So... are there any aphantasic systems out there that have a headspace/innerworld/etc.?

I'm asking because a headmate of mine tried to build one but failed and I think it might be because we're almost aphantastic and he tried to visualize the innerworld.
So now I'm curious if aphatasic system can even have an innerworld and if so, if it is experienced differently from how non-aphatasic folks experience there innerworlds.


@nightsky_system this is something we've been wondering too, though i think adhd and foggy dissociation also plays a role for us. i'm sure it's possible, somehow!
we have a small vaguely-defined paracosm in mind, but it doesn't really function as a headspace. we don't know what we can do to make it feel real/vivid/clear/warm/solid/engaging/welcoming/active/immersive.

@nightsky_system hey, we’re aphantasic, in our experience other senses take over in a headspace like that, never had any smell or taste, but sound and touch tend to translate for us, like imagine you’re blindfolded, right? But then it escalates to another level! Because you’re blindfolded, but with the intrinsic knowledge of what you’re surroundings are supposed to look like, so you navigate them with purely the understanding of, this console is here, or this room is there, and I know that. - P

@PHBS thanks!
So do you feel "blind" in that context?
For us, both dreams and thoughts definitely do have a visual component and we react to it, it's just that we couldn't say what it even is. So it's like in dreams and thoughts we react to a visual stimulus that we don't truly see. It's like we still have the sense to see, but it's only wired to our reflexes and intuitive understanding of the world around us, but consciously we only see a blur or smudge of colors.
It sounds like it might be different for you? I'd love learning more about this, if you're willing to share. :3


@nightsky_system yeah! Um, we have dreams but it’s more like listening to an audiobook, but if instead of having actions described to you, you just kind of know they’re happening, snd we have the same knowledge with our surroundings, there’s no actual explanation but we know there’s a wall in headspace without feeling it or having express knowledge that it is where it is.

I wouldn’t call it seeing, for us, because we don’t actually see any images when we explore headspace.

@PHBS @nightsky_system I want to say that it’s like picking up an object with your eyes closed, like an apple, you kind of have an instant list of attributes there, and because you don’t see it there’s certain gaps to fill, like is it red or green? -P.

@nightsky_system yes, we do. Remind me to elaborate on this tomorrow, its 6 am and we have a mentally busy day so I dont have the energy right now

— ​:purplebunny:

@nightsky_system hi! sorry for the late response. We had a difficult couple of days and needed to put ourselves first

We are aphantasic, and we do have an inner world. I can't access most of it personally, anything beyond a certain point is blackness. I need to stay in the front and even then everything is a bit dull and hard to see at times. My systemmates say this manifets as me fading in and out in the inner world. They can see things just fine? I think??

I suspect the reason for me being more aphantasic than the rest is to keep the system hidden when it needed to back in the day. I also got massive headaches from meditating and I think that has to do with it too, otherwise I mightve discovered my system when I wasn't ready. That's the current working theory anyway.

I'm trying to work on my aphantasia but it is kind of difficult to break through it

— ​:purplebunny:

@moonglow Thanks for the response and I really don't mind the wait. I'm familiar difficult days.

This is certainly interesting to read. So your headmates have less aphantasia? I didn't realize that could happen, but it makes sense.


@nightsky_system evidently! I just asked them and they have it less, aside from the past host, leading me to believe that it was indeed to guard us from finding out about our plurality, when we weren't ready to find out yet

— ​:purplebunny:

long, re: plurality, aphantasia, innerworld 

@nightsky_system my mom isn't plural (that we're aware of) but she is aphantasic, and has trauma, and she does actually have a rough concept of an innerworld that she escapes to sometimes when she is in distress, in the form of her grandpa's old house

she can't visualize, but she can still describe - the way she's explained it to me is that it is almost comparable to a text adventure in her head

she can't see the rooms, but she knows the relations between everything. she gets a stream of words that describe what she sees as she "walks" through it, the noises the floorboards make as she travels up or down the stairs, the smells in the kitchen, the textures of the carpet

these things are all tagged with descriptions of what they are, what they do, how they feel, with such detail that even if she can't mentally place herself there and have a facsimile of *feeling* those sensory inputs, of *being* there, like i could... it's enough, for her

re: long, plurality, aphantasia, innerworld 

@ky0ko wow, thanks for that detailed description! :3


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