ESSENCE MEMORY: A PRELIMINARY HYPOTHESIS (Version without reference to the Internet) by Ralph B. Allison, M.D. Retired Senior Psychiatrist, California Men's Colony State Prison Published in HYPNOS, Journal of the Swedish Society for Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis March 1996 Copyright c 1996 (Citation: Allison, RB. Essence Memory: A Preliminary Hypothesis. Hypnos (1966) 23(1):6-13) ABSTRACT A memory process exists in each human being which operates parallel to that of the five senses and the central nervous system. This process is most clearly demonstrated by dissociators when the Essence operates as the Inner Self Helper (ISH) during psychotherapy. All humans have an Essence, which stores memories of all events in the Akashic Records in Thoughtspace. When the Essence of an individual deems it appropriate for that individual to remember any event, it may, with approval of its Supervisors, retrieve that memory and bring it to the consciousness of the individual. Unpleasant memories are stored in bits and pieces and coded for the level of emotional distress recall would cause that person. An intelligent, concerned evaluation is conducted by the supervisory Celestial Intelligent Energy (CIE) before any traumatic memory is released for recall. Their goal is to maintain the life and stability of the individual. RALPH B. ALLISON, M.D., is a semi-retired psychiatrist, who now limits his practice to forensic cases. He directed the Santa Cruz County, California, Mental Health Service and had a private practice there for 12 years before moving to Davis, California. There he was staff psychiatrist in the Yolo County, California, Mental Health Service for 3 years. He then moved to Los Osos, California, when he was employed as a psychiatrist for the California Men's Colony State Prison in San Luis Obispo for the next 13 years. He organized the first workshop on MPD for the American Psychiatric Association in 1978. In 1980, he co-authored "Minds In Many Pieces" about his work with patients with MPD in Santa Cruz. He is the author of numerous papers on dissociative disorders in clinical practice, courts and prison. INTRODUCTION A great debate rages about how memory is stored and recalled (Ofshe & Watters, 1994; Loftus & Ketcham, 1994; Pendergrast, 1995; Herman, 1995). The only fact that seems agreed upon is that some people remember some of what has happened to them in the past. The interest of psychotherapists is in memories of traumatic events that may or may not have happened to their patients. These memories make up the raw material that therapists must deal with when they take on the responsibility of treating patients. Traumatic memories consist of two components, the Geographical Data and the Emotional Overlay. The Geographical Data consists of information about the who, what, where, when, and why of the situation. The Emotional Overlay consists of attitudes and feelings that the patient developed as a result of the event. At that particular time of their lives, the nature of the Emotional Overlay was created by prior experiences and the future implications of that traumatic event. The controversy revolves around the questions of where and how human memory is stored and retrieved. The human brain is assumed to be the place where all memories are stored. Therefore, an understanding of neurophysiology is considered essential to comprehend the "rules" of memory storage and retrieval. The research psychologists have entered the fray with their debates about the rules regarding repression, suppression, and human forgetting. In psychiatric residency, it was taught that repression was involuntary, suppression was voluntary, and forgetting was human. The Emotional Overlay made the difference as to which process was used. A neutral Emotional Overlay allowed forgetting to occur, and retrieval was easy, with minimal cueing. Suppression of a given memory was triggered by the opinion, "I don't like thinking about that." Repression would be triggered by the opinion, "If I think about that, I would be so ashamed of myself that I should kill myself." My first patient with MPD (Allison, 1974), who started treatment in 1972, presented with a wise and informative entity whom I called the Inner Self Helper or ISH. That ISH told of traumatic incidents which the patient could not remember. The ISH calmly reported these memories in therapy, but the patient could not remember them when she came back into conscious control of her body. The ISH explained the Geographical Data of the event, and she knew the nature of the Emotional Overlay for the patient. However, the ISH exhibited no signs of the Emotional Overlay herself. In Minds In Many Pieces (1980), one ISH is described who also told of information about her relatives who were at the scene at that time. That patient could not have physically perceived this data. Where did that additional "collateral data" come from, and could it be true? It helped to explain the entire situation regarding the attitudes and roles of her relatives at the time. But it would have been physically impossible for the patient, as a child, to have gained that knowledge through the use of any of her sense organs. ISH/ESSENCE Since meeting the ISH of this first patient with MPD, many conversations have been held with the ISHs of subsequent patients, including integrated ones. They have explained what the ISH does to aid her charge, the dissociated patient. Suicide prevention The therapist will get a call, in a different voice, saying that the patient just took an overdose. The ISH is calling for immediate help. The ISH will tell the therapist what has happened and how much risk is involved. The ISH will tell the therapist what she, the ISH, can do to bring the crisis to a closure. The therapist can choose to give the ISH specific instructions to induce vomiting, call for an ambulance, call a nearby friend, or take another action to save the patient's life. Therapy Planner The ISH is a reporter who can tell the therapist what the patient has to accomplish in that therapy session. The ISH gives the therapist feedback since she knows what has been done successfully and unsuccessfully in past sessions. If the patient has not been willing to listen to the therapist's wise advice, the ISH will let the therapist know, if the therapist chooses to ask her. Memory Manager The ISH manages the patient's memory and decides which memories will be remembered or forgotten. The only rule that the ISH must follow is to do whatever is needed to protect her human "charge" from harm until her charge is strong enough to accept and experience her memories fully. The ISH may choose to block recall of a memory from the patient or give flashbacks of what happened, including sight, smell, touch, and taste perceptions. The ISH can withhold all the Emotional Overlay of the memory or supply just enough emotional energy to remind the patient what happened to her, but in a small enough dose so as not to disable the patient. The ISH can retrieve the memories of relatives and friends who were on the scene and participated in the traumatic event. If necessary for therapy, the ISH can secure access to the memories of the "significant others." The therapist can utilize these memories in helping the patient work through the traumatic event. These are actual memories of the "significant others." After Psychological Integration The ISH was a role assignment to help the therapist bring about psychological integration of the dissociated patient. Once integration is completed, the role of the ISH is no longer needed. Now the entity who previously played that role becomes once again what each human has in her from birth, her "Essence." The role of the ISH was assumed by the patient's Essence only during therapy. Other Functions of the Essence The most easily appreciated function of the Essence in humans is intuition. Other functions include dj vu and creative inspiration. THE HUMAN MEMORY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AS DESCRIBED BY THE ESSENCES THEMSELVES Human Memory Storage The part of the mind that decides what experiences to store is the Essence of each individual. For neurologically perceived information, first, a sense organ, such as the eye, perceives written data. Then the mind, using the brain, attributes meaning to the experience. In the brain, the amygdala and hippocampus process the memory, and then it is stored in the cortex. If the Essence chooses to take that particular memory to the Akashic Records (Guiley, 1991, pg. 4) for indefinite storage, it does so next. The Essence attaches the proper address so that the memory will be stored properly in that person's "Life File." The memory, in a form similar to a hologram, is taken in small packets by the Essence to the Akashic Records. The memories are sequentially labeled and security coded by the "supervisors" of the Essence, who prefer to be called the "Celestial Intelligent Energy," or CIE, in what we have chosen to call Thoughtspace. The Akashic Records Center, in Thoughtspace, is the "library" for human memory. The memory is then recorded in its entirety in that person's Life File, where it is stored until retrieval is requested by the Essence of that person. Memory Retrieval When the Essence of an individual decides that all is well for that person to have conscious awareness of a memory, the Essence selects the proper memory to retrieve. The Essence goes directly to the Akashic Records in Thoughtspace, where the security code is checked, to make sure the memory is cleared for retrieval. If it is, the proper file is located in the person's Life File and approved for recall. Those packets of memory are then recorded in the "holographic recorder" of the Essence of the person who originally experienced the memory. The Essence then transfers those memories into the cortex of that person's brain. Then the person's mind can interpret the bits and pieces of memory as they are retrieved by the Essence, in the doses and formats that are safe for the emotional stability of the individual. The memories are then expressed by the person verbally and in body language. Packets An important feature of the system is that information is not sent all in one block, like a package in the mail. The information is split up into small packets, none of which is big enough to upset the person when she remembers it. The Essence delivers the messages in the amounts that the person can handle. Only a small bit needs to be recalled to remind the person what the incident was like. Any more might be cruel and unusual punishment, and that is not what any Essence will do to its charge. Security Coding To properly control the flow of data, there have to be intelligent monitors to decide who gets what information, other than that which they themselves had stored in the Life File they are now trying to access. These monitors oversee the searching procedures so that a given Essence does not get lost and end up reading someone else's file by mistake. They also provide for the appropriate security screening procedures to protect harmful information from being prematurely recalled. These screening and monitoring functions are provided by the Celestial Intelligent Energy (CIE), who are the Supervisors of the Essences. In the past I called these the Higher Helpers (Allison, 1985), but now I call them the CIE. They operate in three hierarchical levels. The immediate Supervisor of any individual's Essence is called the Spiritual Guardian of the Essence. The supervisor of the Guardian is called the Spiritual Teacher of the Guardians. Overseeing all of them is the Spiritual Professor of the Teachers. The CIE grant clearance to each person's Essence regarding what memories can be retrieved from the Akashic Records and placed in the consciousness of the individual in question. An assignment of security codes exists for traumatic memories stored in the Akashic Records. No matter what memory enhancement techniques a therapist might use, there will be certain historical scenes recorded that are deemed by the CIE as too disturbing for that person to remember. These files are "tagged" as in one of three levels of security, and only the Spiritual Professor can grant access to any Essence for those memories to be recalled. The minimal level of security of traumatic memories is attached to those memories which are unpleasant to recall, but in which the Emotional Overlay does not include conflictual feelings, such as guilt or shame. These can be recalled when there is a good reason, such as to report a crime or testify in court. Recalling such memories may be unpleasant but not emotionally harmful to the person. The medium level of security of traumatic memories is attached to those memories which would be unpleasant to recall, and in which the Emotional Overlay includes conflictual feelings, such as guilt or shame. These memories cannot be recalled until psychotherapy has progressed to the point where the Essence believes the information can safely be remembered, and the negative Emotional Overlay can be neutralized by discussion with an ethical therapist. The maximum level of security of traumatic memories is attached to those memories which are unpleasant to recall, and in which the Emotional Overlay is so horrible that remembering any of it will make the person catatonic and disabled for life. No "memory jogging" procedure will ever allow that information to be returned to the person's consciousness. The patient will have total amnesia for that block of time, the Essence will not ask for that memory to be recalled, and the CIE will not authorize such memory to be released from the Akashic Records. THOUGHTSPACE The world we physically inhabit can be called Physicalspace. It is composed of objects and the forces causing them to relate to each other, such as gravity. It is limited in time and space, and the fastest speed possible is that of light. The primary providers of person-to-person communication are the postal service and the telephone companies. The experts in understanding the rules and procedures of Physicalspace are physicists, chemists, biologists, and similar "hard science" investigators. Continuing in the same vein, all of us recognize that we think, when awake, and it is suggested that the "universe" in which thought is managed be called "Thoughtspace." In the past, this same "space" has been called the "Spirit World" by shamans, and, more recently, the "Astral Plane" by the Theosophists. Both of these terms are now archaic and related to world-view belief systems of earlier eras. To use these terms now would cause unnecessary misunderstanding. That is why the word "Thoughtspace" is offered as a label for that "universe" in which thought is the primary method of person-to-person communication. This is a co-existent universe we humans inhabit when thinking while awake or, when dreaming, when asleep. The rules and procedures of Thoughtspace are not agreed upon by modern scholars, but have been conjectured by innumerable esoteric scholars over the centuries. Two basic features of Thoughtspace are the absences of time and distance. Everything in Thoughtspace is eternal and infinite. There are no discrete objects in Thoughtspace, and "everything" is connected and communicating with "everything" else. All is intelligent energy, but not of a type which can be measured by any of the tools of Physicalspace. At this time, there are no agreed upon experts in the study of Thoughtspace, but philosophers, theologians, parapsychologists, psychical researchers, psychiatrists, and psychologists are the ones usually dealing with questions about this "universe." AKASHIC RECORDS The Akashic Records Center is the storage "library" for all memories of all humans who were ever placed or born onto the universe. It can be described as a gigantic library in Thoughtspace where Essences house, update, index, and retrieve memories for their purposes only. The memories can only be retrieved by the Essences who stored them there. One part houses memories that are pleasing or satisfying. Another part contains traumatic memories. Another houses the memories of parents and family members relating to interactions with that person. Since the Akashic Records center is in Thoughtspace, humans cannot see it. If the memory to be retrieved is of a happy, contented, and satisfying event, it is absorbed by the Essence. Absorbed memories are then brought back immediately to the charge for his/her experience and enjoyment. If the Essence wishes to retrieve traumatic memories, the Essence's Guardian must agree that this is the correct time in therapy for the memory requested to be provided. If the traumatic event might overwhelm the charge, the Guardian and the other CIE have a conference with the Essence to determine the correct timing. When they come to a mutual conclusion, they will pick one of three choices. They may choose to give no memory at all. They may decide to give a partial memory and experience in all senses. Or they will give the Essence the full memory with all senses in full operation. Usually the CIE will go along with what the Essence is requesting, as the Essence knows the charge better than they do. At that point in the therapy session, they will provide enough memory for the Essence to supply the bare framework of the event, with only enough emotions to allow the patient to experience the Emotional Overlay. Once the CIE has reached a decision, the Essence goes to the specially coded memory in her charge's file. Again, the Essence absorbs the memory and takes it to the charge just in time for the patient to have the memory available for therapy. If the memory involves family members or friends, the CIE will only authorize the clearance after a discussion with each of the Essences of the individuals involved. Once a conclusion has been accepted by all, the Essences of the patient and of the friends and/or relatives go together to the specially coded files in the Family Section. All of the Professors of all Essences of all persons involved in the incident must approve the recall of this memory by any one of them. The memories will only be implanted into the Essence of the patient who is in therapy. NEUROBIOLOGICAL MEMORY MATERIAL The human brain extremely important in memory management, since the brain contains the memories needed for bodily survival and daily activities. But the above hypothesis suggests that only a modest portion of human memory is totally managed in the brain. What types of memories are managed entirely by our neurobiological mechanisms? Since there is no time concept in Thoughtspace, anything relating to time must be managed in the brain. Time is a man made concept, and the human ways of measuring time have varied over the span of human existence. Any genealogist knows this after trying to figure out when a relative was born, if the event occurred before 1752, when the Julian calendar was replaced by the Gregorian calendar. In memories stored in the Akashic Records, only sequential information is noted, so that one can recall which event happened first, second, or third. Anything to do with WHEN any event happened must be stored in the brain, as time data cannot be attached to the files in the Akashic Records. Other memories that cannot be stored in the Akashic Records are those having to do with physical bodily functions. All neurological reflexes are managed by the Central Nervous System. Any learned physical behavior, such as how to drive a car or ride a bicycle, must be stored in the brain, for similar reasons. This includes any trained responses learned on the job, such as how to assemble items in a factory. The body is only temporary, as far as the Essence is concerned, so anything to do with the particular physical structure used in this lifetime has no place in Akashic Records. Learned emergency physical reactions needed for personal survival must be stored in the brain. The same applies to physical maneuvers that soldiers learn while training for combat. The other use of the brain is for all conscious memories. EXPERIENCES NOT PERCEIVED BY SENSE ORGANS Most memories which have come into the CNS through the five senses will be stored by the Essence in the Akashic Records. There are other types of memories people have from time to time that were never perceived by the five senses, so they could not have entered the CNS neurological memory system. The most common type is one's own private thoughts. Which of the five senses do we use to perceive our own thoughts, which we have not spoken or written? If we appreciate our mental environment through only our five physical senses, we would have no way to remember what we thought. Yet we all can remember our thoughts when we had our first kiss or were fired from our first job. The Jungians have made a great study of dreams, and much of Freud's work was based on analyzing his own dreams. How did Freud remember his dreams, without a sense organ to perceive and record them? But all persons remember at least some of their dreams. Yet there is no organic system to transfer that data into neurological memory. Some people have Out of Body Experiences (OBE) (Guiley, 1991, pg. 419-423) during which they see themselves from a vantage point outside their physical body. What sense organ are they using to see their body from the ceiling above, when all sense organs are being deprived of oxygen? The same reasoning goes for Near Death Experiences (NDE) (Guiley, 1991, pg. 399-400), which are often reported by rational individuals. What sense organ can they be using to see the tunnel of light? How do they remember thinking about whether to live or die? Some people have responded to verbal stimuli while under anesthesia. Surgeons have been warned by hypnotists who have interviewed post-surgical patients who reported overhearing conversations between the doctors and the surgical nurses (Cheek, 1966). These persons were under deep chemical anesthesia but could not feel pain or move. Therefore, they would not be able to hear, either. What sense organ were they using to hear the surgeon tell the nurse that they had inoperable cancer and would die no matter what they did? These types of memories are the ones that can only be perceived by the Essence of the individual, which has no sense organs and operates even if the person is almost physically dead. The Essence perceives everything that is happening in and around the person, records it continuously, and stores it in the Akashic Records. When it is necessary for the person to know any of this information, the Essence has to have the proper clearance to retrieve whatever is necessary and safe for her charge to remember. That is the way Essence Memory works. ESSENCE MEMORY CONTENT All personal experiences are preserved in the original form with all sensory and emotional components available. However, it is highly unlikely that any memory will ever be retrieved and recalled in its complete format. In addition, telepathic message from others at the time of the trauma will also be preserved, just as the police preserve tape recordings of their wire taps. The Essence, which is responsible for keeping the charge alive, can tap into the minds and memories of important people in the charge's life, if that information is needed for the charge's survival. All those "recorded tapes" are stored right along with whatever the sense organs perceived. The "tapes" can be replayed for his/her benefit in therapy sessions if an ethical therapist knows how to "operate the tape player." FACTORS THE ESSENCE TAKES INTO ACCOUNT WHEN RETRIEVING TRAUMATIC MEMORIES When a traumatic memory is not available to a patient's consciousness, that patient's Essence has made the decision that the charge was not mentally stable enough to remember that incident at that time. If the charge then has an ethical therapist who is supportive of her patient remembering this incident, the Essence will then be willing to retrieve the traumatic episode from the Akashic Records. One important factor is the listener. Is the listener friendly or threatening? Is he a policeman who might arrest her if she confessed or a priest who might give her absolution for her sins? Is the listener open minded and willing to accept whatever the patient has to say without criticism, or has she made up her mind and will only listen to what she already thinks happened? Is the setting private or public? Is anyone there whom the person might embarrass or humiliate if a memory is revealed? Can the person trust those in attendance to give her a fair hearing, or are they already biased against her? It is the purpose of this meeting? Do the others in attendance need to know, or are they just curious? Will they print what is said in the tabloids, or will they keep it to themselves? Will the benefits of disclosure outweigh the risks of embarrassment? How mature and emotionally stable is the person who is to remember this material? The Essence must be sure that remembering will not hurt the charge. The curiosity of others is not sufficient to overrule that Prime Directive. Even the threat of legal sanctions will be insufficient to cause the Essence to retrieve the memory. The Essence predicts the charge's emotional reaction to remembering this material in this context. When the Essence decides that the memory will be more beneficial than harmful, the Essence can then supply the bits of Geographical Data in the proper order and volume. The Essence must feel confident that the charge will not dissociate again when remembering this material in this setting. When the Essence decides to retrieve memory of a traumatic episode, the Geographical Data will be sent first. If that is accepted by the person, the Essence will deliver some of the Emotional Overlay in the form of small puffs of feelings. These bits of emotion will be just enough to remind the person what she felt like at the time of the event, but not enough to unbalance her in the present situation. The Essence cannot harm anyone. The Essence will evaluate what the people in attendance are likely to do with this information when they leave the room. If the Essence senses that the therapist is interested in using the patient as a political pawn in a battle with authority figures, the Essence will withhold any information that would help with the therapist's planned revenge. If the therapist insists the patient come up with something, the patient may feel forced to present what the therapist wants from her own imagination. The Essence thus indirectly sanctions the creation of a "false memory" as the best way to handle the problem of the therapist. Then the Essence of the therapist is the one with work to do. No Essence will deliver material to be used against someone else. CONCLUSIONS Extensive study of dissociated patients who have integrated with appropriate psychotherapy has led to evidence of a parallel memory management system called Essence Memory. This system deals with memory that is initially processed by the neurological memory system, but which is not stored permanently in the brain. It also deals with memory which was never perceived by any of the five sense organs. Such memories are processed by the person's Essence and stored in the Akashic Records in Thoughtspace, not in the CNS neurons of Physicalspace. From there, the Essence can retrieve memories under certain conditions. Each Essence manages its charge's memory intelligently. Memories are delivered to the person in the manner and amount that is deemed safe for mental stability at the time of recall. The Essence is a concerned, intelligent energy that is being monitored by Supervisors called the Celestial Intelligent Energy. All of them, working together, decide which traumatic memories can be recalled when, by the person who experienced the trauma. They will allow this to happen only if they are sure that the person will not be harmed by recalling that memory. They are interested solely in the welfare of the person so involved, who is allowed recall of traumatic memories in a setting and at a time that will be of benefit to that person. REFERENCES Allison, R.B. (1980). Minds in many pieces. New York: Rawson/Wade Allison, R.B. (1985). Spiritual helpers I have met, AASC Newsletter, 1(1), 4-5. Cheek, D.B. (1966). The meaning of continued hearing sense under general chemo-anesthesia: A progress report and report of a case, American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 8(4), 275-280. Guiley, R.E. (1991). Harper's encyclopedia of mystical & paranormal experience. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco. Herman, J.L. (1995). Crime and memory, Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry & the Law, 23(1), 5-17. Loftus, E.F. & Ketcham, K. (1994). The myth of repressed memory: False memories and allegations of sexual abuse. New York: St. Martin's Press. Ofshe, R. & Watters, E. (1994). Making monsters: False memories, psychotherapy, and sexual hysteria. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pendergrast, M. (1995). Victims of memory: Incest accusations and shattered lives. Hinesburg, VT: Upper Access Books. 

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