Selfism, Process Post 2/3: An Overview of the Cosmology of Selfism

This post is part of my final project for Carnegie Mellon University’s Designing Narratives Across Media course, taught by Professor Ahmed Ansari.

After reading my Process Post 1 on Selfism, you’re probably asking yourself things like “What is this cosmology?”, “What kind of world developed around it?”, and “How are you bringing this world to life?”

Or maybe you’re not.

But if you are, then you’re in luck, because in Process Post 2, I will address each of these questions. In 3, 2, 1…

What is Selfism?

Selfism is a cosmology that takes the principles of the Alexander Technique, which are meant to help individuals improve their use of their Selves, and expands those same principles to the entire universe.

But what does this world look like?

What Does the World of Selfism Look Like?

Very different from the world we live in. Let’s explore what makes the world of Selfism different by exploring it’s three main components: Nature, Bodies, and Community.

Nature

  • Nature in the world of Selfism is exactly as it is in our world. What’s completely different is our relationship to it.
  • Just like the Alexander Technique teaches individuals to regard their Selves as integrated, with no separation of mind and body, for example, the world of Selfism perceives no separation between man and nature.
  • Cities are seamlessly integrated with nature, so that it is impossible to make a distinction between rural and urban.
  • “Crimes Against Nature” (as postulated by the laws of Selfism which I will describe in Process Post 3) are considered to be as serious, if not more serious than “Crimes Against Humanity”.
  • Little, if any, conflict arises over nature, since the entire world is integrated with it, and to engage in conflict over it would be nonsensical, and, well…unnatural.
  • Due to the integration of humans and nature, the air, water, and earth of this world are light and clean, which, in turn, has a substantial effect on humans.

Bodies

  • Thanks to the nature of Selfism, humans enjoy the timeless benefits of being in nature, which, in this world, amount to an extremely low incidence of illness, and high levels of well-being among the entire population.
  • Per the principles of the Alexander Technique, humans don’t see the body as one half of the mind-body duality as Descartes would say, nor as a corpse carrying a soul as the stoics would say. Rather, the humans of Selfism see only the Self, which integrates everything that makes a human a human.
  • Since only the all-encompassing Self is perceived beyond any subdivisions, any illness that might afflict what we call the body or what we call the mind, is interpreted as being an irregularity in the Self, and is therefore treated from all angles, which leads to a supremely healthy population.
  • The humans of Selfism also see the Self when faced with an animal or with a tree; an animal or a tree is everything that it is, just like a human being.
  • Many studies of the Self actually come from humans’ careful study of animals in motion, since they haven’t been exposed to bad habits of the Self and are living in accordance with their nature.
  • Beauty is not a matter of facial features or any other purely external factor. Rather, beauty in Selfism depends on someone’s integration, meaning, how fully are they incorporating all of their Selves in the use of their Selves. While evidence of integration can be perceived externally (e.g., integrated posture, coherent speech and deeds, strong boundaries, ease of use), it is more often than not felt internally.
  • Just as integration is revered, a lack of integration is discriminated against, and so one of the main challenges faced by Selfism is how to keep moving Forward and Up as an integrated society without falling into elitist tendencies.

Community

  • Small-sized, sustainable, tight-knit communities are highly-valued.
  • The basic family unit consists of two parents, four grandparents (if possible), and several mentors from outside the family from inside the community; this structure provides ample support and education to all.
  • The size of the local community must not exceed 100 members and the basic family unit must not exceed 10 members, so as to ensure that deep, meaningful relationships are constructed, at least during each person’s early childhood; that said, communities are fairly open and allow visitors and exchange-members, perhaps even permanent new members if sustainable.
  • Every person has two “jobs”: one which is determined by the community, and one which is determined by that person’s Self; the former encourages empathy and collaboration, and the latter allows for freedom of creative expression the fulfillment of individual potential.
  • The community values the good use of the means of production rather than the means or the production themselves.
  • Selfism calls for the integration of the Self and of the community, which cannot be separated, given that a fully integrated Self must be fully integrated into his community, or else he is not yet fully integrated.

This is, in essence, the world of Selfism; the world I plan on bringing to life.

But how?

How Will I Bring Selfism to Life?

In bringing Selfism to life, I will, apropos, use an integrated approach, which will come together in digital form as a web-page.

On one dimension, the physical, I will create models of tools used by the humans of Selfism (hint: one of these tools relates to Forward and Up; another related to Constructive Rest), and I might include additional physical elements.

On another dimension, I will write a sample of the main legal document underpinning Selfism. I will also create additional representative writing samples that capture the world of Selfism.

And on yet another another dimension, I will create a piece of simple, expansive music that captures the essence of Selfism. Interestingly enough, this piece of music is that which is performed during community rituals.

Which rituals am I referring to? In Process Post 3, I will make one final foray into the intricacies of Selfism, by describing its Rituals, its Art, its Technology, and additional elements of its world, as well as give a final overview of how Selfism will come to life.

See you then!

This is the official font of Selfism. It’s called…”Selfism”.