| Canis Lupus, Wolf|
the Therian Guide academy archives
So I thought here might be a good place to elaborate a bit on our plan to create a TG Academy:
As I mentioned in the announcement the idea here is to create threads, to help people learn useful things about therianthropy, but also to create materials people can use to prepare for the "exams". These would of course be optional things, intended purely to help you understand your therianthropy.
I would like to ask for your help in writing threads on these subjects (and then if it makes sense to do so, we will take your threads and collect them into a kind of textbook).
Please take into account that I'm not an expert on therianthropy any more than the next person, so I'm kinda winging it with these categories. However I hope that these make sense to other people as well beside me. If not, lets talk about it...
(2020-04-13 8:23)Blayz Wrote: Is this equivalent to persistence of theriotype, or to persistence of therian experiences in general?
I'm thinking explanations of things like contherian / suntherian / vacillant experiences. Not so much the terms themselves (please don't let this academy become all about whether or not people know definitions of words!), but rather about the variety of experiences that different therians experience.
To me for example, I have a persistent experience of animality which is always a part of me. But some people experience the animal mindset only occasionally. There are for example also cladotherian experiences, which I think are somewhat related because cladotherians occasionally experience animal traits of several different related species.
It would be nice if someone created a thread in which this variety of experiences is mentioned.
Think Amino "self-care packs". While I don't necessarily believe in any intrinsic value of such things to therians, they do touch upon the needs of our wild counterparts, which is after all useful knowledge when dealing with therianthropy.
Here I was looking with added emphasis to the needs of social theriotypes, where the need for online gathering may have something to do with the needs of the particular theriotype. Or perhaps, for those who experience the need for physical social contact from their theriotype: The role of Howls.
For my case, I experience my theriotype's need for hierarchy, though I understand I am fairly unique in that.
A need of animals that may be experienced by therians is also the need for calm safe environments such as forests, oceans, etc. It would be nice to have a thread which kind of elaborates upon some of such needs and demonstrates on how they occur in therians.
(2020-04-13 8:23)Blayz Wrote: 3 and 5, Self-perception and Identity respectively. Aren't these the same thing in some ways?
Of course, everything mentioned here is related to all the other things, however our goal here is to break these things down to separate topics, so that we can address each in more detail.
For self-perception specifically I thought about encompassing concepts like body-image in relation to therianthropy.
The phantom shift, as it appears to be conceptually separate from the other shifts (though @Thorveim
disagrees) in that phantom shifts essentially explore our ability to consciously affect how our brains process the sensation of touch and the perception of the scope of self. Apologies if this is kind of vague.
In neurology, there are recognised brain regions that process what we consider our sense of what all is still a part of our bodies. Adult readers may be able to recognise this can be affected by certain drugs. The way some people experience phantom shifts is that they sense for example wings, which physically do not exist but they perceive them as being a part of themselves. Therefore in these types of phantom-shifts, the experience of self: The "physical" body-image is extended to include wings.
On the opposite extreme, some people experience depression and dysphoria because their physical body-image does not match the body-image of their theriotype.
This course is supposed to include the range of experiences described above.
Obviously about the different kinds of shifts. There are many resources already on this topic, not least of which is the guide
, but we don't currently really have any threads talking about these.
I was looking more specifically at the following "shift-related" experiences:
- Mental shifts
- Cameo shifts
- Dream shifts and animal dreams
- Out of body experiences
- Polymorph experiences
- "Shapeshifter" experiences (these are therian experiences where the therian experiences a kind of fluidity to their form; not related to p-shifting)
- Self-control when shifted (the explanation that shifting is not an excuse for bad behavior)
- Sensory shifting
The basic idea is that these are Shifts in the correct meaning of the word, that is they are transitions between two different states of mind.
Identity is a part of the therian experience. It's the sense of belonging that you are a particular animal, that you identify as a particular animal. Or in a sense, identify with the particular animal.
Being kith is a form of identification with a particular animal by placing a label ("kith") on an affinity towards a particular animal. Keeping therian gear related to a particular theriotype is again a form of communicating one's identification with one's theriotype.
The issue of what is required to legitimately identify as a specific species, is the eternal therian debate. There are many who believe that anyone is free to identify as anything, though if this is true does that make therianthropy a question of personal preference, rather than being something in-born.
The association between therianthropy and animal identity has been introduced when the therian community was merged with the otherkin community -- in the otherkin community identity is the main thing and the animal experience either isn't present or isn't a very important part of it.
If a kind of animal experience is required to legitimately identify as a particular animal, since the judgement call is expected of the individual about themselves, the ability for critical thought plays an important role here.
How do we answer people who make extraordinary claims, such as identifying as (read: pretending to be) deities and expecting to then be treated as-such or taken seriously. Here the important takeaway to be understood is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Usage of the term "identifying" as a noun is problematic, because one's social identity is normally established by other people, rather than the person him/herself. If being a therian is not a choice "Identifying" should not be an activity and is not synonymous with communicating one's desired appearance.
Under this course we would like to include threads that explore these questions and distinctions and explain them in a way that lets people understand them properly.
Many things that we experience as therians are actually things we only experience because we are therians (humans who experience therianthropy).
- The Awakening, the experience of discovery and belonging when we first discover therianthropy.
- Fluffyness: Encountering people who we do not believe are true therians.
- Collecting therian gear.
- Graymuzzles: Becoming older community members who teach younger therians about understanding therianthropy. Do we ever deserve this title? Is it useful to designate people like this?
- Forming online packs.
- Social identity of being a therian, belonging to the group of people who are therians.
- Therian tribalism.
Many of these things are related to wholly human instincts which drive us to behaviours that our theriotypes would not care for in the wild.
Under this chapter we would include threads that explain how this works and how human nature combines with the nature of our theriotypes. Understanding our human nature is key to understanding therianthropy.
Certain types of mental illness are sometimes confused for therianthropy, therefore being aware of the particular conditions is important to understanding therianthropy.
Experiences like bi-location shifting and p-shifting (physical shifting) are usually cases of a type of delusion called psychosis. Usually the person in question is either already institutionalised or is institutionalised shortly after the experience, therefore you will see the person claiming to have shifted be in a hospital environment where nobody saw them shift, but they really did, etc.
Psychosis is an acute mental condition which can be resolved with medication.
Sometimes psychosis occurs as a result of depression, which is the condition traditionally described as "clinical lycanthropy".
A thread or two on the subject could be included in this course.
Okay admittedly I'm no great expert on the subject of spirituality. But the idea is a little like this: Therianthropy can be made sense of within various spiritual frameworks.
However, therians often end up saying something like "I believe my therianthropy is spiritual in nature" and then proceed to produce the cheesiest types of western muddle-mixes of several different misunderstood spiritual beliefs, that they have more or less made up on the spot -- which should not be questioned because it is what they believe.
For example, the belief in reincarnation is often bastardised to mean simply "being an animal in your previous life", whereas the actual spiritual belief behind it has things like the progression towards the state of Nirvana and the philosophy by which you should live if you believe in these things.
Spiritual frameworks exist outside of therianthropy and have books, rules and clerics and professionals who actually know a thing or two about it. These things could be presented in threads that we could include into this course to teach some legitimate spirituality, which people could then apply to their therianthropy.
You could either make these threads from scratch or find them and suggest them for inclusion under the individual courses.
Most problems are man-made.
(This post was last modified: 2020-04-14 21:01 by DustWolf.)