Motley Wrote:This topic is primarily for those who entertain the idea that being otherkin might be a function of psychology, which should include everyone, at least once, at four in the morning, if not more often.
I'm heavily in the side of "more often," and it's not because I don't believe in Otherkin in an energetic/spiritual sense, but I feel if that's all you think it is you are missing a lot of the picture.
Memories are memories...our minds can't tell what we really remember, and what memories are false (and if you realized how many were in the latter category, it might scare you), so in a way, it doesn't matter. I have various personality traits that to me are part and parcel of being Rakshasa, and trace back into past life memories...but that is one model of looking at it. I could also have these memories and identity concepts to give my mind a reason for the personality traits.
In the early eighties there was the "satanic panic" a bunch of children who had repressed memories brought out in hypnosis sessions, memories dealing with physical and sexual abuse by a satanic cult. It turns out these memories were fake, created in their imagination and facilitated by a psychologist poorly leading them in a hypnotic state. While it might be nice to say "Well, I'm glad they weren't really abused, and it's all in their head, no harm, no foul." Yet, even those these memories were "fake", they are real to those children (now adults), and even though they know those events didn't happen, they still remember the abuse, and those are memories they have to live with.
Memories, real or fake, shape our view of the world, and our personality, so in that sense they always matter. But memories can easily be distorted, confused and created. That's why I actually refer to my pastlife saga as my personal mythology. Many myths had some basis in reality, there was a historical Buddha, but did everything the myths say about him actually happen? I'm betting that's not the case, it's a mythology that built itself over it. Distortions of the truth, or emphasis. Sometimes the way a truth gets embellished is by adding details that reinforce the fact. Perhaps the Buddha never saw the sick the old and the dying, or perhaps it just makes the story more important to say he never saw them. Sometimes details get added to a story to make it acceptable for a certain audience (like the notion that Buddha was an incarnation of Vishnu making it easier for Hindus to accept Buddhists, or convert), and sometimes details get added to fill gaps, or to make something make sense.
Our memories are the same. I feel somewhere inside there is a core of "literal events" in my memories, but really it doesn't matter, they are my mythology. Facts were added, and lost, changed, and made acceptable, holes filled, but the over-arching story remains mostly the same, and more importantly the moral of the story stays the same. It doesn't matter if he was really sheltered by a naga, or literally faced the Demons of Reality, the Buddha gave a message of Non-Attachment and Compassion. It doesn't matter if Jesus walked on water, the message of love and divinity is there. It doesn't matter if the events in my memory happened as I remember them, the moral is still there.
On the other hand, there are created myths. There may have never been many mythological figures, but the myths were created to explain why and how. Why does the sun rise and set, how should we live? I don't really think there is a beetle pushing the sun, but it's a good symbol, and gives a why when there isn't one. It doesn't matter if Anubis is really going to weigh my heart and ask me seventy-two questions about my life, but it gives me a code and a reason to live a good life.
Myths are truths, literal or not. It doesn't matter in most ways, if my memories are real or not, but I learn from them, they guide me to be a better person, and give me a reason, good or bad, for why I am how I am.
Though it is interesting to note with me (and most people whom I've got to serious work with in this manner) you can often find present-life and past life parallels. Events in this life, and in a past life, that explain why you are a certain way, and some people think that just because you can explain because of something that happened in grade two why you want to be a teacher, that it invalidates any past life memories that bring you to the same conclusion, while I think they can work together.
This of course, does not mean people should accept their memories. Anyone who knows me, knows how much effort I put into confirming and denying past life memories, through language, history, mythology and other people. "But Ges, why say it doesn't matter, and then say find out if it is real?" All memories should be treated as mythology, but think of a group of mythology, the Norse Eddas and myths for example. If I took a Hindu myth and shoved in it, it just wouldn't work. Not all past life memories can be confirmed/denied, but I think it is a great thing to strive for, it keeps us from accepting myths that don't "fit" us. The Hindu myth still has a great moral and grain of truth, but it doesn't match up with the Norse.
All in all, I think if you're using any one model to view reality, you're missing the picture.