How many of you remember Anthony Perkins chilling portrayal of both Norman Bates, the inn keeper at the Bates Motel, and his long-dead grandmother, in the Alfred Hitchcock’s horrifyingly graphic thriller, Psycho? If you saw it in 1960 when it first hit the silver screen, then you may also remember Paul Newman’s wife, Joanne Woodward, starring in the true story, turned book, made movie, The Three Faces of Eve. Mrs. Woodward actually played three different women — the original, timid and self-effacing Eve, (the one her mom gave birth to… not Adam’s playmate in the garden of Eden), Eve White, and two more – the wild, fun-loving Eve Black, who is the first visitor to arrive, and the relatively stable Jane, who is the last on the scene. This is a classic case of what’s called MPD – Multiple Personality Disorder.
Since The Three Faces of Eve landed in the movie houses 3 years prior to Psycho, and while “Eve” lacked the transgender, age differential of the Bates slash-happy, out-patient trisectomy service, it is not too far-fetched that Mr. Hitchcock may have seen this film. Noticing how Eve Black eventually dominated to destroy Eve White’s marriage and almost kill her daughter, could have fired up his imagination in the direction that three years later he took to another level.
When I set out to write this particular post, talking about aberrant psychology, as I have, was not a consideration. The reason I included it was to make a point, which I will get to in a moment. But for this moment, I’m wondering if you have acknowledged that split personalities do exist, and, like me, have not given them much thought. But as I learn a little more about the brain, the more it fascinates me. Eve (or actually the woman she represented in real life) was of average intelligence that apparently experienced something so traumatic in her childhood (the most common cause of MPD), the split began to occur…until, and this is truly amazing to me, one brain was able to create three entirely different women. As it turns out, these personality changes can have substantial impact on a person’s physiology as well – both plus and minus – so I’ve included a short article on this topic at the bottom of this post.
As you will see when reading this article, some of the physiological effects expressed by one personality and not the other(s) involve both impaired and occasionally better-than-average organ function. Major changes in visual acuity or color perception, left or right handedness, the handling of blood glucose levels, etc., make it obvious which organs are being affected. Radical variations such as these often occur because, as in Eve’s case, each personality can be so different and dominate for such long periods of time (a high percentage of almost an entire lifetime long, if uncorrected).
As much as these changes in organ function can be a boon or a curse to those individuals like Eve experiencing them, they can be a blessing for the rest of us. Once we accept the notion that our moods markedly affect the personality we present to the world, we can also accept the concept that these moods are directly affecting our physiology. Although for a number of other reasons, MKMMA students have learned how to accept and take responsibility for our moods by controlling them. We learn how to be “masters of our emotions.” Scroll VI of Og Mandino’s THE GREATEST SALEMAN IN THE WORLD talks about this “mastery”. The personality-connection is very evident when he points out: “Henceforth I recognize and identify the mystery of moods in all mankind, and in me. From this moment I am prepared to control whatever personality awakes in me each day. I master my moods through positive action and when I master my moods I control my destiny.” (For reasons all MKMMA students are familiar, the word “will” has been removed from this passage.) If any of us hasn’t already done so, we can now add “HAPPY CAMPERS LIVE LONGER” to our MKMMA portfolio.
Switching from the macroscopic to the microscopic, as MKMMA lessons have a wonderful versatility to do, we recently focused our attention and peered into the realm of physics and some of the dynamics occurring at the sub-atomic level. For instance, borrowing from Fridjof Capra’s work, in one recent lesson, Davene made it clear how everything is in motion, despite how structurally solid and inanimate the object might appear to be. Furthermore, even the most solid of objects are in fact composed almost entirely of empty space. To emphasize this idea, Deepak Chopra points out a particularly small particle, a neutrino, can pass through the entire earth without hitting a single bit of matter.
On the other hand, the energy both inside and outside these whizzing dynamos called electrons suggests that this spaciousness, this emptiness, has much more to it than just nothing. In fact, this nothing has more something than the something has something. Even when the nucleus of the atom takes center stage (that’s where it is, is it not?), the voyage of the neutrino tells us that the nucleus of each atom may be more compact and occupied, filled with protons and neutrons as it is, nonetheless, it too is filled with more space than matter, and sharing that common bond with the electron (as it does, after all), it is the non-matter that matters most.
Many of us old-timers that lived during the days when Walt Disney vied with the Ed Sullivan show for viewers, might remember the animation of a chain reaction that was caused by bringing together two piles of plutonium 239 to create one big pile – a pile mathematically calculated to be large enough to reach critical mass. Critical mass is the amount of highly radioactive, man-made material, plutonium, needed for the chain reaction to occur, and KABOOM! The instant explosion created by the splitting of plutonium into smaller elements this way is called nuclear fission – otherwise known as an atomic bomb. The energy released during this atomic breakdown is a whole lot of something coming from what appears to be nothing – 20,000 tons of TNT – give or take a stick or two, this way or that.
Metaphorically speaking, (and this is the point I referred to six paragraphs earlier) the way a single personality can sometimes splinter into several reminded me of the splitting of atoms in a nuclear fission reaction. I know, as metaphors go, even MKMMA students might be a teensy bit skeptical. Therefore, rather than linger any longer in this plop, plop, fizz fizz (okay, those of you who watched Mark’s post Week 24 webinar videos, what comes next? Yes, you guessed it), I hope it’s as much of a relief for you, as it is for me…well, before moving on, how about using this same video to have a little more fun? “Where’s the…
Up to this point, I’ve been speaking about things more catabolic than anabolic, more destructive than constructive. So let’s turn towards the friendlier and aim our attention on that which is constructive (right where it should be most of the time anyway). At the atomic level, there is only one process that is an obvious first pick. Survey says: FUSION. A day without fusion, is a whole lot worse than a day without…(right again, orange juice) Why? Because while the next word is identical: “sunshine,” I don’t think it’s too difficult to see (although it would be) that the sun is the “sol” provider. Fusion is how our sun and all the other stars in the Universe produce the energy, the light, without which life as we know it cannot exist. As bombs go (since we did touch on that before blowing by), which is cleaner and more powerful: an atom bomb (relies on fission) or a hydrogen bomb (relies upon fusion)? Even if you aren’t as smart as a fifth grader, you probably know the answer to that one.
The word fusion speaks for itself. It is the combining of two lesser molecules to create one larger molecule that has greater organizational complexity. If this example of “oneness,” as I suggest it is, is responsible for life itself, can any other principle be as vital for us to incorporate into our lives as this one?
In one of my first blog posts, I pointed out what indirectly resulted from what I now realize was the closest thing I’ve ever done to the extended silence exercise we’ve all been exhorted (not assigned) to do. This occurred ~ 1985, while spending 2 days by myself, using Fridjof Capra’s The Tau of Physics, as my primary source, to write a paper on the meaning of life. From this experience I educed the three principles most essential in living my life: ONENESS, LOVE, AND MULTI-PERCEPTUAL VIEWPOINT. Although MPV has served me well, some re-modeling may be in order, and just waiting for that extended silence I coulda, woulda, shoulda, and will…or was, because oh, what a whiz he was…if you get my drift (God, I hope not). ONENESS and LOVE? You can’t have one without the other.
Metaphorically speaking (oneness, love, fusion, take your pick), this is what happened during the month that Craignito and Subucon, unseen inside Craignito’s body, were laying together – almost as if in a coma. Craignito and Subucon went in – into the silence — partially separate/partially one, and came out – out of the silence – totally one! The mind-meld was successful. Although each knew the presence of the other, the person all attention, all concentration would soon be focused was named neither Craignito nor Subucon. Let there be no confusion. It’s not a bird. It’s not a plane. It’s CRAIGNITON!
EXAMPLES OF HOW MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER CAN AFFECT HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY
Other conditions that can vary from personality to personality include scars, burn marks, cysts, and left- and right-handedness. Visual acuity can differ, and some multiples have to carry two or three different pairs of eyeglasses to accommodate their alternating personalities. One personality can be color-blind and another not, and even eye color can change.
There are cases of women who have two or three menstrual periods each month because each of their subpersonalities has its own cycle.
Speech pathologist Christy Ludlow has found that the voice pattern for each of a multiple’s personalities is different, a feat that requires such a deep physiological change that even the most accomplished actor cannot alter his voice enough to disguise his voice pattern.
One multiple, admitted to a hospital for diabetes, baffled her doctors by showing no symptoms when one of her non-diabetic personalities was in control.
There are accounts of epilepsy coming and going with changes in personality, and psychologist Robert A. Phillips, Jr. reports that even tumors can appear and disappear (although he does not specify what kind of tumors).
Multiples also tend to heal faster than normal individuals. For example, there are several cases on record of third-degree burns healing with extraordinary rapidity. Most eerie of all, at least one researcher, Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, the therapist whose pioneering treatment of Sybil Dorsett was portrayed in the book Sybil – is convinced that multiples don’t age as fast as other people.
At a recent symposium on the multiple personality syndrome, a multiple named Cassandra provided a possible answer. Cassandra attributes her own rapid healing ability both to the visualization techniques she practices and to something she calls “parallel processing”.As she explained, even when her alternate personalities are not in control of her body, they are still aware. This enables her to “think” on a multitude of different channels at once, to do things like work on several different term papers simultaneously, and even “sleep” while other personalities prepare her dinner and clean her house.
Hence, whereas normal people only do healing imagery exercises two or three times a day, Cassandra does them around the clock. She even has a subpersonality named Celese who possesses a thorough knowledge of anatomy and physiology, and whose sole function is to spend twenty-four hours a day meditating and imaging the body’s well-being. According to Cassandra, it is this full-time attention to her health that gives her an edge over normal people. Other multiples have made similar claims.