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The authors of an essay in Scientific American have couple constitute panpsychism and Dissociative Identity Disorder as a mechanism for explaining the existence of consciousness in the material universe. A fundamental trouble of the materialist worldview is that there is consciousness and rocks don’t have consciousness — so how things made out of powdered rocks and water (human beings) have consciousness presents problem.

One way to solve that problem is to say the consciousness is just a physical property and so my electrons have a rudimentary consciousness. As the authors explain:

Under this view, called “constitutive panpsychism,” matter already has experience from the get-go, not just when it arranges itself in the form of brains. Even subatomic particles possess some very simple form of consciousness. Our own human consciousness is then (allegedly) constituted by a combination of the subjective inner lives of the countless physical particles that make up our nervous system.

This leads to a problem: how then can human beings experience their own center of consciousness? If there is one great consciousness which underlies the entire universe (it is inherent in everything), then how to we explain our individual identities?

This is where Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) helps: One human being can be the locus of multiple centers of consciousness which is known as DID. The same mechanism which permits one human body to have multiple centers of consciousness is the mechanism which permits individual humans to have their own center of consciousness separate from the universal consciousness in all things.

Essentially, the universe has DID and we are one of those personalities.

It should be noted that this is paganism: where the universe is animate. Indeed if you scratch this hard, you end up with tree spirits and water sprites.