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No. 59: Sep-Oct 1988

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The Enigma Of Multiple Personality

The multiple personalities of individuals afflicted with this disorder are sharply defined. Each personality has its (his or her) distinctive handwriting, artistic talents, foreign language capabilities, and other aspects of behavior -- all in the same body. Such mental and behavioral facets of multiple personality are well-recognized, even if not understood. What is even stranger and more anomalous about multiple personality is the remarkable mind-body relationship manifested. Consider, for example, the case of Timmy:

"When Timmy drinks orange juice he has no problem. But Timmy is just one of close to a dozen personalities who alternate control over a patient with multiple personality disorder. And if those other personalities drink orange juice, the result is a case of hives.

"The hives will occur even if Timmy drinks orange juice and another personality appears while the juice is still being digested. What's more, if Timmy comes back while the allergic reaction is present, the itching of the hives will cease immediately, and the water-filled blisters will begin to subside."

How does one explain such phenomena? We cannot obviously, at least not yet. What the phenomenon of multiple personality does do is offer us a "window" for observing that mysterious interface between one's thoughts and bodily functions. Perhaps, if we can heal the mind, we can also heal the body. (Where have we heard this before?)

(Goleman, Daniel; "Probing the Enigma of Multiple Personality," New York Times, p. B7, June 28, 1988. Cr. J. Covey)

From Science Frontiers #59, SEP-OCT 1988. 1988-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987