While most of our alters are quite individual, the primary group of alters - the "Bobs", aren't. While each Bob is distinct, with their own preferences, history and twitches, Bobs rarely appear singly. It's not that they cannot, it's that they are boundaryless with each other and smoothly interchange functions, thoughts, intentions, etc.
Think of it as being like twins, who finish each other's sentences and take up thoughts where the others leave off.
While other alters can indeed be quite telegraphic in communicating intentions to other alters in wideband bursts of pure information and memory, Bobs don't have to do even that as each Bob is aware of all the other Bobs, unless for some reason one has withdrawn from the smoodge. And it's not really possible for a Bob to withdraw entirely, it's more like communicating a desire to be let be for a while.
This leads to some confusion, because the location of "Bob" is always indeterminate. "Bob" may be in the internal landscape, or may be typing at the computer, or may be sleeping, or may be off somewhere else entirely - all at once.There is likely a Bob whooping along with the troop of Littles somewhere, there is always a Bob in some degree of physical manifestation, even if someone else is "out" and Bob always has a general pervasive presence in the Internal Landscape. In a very real sense, Bob IS the internal landscape.
Needless to say, this is all very confusing in regards to identity issues, seeing as all the various Bobs are indeed different dividuals - sometimes quite different. Since the smoodge switches smoothly and undetectably it's not generally clear even to a given Bob which Bob is doing what, since to a degree, all of them are doing everything, all the time.
Now, if this were our only form of multiplicity, we would wonder if we were multiple, but of course there are other alters who generally function as individuals, although sometimes they work closely with other alters.
We have no idea whether this is a native feature of our architecture, or if "Bob" is a highly fragmented single alter.
At any rate, this "smoodge" operates much like a low to mid-continuum multiple within a mid-continuum system.
Imagine, for a moment, a hologram. A hologram has the interesting capability of containing all of it's information everywhere within it, so if you break it, you do not lose the picture - you just lose some resolution. And this seems to fit the "smoodge" rather well, because the individuality of each member of the smoodge seems to be rather analogous to the "shape" and "size" of the pieces, rather than being based on different information - memories, etc. - contained within.
One thing we have discovered is that for short periods of time, it's possible to draw the smoodge together into one functioning, focused individual "Bob." We only do this when necessary, though, as it considerably disturbs our internal arrangements which are based on having a functional, distributed "Bob." I suppose the best way of putting it is that while it's quite empowering, it also feels "cramped."
None of the other alters feel this way. They are more or less communicative, and they may exist in closely-related groups, but the way they interact is fundamentally different. For instance, other alters can choose what to share. With the Bobs, if one Bob knows something, any Bob can; the only reason they wouldn't is if it falls outside the scope of the things that would normally be in their individual scope of consciousness.
Hm. I was wanting to wrap this up with some remarkable observation that would Make Sense Of It All, but I'm afraid I can't. Slice of life, I'm afraid.
Bob King ICQ#: 12880485
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