Could Multiple Personality Disorder Explain Life, the Universe and Everything? We may all be alters—dissociated personalities—of universal consciousness:

In 2015, doctors in Germany reported the extraordinary case of a woman who suffered from what has traditionally been called “multiple personality disorder” and today is known as “dissociative identity disorder” (DID). The woman exhibited a variety of dissociated personalities (“alters”), some of which claimed to be blind. Using EEGs, the doctors were able to ascertain that the brain activity normally associated with sight wasn’t present while a blind alter was in control of the woman’s body, even though her eyes were open. Remarkably, when a sighted alter assumed control, the usual brain activity returned.

This was a compelling demonstration of the literally blinding power of extreme forms of dissociation, a condition in which the psyche gives rise to multiple, operationally separate centers of consciousness, each with its own private inner life.


Many Buddhist believe a cosmology similar to what is described in this essay—that the entire universe is conscious and that individual living beings are but temporarily dissociated from that consciousness. This view also explains how an individual can “take rebirth” without any soul or pudgala flying away from the body; how rebirth can happen “simply” due to there being karma that causes the universal consciousness to create another physical entity. For more on this see these other essays by Kastrup. ABN

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