Assume: experience does not divide into subject and object, though we may talk about it that way, as we seem to have few other options.

Assume: the notion of the individual mind, reified by cognitive psychology, is built upon just such a split. This provides a background assumption most of us have, and it licences discussion of perception, attention, and memory, each conceived of as something “I” do.

We can drop the problematic pre-theoretical split. Then we are no longer in our heads, but we are the world we meet. Perception, attention and memory can all be inverted.

When perception flips, we get the world impinging on us, or viewing us. The omnivoyant gaze of God, the solicitations of our surroundings, the sense of being looked at, instead of looking, all become options we may enjoy experiencing.

When attention flips, we become aware of the power of our wrought environment to nudge, push, and force us, to intrude and determine. We become aware of the controlling role of ads, of media, of planar surfaces, clothes, common standards. What was attention becomes more like a dim awareness of being moved.

When memory flips, we recognise that we are the medium in which historical stories find expression. We don’t select memories, we deal with the ones that intrude, and we retrospectively construct ourselves to align with them. This is not different for collective memory of a nation or people.

Being inside out is something that cannot be conveyed in words, but it can. perhaps, be articulated as a logical possibility. With that, we might recognise that our attribution of agency, our reliance on a notion like “I did it”, is, in fact, an optional choice. But if alternatives are possible and welcome to some of us, for others these alternatives come unexpectedly, unannounced, and without appropriate guidance. What do we get then?

We get depersonalisation.

We get the recognition that the voices in our heads, the thoughts we are having, are not ours, but are being played out as if they were.

We get many classical symptoms of mental illness, that now appear as logically sound alternatives that must be available and that could be non-threatening if we knew how to school ourselves for a bigger reality than one couched in a language of individual minds.