Ugo Dèttore: a philosopher of paranormal
The informative works of Ugo Dèttore in the field of parapsychology
The name of Ugo Dèttore, born in Bologna in 1905 and died in Santa Margherita Ligure in 1992, is not well known outside the circle of experts in the field of publishing and scholars of paranormal phenomena. Biographical information about him is scarce, but for his prolific activity as a writer, novelist, translator (as well as many English and French classics, he translated the Satyricon from Latin) and editor of many publications, he can be considered a person of solid and wide culture. Further information on his publishing activity can be found on the Wikipedia page dedicated to him.
I am not able to date the beginning of Dèttore's interest in the paranormal, but the first popular book published by him on this topic dates back to 1973: it is L'altro Regno - Enciclopedia di metapsichica, di parapsicologia e di spiritismo, a volume of more than 600 pages published by Bompiani that shows a deepening of the historical evolution of the topics covered and a good knowledge of many books and articles published up to then in the field of metapsychics and paranormal phenomena. In 1984 Fabbri (another Italian publisher) published an updated and expanded edition of the same work with the title of Dizionario enciclopedico di parapsicologia e spiritismo, while in 1978, for Edizioni Armenia, had seen the light L'uomo e l'ignoto, an encyclopedic dictionary in 5 volumes edited by the author. Although interesting, these texts have a popular approach aimed primarily at a reader educated but not specialized. The first book that reveals an original formulation of Dèttore's thought is Storia della parapsicologia (Armenia Editore, 1976), a text that certainly deserves to be read for the clarity with which exposes the paranormal manifestations from prehistory to 1970, highlighting the relationship between the collective psychic tunings prevailing in every age and in every culture, the paranormal phenomena that occur and the way in which they are interpreted and elaborated. Unfortunately it is not possible to make this text available online due to copyright reasons.
Paranormal phenomena in the evolution of living organisms
The reason why here is given a particular emphasis on the thought of Ugo Dèttore is that, in some respects, his vision of psyche evolution, also to better understand the meaning of human life, derives from similar needs to those explained on this site. For example, in the first chapter of his Storia della parapsicologia, dedicated to paranormality in prehuman living organisms, Dèttore highlights all those aspects of the evolution of organic life that are difficult, if not impossible, to explain in a purely mechanistic interpretation of evolution theory, but which become more comprehensible if we recognize the active presence of psychic energies, such as those that determine telepathy or clairvoyance, even in the organic world of animals and plants. Already in single-celled organisms such as amoebae, we observe activities both of recognition of particular elements present in the environment (as possible sources of nourishment), and of finalized behavior (such as the emission of pseudopodia): according to mechanistic theory, in the absence of an organized nervous system within the organism these activities should be due to a series of chemical reactions between certain substances present in the environment surrounding the amoeba and others contained within it. But it is precisely this separation between environment and organism that determines in the latter a form of perceptual knowledge of the environment and a finalized behavior (intent or will), which represent something new and unprecedented with respect to the automatism of the chemical reactions at work. In the amoeba there could therefore exist an elementary and rudimentary form of psychism, even in the absence of a specialized sensorial system.
Dèttore then examines the specialized behaviors of some species of insects, which presuppose an evolved psychism (even if not necessarily associated with forms of consciousness), to highlight how the mechanistic interpretation that wants to derive every activity from the genetic code does not take into account the role played from psychic energy (which translates into information and will) in determining the behavior of individuals. Experiments carried out on social insects such as ants or termites demonstrate how psychic energies can determine, in these organisms, some forms of telepathic (and therefore parapsychological) knowledge, rather than sensory. The same thing is evident, even more markedly, in the sense of orientation of many species of birds, and in the decidedly parapsychological behavior shown in some circumstances by evolved mammals such as dogs or horses. So – according to the author – psychic energy reveals itself as something different and independent from the various forms of known physical energy, and neither the evolution of life nor the history of humanity can be understood without having a rather clear information on the various ways in which it develops and manifests itself.
Even if Dèttore did not use the terminology of information technology (perhaps because of his humanist culture and because, at the time he was writing, information technology had not yet got the cultural impact it has today), his thought shows a good awareness of the correlation between the computing complexity of a living organism and the level of psychic energy that manifests itself through that organism, determining both its behavior and its inner life, if that organism is sufficiently evolved to have some form of consciousness. We have already dealt, in the section dedicated to the human psyche, with the complex problems related to the tuning of psychic energies by our mental (cerebral) activity, highlighting how such activity is largely unconscious, while the psychic tunings that interest and involve our Ego are those which enter into the range of experience of our consciousness. To better understand what the relationship between the conscious Ego and the psychic energies is, refer to the page dedicated to the Ego and the psyche.
Development of a psyche philosophy
In his book, published in 1977 by Armenia, entitled Normalità e paranormalità, Dèttore lays the foundations for a philosophical interpretation of the psychic phenomenon, whose complexity leads us to believe that the elaboration of the ideas and concepts presented in the book is the result of years of study and reflections. It should first be observed that, if the exposure of his Storia della parapsicologia (published only a year before) was clear and easy to read, the first part of Normalità e paranormalità, entitled Theoretical premises of a hypothesis, is much more demanding, not infrequently difficult to follow and to understand and sometimes obscure, even if it represents a serious attempt on the part of human psyche to understand and interpret the psychic phenomenon as a whole (including that part of psychic activity that is today attributed to the unconscious). While the second part (Normal and paranormal in the animal world) and the third (Paranormal in humans) resume and expand the topics already dealt with in Storia della parapsicologia, giving further useful information based on the facts observed by researchers and interpreted by the author, the first part has a decidedly speculative character: it is a construction of human thought aimed at representing and interpreting a complex phenomenon – as certainly is that of evolution of the universe and living forms – in the light of known facts and processes, and on the basis of reasonings more or less consistent and well thought out, but lacking the reliability of scientific knowledge based on experimental confirmation, or the certainty of evidence. The contents of the book can appear convincing or arbitrary, according to the psychic orientation of the reader, but it lends itself to more than one criticism. With these premises, let's proceed to briefly examine the concepts presented by Dèttore.
Psyche and anti-psyche
It should be specified that in Normalità e paranormalità the author uses the term psyche to indicate what could be defined as «creative tension» or «creative power» present in the universe, an entity that is opposed to anti-psyche, a kind of inert substance that opposes resistance to the psyche's creative tension. Anti-psyche should not be thought as a physical energy (or as matter in which energy is transformed), because even in their most undifferentiated states physical energy and matter are governed by laws resulting from interactions between psyche and anti-psyche, two entities that remain in themselves unknowable, but which human psyche guesses the existence of, on the basis of the perception of the effects produced by their interaction. At this point a question comes spontaneously: why Dèttore wanted to call «psyche» this force, or this entity, to which he could have assigned a more conventional name, or anyway a more neutral one, less connected to mental activity of human beings and other living organisms? It seems to me that we could answer this way: in Dèttore's vision, human psyche is nothing but the manifestation in our consciousness of that entity, unknowable in itself, that he calls psyche, and human consciousness is the most evolved product of the process of interaction between psyche and anti-psyche. The limit of this original conception is evident: while, through our consciousness, we have a direct experience – each one for the small part which belongs to him/her – of a bundle of tunings of human psyche, the creative and evolutionary process of the universe escapes our direct experience and our understanding, but is interpreted according to the (changing) framework that is offered to us by human psyche itself, and therefore also the interpretation of it given by Dèttore has an inductive and speculative character (not supported by sufficient evidence).
Formation and individualization
Our author pays special attention to the creative process of formation and individualization resulting from the interaction of psyche with anti-psyche. The process of formation, which involves the realization over time of increasingly complex forms with respect to the previous stage, is due to the creative effect of psyche, which acts continuously overcoming the resistance due to the essentially amorphous, undifferentiated and static character of anti-psyche. Therefore forms originate from the interaction between psyche and anti-psyche: first inorganic forms and then the organic and living ones. It should be noted how, in the section of this site dedicated to life, the evolution of forms has been interpreted with the criterion of increase of information (in the sense attributed to this term by informatics): so it seems to me that Dèttore, even without referring to informatics, interpreted the forms' evolution in an identical or very similar way. It is evident the similarity of the terms formation and information, both derived by the concept of form.
The process of formation involves the establishment of individuals (which Dèttore calls also nuclei), that is, well-differentiated forms that exist within a space and an environment having a less advanced level of formation: in the inorganic world can be considered individual nuclei the celestial bodies, such as stars and planets, or the crystals, while in the organic world individual nuclei range from protocells to cells, and then to multicellular organisms. Dèttore, in developing his hypothesis, thinks that the formation of each individual occurs on the basis of laws that determine the modalities through which that individual takes its shape (and this is an obvious fact), and that consequently to each individual, or nucleus, a more or less rudimentary or evolved form of consciousness could be associated (and this is by no means evident). According to Dèttore also a crystal has a very primitive form of consciousness, certainly not comparable to human: the author seems convinced of this, but how to prove it?
Another consequence of the formation process, considered in an evolutionary sense, is that among individual nuclei – to which the author attributes, as we have seen, a consciousness and ego – organizational hierarchies are established, each level of which corresponds to a higher ego. For example, a mammal like a cat has a consciousness and an ego determined by the presence of a complex nervous system, but every cell in its organism has its own ego and a lower level of consciousness, and interacts with other cells of the same organism according to intentional criteria determined by laws of evolution. In the case of humans, then, Dèttore believes that the interactions between people lead to the establishment of higher-order organisms (human societies), to which individuals are subordinated: for consistency, even these higher-order nuclei should have their own form of super-consciousness and their ego. Dèttore's hypothesis seeks its justification in those interpretations of the psychology of the unconscious that have been accepted in our culture: the concepts used by him, such as the subconscious (to define the psychic activity determined by lower level nuclei), or the preconscious (from which should come those psychic tunings that break into our human consciousness to determine a tension towards higher-level creative and evolutionary forms), derive to some extent by psychoanalysis (Es, Super-ego), in the forms in which it was culturally spread in the past century. Yet, in more than one passage of his book, Dèttore proves to be well aware of the limits of Freudian psychoanalysis, and rather critical about the various interpretations of the concept of unconscious.
Psyche and individuals
According to Dèttore, psyche manifests itself in each ego in its completeness, and at the same time the plurality of egos allows an unlimited and global expression of all the different aspects of psychic creativity. I do not think that we can share this overly simplistic and sweetened vision of the psychic phenomenon: our human experience, in fact, is limited to human psyche, and each individual experiences only a narrow range of psychic tunings, determined by his destiny and his personal history. As a whole, human psyche presents contradictory and conflicting aspects, and the psyche experience determined by the unfolding of human life has implied, to many people, suffering, tribulations and pains that are received and memorized by our Ego through consciousness. In Dèttore's conception, there is no deepening of the causes of human suffering: we can not understand whether it is due to an antithesis between psyche and anti-psyche (analogous to that between good and evil), or whether it should be considered an unavoidable element of psyche's creativity. Finally, as regards paranormal phenomena, Dèttore believes that they should be considered as more direct and immediate psyche's manifestations (which he attributes to «a minimum materialization»), which largely escape the regulatory and resistant action of anti-psyche.
The N Model
The author himself was probably aware of the various weak and criticizable points of his hypothesis based on the contrast between psyche and anti-psyche, so much so that in his last book Modello N - alla ricerca di una realtà diversa (N Model - Searching for a Different Reality), published in 1989 by Edizioni Mediterranee, the terminology used in Normalità e paranormalità it is abandoned, to be replaced by some more conventional, and therefore more easily understandable, concepts such as Being and Becoming, Energy and Form, Cosciousness and Unconscious. In the introduction to his book the author expressed himself in these terms: «I titled this essay Modello N because I consider it an Nth attempt, whatever its value may be, to achieve a coherent vision of man and the world. My aim has been to try to give, today, a meaning to the humans and their relations with the environment in which they live, in the light, in particular, of paranormal phenomenology that, for more than a century, has returned to the focus of our thinking by forming the object of current parapsychology. A purpose, perhaps, even more naive rather than ambitious». As you can see, it is precisely because of the purpose stated by Dèttore that in this site due attention is given to his theories, even if the reference to the naivety of his own attempt reveals his awareness of the limits of the model adopted by him.
Modello N it is above all a philosophy book, despite the references to paranormal phenomena, which are used to support the psychic theoretical scheme devised by Dèttore, who, in his introduction, wrote again: «The attempts made to include paranormality in the modern scientific conception of reality have practically failed: this means that this model is too narrow to comprehend an undeniable, but apparently exceptional and extravagant, phenomenology. We must therefore start from a new model of everyday reality in which there is room for all that life puts before us: the study of the paranormal requires above all a study of the normal, on which we must base ourselves». At this point, it would be reasonable to expect that the author – aware of the complexity of the problems he is facing – would show us the criteria and methods he intends to adopt for his study, giving the reader adequate reasons on the selected method and on the benefits deriving from it in terms of knowledge. Nothing at all of this: what is exposed in the 250 pages of the book is an elaborate mental construction, a product of thought, and therefore of psyche, more or less interesting and more or less convincing, but which does not allow any progress regarding an effective and valid knowledge of the meaning of human life.
First of all, the terminology adopted by Dèttore is not precise: the lack of definitions, clarifications and in-depth analysis makes it often difficult to understand what the author intends to communicate when he uses particular terms and expressions. For example, it seems to me that Dèttore uses the term «consciousness» to refer indifferently to our «mental activity» and to some aspects of human psyche, which can be registered – in whole or in part – by consciousness, or remain unconscious. Moreover, in the exposition of its theoretical construction, our author sometimes uses philosophical concepts that should be better explained, otherwise the ideas he presents end up seeming banal. For example, after highlighting how the transformations of our universe in time and space are manifestations of an evident process of Becoming, Dèttore says that, if we make abstraction from time, the Becoming, in its totality, coincides with Being. But they are precisely the specific aspects of Becoming and the modalities of its evolution that arouse our interest: without a deepening of these aspects of Becoming, the concept of Being is poor of meaning, and in any case – like other concepts like Infinity and Absolute – remains beyond and outside the reach of our mind. If Dèttore were still alive, he would probably be able to explain the obscure points of his book, given that he proved to be able to express himself in a very appropriate way on various topics.
Another criticism that can be moved to the theoretical model presented by the author concerns the impossibility of proving his thesis that the reality of the becoming of the physical universe is determined by a sort of psychic energy, a concept mediated by the experience of human psyche. As has happened and as often happens in thought's elaborations, Dèttore does not distinguish with sufficient clarity between consciousness and the various aspects of the human psyche that are experienced through consciousness: even for him, therefore, the elaboration of thought becomes a psychic exploration through which he seeks a truth. This truth, recognized in that form considered by him as more satisfying and convincing, rather than being presented for what it is – that is, a psychic truth, like others that can enter the beam of consciousness of one or the other individual, conquering the Ego –, is then considered as real, objective, universal, without suggesting any effective method to test it and submit it to validation. Dèttore is conquered by the psychic phenomenon and by the way in which it manifests itself in human consciousness, so much so as to consider the universe, on a global level and in all its aspects, as a psychic phenomenon endowed with consciousness, intentionality and ethics: a theory which can also intrigue us, but which is not a verifiable form of knowledge. As he himself recognizes, his conception is analogous to that presented in the Tabula smaragdina attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, according to which the human being is a microcosm in which the order and harmony of macrocosm are reflected: «quod est inferius, est sicut quod est superius, et quod est superius, est sicut quod est inferius (what is below is like what is above, and what is above is like what is below)».
Many of the examples presented by the author in support of his thesis can be denied by other facts which demonstrate something different from what he affirmed. For example, when Dèttore attributes to a conscious psychism associated with physical energy (and its transformation into matter) a kind of intentional impulse that determines the evolution from inorganic to organic forms, and then to living organisms, he seems to forget that those events that occurred on our Earth have not occurred on other bodies close to us, such as the Moon, Mars or Venus, which have maintained a substantial stability for hundreds of millions of years. It is therefore more reasonable to establish a connection between the transformations of environmental conditions and the possible evolution of organic forms, starting from inorganic ones, yet recognizing that the predisposition to increase information in forms' evolution must be a quality potentially present ab origine in energy and matter, instead of resorting to a more or less conscious psychic intent that exerts its effects over time.
It seems appropriate to me to highlight how an explanatory theory, to become effective knowledge, must give to our human Ego a power of control – current or at least potential – on some aspect of reality, otherwise it should be considered only as a possible psychic truth (provided that there are no elements that contradict it). This is what distinguishes scientific knowledge from psychical truths, shared by millions of people, such as those claimed by religions. Scientific knowledge allows humans to be able to build functioning machines capable of performing certain operations (current power), or to plan operations that can not be carried out today due to lack of adequate resources (such as interstellar travel), but which could be carried out in the future, if other energy resources are discovered: in this sense we can speak of a potential power. The reason why paranormal phenomena escape scientific knowledge lies above all in the fact that it has not been possible to find a method to control them, at least until today. As for psychic truths, everyone ends up adopting those that have been instilled in him, or that for him are more persuasive and convincing: since the world is what it is, human psyche worked like this, exerting this effect – which we could call hypnotic – on a vast majority of people.
Returning to Dèttore's N Model, this work is divided into three parts. In the first, entitled Meaning of the Real, Being and Becoming are examined as fundamental aspects of reality, which manifest themselves through the universal energy system and the evolutionary creation of increasingly complex forms: in the tension of Becoming, which develops in time and space, the need for a return to unity and to the ultimate meaning of Being is always present. The second part deals with the Human Form, with reference to Consciousness and the Unconscious. The third part, Paranormality, interprets the various aspects of paranormal phenomena within the theoretical scheme developed by the author in the first two parts of the book, especially in relation to the different aspects of consciousness and the unconscious. The most interesting chapter, in my opinion, is the one about the unconscious, in which Dèttore makes an appreciable effort to clarify some aspects related to this complex and controversial concept, whose cultural development has been examined on this site in the pages dedicated to the topic.
After recognizing that the cultural influence of the unconscious had its origins in the second half of the nineteenth century, since very little had been written before about it – even if epic and fictional narrative had always presented, in various forms, examples of mental processes that seemed to occur and impose themselves below and in conflict with conscious reason – Dèttore writes: «It can not be said, however, that in the course of almost a century, the idea of the unconscious has really been clarified. Psychology admits and describes a series of processes that take place outside the area of consciousness and which, especially if they are practically negative, can be reintegrated into rational consciousness (in a psychological sense) through various methods. But it failed to rebuild the unity of the Ego. Parapsychology... resorts to the unconscious as a deus ex machina that can be invoked as responsible for all the obscure phenomena that are the object of its study. A definition of the term «unconscious» is anything but easy, also because we apply it to different mental activities. There are activities called unconscious, of which we are perfectly conscious when we do them, but of which we ignore and can not rationalize the processes through which they occur. For example, the act of remembering can be completely conscious as an act, but it is unconscious in its mechanics, and if the memory does not show up when its recalling is requested, we have practically no means to hasten it».
After observing how, in many human activities, the intentional and voluntary aspect of the solicitation by the Ego is associated with an unconscious mechanism that leads to their execution (or, in some cases, to their failed accomplishment), the author thus goes on: «If we try to define this conscious unconscious, we realize that we do not reach a definition of the unconscious, but a definition of consciousness: in fact every conscious act is ultimately founded on unconscious processes. Even in the most rigorously reasoned act, we ignore the original processes that guide our reasoning, so much so that the same act can be rationally explained in different ways, depending on whether different unconscious motivations are at the basis of our reasoning. It would therefore be a mistake to identify consciousness with rationality: consciousness is always the consciousness of an unconscious. More exactly, we call unconscious those activities that actually take place outside our consciousness, without our knowledge, and of which we become aware a posteriori, recognizing their effects, or of which we do not become conscious at all. For example, after having long and in vain pondered on the solution of a problem, this can suddenly come to our mind, at a time when we think of something else, or even if we are in a drowsy or dreaming state... these are totally unconscious processes which occur with perfect coherence and seem to suppose a consciously thinking subject that is different from ourselves. The disturbing problem of the unity of the Ego then arises. The unconscious, in fact, threatens to break this unity by representing a psychic dynamism that operates on its own and which sometimes seems to have its own secret consciousness, its own purposes and its own will, different and separate from that of our Ego».
This last observation reflects the inaccuracy of the terminology used by the author (and by psychology in general). It is the functioning of psyche, in fact, which is largely unconscious for our consciousness, and therefore for our Ego. To speak of consciousness, of purpose and of intent with regard to human psyche is a hazard, or perhaps a hope suggested by some tunings of the psyche itself: in any case, if the Ego wants to believe in it, it is a psychic truth. Anyway, the fact that the Ego is in all respects, and with very few exceptions, entangled in the plots of the psyche and a faithful executor of the commands that come from the same is not a novelty: in most cases our Ego is completely identified with the psychic contents that consciousness transmits to him/her, and the Ego's unity is always threatened by the conflict between the psychic contents received at different moments of life.
Mentioning Myers and Freud as scholars who tried to investigate the problem of the origin of consciousness and the unconscious (an issue whose very premises are incorrect), Dèttore goes on: «...Myers repeatedly states that his Subliminal Self, or unconscious, and its Superliminal Self, or conscious Ego, do not form a duality; but he does not sufficiently explain neither the link which unites them nor their fundamental identity. To the mechanist psychologist the problem does not exist: for him, both the conscious and the unconscious are systems of processes that occur according to the same laws, some of which are perceived by that epiphenomenon that would be consciousness, while others are not perceived at all, showing themselves only through their results. But a speculative thinker starts precisely from what the mechanist excludes or a purely conventional meaning is given, that is, the Ego, the center of consciousness with which we identify ourselves, and we must therefore ask ourselves: what can it consist of and what can another center of consciousness mean, next to our Ego, which seems to be independent of the Ego, and able to help or hinder it in his/her activity? In particular, from a parapsychological point of view, we must ask how this other center of consciousness can have abilities that seem to be negated to the conscious Ego, acting out of the organism, in space and time, so as to appear omnipotent and omniscient. We will dedicate the third part of our book to this last question; here we will only try to see if, with the unconscious, the unity of the Ego is really broken or if it is possible to reconcile his/her consciousness with that unconsciousness».
These considerations by Dèttore deserve some clarification and some criticism. First of all, for a deepening of the complex topic of the relationship between the Ego and the psyche, you may refer to the page dedicated to it. Moreover, for a better comprehension of the meaning attributed in this site to terms such as consciousness, unconscious, ego, mind, psyche, it is advisable to consult the page on definitions, since the sense in which these terms are used by some authors may be significantly different from that in which other authors use them. With regard to the subliminal ego, Myers believed that the totality of the human person, as manifested through our individual psychophysical system (constituted by body and mind), allowed us to sense the active presence, next to the conscious Ego, of a second entity which he called Subliminal Self. Relying on the theories about the unconscious of the late nineteenth century, Myers was of the opinion that the Subliminal Self was in contact with both the less evolved part of the unconscious activities of the human mind (primitive drives and instincts), and a higher dimension of the psyche, from which faculties such as creative inspiration, evolved thought, noble ethical and aesthetic purposes would originate. Myers' Subliminal Self could very well be called in another way, for example Spirit, and its personalization is due to the fact that, evidently, every form of negative or positive manifestation of the human psyche becomes concrete through our individual behavior, or it must be recorded by our consciousness, in one phase or another of the course of human life, in order to be related to the Ego and therefore personalized. Psychic activities outside consciousness can be referred to a person only in the sense that their effects are translated into forms of behavior of which his/her Ego is not conscious, and in some cases can produce objective physical effects outside the Ego's control and conscious perception, as it occurs in mediumistic trance.
The problem of the personalization of unconscious psychic activities
With too much confidence, Dèttore personalizes the unconscious and subconscious activities of the psyche, attributing an autonomous consciousness («another center of consciousness») and an Ego to psychic dynamics of which we know very little indeed. If we refer to mental activity as an expression of the functioning of the brain, within our psychophysical system, then the personalization can derive from the fact that, socially, each individual is characterized by having his/her own body (and therefore a brain) of which he/she is held responsible, provided he/she is able to understand and to want. We have already explained how some of the activities performed by our brain and nervous system do not come to consciousness and remain outside the Ego's ability to control. It follows that the control of our own body and our actions is determined largely by psyche in ways that remain unconscious to us, or that act in the form of operational programs acquired through socio-cultural conditioning. Consciousness is a faculty, which is acquired in the course of our life since early childhood, through which the Ego can receive information about certain manifestations of the psyche and exercise an intentional control over some aspects of mental activity and body actions. As for the experience of our inner life, in which the Ego is involved through consciousness, it does not seem appropriate to go further, personalizing psyche's unconscious functions, or attributing them an autonomous consciousness. However, there are some cases, such as those of so-called multiple personalities, or those in which spirit entities manifest themselves during mediumistic trance, while remaining unconscious to the medium, in which the manifestation – through a body – of personalities endowed with their own psychic autonomy and consciousness – quite distinct from the Ego normally associated with that body – seems evident.
It is precisely to paranormal phenomena and to certain states of dissociation of the personality – such as those that can occur through hypnosis – that Dèttore refers to support the theory exposed in N Model, a theory whose speculative character the author was certainly well aware of. As I have already noted, it is a complex construction of thought, which is at the same time incomplete and moot, but which also has some interesting intuitions. It would have been more advantageous, for an easier reading of the book, if the author had illustrated, through appropriate examples taken from evidence, through observed facts and information in his possession, the mental path through which he had come to elaborate what must certainly have seemed to him a valid explanatory model on the reality of our universe and the manifestations of human life. Since we lack these explanations, and since Dèttore is no longer among us, we must be content with his works as they are, with their merits and their limits.