(This is the first of a few posts I've scheduled for the weekend of Fluidity Forum. It is from the previous weekend.)
The other day, I found myself wanting to do something safe and familiar. I wanted to play a video game that's familiar and predictable and I don't gotta think. I wanted to play Fallout: New Vegas, because I played it through years ago, maybe more than once, so I know how it goes. It doesn't demand a lot of careful thinking—I can play it in a very dumb looting-and-shooting way. That's what I want: I want to run around shooting things, hovering up loot, and bringing it back to base, on repeat. Maybe do a few quests in between. I have plenty of other options, games I've never played once, but I didn't want to play those—that would require thinking. New Vegas seemed like the perfect fit.
Because I wanted to stick with the safe and familiar, I thought of the animal realm, but I'm not sure if it fits. The description in Spacious Passion seems to emphasize stubbornness and justification. It's not just about wanting the familiar, it's about insisting on the familiar. Does that require another person in the loop? That would make this realm less of a mindset and instead more of an abstract pattern of interaction, which would make sense, though it doesn't seem clearly framed as such. This wanting-to-play-a-familiar-game doesn't involve anyone else. It was something I could give up fairly easily when I got on to play with some friends later that night.
If I'm reading correctly, the animal realm 'mindset' is imprecise. It doesn't mean wanting the safe and familiar because of its known qualities. It means wanting the familiar because it is familiar, independent of its known qualities. But there's no sharp distinction here, so I don't know what to do with that.
I find myself wondering, not for the first time, what the realms model is for...