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Your thoughts on external perception of Otherkin?
Kreyas
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Post: #1
Your thoughts on external perception of Otherkin?
As is tradition with the podcast I participate in, we do an episode about Otherkin every 50 episodes. A few weeks ago we recorded our newest Otherkin episodes. This is the first time we had live audience participation, so we were nervous but overall this lead to a lot of unanticipated and productive discussion.

The conversation has continued on our forums and in followup shows and so forth. One idea that has come out of this is how should the word Otherkin be defined (from a perspective other than that of the Otherkin community). A general working definition that has evolved out the discussion is:

Quote:Those who dwell upon their past lives.

Basically any metaphysics that one can attribute to one's kintype has been explained away as unexplored capabilities of humans. I think this is a fair argument, since there seems to be much about human biology we still don't fully understand. To me, it seems to be not a bad idea to take this same concept and apply it to the metaphysical capabilities of humans.

Otherkin, while some may bear a physical resemblance to their kintype, don't have any physical conditions that would render them not physically human. If you do, go get it documented or something <!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue -->.

The idea of Otherkin being based in the concept of reincarnation was well received. Sure, not all Otherkin buy into reincarnation (or continuous incarnation, however you want to describe it) but it seems to be how most describe the concept.

With regards to negative stereotypes of Otherkin, the discussion basically resulted in that Otherkin stand out in society because they spend so much time trying to avoid being human, constricting back in their past and dwelling on it rather than embracing the fact they're human and being a human being in this life (on a mental level).

I was wondering what others' honest opinions were on this perception by "outsiders" on what would be a good definition for the word Otherkin.

Co-host of the Pagan Centered Podcast.
2010-01-03 6:52
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Annwyn
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Post: #2
Re: Your thoughts on external perception of Otherkin?
I do agree with the negative stereotype--and I have thought the same thing. I look at all the people I know that are Otherkin and I will think "god, no wonder you're disliked. You keep whining about this life. Get over it. You're human now and you need to deal with it and not be a puss." Yeah, that's not a very nice thought but I can't help it and I do deal mostly with therians, where I am more apt to see what I just described. Yes, I do feel I'm not human spiritually but I also don't dwell on it constantly. I like my human life a lot. I mentally act human in this life, I don't have any "mental shifts" and I've only had two in my life and I don't plan on it ever happening again.

I also think that Otherkin have a negative stereotype because of how they present themselves to others, primarily therians. The episodes I have seen with therians has dealt with people that were either overweight or too skinny and looked every bit you're stereotypical geeky gamer with no life. This doesn't help because people are only seeing one portion of the what the therian or Otherkin community is like, and they're usually getting very bad interviews in the process which does not help the image of Otherkin. I'm not saying all Otherkin are like this, I know lots aren't, but it's what the public is getting to see.

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2010-01-03 7:35
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Archer
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Post: #3
Re: Your thoughts on external perception of Otherkin?
A large proportion of otherkin tell fantastic stories without any hint of critical thinking, and are offended or angered when other people don't agree with them.

A large proportion of otherkin have little understanding of basic social mores.

A large proportion of otherkin dwell on negative things they have experienced, unwilling or unable to see them as "normal" or even "positive", and tie those negative things into fantastic explanations.

A large proption of otherkin seem to lack empathy in a spectacular manner (often those who claim to have supernatural empathy powers) - seemingly being unable to understand why (or even that) some of what they say leads to confusion and disbelief in people listening.

That kinda sums it up, really.

Ubi Dubium, Ibi Libertas

Quote:"I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood."

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2010-01-03 14:31
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Terro
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Post: #4
Re: Your thoughts on external perception of Otherkin?
To define Otherkin as those who dwell on their past lives officially discounts me as Otherkin. I believe that a definition of Otherkin goes on the premise of "belief" in and of itself. No one can truly know what someone is because we do not factually understand the nature or existence of a soul or of anything beyond this plane of existence.

If anyone actually does, please contact me because we're going to write a paper on this and make a lot of money.

I was going to talk about a great majority of Otherkin that are seen as Otherkin publicly being guilty of a great number of social taboos and quite frankly, idiotic acts... but Archer put it better than I possibly could.

On the external perception of Otherkin, most people that look at it end up looking at websites or post-based groups that are absurd in nature. My first experience with Otherkin happened to be on Myspace. I for a while was quite shocked and distressed to see that those who said they were Otherkin were into such incredibly far fetched actions and beliefs. Now I considered for a while that this was a mistake and that these individuals were something I wanted no association with. I happened to find out about other forums and larger communities with people who had their heads screwed on tightly, but a few friends of mine who are Otherkin stopped at that myspace group and decided it wasn't worth it at all, and as such are not part of any Otherkin community.

Over the years there have been individuals or even whole communities that seemed to go towards the path of being what many call fluffy, many who disregarded the social mores and lost touch with the real world. I have seen great minds become polluted by delusions of grandeur and corrupted by a perceived power that they claim to wield and apparently by virtue of that perceived power can say and/or do whatever they wish.

Unfortunately, many times, these individuals end up bringing flocks to them who want to believe in fantasy land, who want to believe in something greater and want to believe that they themselves are something greater. It is largely how many cults are founded and formed.

Part of the reason this forum exists to try and put forth a real and balanced view of Otherkin and to change that external perception that others have.

Now onto the questions raised: I feel that people are very much justified in their view of Otherkin, it saddens me so, but it is true, many Otherkin that you find will be exactly what Archer described. Many of us fight to change that, just as many Islamics try to put the truth out against a view many hold that Muslims are crazy terrorists that are all plotting to blow themselves up for Allah while killing maximum numbers of innocent civilians.

As far as a definition: Otherkin are individuals who believe themselves to be in some capacity, be it physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually Inhuman. Otherkin come in so many different sets of beliefs that I can see no definition as being more to the point than something similar to what was stated there.

Because it is a belief, it covers those who may be fully Human. Because it is a belief, if there is someone who actually is an Elf soul incarnated into a Human body but does not know it or acknowledge it, they are not Otherkin. Because we do not know of the existence of the soul or of a collective unconscious or any other such force on a factual basis, it does not seek to define an Otherkin by supposing that there is the existence of any of those unproven concepts.

The maximum effective range of an excuse is zero meters.
-The Unit
2010-01-03 19:35
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