I am in the world building stage of my current story. This story will take place, at least partially, in the afterlife. But I don’t want any of the typical afterlife that is so popular in Western mythology. This afterlife has to be created from scratch.
It isn’t only the setting, but the inhabitants as well. Since these inhabitants will mostly start off as people, I am looking at what the people will become after they have died and gone to the new heaven. In trying to create this, I have been looking at different and interesting people as well as the problems that they deal with.
Here is a ghastly, partial description of BIID from Wikipedia:
Body integrity identity disorder (BIID, also referred to as amputee identity disorder or “transabled“) is a psychological disorder in which an otherwise healthy individual feels that they are meant to be disabled. It is not medically recognized by the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5. BIID is related to xenomelia, “the oppressive feeling that one or more limbs of one’s body do not belong to one’s self”.
BIID is typically accompanied by the desire to amputate one or more healthy limbs. It also includes the desire for other forms of disability, as in the case of a woman who intentionally blinded herself. BIID can be associated with apotemnophilia, sexual arousal based on the image of one’s self as an amputee. The cause of BIID is unknown. One hypothesis states that it results from a neurological failing of the brain’s inner body mapping function (located in the right parietal lobe) to incorporate the affected limb in its understanding of the body’s physical form.
Like many human conditions that aren’t recognized as legitimate by society in general, the knowledge of BIID is treated as some kind of monstrous perversion that arises from within a deranged mind.
And it’s probably sexual. (Thanks Sigmund)
But what must it be like to feel like a part of your body doesn’t belong? And what if that part of your body wasn’t there after you died? What would the soul of people suffering from BIID look like? I can only imagine, and therefore I do imagine.
What if their minds are free from the arbitrary limitations that we place on ourselves. We have feet and legs, we expect to walk everywhere or use some type of vehicle (or animal) for transportation. What if their spirits never head legs to begin with? What if their spirit comes from a place where it soars like a bird? What if legs and feet would only hold them down and keep them forever bound to the earth that they never claimed. What if they are the next evolution of the soul?
I think this is an amazing thought. I suspect they will find a place in my story.