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Multiple Personalities

This article is an abridged and adapted extract from the book "Die innere Tafelrunde" ("The inner round table") by Peter Orban and Ingrid Zinnel. The book is available in German at www.astronova.de.
Edited and translated by Karin Hoffmann.

Danny is a kicking and screaming 7-year-old, always on the lookout for trouble, and not very popular with anyone.
Rosalind, 31 years of age, gentle, melancholic, and charming can melt the hearts of most people.
Jennifer has had more lovers in the 22 years of her life than she can count. She is mentally retarded and has only one thing on her mind: the quick fuck with a stranger. Post coital her mind goes blank.
J ohn, although only 34, is one of the most successful lawyers in town. His jurisdical logic is irresistible, opponents fear his powerful addresses to the jury.
The Ripper, an ageless, almost blind man, is barbarous, brutal and evil like a nightmare. Full of hatred, he goes around at night with razor blades and glowing fag ends.

All of them, the terrible child, the warm-hearted woman, the nymphomaniac, the successful lawyer, the evil old rascal, and many more characters of different descriptions, are contained within one body. This body belongs to a woman lawyer, who is called Marianna Lipton, 168 cm tall, and 46 years of age. And apart from the fact that she had suffered from unbearable psychological anguish at times, these were - until a few years ago - the only things she could know about herself for certain.

Marianna and the one and a half dozen therapists who had treated her from the age of 19 could not find any explanation of the forces which seemed to tear her apart - until the psychiatrist Frank Putnam diagnosed an illness which belongs to the most mysterious neuro-psychotic syndromes of all: Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD).This is what experts call a kind of personality disorder which is hard to diagnose and even harder to cure.

The Ego of an MPD-Patient is split up into numerous, completely different personalities who are in constant interchange and determine the psyche and the actions of the patient. It is like a psycho-drama become real, varied and multi-layered, in which the "multiple" embodies all roles. (DER SPIEGEL, Year 43, 1989, Vol. 37, p. 220)

What modern psychiatrists describe as MPD, is - and this is our claim - not a special case in the development of the human psyche, but simply an outwardly noticeable view of what goes on inside every single one of us. Each of us has these multiple personalities inside ourselves, but they are not as excessively and obsessively in war with each other as with an MPD patient. They influence most people and their every day lives in an unobtrusive and unnoticeable manner.

You may find the idea that every individual contains several different personalities quite surprising, especially if you have just got used to the thought that the aim of man is to achieve unity. We do believe in unity, too. But still: Man as he exists today is not only schizophrenic, but polyphrenic, and he can hardly succeed in wanting unity, if he is not prepared to look at his fragmented self first. Therefore, our theory does not deal with the one visible person, but with the invisible person or with the soul or psyche of man which is multiple and manifold. We want to follow the tracks of the manifold.


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