Co-consciousness and co-fronting
There is not one widely accepted definition when it comes to consciousness. Same as with the word dissociation. People can mean many things when they talk about conscious. So for the purpose of this article we are choosing the Cambridge dictionary ( https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/conscious ) which explains consciousness with the word noticing. Or to notice that a particular thing or person exists or is present. I like the word present in this definition, because being co-conscious is all about being present in the here and now. Knowing where and when you are. When we use the term co-consciousness, we refer to a state where 2 or more alters are actively aware, they notice, what is going on around them. What is happening in their life at this moment in time. Whereas in a classic DID situation, one alter at the time fronts and the other alters have no awareness, lose time due to amnesic walls.
Being co-conscious has many benefits for plural systems. It limits the chance of losing time. System communication becomes easier. You are safer if everyone (who wants to participate) knows the current state of your life and the people in it. You can learn to feel safer without a full switch being necessary. This can be handy if you (want to) work for example. It makes therapy so much easier. And friendships and relationships on the outside can become easily available to more people in the system.
If you are lucky then co-consciousness came when you became self aware. Most systems seem to have to put some work into it though. First of all write down your goal as vividly as possible. People who very vividly describe their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals, then those who do not. ( https://www.leadershipiq.com/blogs/leadershipiq/the-gender-gap-and-goal-setting-a-research-study ) By writing down your goal and then having other alters add onto it, you can create the first start of creating a co-conscious awareness. Everyone (who wants to participate) will need to know of the plan to become co-conscious. By that I mean, someone has to notice that a particular thing (co-consciousness) exists, before they can be co-conscious. (i’m not referring to terminology but the act of being co-conscious)
There are other things that might need to happen before co-consciousness becomes a possibility and i think it’s good to include those things into your written goal. Trust within the system is a big key. You can work on this by journaling, getting to know each other, creating/adjusting a safe space in the inner world. Kinhost.org has a great podcast on system trust. ( Starting at episode 9 https://kinhost.org/ManyMinds/ManyMinds009WelcomeToDIDWeAreNotTheEnemy )
Other things to work on are everyone being present in the here and now. Being safe in both the outside and inside world and everyone being aware of that. Being able to communicate on the inside. Video by Power to the Plurals with 11 tips and tricks for system communication: https://youtu.be/oF_8cnWKSzo
Lastly i want to add something in here about co-fronting. Fronting, being out, using the body, being active/awake/online and so many more different terms are used to express when an alter is presenting. Co-fronting is when 2 or more alters are fronting at the same time. This can mean anything from multiple alters that can use the mouth or where one alter controls the left arm and one alter controls the right arm and anything in between.
Are you co-conscious? What have you done to reach that point? If you are not yet co-conscious, what steps have you already taken to become co-conscious? Join the discussion. To really engage and learn from each other we invite you to join
our Power to the Plurals Facebook group.
This is also where you can find The Stronghold System (Sarah Clark) and TheMyriad System (Ashton Parker) personal experience with the topic we discuss. We hope for active interaction between members of the group.