I. April 6, 1998: Description of the Essence
The Credentials of Ralph B. Allison, M.D.
I am a board-certified psychiatrist, licensed to practice in the state of California. I
graduated from Occidental College, in Los Angeles, in 1952 with a B.A. After receiving my M.D.
from UCLA School of Medicine in 1956, I served a year's rotating internship at Highland-
Alameda County Hospital in Oakland. Then I was in the USAF for two years as a Flight Surgeon
at Keesler AFB, MS. On return to California, I completed a three-year psychiatric residency at
Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto.
My practice was first in Palo Alto, then Santa in Cruz for 12 years, where I established the
Suicide Prevention Service after heading the county mental health service for three years. I then
moved to Davis, where I worked for the Yolo County Mental Health Service for three years. I
then came to SLO to work at CMC, from which I retired after 13 years.
In 1980, I coauthored "Minds In Many Pieces" about my work with patients with Multiple
Personality Disorder (MPD) in Santa Cruz. In 1997, an edited Japanese version was published in
Tokyo. A manuscript describing my treatment in Yolo County of a patient with complex MPD is
in the hands of a literary agent in New York at this time. My professional papers are available for
downloading from my website, www.dissociation.com.
I was the first psychiatrist to present a course on the diagnosis and treatment of MPD to
members of the American Psychiatric Association, of which I am a Life Fellow. I have given
papers and workshops on the subject in the USA, Sweden, Hungary and Japan.
My First Patient With MPD and Inner Self Helper
As recorded in "Minds In Many Pieces," my first patient with MPD arrived in my office in
Santa Cruz in 1972. "Janette" had just been discharged from the New Mexico State Hospital and
arrived with her discharge summary, which listed a diagnosis of schizophrenia. She was
depressed, but did not "feel" like a schizophrenic to me. I sent her home with a prescription for
antidepressant medication and another office appointment.
That weekend she overdosed on my prescription medicine, and I admitted her to a local
general hospital psychiatric ward. Due to my confusion over the correct diagnosis, I asked a
psychologist to test her to determine what her diagnosis might be. Late that evening she called me
at home and told me, "Ralph, you have a case of 'The Three Faces of Eve' on your hands."
I told her that was impossible, that such cases were so rare none should show up in our
little town, but the psychologist told me that she had seen two personalities during her interview. I
saw Janette the next day, when I met and talked to three personalities myself, Janette, Lydia and
Marie. The psychologist was right.
I didn't know what to do with Janette, so I transferred her to another hospital. She was
there six weeks, but nothing constructive was accomplished.
One Saturday afternoon, I received a phone call from my answering service, stating that
Janette had called. When I called her, she denied calling me. I insisted that my answering service
had recorded a call from her number, so somebody must have called me. She told me to hang up
and give her a chance to solve this dilemma.
At home, she told her husband to put a tape in his tape recorder, set it to record by her
easy chair and take a long walk away from home. She wanted some time alone. After he left, she
put herself into a hypnotic trance and tape recorded what she said. At the next visit, she and her
husband brought the tape she had recorded and played it in my office. When I heard it, I nearly
fell out of my chair!
The tape started out with her talking to her antisocial drug abusing, seductive
alter-personality, "Lydia." She kept asking Lydia why she had tried to call Dr. Allison. Lydia kept
responding that she had not tried to call me as she thought I was a jerk, and she didn't want to talk
to me. After repeated arguments between Lydia and Janette, a new voice appeared on the tape.
This one, who later used the name of Karen, said, "Listen to me. I'm trying to help you. I've been
trying to help you but you won't listen to me."
Janet was shocked. She questioned this new voice, trying to understand what was
happening. As they talked, Karen explained that she had called me and was trying to help Janette.
"Lydia's not aware. She doesn't know me," Karen said. "But I know Lydia. I know Marie.
I know everything that you don't know. I know how to get rid of Lydia. I know why Marie went
away. I'm your only hope, if you will just listen to me. I'm just trying to help you. Because I'm
strong. I'm strong but I have to have your confidence in me and your belief in me so that we can,
you and I, get rid of Lydia for good. I mean from now on, so she can never return again, 'cause
she doesn't know me. She's not aware of me. She doesn't know about the phone call."
I had discovered an all-knowing helper who later came out in our sessions and told me
what had really happened in Janette's life and how to help her. I came to realize that many patients
with alter-personalities also had this all wise entity, which could be used as a co-therapist. Since,
at that time, there was no published guide to treatment of MPD, these entities were invaluable to
me in my treatment of the next dozen similar patients I saw in my practice in Santa Cruz.
To write the book chapter about this case, I had to invent a name for this entity. I thought
Inner Self Helper was the best, and used the acronym "ISH." Since then, this entity has come to
be known as the Allisonian ISH.
Charity was the name of the ISH of "Sylvia," the most dramatic MPD patient I met in
Santa Cruz. She is the one shown on the videotape you have seen. When I moved to Yolo
County, I met "Marie," whose ISH was named Becky. Marie was even more complex than Sylvia,
as she had 69 alter-personalities to integrate during the three years I was there.
Both Sylvia and Marie were what we call Grade V hypnotizable persons, the virtuosos of
hypnotic techniques. There is nothing they cannot do in trance. They are the type of person any
psychology professor likes to have on hand to demonstrate all the known hypnotic techniques.
Because of this characteristic, in them I not only met their ISH, I also met the "supervisors" of the
The ISH, such as Becky, is responsible for the welfare and guidance of Marie alone, while
the "supervisors" have much broader responsibilities, which will be outlined later. As for my own
teaching, I have learned from all of them, including Becky, but my primary teacher of theoretical
ideas has been Charity.
After Marie psychologically integrated all of her 69 alter-personalities into herself, the
Original Personality, I could still interview Becky, who had been her ISH. Becky would come out
spontaneously when she wanted to talk to me, or she would take over the body when Marie got
into a difficult situation she could not handle. Becky informed me that after integration, she no
longer needed to be an ISH, which is a job title, like Damage Control Officer. She now had
reverted to the status she had in the beginning of Marie's life, Marie's Essence. That was the term
she preferred I use in referring to her and others like her. Becky always referred to Marie as "our
Charge," so I sometimes use the word "Charge" to refer to that part of mind which is fused with
the Essence during the life of people without MPD.
Among therapists of patients with MPD, there has been understandable confusion over
just what the ISH is. Is it a smarter-than-average alter-personality or is it something else? I have
finally determined that it is simply a "job title," just as I had a job title of "psychiatrist" for many
years. However, I was not born a psychiatrist. I was born a male human. So, too, was the ISH
"born" an Essence, which is its key identity. When I went to the proper schools and then was
employed by the proper clinics, I took on the job title of psychiatrist. Likewise, when the Essence
found itself faced with a threat of death to its Charge, it had to take on a job title of Inner Self
Helper, which is equivalent to Damage Control Officer. It still had to perform all the duties of an
Essence, but it also had to keep this child alive by making alter-personalities who could better
operate a physical body. Once the physical body was safely adult and the Original Personality of
its Charge was psychologically integrated and back in charge of the body, the ISH retired from
that position and only needed to perform the duties of an Essence. Likewise, when I retired from
treating psychotic inmates at CMC, I could stop being a psychiatrist and live as a male human
doing something else.
Brain vs. Mind vs. Soul
For many centuries, humans have been seen by philosophers (seekers of knowledge) as
composed of "body, mind, and spirit" or some equivalent of this triune. In the past four centuries,
there has been a move afoot by the scientific establishment to consider humans to be only physical
organisms, which means that we are only made of "body." The part of that body which
experiments prove is needed for all mental operations is the brain, a soft, spongy mass of nerve
cells inside a boney skull. Those scientists known as "Physicalists" consider this to be all we are,
and they postulate that consciousness is a result of some kind of physical behavior at the quantum
level of the cells and hormones of the brain.
When this scientific era began, the concept of the "soul" or "spirit" was left in the hands of
the clergy, to define in their theology. However, that research does not seem to have gone very
far, as each religion has a different opinion on what these words mean and what they imply in
human lives. When I was being raised in the home of a father who was a Presbyterian pastor, the
impression I got was that our soul was something like an item in the trunk of our car, the body.
When the body died (the car was wrecked in an accident), the soul was removed from the trunk of
the car and was put somewhere else. It could not be destroyed, but where it went was never made
clear to me. Likewise, it was never clear just what this soul did while it was in our body. All I
heard was that my parents felt obligated to convince the "heathens" in the missionary field where
they worked to "accept Christ as their personal Savior" or this soul would go to hell. Therefore,
they were in the business of "saving souls from eternal damnation in hell." What I didn't know
was that these non-Christian Heathens my parents wanted to save from hell already had religions
such as Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism.
Now I realize that each of us has these three components in ourselves, of which the
physical Brain and body is only one component. It is, of course, an important component which is
needed for the other two to have any impact on our physical environment. However, it is only a
part of the whole, not the whole itself.
The MIND IS NOT THE BRAIN. It is nonmaterial, made up of Consciousness, which can
most simply be defined as "Intelligent Energy." It is what we think with, what we remember with,
what we emote with, among other functions. The mind of each of us is a unique one, and so it is
impossible for any psychologist to teach what the "typical, normal mind" is like. There is no such
mind. Each mind comes into the newborn body with a certain heritage, traits and abilities which
are needed for its initial survival and subsequent growth and development over the years until
bodily death occurs.
The SOUL or SPIRIT exists in an intimate partnership with the MIND, but has different
characteristics. It, too, is immaterial and composed of "Intelligent Energy," but it has many more
talents and duties than does the MIND. In these discussions, the term ESSENCE is used for Soul
or Spirit, because those words have been so corrupted by modern usage. The Essence usually
influences the operation of the physical body through its association with the Mind, but, under
certain circumstances, it can operate the body on its own initiative.
The Essence which has been my primary teacher states that her "location" in the human
body is in the Pineal Gland, which is located in the center of the brain. From there, the Essence
can manipulate the entire human organism, via the master hormone, melatonin. The Pineal Gland
has been traditionally considered the "Seat of the Soul," and this seems to be true from all I have
A Proviso Regarding the English Language
The English language was originated by Germans who came from the Continent to the
British Isles. Their culture was not far advanced, so their words related to the daily toil of
survival. They did not have the luxury of thinking much about nonmaterial concepts at that time. I
call English a "stripped language" since most of the root words, which come from German, are
related to items in the physical world. Very few words are descriptive of emotional and spiritual
One example is the word LOVE, which is Leben in German. That is the only word we
have for a positive relationship between two living beings, or between a living being and an
object. To get more words, we have to add modifiers, such as BEING IN LOVE, or PATERNAL
LOVE, (which comes from the Latin, PATERNAS, for love by a father of his children). To add
words of nonmaterial concepts to English, we have to use the Latin, Norse, or Greek languages.
If we were to tabulate the many kinds of love humans are capable of experiencing, we might find
we have 1,500 different emotions to consider, for which English supplies us with but this single
noun. No wonder we have problems talking about our "loving" relationships!
My dictionary traces PSYCHE back to the Sanskrit word BABHASTI, for "he blows."
There appear to be many words in that ancient language for nonmaterial concepts which have no
adequate equivalents in English or in any of the current European languages.
The word, SOUL, also came from ancient words for breathing, since it was apparent that
breathing was essential to life. The most ancient of people knew that, without a soul, a person
was not alive. MIND comes from ancient words for memory, indicating that our capacity to
remember was considered the most important function of our mind.
I have tried, in my own writings, to use well-accepted English words where I could, but
there are so few to choose from. There are many more words for these nonmaterial concepts in
languages used in the Middle East, India and the Orient, as these cultures are much older than the
European ones. Then, when I could do so, I used ACRONYMS, which are a favorite way of
making new words in the computer industry. There is an art to making acronyms, and I have
attempted only to create acronyms that accurately portray what they stand for.
I prefer to use the term "The Creator" to GOD. God has become male gender identified,
and nothing immaterial has a gender. For any aspect of consciousness to have a gender identity, it
has to have a connection with the sex hormones in the brain. Therefore, only the human
Personality can have an identity of either the male or female gender. The Personality (the
Essence's Charge) is the only portion of "Intelligent Energy" which is linked to any of the
neurohormones in the physical brain.
Composition of Our Essence
First we need to recognize that we exist in two parallel universes, which I have chosen to
call PHYSICALSPACE and THOUGHTSPACE. We all know about PHYSICALSPACE, as that
is the "real world" around us. Theoretical Physicists insist there has to be another "dimension" or
the rules of Quantum Physics cannot operate.
In my own clinical work, I also encountered certain entities who "borrowed" the bodies of
my dissociated patients with MPD. They reported being from this nonmaterial universe, where
they reside full-time. Their universe has no limits of time and space. It is infinite and eternal.
These facts constitute the most fundamental differences between the two universes. These entities
have no physical bodies and cannot have or express human emotions.
THE HUMAN MIND/SOUL IS BUT A FRAGMENT OF "THE CREATOR." This is
what is meant in the bible as "Man was created in the image of God." We each have two
fragments of "The Creator's" consciousness, which the entities from Thoughtspace prefer to call
the ESSENCE and its CHARGE. The Essence is the more experienced of the two and mentors its
Charge in how to operate the human body it has been assigned for this lifetime.
The phrase, "Man was created in the image of God," has usually been reversed by
theologians to be "God is created in the image of Man." Not so, according to my informants.
God, "The Creator," is not at all like any human. But humans over the centuries have been unable
to envision "The Creator" as anything but a powerful father figure, a superhuman kind of guy.
This has been due to a limitation in the ability of human minds to conceptualize something
conscious but not human and physical. It is not a reflection of the true nature of "The Creator."
This is called anthropomorphizing the concept, thinking of something nonhuman as a human
being. This tendency to think of nonmaterial "entities" as human beings with miraculous powers is
clearly illustrated in the fables about the Greek and Roman gods. They were seen as operating
within dysfunctional families up in heaven resulting in all sorts of unfortunate effects on the human
race of their day.
To be able to talk and write about these two parts of the human mind/soul, I have used
several different pairs of words. The Essence is the Intellectual Self, while its Charge is the
Emotional Self. Another pair of words would be the Soul and the Personality. Another pair is
Spirit and Mind. Plato used the words Rational Soul and Irrational Soul for the same pair. I have
collected more than 30 synonyms for both these "parts of the mind," and new ones are being
invented monthly by researchers who think they have discovered something never before
reported. I feel it is about time we agree on the same pair of words.
Humans have been endowed by "The Creator" with the Free Will to ignore any of the
directives of "The Creator." A Master Life Plan has been laid out for each human by "The
Creator." It is the desire of "The Creator" that each human follows his Master Life Plan to its
completion and fulfillment, as all plans are interconnected. Each one of us influences the others.
When we do not follow our Life Plans, we create situations which must be remedied.
In most humans, the Essence has chosen to follow that segment of the Master Life Plan
which is appropriate to this incarnation. (Reincarnation is a fact, say my informants.) The Essence
has as its "prime directive" to make sure its Charge, the Emotional Self or Personality,
accomplishes and completes its Life Plan for this incarnation. It, too, has a full range of options
available to it to do this difficult job.
The Emotional Self is the part that is often exercising Free Will and going off on tangents
in deviation from its Life Plan. The primary reason is that this portion of the mind/soul is
connected to the brain, which contains neurohormones. These hormones allow it to have a sexual
orientation as well as the ability to express the full range of human emotions, from lust to anger to
passion to revenge.
The Essence has no connection to the neurohormones, so it has no gender identity and
cannot have or express a human emotion. An Essence can have opinions, however, and what we
would call an "attitude problem." But it does not have any emotions attached to those opinions.
When the Emotional Self has a strong opinion on any subject, it is impossible for it not to have an
appropriate emotional feeling. But the Essence has absolutely no emotion connected to any idea.
They are the Mr. Spock or Comdr. Data from Star Trek stories, all intellect and no emotion. The
only "emotions" an Essence can have are "Bliss" when all is going well with its Charge and
"Attentiveness" when chaos reigns.
In most people, the Emotional Selves operate much of the time in Free Will mode,
because they do not know what their Life Plans are. At the same time, the Essence of each person
does know its Charge's Life Plan and it avoids using its own Free Will and cooperates with its
"supervisors." Since its PRIME DIRECTIVE is to do whatever is necessary for its Charge to
complete and fulfill that portion of the Life Plan assigned to this incarnation, the Essence must
keep the physical body alive. It does whatever is needed to prevent body destruction until all
needed tasks have been accomplished.
How does the Emotional Self know when it following its Life Plan? I envision it like being
in a canoe drifting down a wide river, with boulders on either bank. As long as one is flowing in
the general direction of the water flow, one feels comfortable even though one is not "in charge."
But when one rows hard enough to get to the side of the river and bangs the canoe into a rock,
then it hurts, and causes consternation. That is how it feels to be off one's Life Plan. Things are
not going well at work or at home, people are causing irritation, "the writing is on the wall," and
one hates to face each new day. That is a solid sign that one is not following one's Life Plan, and
the exercise of Free Will is ruling the day.
When all is falling into place without one having to strain to do it, and others are happy to
be working or living with one, then that person is in canoe in the middle of the river going the
Talents of the Essence
1. Ability to communicate in the Original Language (Ancient Sanskrit) so that it has the -
2. Ability to communicate with all other Essences.
3. Knowledge of total English language so it will know what caretakers are saying.
4. Ability to recognize human facial expressions, so it will know what caretakers are feeling.
5. Ability to manage memory in the Essence Memory System.
6. Ability to anticipate immediate and long-term consequences of actions.
7. Ability to fill in blanks in visual images, pattern recognition.
8. Ability to "see" where human eyes cannot, so it knows when danger is near. (Blindsight)
9. Ability to provide inspiration to artists, inventors, writers, etc.
10. Ability to negotiate settlement of differences between its Charge and other people.
11. Ability to take over control of body in times of extreme emergency, or under hypnosis.
12. Ability to talk "out loud" to its Charge, to warn in times of difficulty.
13. Ability to cause positive or negative hallucinations.
14. Ability to provide "virtual reality" experiences, i.e., Out of Body and Near Death
15. Ability to solve all problems on a case-by-case basis.
16. Knowledge of its Charge's Life Plan.
17. Knowledge of what its Charge is thinking and planning to do.
18. Knowledge of the sex of an unborn baby of pregnant Charge.
19. Knowledge of actual nature of physical illness and appropriate treatment.
20. Ability to come up with new solutions to problems instead of repeating old solutions.
21. Ability to allow appropriate illnesses to occur.
22. Ability to shut down the physical organism to cause it to "cease to exist."
This list indicates that the Essence operates both in the mental and physical parts of its
human Charge. The physical body is energized by the Essence, and, without the Essence, its
Charge would "cease to exist." There needs to be at least a 3 percent of the Essence remaining in
the human body for it to stay live. When the Essence departs entirely, then all bodily functions
cease and any doctor would pronounce the person dead. If the Essence has not yet chosen to
leave the body, the person can be resuscitated.
The Essence and the Physical Body
The Ki, Kundalini, or Life Force is also part of the Essence, which controls all functions of
the human body through these forces, which include the Chakras. The physical body sustains
injuries, infections, and tumors. The Essence can manipulate any and all parts of the human body
via the Life Force, which is also a part of the Essence itself. The one thing it cannot handle is the
machinery which may be attached to the human body, such as artificial breathing and blood
circulation machinery. As long as bodily functions are being maintained by machinery, the Essence
must wait helplessly by for some brave human to pull the plug. That situation is one that
commonly causes an Attitude Problem with the Essence involved, leading that Essence to "turn."
It wants to terminate its Charge's existence because its Charge has completed this phase of the
Master Life Plan. When it cannot do what it has been trained and expected to do, it can get
frustrated with the ideas only, but not emotional. When it reincarnates, those poor attitudes can
carry over into the next lifetime.
What tools does the Essence have available to it to do its job? In regards to the mental
operation, it is the "still small voice within" which has been known for centuries in all of us. When
we pay attention to it, and follow what it tells us to do, we avoid danger, and enhance our
spiritual growth. It does not yell at us, unless we are in danger of killing ourselves. It then may
yell once, and, if we don't respond appropriately, it can take over the body and move it to safety.
That will happen if it decides that this is not the right day to die, that completing the Life Plan is
the most important thing to do right now.
Why Some Die That Day and Others Are Warned Away
Those persons whose Life Plans are scheduled to terminate that day will have Essences
giving them no warning, and their Essences will be urging them to book that particular flight,
knowing it will crash, killing all aboard. That is one way the Essence can cause that person to
"cease to exist" on schedule.
A dissatisfied Essence can produce what we psychiatrists call "hallucinations," and most
hallucinations are of that sort, when only auditory. However, any Essence can, if it deems it
necessary, produce the sound of a human voice inside the head of its Charge. I have heard my
Essence, Michael, only once. While still living at home with a hostile wife, I slept in my son's
room, and kept the door shut from my wife. I really didn't want to get up in the morning to face
her again. One morning, I was not going to get up at all, and, while lying in bed, I heard my name
being said, just once, "Ralph." The tone was completely nonemotional. But it was loud enough for
me to think that someone was at the door of my bedroom, and so I got out of bed to open the
door to see who it was. There was nobody there, but by then I was out of bed and decided to face
the troubles ahead. That was what Michael had to do, get me out of bed and moving.
One young inmate in prison told me that after doing a store burglary, he walked to the
street where he could have gone right or left to escape. He heard this voice inside his head tell
him, "Turn left." Acting on his Free Will as usual, he turned right instead, to find himself in the
hands of a policeman who "just happened" to be coming around the corner. He was arrested,
convicted and sent to prison. My thesis is that his Essence told him to turn left, knowing that his
Emotional Self would not listen to good advice, and the Essence knew the policeman would run
into him when he turned right. The Essence wanted his Charge arrested so he would stop his
chronic misdeeds. Getting his Charge arrested was in everyone's best interest.
Intense Urges To Act
The Essence also works through giving its Charge a strong urge to do something, a sense
that this action takes complete priority over all other behaviors. The person who then follows this
urge, just knowing that he or she has to do it, but not why. If he or she follows this urge, some
important benefit will happen.
This happened to me when I was setting up in my new apartment. I had a new bookshelf
and was putting all my books into it. I got a strong urge that day to get a certain kind of bookend,
one made of folded metal. I went to the logical stores in Los Osos, but none of them had exactly
the right kind. I remembered the new big stores in Morro Bay and thought that I might find what I
wanted there. I went to Payless Drugstore and found it. When I went up to the cash register to
pay for it, there were several customers waiting for the only cashier on duty. Another clerk came
up and told those waiting to come to her at the next cash register. I followed the lady in front of
me to that other cash register. While the lady in front of me was paying for her items, she turned
and looked at me. She recognized me as a fellow member of the Jungian group, and told me that I
would be very interested to hear the speaker at the next planned meeting. I took down the
information and went to the meeting a couple of weeks later. It was there that I was introduced by
a common friend to a young lady who became my student. If I hadn't gone to that meeting there is
no way I could have met her. Our two Essences had to cooperate to get us in the same room at
the same time, where we could be introduced by a mutual friend.
If one hears a harsh, emotionally loaded voice telling one what to do, that is a product of
the Emotional Self. The Essence will not do that, unless yelling to a dissociated Emotional Self,
who has a harder time listening to her Essence. The dissociated Emotional Self of an MPD patient
is disconnected from her Essence, so she has to choose to listen, as the Essence cannot just send a
quiet message and be expected to be heard, as in integrated persons.
Working Through Friends and Associates
Another way that the Essence can communicate with its Charge is via other people. All
Essences are communicating with each other in their own language, the Original Language
(Ancient Sanskrit). One Essence will ask the other Essence to have its Charge say something
important to the other Charge. This may be the best way to get certain people to listen to the
message. It happened to me when I was between my junior and senior years in high school.
That was when I had to decide which major to declare on my college applications. I had
not made up my mind which profession to enter and was thinking of architecture. I worked that
summer in a restaurant. While I was standing near the employee entrance, a waitress came on
duty. As she passed by me, she paused, looked at my hands, and said, "Ralph, you have the hands
of a doctor." That was all she said.
I had never thought about medicine as a profession before, but she put the thought into my
mind. I interviewed my family doctor about what it took to become a doctor, and watching him
work, I didn't think it was too hard to talk to patients and write prescriptions. In spite of his
attempts to discourage me, I decided that becoming a doctor was an excellent idea, so I applied
for the premed major at college. That was all the research into the subject I did, but it was the
right place for me to start.
Use of Dreams
The time we are in bed is also a good time for our Essence to talk to us. Many people get
a lot out of their dreams, but I am not usually one of them. But during our sleep, the Essence is
off in Thoughtspace (Dreamland) having refresher courses with its "supervisors," and then it uses
the dream time to send messages to its Charge. In my case, the most common time is when I am
still in bed before the alarm clock goes off, but not fully asleep. My mind may be full of
commentaries going through my consciousness, as if my Essence, Michael, is trying to tell me
This happened one morning after I had been thinking about the problem of differentiating
dissociated alter-personalities from imaginary playmates. During those early morning hours, a
string of criteria for each ran through my head with such clarity I had to get up, turn on the
computer and type them out. In my head were 15 items on which the two entities differed laid
out, and I typed them out in half an hour. There was very little need to do any editing from the
first draft, and these lists of differences have formed the basis for much of what I have written and
said on the subject since then.