See yourself anew

My cliff notes from “Be a new homunculus”:

This introduces a new tool for addressing guilty feelings: Pretend you are a “new homunculus”.

Homunculi are tiny representations of humans. The homunculus fallacy is locating consciousness somewhere in your brain as a tiny version of yourself in control of yourself; the problem is, who then controls the homunculus?

[B]ut it can be quite fun to pretend that you are a homunculus sometimes, mostly because this allows you to occasionally pretend you’re a new homunculus, fresh off the factory lines, and newly installed into this particular person

This can allow you to take a fresh look at yourself, without the baggage of ownership over, defensiveness of, and attachment to your current state, however you got to be who you are now. The old homunculus was responsible for how you got to where you are now. Without reason to honor old obligations, you have the privilege of cleaning house! It’s a kind of fresh start.

It can also specifically apply to guilt: Taking a fresh look can help you recognize symptoms of lingering guilt such as regrets, anxieties, and dreads, interrogate them to identify guilt at the root, and make changes (i.e, reprogram your patterns), and absolve the no-longer-useful guilt.

Guilt is a kind of subset of the sunk cost fallacy, that carries with it a lesson. This tool is broadly effective for dealing with sunk cost fallacies.

To put this into practice, when experiencing guilt:

  1. Actually close your eyes
  2. Re-open them as a new homunculus
  3. Pay close attention to the guilt
  4. Actually write down its lesson
  5. Spend 5 minutes brainstorming patterns to change
  6. Commit to making changes
  7. Thank the guilt for teaching the lesson
  8. Dismiss the guilt.

This can become reflexive with practice, and is useful in other ways outside of addressing guilt for seeing yourself anew.

This post is part of the thread: Replacing Guilt Cliffs Notes – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.