Can we learn the ‘nature of reality’ from multiple personality disorder?

diss
Image credit: Erin Fado

[Dissociative identity disorder is], a condition in which the psyche gives rise to multiple, operationally separate centers of consciousness, each with its own private inner life.

Now, a newly published paper by one of us posits that dissociation can offer a solution to a critical problem in our current understanding of the nature of reality.

[A]lthough consciousness is indeed fundamental in nature, it isn’t fragmented like matter. The idea is to extend consciousness to the entire fabric of spacetime, as opposed to limiting it to the boundaries of individual subatomic particles. This view—called “cosmopsychism” in modern philosophy, although our preferred formulation of it boils down to what has classically been called “idealism”—is that there is only one, universal, consciousness. The physical universe as a whole is the extrinsic appearance of universal inner life, just as a living brain and body are the extrinsic appearance of a person’s inner life.

Related article:  ‘Complicated, messy and random’: Synthesizing old and new perspectives on human evolution

We know empirically from DID that consciousness can give rise to many operationally distinct centers of concurrent experience, each with its own personality and sense of identity. Therefore, if something analogous to DID happens at a universal level, the one universal consciousness could, as a result, give rise to many alters with private inner lives like yours and ours. As such, we may all be alters—dissociated personalities—of universal consciousness.

Read full, original post: Could Multiple Personality Disorder Explain Life, the Universe and Everything?

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