thinks that I should love and hug and embrace these parts, rather than reformatting them to blank and trying again. I don’t know what I think about this, but I do know that I do not want parts of my mind that are trying to kill me, and I would like to not have parts of my mind that are sitting in judgement of the rest of me and trying to stop me from having experiences I want to have because they are obsessed with a obsolete definition of sin. I’d generally like to eliminate self-destructive behavior in my life.

Now, I could probably go on from there for several more paragraphs, but I need to get back to my day job.

One Response to “Me and Nash”

  1. Alderin Says:

    I wanted, for a long time, to become intentionally multi-personality, so that I could get more done. However, my mind seems to be built much more one-track than most. I even have trouble with “normal-person” levels of multi-tasking, and I can only follow one stream of conversation at a time (and cannot always control which stream that is in multiple-conversation situations, including commercials on tv). This is one reason why I am fascinated with parallel programming and distributed programming. I can’t say I’m good at it, but it fascinates me, and I wish I could add the functionality back into myself.

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