Sunday, April 27, 2008
“Spiritual understanding of the every day Vietnamese people
“1- Soul ( Hon ) : Vietnamese people believe everyone has three Souls. The Souls are immortal and can travel in or out of the body. When inside the body, the Souls give it life and breaths. When one of the three Souls leaves the body temporarily, the person is in a light trance or a state of dissociation. When two of the three Souls temporarily leave the body, the person is in a deep trance and or unconscious. If three of the Souls leave the body temporarily, the person is in a coma and can’t "wake up". If this goes on for too long, the person will die from deterioration of the physical body. Only when the person has all three Souls combined that the person is alive and able to think.
“Souls don’t have feelings; they have thoughts and knowledge but are unable to process feelings. That’s why Souls can go to Heaven. There is no feeling in Heaven. Anyone or anything needs to be completely devoid of feelings to be able to go to Heaven. Feelings belong to earth and to mortals. [This is exactly what I found with the Inner Self Helpers (ISH) of my MPD patients, and their supervisors, the CIE. They have no capacity for human emotions.] If anyone or anything in Heaven somehow develop feelings, he/she/it will be considered "contaminated" and be removed from Heaven to be put on earth. I find this corresponds well with the Bible teaching of Adam and Eve. Adam originally was completely ignorant, having no knowledge and no feelings, until after he ate the Apple of knowledge and becoming aware of feelings and of desires. This led to wrongful actions and the ultimate result of being banished from Heaven.
“Buddhism teaches something similar to explain the reason for reincarnation and the pain associated with it, which I will talk about in more details later. Many deities and minor gods who reign over material matters on earth such as wind and water and earth and viruses are often fallen angels who have somehow developed feelings and therefore got "kicked out " of Heaven. So while these entities can have feelings and can be happy or angry, pure Souls can’t and anything else sitting in Heaven can’t. [Here the CIE differ. They say they were created by The Creator and assigned to run the universe according to The Creator’s plans. The Creator never creates something defective, and the CIE have no “free will to mess up.” Therefore they cannot rebel against The Creator and become “fallen angels.” They are “intelligent energy” (a.k.a. consciousness) but they were not granted the ability to exercise “free will to mess up.” However Essences and Personalities, who must reside in Physicalspace some of the time, were supplied with “free will to mess up”. They were also given the ability to emote in all possible ways.]
“2- Spirits ( Via ) : Vietnamese people believe everyone has many Via. I don’t have the perfect translation for this word because its meaning is very vague. It’s not the soul, it’s rather the representative of that persons characteristics, personalities, feelings, experiences, conducts . In one way it means spirits, in another it means essence, and in some other way still it means egos. [This sounds very much like the “ego states” proposed by Jack and Helen Watkins. Under this label they included childlike behavior, social roles, parental introjects, imaginary playmates, alter-personalties, and Hilgard’s “hidden observer” (which I consider to be my ISH). See “Ego-State Therapy; An Overview” by Helen H. Watkins, Amer. J. Clinical Hypnosis, Vol. 35, #4, April 1993.] There seem to be two numbers often heard or used, and no one knows where they come from. It’s commonly accepted that a person has seven or nine Via. I think seven is the mystic number and nine is the sum of three and six, three representing goodness and righteousness (like the three Holy Spirits ) and six representing badness and evil (as in the number six of Satan). With these Via, the person now has the ability to feel and the ability to be bad . I guess it’s the ability to exert "freedom to mess up". Since it’s acceptable that Spirits can be good or evil, while Souls cannot, I chose to use Spirit to describe Via.
“Via can control the person's autonomic system, allowing the person to live on autopilot. When the person is controlled by Via only and not by Soul, he/she can breathe, walk, talk, eat (as in sleep walking) but without the awareness, i.e. knowledge of its actions. This fits perfectly with the theories of alters. When the alters control the body, it can do a lot of things but it is not able to remember the actions and not able to use higher awareness or knowledge to critically appraising its actions. I find it interesting that the way my husband described the feelings when an alter is trying to come out is very similar to that of those in people where the autonomic nervous system is activated, when both sympathetic and parasympathetic neurons are firing, such as the increase in body heat and temperature of the head, the dissociative feeling, the withdrawal of conscious awareness and the numbness and tingling sensation on the skin, as well as the variation of heat rates and rhythm.
“Via also represent feelings. When a person seems to lose control of his or her feelings such as laughing hysterically, Vietnamese people would consider there is something wrong with their Via. A person who is very anxious or scared is considered to have weak Via. Brave people are considered to have strong Via.
“The Souls have knowledge and therefore can be psychic, i.e. have the ability to know a lot more than just daily living matters; it can foretell future events and past life’s events. However, when the Souls reside in the body, it’s “contaminated" by the Spirits (Via) and therefore temporarily "forget" this knowledge. When the Souls travel outside the body, they can regain the psychic power and therefore can exhibit higher understanding of the universe and have more mystic power.
“Vietnamese people believe that the perfect combination of the three Souls and seven or nine Spirits are essential to the person’s health and well being. When these become fragmented, the person becomes sick. Vietnamese people believe that all mental illnesses, especially those like bipolar and schizophrenia, are caused by the fragmentation of the Souls and Spirits leading to the loss of some of them. I guess the meaning of schizophrenia as "split personalities" can be explained by the Vietnamese concepts as the splitting of the Souls and Spirits, when "the glue dissolves" as you described it. Therefore the healing of the Mind/Souls/Spirits in traditional Vietnamese medicine is very important; it’s often administered along side chemical treatments using medicinal herbs or other forms of oral medication. As part of the treatment of a very ill or disoriented person, someone (preferably someone close to the patient so that the Souls and the Spirits will recognize them and listen to them) would go outside or stand at the door (some even would climb onto the rooftop) to holler for the wandering/lost Souls and/or Spirits to come back to the body. This person would call out loud, "Please – the three Souls and the seven (or nine) Spirits of – person’s name – come back to the body now." They would call a few times, then come back to check to see if the patient had regained consciousness or shown improvement. If not, they would go out to call again. This can be done several times.
“Vietnamese people believe that all humans have the ability to split and therefore lose parts or all of their Souls and Spirits. Some can do this more easily than others. Those are considered to be gifted and can become mediums, soothsayers and even sages. When a medium like my grandmother sat down to work, he or she would put the body/mind into a deep trance, split the Souls and the Spirits, allowing a portion to leave the body. Then the person will have "room" to invite other more evolved, more advanced Souls or Spirits into the body. These new invited entities will then use the body to talk or take certain actions. [This is how the CIE borrowed the bodies of two of my MPD patients to talk to me. They told me that these women, who were Grade V+ hypnotizable, had such permeable boundaries between their alters, the CIE could easily slip in and take over their bodies whenever they wanted to teach me something. They did this without any action or desire on the part of the patient, who then felt she was “in a pink submarine.” The CIE could let her hear what was going on at the time but usually chose not to and briefed her when we were done with our lecture.]
“When these entities leave the body, the person only has parts of the Souls/Spirits left and cannot maintain consciousness and therefore would faint and fall over. The person will wake up when portions of their own Souls/Spirits returned to the body but would be quite confused and would have no memory of what had happened. However, this is considered potentially very dangerous as the "wrong" entities can use this opportunity, when the gate is open and the resistance and ability to control is low, to invade the body and then refuse to leave, leading to possession. Therefore it should only be done by a "professional" who is considered to be specially gifted, and it should only be done in a controlled environment where there are measures in place to prevent malevolent or evil spirits to sneak through. That was why my grandmother would only perform in a temple where there were Divine Powers to protect her. Prior to the day, she would have to prepare her body by eating only vegetarian for three days and getting rid of all bad thoughts, so that evil spirits won’t be tempted to go near her. [This is why the CIE never would come out with strangers in the room. All those present had to have become friends with me and the MPD patient and were known to be of good intention and not in a hostile mood on any subject.. Once Charity came out to talk to group of us and she noted that one man was angry, having just come from a meeting with his lawyer about his child custody battle with his ex-wife. Charity announced that she would cut the meeting short because she could not stay out with this angry man present.]
“For those not so gifted, there are other ways to dissociate. The most common way is via meditation. Meditation is taken very seriously by Vietnamese people and they recommend you don’t do it by yourself, but you need a Guru, an enlightened teacher to teach and guide you. They say if you do it by yourself it’s very dangerous as you become very vulnerable to bad thoughts within your own mind as well as bad spirits outside of your body. Without proper guidance and therefore protection, you can easily lose your way and, instead of achieving connection to the Divine, you will make connection to the Devil instead, then your Souls will be lost and you will become very very sick, possessed or even die.
“The other way is to become severely startled and/or frightened. They believe that when you "jumped out of your skin" as in being startled, for a split second your Souls and/or your Spirits get pushed out of the body. They usually instantly come back in allowing the person to be conscious of what happened. However, occasionally not all parts of the Souls or Spirits come back properly and this can make the person ill. Therefore games that startle people are considered to be very bad in Vietnam. You would get scolded severely for making anyone startled or frightened. Children are particularly prone to being startled and frightened as their Souls and Spirits are not yet mature. Their Souls and Spirits split more easily and its harder for them to come back to the body. Scaring children is considered an absolutely horrible and unacceptable crime in Vietnam. Anyone doing this will be condemned by the whole community. A mother always consoles a frightened child with the saying "Calling my child’s Souls and Spirits". This corresponds perfectly with the observation of multiples that unless they split at an early age, they won’t be able to split later in life. There doesn’t seem to be a certain cut-off age, but it’s commonly accepted to be age five. It’s believed that the age can vary a bit depending on the maturity and strength of that child. [This fits with my findings that only those children who experience a life threatening trauma before the age of six can dissociate their Essence from their Original Personality and them create alter-personalities.]
“Vietnamese people believe that the ability to dissociate in a normal, non-gifted person depends a lot on how "heavy" their Spirits (Via) are. The ones who have lighter Via will dissociate more easily than the ones with heavier Via. People who are prone to anxiety, worry, fear, terror and those who are emotionally unstable or highly sensitive are considered to have lighter/weaker Via. A nervous, easily scared child is always more protected in the family than others. The parents or elders would teach other children to be more caring and sensitive to this child and to avoid doing anything to scare him or her. This child will often not allow to wander by him/herself into a dark area but to be accompanied by an adult. A child considered to have a particularly light Via will often be taken to a temple to be blessed. This way the child can "borrow" higher Divine Power to protect him/herself. Those children are considered to have psychic power. [I would call them the highly hypnotizable children.]
“I was a child with light Via and therefore psychic power, as I was able to see spirits. This first occurred at age six. I accompanied my mother to her friend’s house and, while she was chatting to her friend, I sat in the lounge looking around. I saw an old man wearing white pajamas with blue stripes sitting in a cane chair, next to my mother’s friend. I became curious as I noticed that no one seemed to acknowledge his presence, and no one talked to him. I stared at him and, when he looked up and saw me, he smiled. Something inside of me told me he was not quite "right" but I couldn’t work out what it was, so I kept looking at him. Next, the husband of my mother’s friend joined the party, and he sat down on the chair. I opened my mouth to voice a warning as I was sure he didn’t see the old man, and he was going to sit on him. However, before I could say anything the old man disappeared. It was then that I realized I had seen a ghost and that scared me. I didn’t tell anyone about this incident.
“However, this prompted me to start reading both the Christian Bible as well as the Buddhist Doctrines from the tender age of six. My mother is a Buddhist and she has an altar at home to worship Buddha and she has several books on Buddhism. Her older sister married a Catholic man and became a Christian. Her children (my cousins) gave me a Bible. I remember many days sitting on the stairs reading religious books. I also taught myself meditation by sitting in the lotus position in front of the Buddhist altar chanting in Sanskrit. I abandoned this after a while though as I kept finding myself falling asleep sitting up. Little did I know that could have been a level of meditation. I used to discuss the Bible with my cousins who were astonished how much I could understand the Bible all by myself. I tried to discuss Buddhism with my mother but she was not interested. Although she considers herself to be a Buddhist, she had never studied Buddhism. To her it’s more a religion to be worshiped rather than a philosophy to be understood. Interestingly, looking back, I guess I "blessed myself" by studying the Bible and meditating with Buddhist chant as since then I no longer felt fear of seeing spirits and was able to suppress this gift if I wanted to.
“As I grew up I found that my presence tended to affect other people’s experience of the spirit world. In my 20s, out of curiosity, I joined a group of friends who were into witchcraft and was experimenting with the Ouija board. In the end, I left as I was not allowed to participate in anything as I "ruined everything". The Ouija board would be alive and buzzing with actions and was telling my friends all sorts of thing but, as soon as I touched it, it would stop. Someone in the group would go into a trance to contact spirits, but, as long as I was sitting anywhere near, nothing would ever happen. My friends would complain that my Via were too heavy! Once they went to the cemetery at night to play the Ouija board. They allowed me to come along as they thought there should be enough spirits in a cemetery to "overcome" my heavy Via. Still we sat there for three hours and nothing happened. Frustrated they sent me home to sleep! The next day they told me, as soon as I left, the Ouija board came alive, and they could talk to various spirits. I can see spirits but they can’t take over me, if that makes sense.
“The belief in Souls and Spirits of the Vietnamese people is apparent in everyday conversation. Anyone who gets scared or startled would exclaim, "Calling my Souls and Spirits" (Hu Hon hu Via). Anyone doing anything potentially dangerous would be advice to "Remember to call your Souls and Spirits". Anyone found deep in thoughts or day dreaming would be asked "What happened? Lost your Souls or Spirits?" I found it interesting that in English, when someone faints, people would call out their names and ask them to "Come back", "Don’t leave.". When the person "wakes up", he/she will be described as having "come back", "come around", "come to". Doesn’t this imply that "something" left the body, causing the loss of consciousness ?
“Vietnamese people believe that when the Souls and the Spirits leave the body for whatever reason, they should be going straight up to the sky. They would be safe there and would be able to come back to the body. If they wander off horizontally and not up, they would become lost and therefore needed to be called back or guided back. If they can’t come back they would be permanently lost and would wander the earth becoming a haunting spirit, forever looking for a body to go back into to try to continue their lives. This is the cause of possession.
“They believe that when a person is in a severe accident, such as a car accident, seconds before the impact the person would have recognize the life threatening event and the Souls and Spirits would split and left the body. If the impact and the fright is mild, the Souls and Spirits won’t go far and will be able to see the body to go back in. However, if the impact is high and the fright is really bad, they would be "thrown" far away from the body and may get lost. They will need to be guided back, hence the calling by the close relatives or the need for Higher Power to guide them back. If the impact was too great, causing deadly damages to the body, the Spirits won’t be able to return to the body and therefore the Souls won’t be able to either. If the body is removed, the Souls become lost. Since they split from the body before the impact, they often won’t know that their body had died. I found this to be exactly the same as how in Western world, lost souls are found wandering the earth causing haunting phenomenon because they didn’t realize they had died. Often they needed to be told that the body had died and they should be going to the light. At this stage they can choose. Souls with happy peaceful knowledge would accept this readily and be happy to go to the light. Souls with angry upset knowledge or having unfinished business may refuse to go to the light and continue to roam the earth. Since the Souls are immortal, they have no concept of time; they have no idea how long they have wandered lost. It may have been years or even decades since they split from the body, but to them it only had just happened.
“The Vietnamese people believe that straight after death, the person’s Souls and Spirits may not go straight to Heaven, unless it’s an enlightened person who has done many good deeds in life who at death was lucky enough to have angels or Buddhas guiding them to Heaven. Otherwise the Souls and Spirits may wander the earth for up to 49 days (seven weeks). During this time, it’s crucial that the family does everything they can to safeguard the Souls and Spirits and to help guide it towards the light. For 49 days the family would pray constantly and would ask Divine Power to help guide the Souls to the light. They believe the more people gather to pray, the better it would be. Praying will also prevent malevolent Spirits from sneaking in.
“Often the whole neighborhood would come help with the praying. If the family can afford it they would invite Buddhist monks to come stay in the household to pray and chant for the whole 49 days. Crying and calling of the dead persons name is avoided as this would make it harder for the Souls and Spirits to leave in peace. If the person died of a grave disease and therefore was weak and vulnerable just before death, extra measures will need to be taken, such as blessing by a priest or monk and all mirrors needed to be covered as they can reflect bad spirits. There would be a lot of white cloths and white flags hanging in the home, and mourners would all wear white as they believe the Souls and Spirits can lean on something light and white. Lights and candles are to be left on all day all night so that dark spirits can not enter the home.
“It’s believed that if the person’s Souls don’t get guided away by angels or Buddhas, they would have to wait around for judgement which occurs during these 49 days. It would then be decided whether the Souls may go to Heaven, or to be reincarnated when and where and as what. It’s easy for the Souls to wander off and get lost during those days as they didn’t know where to go. The concept of Hell was not present in the original understanding of the Souls and Spirits with Vietnamese people. That came later as part of religion, I guess to scare people from committing bad deeds. It’s believed that the Souls can be reincarnated into animals as well as humans, and what you get in the new life depends on what you learnt and therefore committed in the past life. This is called karma. There is a continuity from one life time to another. This is the same as what the CIEs told you. [The CIE deny that there is any Hell to which any of us might go. We all go to Thoughtspace, but those “turned Essences” will go to one of two “rehabilitation centers.” There the turned Essences will be reeducated and some will be allowed to reincarnate when they are safe to go back to Physicalspace. The CIE teach that karma is a reality, as is reincarnation, and we will be dealing with both throughout multiple lifetimes.]
“Vietnamese people believe that after death the Via disappear once the Souls got to Heaven, as they are loaded with feelings and personalities and memories. The Souls then reincarnated into another body and will be given another set of Via for that particular person or animal. [The CIE are vague as to what happens to the “Personality” in between incarnations. They cannot operate in Thoughtspace, as no emoting is possible. So they are “put on the shelf” to hibernate until they can be implanted, with their assigned Essence, into the body of a newborn baby. For the first four years of life the child might be able to remember something of prior lives, but not the immediate last lifetime. After four years of age, the CIE will block memories of past lifetimes, so the child will focus on the one at hand.]
“As you can see Dr Allison, many of the belief of Vietnamese people are very similar to what you were taught by the CIEs. Therefore it was very easy for me to understand and accept your concepts and explanation. These beliefs are ingrained in the person and were present before Buddhism was introduced more than 2500 years ago.
Sunday, July 1, 2007
"Hi everyone. My name is Dannii. I am what the world at large calls a ‘multiple’, as found in Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), which is a bit misleading since I don’t actually have MPD, but rather I am a product of it. By that I mean I am an Alter.
"I was created in late 2000 as an Administrator, during a period of great upheaval and trauma, eventually taking executive control of the body in 2003. If you think of our body as a business that has been declared insolvent, I am the Administrator appointed to run the business until the problems are sorted out and the business gets back to normal trading.
"Within our system there are the usual protectors, rescuers, persecutors, false fronts, etc, but because our primary abusers were Christian zealots and a paedophile priest, we also have a powerful witch and a rather nasty demon called Defer. One might say they were created “to fight fire with fire”. On the subject of fire, we collectively possess psychic abilities such as telekinetic energy with all that implies, as well as an ability to see, though not always communicate with, spirits.
"All up there are 29 of us in the system, though some are fragments, that is, they hold specific and detailed pieces of memory associated with the more horrific aspects of the abuses and nothing else.
"We live on the island of Tasmania, the southern most state in Australia. In Tasmania there are, to my knowledge, some 30 other ‘multiples’, some of whom I know personally, but they are all ‘DID multiples’, meaning they are diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, whereby the ‘Original’ is still in charge. I don’t know how many ‘multiples’ there are Australia-wide, be they MPD or DID, but there are a number of organisations and support groups operating in different regions, so there must be some at least.
"Finding a suitable therapist, be they a counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist, is very difficult since, a) they tend to congregate in the bigger coastal cities, b) there are so very few of them versed in dissociative disorders, and c) the greater majority seem to be of the opinion that MPD/DID doesn’t actually exist. This element seem to believe that MPD/DID can be explained as Schizophrenia, Bipolar or Borderline Personality Disorder!
"As an example of what I mean, I was for a time seeing a particular psychiatrist privately, but in order to be able to access government mental health services, I had to have a government psychologist as a case manager. My psychiatrist dealt with the MPD issues, whilst my psychologist, who accepted the MPD label though she didn’t properly understand it, taught me living and coping skills over and above those I had been programmed with. When my psychologist quit her job, her client workload was re-appraised, and shock-horror, the mental health service found they had a ‘multiple’ on their books. I was promptly ‘dumped’ as a client, and later informed by my lawyer that the mental health service could not treat me since technically I didn’t exist. I had no legal recourse since the decision was a clinical one made by a clinician, who incidentally didn’t believe in MPD.
"In contrast, on another occasion, I sought to have a testamentary will made by a solicitor's firm, which, because of the complicated nature of that will, required that I disclose the MPD. Whilst the lawyers accepted I was a ‘multiple’ and part of a MPD system, I was informed that I could not make a will because under Australian Law, I lacked what they called ‘legal personality’, i.e. I was not ‘born of the womb’, therefore I was declared, by them, to be a non-legal entity.
"In 2006, in an effort to create a legal precedent under State Law, I challenged the jurisdiction of the local state court, claiming the Law could not hear my case, let alone convict me, since it held no jurisdiction over me because I lacked ‘legal personality’ as defined by Australian Law. The Judge promptly dismissed the case on ‘discretionary grounds’ since with no precedent to guide him, the Judge was reluctant to initiate one, so did the next best thing and ignored the whole episode by dismissing the case!
"Interestingly, we have found that, in Tasmania at least, if one claims to be a multiple, particularly in regard to the Law, one is immediately considered to be ‘non compos mentis’, i.e. of unsound mind! "nos turba sumus ~ we are a multitude"
Saturday, March 10, 2007
This view of the world which I learned about in treating patients with MPD/DID is not the American Way, of course. Therefore, I found it advisable to attend professional meeting of hypnosis experts around the world. I found a willing publisher for my articles in Sweden. My first book was published in Japanese, and I have lectured extensively there. I have presented this material in Germany, Italy, England, Mexico and Canada as well. I went to Russia with a group of fellow therapists and found people who had been the children left after the Nazis killed half the people in Leningrad during WWII. They were now the adult professors but could not study child abuse issues, since they were the children who survived World War II in Russia.
I did find that my therapy plan for multiples worked as well in other countries as it did for me in the USA. So I have no hesitation in recommending my methods to those in other countries. MPD and DID, by my definitions, are not North American mental disorders, as some skeptics have claimed. They are post-traumatic emotional stress disorders and can happen to any susceptible person so traumatized in any county or culture.