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Thread: Guest Lecture!

  1. #11
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    Ooh great you got the go ahead! I doubt the livestream would fit into my schedule but I'd love to see the finished result if you can record it
    I have a wolf mind in a human body.. yeah it freaks me out a bit too

  2. #12
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    I'd love to hear the livestream, ans second others' wishes for having a recording available to listen to after the fact!

  3. #13
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    Sweet. I'm glad everybody's excited! Heads up, I've changed the title to “Therianthropy: A State of Being”.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC-Anthropologist View Post
    I want to make sure I have this right (and any confusion could be a result of minor amounts of sleep deprivation or my relative newness to the community). So based on what I'm being told, therianthropy is the condition and that those who make the condition a primary part of their identity are called therianthropes, correct?
    This is true in many cases. There are also a substantive number of participants in the therian community (self included) who view "therianthropy" as a reasonably convenient 'diagnostic' label, in essence, but who do not focus on it to give them a sense of personal or social identity.

    My thinking goes pretty much like this - if I have a set of symptoms and experiences, and a convenient way to label and communicate them in shorthand is "therianthropy", then that is a reasonable term for me to use in communication. Is it a personal or social identity per se? For me, it is not. I can not of course speak for everyone; each person must determine that on their own.

    You can reasonably argue that the nature of the experiences commonly labeled as therianthropic have to do with experiencing an animalistic state in which you may strongly feel that you are a specific (or in some cases a nonspecific) animal. If you use the term 'identity' in that sense, it is probably a closer match.

    Therianthropy is not taxonomy. It is not objective proof of anything outside the human mind. The most that I am willing to claim is that I have odd brain wiring that comes together to deliver a remarkably interesting and internally profound set of experiences that do seem to resemble 'being an animal' or 'feeling like I actually am an animal'. Logic does not permit any further conclusions.


    Based on what you have told me, I think I will be taking a broad approach by examining the condition and adding a caveat that therianthropy as a whole is a very broad and overarching topic of discussion that to discuss all the identities that fall within it would take longer than the allotted class period.
    There's a saying that if you get four therians in a room, you'd also get at least five different ways to experience and describe therianthropy. A very broad umbrella definition is someone who is self-reporting feelings and experiences of being an animal, and/or an internal self-identification of being an animal. The latter is just not always going to be true for the hard science camp who aren't willing to believe in any objective reality to an animal identity.

    For me there's a strong sense of, "Yes, I feel this way, because I have interesting neural architecture - but none of this is real in any objective sense, so it is not actually who I am, no matter what it subjectively feels like." Does that help clarify? It may feel like an identity, but that feeling is strongly paired with skepticism and a much greater interest in science than in spirituality.

    The hard science camp is a fairly large contingent here on Werelist. We aren't a majority in the overall therian community by any means, and I'd venture that we may well be a small minority on the overall community. We're just likely to be somewhat over-represented on this particular site, because of the 'adult professional' reality grounded atmosphere here. Not all sites are quite as hardline as Werelist on the subject, so they are likely to have a much larger percentage of people whose primary beliefs and identifications are more spiritual or supernatural in nature.

    I absolutely respect everyone's right to self-determine what is right for them, whether that is a religious or spiritual belief, a personal identity, etc, so long as they are not making claims about the real physical world that are contrary to observable fact. For me personally, this is what is true. Other people's mileage may vary considerably.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cognitive Dissonance View Post
    I've generally come to think of theriantropy in terms of internal identity. I feel like identifying as canine gives a unifying perspective to my own set of unusual experiences and instincts. I think that I would have these characteristics without the canine lable, so I don't think that the lable is causal, but I do think that the understanding of those experiences in the way that I have does shape my understanding of who I am and thus my identity. I wonder if I am understanding the word identity in a different way than you are using it?

    Possibly. For me, the choking point is hard science and logic. Regardless of how much fun my brain is having with my subjective experiences and perceptions, this does not and can not equate to anything objectively real beyond my having odd brain wiring.

    Does it internally feel like I am, in fact, a big cat? Absolutely. Does this mean jack and squat other than interesting stuff going on inside my brain? Nope. Therianthropy is still a convenient label, but if you were to ask me how I would personally identify myself, my answer would be "I have a clinical condition" rather than "I am a big cat".

    Other people have the same right to choose their own labeling. For me personally, I am uncomfortable making statements that are contrary to observable physical reality and good science, so I would prefer not to. Your preferences are your own, and should be respected just the same.

  6. #16
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    I also don't really identify as a cheetah per se, though I suppose on some level I identify with them. I don't mind collaborating with you, by the way. I know a few others who might be interested also, if you want I can, after getting permission from them, send you their names. Or I could give them your contact information (with your permission of course).

    Of course, one could argue that being someone with the experiences and symptoms that correspond on some level is also a matter of identity... I think identity is very confusing.
    "If you are worthy of his affection, a cat will be your friend but never your slave. He keeps his free will though he loves, and will not do for you what he thinks unreasonable; but if he once gives himself to you, it is with absolute confidence and fidelity of affection." -Theophile Gautier

  7. #17
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    Cheetah, thank you very much for the offer. Right now I've got two collaborators and only an hour to present everything (to leave time for questions and discussion), and I think this might be enough. However, if I find myself thinking that we need more collaborators, I'll let you know! ^^

    EDIT: However, all of you can help by spreading the word. I have a listserv ready advertisement, PM me if you wish for a copy.
    Last edited by Trevor; November 30th, 2012 at 09:32 PM.

  8. #18
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    Feel free to pimp it up on the site, and we'd like to archive a copy. If you want to post the advertisement/announcement, we can encourage folks to crosspost and spread the signal (in polite, non spammy ways).

  9. #19

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    I certainly would be interested in viewing a livestream, if hours permit, or a recording. I would also read a transcript, if for some reason that is the only thing available.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    Feel free to pimp it up on the site, and we'd like to archive a copy. If you want to post the advertisement/announcement, we can encourage folks to crosspost and spread the signal (in polite, non spammy ways).
    Where shall I post the announcement? In this thread?

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