Hyperphantasia and Suffering-Focused Ethics

August 1, 2021

     The idea that the majority of people might NOT have an inner monologue is so disturbing and counter-intuitive to me, especially as someone with multiple inner dialogues and an extremely vivid imagination; I would call it hyperphantasia, that my mind is hyperphantasic.


September 2, 2021

     “Some humans, like artists, writers, creatively inclined characters, are designed to be a kind of experiential probe, where they are engineered to have a condition called ‘hyperphantasia’, where people are equipped with multiple internal dialogues and vivid imaginations more rich and detailed than what most normal folk have. They are assigned here to live out their lives, where their senses and thoughts stimulate their hyperphantasia to the point where entire worlds are created one after the other, in parallel or mixed together. All of these fantasies and epic flights of imagination are transmitted and stored in a cosmic library somewhere, where those who built it can enjoy incredible and immersive environments sourced from these fertile imaginariums and never-before-experienced novelties. Further still, some of these beings even used these visions as bases and models for paradise-engineered worlds and the Eden-esque terraforming of planets.”


December 10, 2021

     Content warning: suffering, war, atrocities. Has anyone who is against the abolition of involuntary suffering ever really, truly suffered at all themselves? And I mean suffered badly. Today at my job, I went into a giant freezer, and I had to stay in there for an extended period of time. It was so cold it actually became very unpleasant and quite painful. As someone with hyperphantasia, I am often bombarded with many unwanted and intrusive thoughts. If I am in an uncomfortable situation, sometimes my mind will race and freewheel to an extreme version of an environment I’m in, whether real and historical or imagined, one that would cause, and has caused in the past, great suffering. Thus, in the freezer, I couldn’t help but imagine crimes against humanity such as Unit 731 by the Japanese during World War 2, where many victims died by being exposed to extreme temperatures like extreme cold (among other nasty experiments), or the atrocities at the hands of the Bolsheviks, who spread terror and death, executing some poor kulaks by dousing them with water and then leaving them to freeze outside. The prospect of friends and loved ones meeting similar fates seemed to make the pain of the cold freezer more and more intensely unpleasant, and I had to get out of there; I couldn’t stand it a minute longer. After such historical incidents, and while similar atrocities are happening as I write this, I cannot say I support the existence of suffering, no matter how ‘character building’ it is, or how essential it is to maintain some ‘cosmic balance’, especially after ones hard-to-control mind reveals what potentially could happen and just how truly awful it could be.


January 2, 2022

     One of the burdens of hyperphantasia and extreme daydreaming is that an active imagination can easily simulate some of the worst forms of suffering, and any increased empathy that can come with it fuels the imagination to not only imagine extreme suffering, but to also put oneself in the shoes of those victims who suffered them in the past and across history, coupled with those yet to come. Hence, this is why I am a suffering-abolitionist. People laud the character-building qualities of suffering, but in cases such as those, I think alternative terms such as challenge, adversity, resistance, tenacity, endurance, strengthening, hormetism, training, and others would be far more fitting instead. He who can experience, or even merely imagines, suffering at its worst could not possibly continue to support its continued existence uninterrupted after experiencing such horrors, or seeing it happen to others. I have always thought that people who flippantly say, “we need suffering, suffering is good for our souls and we are better off for it”, and other such sentiments, have not experienced suffering at its worst. I would not wish that kind of suffering, or any rude awakenings, onto them as payment or punishment for the inexperience needed to say and believe such things (in fact, I am very glad that they haven’t suffered so! Obviously!), thus I would much prefer that they be mindful enough to use other words like the ones I wrote a moment ago in place of ‘suffering’.