This is going to be a more elaborate version of an “essay” I wrote for Deviantart pertaining to the same question.  The basic idea is what would happen if therianthropy/otherkin were proven wrong?  How would you cope with the idea?  Is it even possible to prove these ideas wrong?  I believe I left some holes in the last essay so I’m revamping it to elaborate on a few points.

 

Is it possible to prove therianthropy and/or otherkin wrong?  I suppose it depends on the point of view one takes on the subject.  There’s two main points of views that need to be looked at when speaking of therianthropy/otherkin: Spiritual and Psychological.  The therian/otherkin who looks at the phenomenon in a spiritual light will have drastically different ideas than the therian/otherkin who looks at it in a psychological light.  Either way, it can neither be proven nor disproved.  However, for the sake of argument let’s say that it could be disproved.  How would one go about that?

 

From the Spiritual Perspective


Quite frankly, I don’t know how one would go about disproving something from a spiritual perspective.  However there’s two things that science would have to disprove in order to say that therianthropy from the spiritual perspective is false.  The first is the existence of a soul.  The second is that the soul of a non-human could inhabit a human body.  I left otherkin out for the moment because there some extra ideas that need to be disproved.  Those are the ideas that mythical creatures existed (either in this world or another plane of existence) and that if these souls came from another plane of existence that they can cross space and time to end up in this world.

 

I’ll start of with this first because it is the easiest thing to disprove.  It would be hard to find anyone willing that believes that it’s possible for a human to contain the soul of a dragon or fairy.  I covered this a little bit in my post on past life memories, but it takes a stretch of the imagination to believe that a soul will cross space, time, and dimension just to end up in some human body.  It is a wild claim that can’t be substantiated.  But it’s wilder still to claim to know that these creatures exist or have existed somewhere in the universe.  Now I believe in the possibility of life out there, but will remain skeptical until it is otherwise proven to me that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe.  I have to say it’s much easier to disprove otherkin from a spiritual perspective than it is to disprove therianthropy from the same perspective.

 

So I’ll cover therianthropy now.  Like I said before you have to disprove two things; that the soul exists and that an inhuman soul could be placed into a human body.  Let’s start with the existence of a soul.  How would you go about this?  What would you be looking for?  It’s possible that you could run some tests on the human body and potentially find the soul.  However we have no knowledge of what the soul looks like or where it’s located in the body.  But there are a lot more pressing issues that go with this.  Let’s say that we had knowledge of what the soul looked like and it was proven without a doubt that the soul did not exist.  Therians would be the furthest thing on people’s minds.  Let’s face it.  How many of you reading this even know what I’m talking about when I speak of therianthropy?  Most of you have never heard the term.  Some might have heard the term but only in terms of beings or deities that are part human-part animal.  So this is something that no one would be thinking about.  If you could disprove the existence of a soul, you would single-handedly disprove all of religion.  Or rather most religions as most religions revolve around some idea of a soul that lives on after death.  Don’t you think that would be a more pressing issue than proving whether or not it’s possible for a human to feel as a non-human?

 

If souls were disproved, you would disprove most psychic phenomenon, ghost/spirit sightings, angels and demons (which by default then means that angel and demon-kin are wrong).  It would mean that anyone fitting into these categories would be first up for going into some sort of psychiatric care.  I would also place those who honestly believe that it was aliens who started life on earth in this category as well (but this can go for non-therians/otherkin as I’ve heard this as one of the plausible “theories” for life starting on earth).

 

Now onto the second possibility: The psychological standpoint.

 

From the Psychological Perspective


I think this perspective might scare people a little bit.  When we use the word “psychological” we usually speak of some sort of mental ailment that needs to be cured.  This isn’t the case.  A psychological anomaly doesn’t need to be something that has to be cured.  Something that interferes with a person’s everyday life.  It can just be something that makes a person think differently or feel differently than “the norm” (whatever normal is).  So we need to get out of the mindset that “psychological” means something’s wrong with you and begin to think of it differently.

 

We as humans cannot pretend like we comprehend how the brain works 100%.  We’re still learning more and more things about it.  However there are plausible ways that both otherkin and therianthropy could be proven true using psychology.

 

We it comes right down to it, we all know that we’re human.  We have no special knowledge of animals.  What we know of animals are what we’ve learned through experiences with them (IE: pets, seeing animals in the wild, watching documentaries, and going to zoos).  I don’t believe anyone who claims to have any special knowledge of a specific animals species based upon the fact that they  “are” that animal.  It’s an impossibility.  The only thing that you know is what you are right now.  The only things that can be made are close approximations based on feelings, personality, and behaviors.  This could account for the high number of canine (specifically wolf) therians or any other species of animal that are thought of as “majestic”.

 

To start with wolves, humans have always had a tie with them.  We domesticated them and they became the hundreds of breeds of domestic dogs that we have today.  Humans are around dogs on a daily basis.  We see them when we walk down the street.  We have them as pets.  Many of us have some sort of experience with them.  With wolves especially, these are animals that are culturally thought of as evil due to religious contexts or historic context (wolves killing farm animals and humans, specifically the history of werewolves).  Wolves are also thought of as very spiritual creatures.  Whatever it may be, humans and wolves have a strong tie to one another.

 
Felines are the second most common type of animal found in the therian community.  You’d be hard pressed not to find a therian community that doesn’t have a large portion of lions, tigers, leopards, or domestic cats.    Cats are another animal that humans are exposed to on a daily basis.  Statistically, there are more cats as pets than they are dogs.  Look at what we think of as “feline” behavior.  Aloofness and gracefulness.  These are human traits that we just attribute to cats.  Believe me, cats aren’t nearly as graceful as you may think.  Ever see a cat attempt to jump up on something and fall short?  It’s quite a funny sight especially when what they were trying to jump up on isn’t very high.

 

But that’s besides the point.  These are animals that we are exposed to since childhood.  Not just domestic cats and dogs, but their wild counterparts too.  Wolves, lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs.  Perhaps there’s something about these animals that resonated with us strongly that subconsciously they became ingrained in our minds and personalities.  Of course I cannot speak for other therians.  I can only speak for myself and I believe I covered this topic a little bit in previous posts.  But I shall reiterate it for this one.  I was terrified of dogs when I was younger.  I believe the fear came from being around my uncle’s dog Jordan.  He was just the meanest Bulldog.  Whenever I was around him, he’d bark and growl at me and try to get at me.  I didn’t like his other dog, Crispy (this little terrier) either.  He was just a very yappy dog so I thought he was trying to attack me too (looking back on it, I don’t think he was).  So I developed a phobia of them.  I didn’t want to be around dogs.  I didn’t even like Golden Retrievers and they’re supposed to be one of the gentlest breeds.  I remember running away from one, hiding in my mom’s car and crying.

 

I was never terrified of seeing a picture of a dog or a cartoon dog (in fact, Scooby Doo was one of my favorite characters growing up).  Just real dogs.  On the flip side though, I loved werewolves and anything to do with animal transformation.  One of my favorite series was Big Wolf on Campus.  A show that used to come on (then FOX Family) ABC Family about a high school student who was bitten by a werewolf and became one.  I just loved seeing humans turn from on thing into another.  It’s a like of mine that’s stuck with me for some time now (though at the moment, I’m very picky about my werewolf movies…there aren’t too many good ones).  But I realized that not only was it the change from human to animal that I liked but the struggle to keep one’s humanity.

 

I believe it was some mix of those two things that triggered something in me that made me feel the way I do.  Perhaps a subconscious notion that if I “became” a canine that maybe I wouldn’t be afraid of them anymore.  Or perhaps it was triggered through realizing that dogs weren’t so bad after all.  That’s assuming that there might be a genetic component to therianthropy and perhaps the right conditions were met for it to be triggered.  That takes a lot of assumptions so I won’t go any further with that theory.  Or it might even just be a subconscious desire to be like a werewolf or were-creature that made me like this.  There’s a lot to work with.

 

There is one nasty fault with the psychological perspective though and that leaves open room for fiction/media-kin and otaku-kin.  These are the people who feel like they are a fictional character.  This is a subject for another post, however I will say that it’s not uncommon to relate to fictional characters.  When people write stories, scripts for television/movies, comics, etc., they purposely create characters for people to relate too.  If no one related to the characters then the story wouldn’t be successful.  No one would be interested.  There is a fault with saying you are that character.  I believe the only people who reserve the right to say they are a character is the person who created the characters themselves.

 

So how would I cope if one day someone told me that this was all false?  I’ll just have to realize that I have awkward quirks that I can’t explain.  Feeling like a dog doesn’t interfere with my life.  I have friends and hobbies.  I’m going to school and pursing a career (despite wanting to possibly change what career I’m pursuing…but that’s noting out of the ordinary).  I don’t have to cope with anything.  I’m smart enough to know not to show any animalistic behaviors in public.  That’s reserved for the privacy of my own home.  Is it hard at times to suppress a behavior that comes naturally for me?  Yes.  But I do it because I have to.

 

Let’s face it.  We can swallow a lot of strange ideas in this society.  The idea that someone doesn’t feel the right gender.  That one can make a bit of sense depending on if the science behind it is correct.  But the idea that someone doesn’t feel the right species is an odd one.  Especially from the spiritual perspective.  I completely understand the hesitation when it comes to believing people who say they are ‘X’ animal or they are ‘X’ creature.  But I do think there is a reason for it.  One that isn’t necessarily just spiritual.  Spirituality can play a role in it however I believe that the phenomenon is something rooted in the brain and something that can be pinpointed and explained.  It might take some work but I believe that it is possible.

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