After you have a done a good deal of FIML, you will start to see semiotics as things, similar to words or memories.
FIML facilitates this process by forcing us to pay close attention to the ways we use semiotics and the ways they affect us.
Our identities, such that they are, are based on our closeness to or need for semiotics that define us, assure us, make us feel at home, tell us who we are.
Our use of semiotics in that way is very common but it is hard to grasp if we have no other basis for our identity, which few of us do.
FIML practice provides a different basis for identity than “extrinsic” semiotics, the conscious and unconscious semiotics of culture, upbringing, media, advertising, schooling, what we may think others think.
FIML partners, by constantly paying attention to the play of interpersonal semiotics, gradually will shift the bases of their identities from largely static extrinsic signs to dynamic intrinsic, or interpersonal, processes. This is what makes semiotics start looking like things rather than abstract elements of linguistic analysis.
Semiotics are things as much as words are. They differ in that there is no dictionary of them; we have to see them for ourselves and understand how they have been formed and why they affect us as they do.
Once partners do this through FIML practice, they will eventually notice that their habitual extrinsic semiotics will start to slough off, to fall away from them. This happens very naturally as a rich dynamic realm of largely error-free communication develops between them.
The falling away of habitual extrinsic semiotics that had been used to define or maintain the identity is accompanied by delightful feelings of freedom and lightness, independence and assuredness that one’s being is better served by the intimate communication of FIML than the inculcated beliefs and values of the past.