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Possibly set in Cambridge, true self and form self. An older or aged woman is unable to separate her mind -- true self -- from her body -- form self. Younger people can apparently do this at will, and there is some reason why these older people have to be taken care of or watched carefully. I read this maybe 25-30 years ago.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. This question is very terse. There's almost nothing here to go on. Please check out the guide to see if there are any other details you can edit into your question. When and where did you read it? – DavidW May 16 at 3:26
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    Cambridge, England? Cambridge, Massachusetts? Cambridge, Ontario? Some other Cambridge? – user14111 May 16 at 8:26
  • From what is told, I can only think of His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman. The first book is set in an alternative world Oxford, in which people have their soul under the form of animals, called daemons. The daemons of the youngs still change of form until they reach the age of what they know what they're going to be, and the form stays until they die. The story of the first book revolves around the fact of adult wanting to separate children from their daemons to get the dust. – Lyzvaleska May 16 at 8:44
  • The story may have been set in Cambridge England. It's been a very long time since I read it, my apologies for having so little information about it. – user116656 May 24 at 4:49
  • Did people have to walk to separate their mind from their body? Specifically, if somebody tied your legs together, would that prevent the process of freeing your mind from your body? – Winchell Chung May 24 at 15:05

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