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The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind

 
TaRim
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The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
has anyone here read this book?

I think it is a great book for anyone interested in the study of consciousness.


The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind.
by
Julian Jaynes

At the heart of this book is the revolutionary idea that human consciousness did not begin far back in animal evolution but is a learned process brought into being out of an earlier hallucinatory mentality by cataclysm and catastrophe only 3000 years ago and still developing. The implications of this new scientific paradigm extend into virtually every aspect of our psychology, our history and culture, our religion - and indeed, our future. In the words of one reviewer, it is "a humbling text, the kind that reminds most of us who make our livings through thinking, how much thinking there is left to do."

[link to www.julianjaynes.org]

Last Edited by TaRim on 07/10/2010 11:15 AM
All events are empty by virtue of their empty essence;
All events are immaculately pure in their origin;
All events are all-embracing clear light;
All events transcend suffering spontaneously;
All events are manifestly perfect Buddhahood.
TaRim (OP)

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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
Myth: Jaynes's book was not peer reviewed.

Fact: While Jaynes ultimately chose to publish his book with a non-academic publisher, which he felt might keep it in print for a longer period of time, Jaynes's book was reviewed and commented on by a number of academics during the publication process. These include Stanford psychologist Ernest Hilgard, psychologist Isodor Chein, an anonymous anthropologist, as well as others. Jaynes went on to publish articles and commentaries on his theory in peer-reviewed journals such as Canadian Psychology and Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and discuss his ideas with other prominent scholars at conferences. We should also keep in mind that Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution in a book intended for both a scientific and a lay audience — not in a peer-reviewed journal.

Myth: Modern neuroscience has disconfirmed Jaynes's ideas.

Fact: Quite the opposite. Recent neuroimaging studies have tentatively confirmed some of Jaynes's early predictions. For a full discussion of this issue see Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness: Julian Jaynes's Bicameral Mind Theory Revisited, pgs. 116-120. See also: Olin (1999) "Auditory Hallucinations and the Bicameral Mind" and Sher (2000) "Neuroimaging, Auditory Hallucinations, and the Bicameral Mind."

Myth: Jaynes's theory has been disproven.

Fact: Jaynes's theory breaks down into four main hypotheses, each of which can potentially stand or fall on their own: 1. consciousness based on language, 2. dating the emergence of consciousness, 3. a previous mental model based on auditory hallucinations called the bicameral mind, and 4. the neurological model for the bicameral mind. When someone says "Jaynes's theory has been disproven," the first question should be, which aspect of it?

[link to www.julianjaynes.org]
All events are empty by virtue of their empty essence;
All events are immaculately pure in their origin;
All events are all-embracing clear light;
All events transcend suffering spontaneously;
All events are manifestly perfect Buddhahood.
TaRim (OP)

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07/10/2010 11:16 AM
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
no?
All events are empty by virtue of their empty essence;
All events are immaculately pure in their origin;
All events are all-embracing clear light;
All events transcend suffering spontaneously;
All events are manifestly perfect Buddhahood.
Full Circle

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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
Very interesting! Thanks for the link. I've read a couple of the reviews at Amazon and will look to see if my library can get it.
Born into this World
We create echoes of our inward yearnings
And Shift along the Axis
From matter to Spirit
- Scott Mutter
Anonymous Coward
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07/10/2010 11:19 AM
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
So these shifts occur approx every 2600 years yes?

That wasnt the first one

it is a process

continues to repeat

as i understand it - it is a time when we are in like a hive mind with the creator
vs now when we r not
Anonymous Coward
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07/10/2010 11:43 AM
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
It sounds to me like Jaynes is reducing everything to brain function and natural selection.

Sorry, but if he is, then I am afraid that he is painting himself into a corner. His approach would leave out the best parts of creation; meaning, purpose, love, mystery, synchronicity, magic, quest for the Divine etc...

Often we hear circular arguments from naturalist philosophers and scientists that only allow reductionist, left brain dominant explanations; first they dictate what is to be considered evidence, then they rule out every explanation that doesn't follow their rules...

E.g. consciousness must have had a physical origin. Why?
Because, only physical explanations can explain any given phenomenon...

Of course, it's been a very long time since I read his work,,,I could be wrong!
TaRim (OP)

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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
So these shifts occur approx every 2600 years yes?

That wasnt the first one

it is a process

continues to repeat

as i understand it - it is a time when we are in like a hive mind with the creator
vs now when we r not
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1012388


does not depend on a creator for this to happen.

this is a physical change in the brain,the separation of the hemispheres,left and right.

people that hear voices schizophrenics for instance may have more connections between the hemispheres.
All events are empty by virtue of their empty essence;
All events are immaculately pure in their origin;
All events are all-embracing clear light;
All events transcend suffering spontaneously;
All events are manifestly perfect Buddhahood.
TaRim (OP)

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07/10/2010 11:58 AM
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
It sounds to me like Jaynes is reducing everything to brain function and natural selection.

Sorry, but if he is, then I am afraid that he is painting himself into a corner. His approach would leave out the best parts of creation; meaning, purpose, love, mystery, synchronicity, magic, quest for the Divine etc...

Often we hear circular arguments from naturalist philosophers and scientists that only allow reductionist, left brain dominant explanations; first they dictate what is to be considered evidence, then they rule out every explanation that doesn't follow their rules...

E.g. consciousness must have had a physical origin. Why?
Because, only physical explanations can explain any given phenomenon...

Of course, it's been a very long time since I read his work,,,I could be wrong!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 860229



Sound like your putting limitations on an infinite being.

I do not discount the possibility of a creator,but I also do not limit the power of a creator to use any tool to create.
All events are empty by virtue of their empty essence;
All events are immaculately pure in their origin;
All events are all-embracing clear light;
All events transcend suffering spontaneously;
All events are manifestly perfect Buddhahood.
Anonymous Coward
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07/10/2010 12:04 PM
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
Sound like your putting limitations on an infinite being.

I do not discount the possibility of a creator,but I also do not limit the power of a creator to use any tool to create.
 Quoting: TaRim

created, manipulated and cojoled we were.

i think of it like when i catch and release rainbow trout. i put them in the water and they often don,t do anything so i give them a little spank to wake them up and then they are gone. thats what happened to us.
Anonymous Coward
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07/10/2010 12:14 PM
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
It sounds to me like Jaynes is reducing everything to brain function and natural selection.

Sorry, but if he is, then I am afraid that he is painting himself into a corner. His approach would leave out the best parts of creation; meaning, purpose, love, mystery, synchronicity, magic, quest for the Divine etc...

Often we hear circular arguments from naturalist philosophers and scientists that only allow reductionist, left brain dominant explanations; first they dictate what is to be considered evidence, then they rule out every explanation that doesn't follow their rules...

E.g. consciousness must have had a physical origin. Why?
Because, only physical explanations can explain any given phenomenon...

Of course, it's been a very long time since I read his work,,,I could be wrong!



Sound like your putting limitations on an infinite being.

I do not discount the possibility of a creator,but I also do not limit the power of a creator to use any tool to create.
 Quoting: TaRim


You don't, and I don't, but the question is, does Jaynes?

Remember, he says that the Gods are auditory hallucinations.
The word hallucination can only imply a physical malady of the brain, and doesn't suggest that we are in contact with higher powers.

The kind of people who followed his naturalist worldview are the same ones who today are prescribing Ritalin to children and putting literally millions of adults on psychotropics.
MARTY LEVY BOP BOP BOP
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
MY FAVORITE BOOK AT ONEONTA COLLEGE
BASICALLY BEFORE MAN 'KNEW' HE HAD A MIND HE THOUGHT HIS THOUGHTS WERE FROM OUTSIDE NO ?
Anonymous Coward
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
sounds like Jaynes is just applying her own personal belief with her studies ... her perception seems to be flawed. Quite frankly, she doesn't know shit.
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
You bet your ass!

Whoot!

Jaynes rocks. His theory is the most interesting and compelling theory to arise in the last 30 years IMO.
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
MY FAVORITE BOOK AT ONEONTA COLLEGE
BASICALLY BEFORE MAN 'KNEW' HE HAD A MIND HE THOUGHT HIS THOUGHTS WERE FROM OUTSIDE NO ?
 Quoting: MARTY LEVY BOP BOP BOP 176568


Basically Jaynes discovered the "Genesis Event" that marked the dawn of the modern human mind.
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
So these shifts occur approx every 2600 years yes?

That wasnt the first one

it is a process
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1012388


Correct, it is part of a cycle. But incorrect, not every 2600 years. Jaynes' "Genesis Event" occurred circa 4500-3500 BC, so that is 6500-5500 years ago.

Jaynes' major discovery was realizing that two changes occurred to the human mind at the same time, during that 1000 year transition period:

1. People started reading and writing; it was the dawn of literacy.

2. People stopped being able to personally "talk with the Gods" and hear the Gods' replies in their heads.
Bellymelon
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
Unbelievable!

I have never met ANYONE who has read this book my whole life (I'm 54 yrs old).

Should have known I would find other readers on GLP. Fantastic book!
tkwasny

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07/10/2010 12:37 PM
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
The absolute origin of conciousness is the current that flows out from the infinitely kinetic, infinitesimal singularity toward the infinite expanse.

It uses the time current that flows out from the infinite expanse toward the singularity as the "body" to exist within.

Then there's that whole anomaly thing of "the present" impeding the current flow of the time current AND the I AM conciousness kinetics current flow. Both current flows are impeded by this anomaly presence... creating this whole 3D space filled with finite stuff.

Infinite 3D space is a parasitic effect caused by the impeding anomaly
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
Amazing book OP. Thanks for the reminder to take it off the shelf.
After having read a few of Terrance Mckenna's books and seeing all the references to Julian I decided I would seek out a copy. The volume of information and the order of presentation immediately took me away from everything I thought I knew as the study of consciousness became my formost goal for many years.
Believe it or not I had only read perhaps 20 books in my life(much of it required reading) prior to taking on Jaynes Bicameral Wonderland. It inspired me to build a large library and read every day.
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
lately I have been hearing about this book a lot. I think it is interesting and plausible.
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
sounds like Jaynes is just applying her own personal belief with her studies ... her perception seems to be flawed. Quite frankly, she doesn't know shit.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1030917

you are ignorant. What agenda is the author trying to push according to you.
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
auditory hallucinations


eh

Read Peter Novak
Lost Secret of Death is the book I think he really describes it from an interesting angle
Anonymous Coward
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
sounds like Jaynes is just applying her own personal belief with her studies ... her perception seems to be flawed. Quite frankly, she doesn't know shit.

you are ignorant. What agenda is the author trying to push according to you.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1031609

Please correct me if I am wrong; I am merely going by what other readers have told of the book... I for myself have not read it; they said that HE doesn't take into consideration there is a Creator. That talking with the 'gods' is nothing but hallucinations..; if this is wrong, then correct the others.
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
sounds like Jaynes is just applying her own personal belief with her studies ... her perception seems to be flawed. Quite frankly, she doesn't know shit.

you are ignorant. What agenda is the author trying to push according to you.

Please correct me if I am wrong; I am merely going by what other readers have told of the book... I for myself have not read it; they said that HE doesn't take into consideration there is a Creator. That talking with the 'gods' is nothing but hallucinations..; if this is wrong, then correct the others.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1030917

So, if the author states that it is merely hallucinations, without true plausible evidence to back that up, is it not merely his own belief that is what has partaken in all accounts of stories telling of people talking with "God" / gods?
Anonymous Coward
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
has anyone here read this book?

[link to www.julianjaynes.org]
 Quoting: TaRim



Yeah I have read it. The theory is good for thinking about and adapting to one's own views.....I do not take Jayne's theory as a literalist point of view. I have thought what a strange world it would have been for one of us to be plopped down in the middle of such strange humans....I think to take his theory literally, the idea of a human like us to be in the midst of that would be somewhat nightmarish. I mean try to imagine what he is talking about and you can easily be creeped out thinking about such a society and how incomprehensible it would be to us. But I think there is value in understanding the idea of vestiges of the bicameral mind remaining in certain moderns....take for example William Blake. Read about his strange life and you can easily think that this may have been what humans were like....but instead of flashes, it would be 24 hours round the clock...in which case that is just plain scary in a way.

.
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
sounds like Jaynes is just applying her own personal belief with her studies ... her perception seems to be flawed. Quite frankly, she doesn't know shit.

you are ignorant. What agenda is the author trying to push according to you.

Please correct me if I am wrong; I am merely going by what other readers have told of the book... I for myself have not read it; they said that HE doesn't take into consideration there is a Creator. That talking with the 'gods' is nothing but hallucinations..; if this is wrong, then correct the others.

So, if the author states that it is merely hallucinations, without true plausible evidence to back that up, is it not merely his own belief that is what has partaken in all accounts of stories telling of people talking with "God" / gods?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1030917


Yes, he is begging the question from an atheistic perception of how the world works!
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
sounds like Jaynes is just applying her own personal belief with her studies ... her perception seems to be flawed. Quite frankly, she doesn't know shit.

you are ignorant. What agenda is the author trying to push according to you.

Please correct me if I am wrong; I am merely going by what other readers have told of the book... I for myself have not read it; they said that HE doesn't take into consideration there is a Creator. That talking with the 'gods' is nothing but hallucinations..; if this is wrong, then correct the others.

So, if the author states that it is merely hallucinations, without true plausible evidence to back that up, is it not merely his own belief that is what has partaken in all accounts of stories telling of people talking with "God" / gods?


Yes, he is begging the question from an atheistic perception of how the world works!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 860229

right! which goes back to my statement, the author doesn't know shit. Everyone hears wild theories and starts to accept them without giving consideration to other theories or their own perception..; people buy too much into others' own perceptions. Now, I am not saying that people should stop writing and thinking of wild theories; that alone helps to propel the human race forward..; My point is this, people tend to take one theory and replace it with the next so long as it suits their view point more better.

One example of widely accepted wild theories... fossil fuels. it's a theory, yet accepted basically as the truth.
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
sounds like Jaynes is just applying her own personal belief with her studies ... her perception seems to be flawed. Quite frankly, she doesn't know shit.

you are ignorant. What agenda is the author trying to push according to you.

Please correct me if I am wrong; I am merely going by what other readers have told of the book... I for myself have not read it; they said that HE doesn't take into consideration there is a Creator. That talking with the 'gods' is nothing but hallucinations..; if this is wrong, then correct the others.

So, if the author states that it is merely hallucinations, without true plausible evidence to back that up, is it not merely his own belief that is what has partaken in all accounts of stories telling of people talking with "God" / gods?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1030917

well I don't think he is pushing atheism, but atheist certainly might use his theory. The theory focuses on schizophrenia and how there is one part of the mind that orders the other part of the mind, and that now humans have control of both parts and that, that cause consciousness and the ability of introspection. According to him one part of the mind gives direction and creates hallucinations to the other, and this is what maybe happens to schizophrenics who are conscious but do not have control of the other hallucination/voice causing part of their mind, causing them to be disturbed. This isn't a religious book unless you look at it like one. It doesn't say there is no creator, but it does say that ancient prophets and oracles and the such, were not being communicated to by a creator. interpret that as you will.
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
sounds like Jaynes is just applying her own personal belief with her studies ... her perception seems to be flawed. Quite frankly, she doesn't know shit.

you are ignorant. What agenda is the author trying to push according to you.

Please correct me if I am wrong; I am merely going by what other readers have told of the book... I for myself have not read it; they said that HE doesn't take into consideration there is a Creator. That talking with the 'gods' is nothing but hallucinations..; if this is wrong, then correct the others.

So, if the author states that it is merely hallucinations, without true plausible evidence to back that up, is it not merely his own belief that is what has partaken in all accounts of stories telling of people talking with "God" / gods?

well I don't think he is pushing atheism, but atheist certainly might use his theory. The theory focuses on schizophrenia and how there is one part of the mind that orders the other part of the mind, and that now humans have control of both parts and that, that cause consciousness and the ability of introspection. According to him one part of the mind gives direction and creates hallucinations to the other, and this is what maybe happens to schizophrenics who are conscious but do not have control of the other hallucination/voice causing part of their mind, causing them to be disturbed. This isn't a religious book unless you look at it like one. It doesn't say there is no creator, but it does say that ancient prophets and oracles and the such, were not being communicated to by a creator. interpret that as you will.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1031609

makes more sense when explained like that -- as i said, i for one did not read this book but other's take on it seem to point it in that direction. I was merely just making a statement. It could be just that, or in some cases... my point is, we really don't know. :)
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
However, I definitely think we need to look more into the effect of the connections between the two hemispheres of the brain or lack of connections for that matter. Too many people think either or and I think is largely part of today's problems in this world.

The spinning ballerina picture... how many can see her spin both directions? how many can make her change direction at will?

[link to www.heraldsun.com.au]

Left hemisphere is the analytical mind
Right hemisphere is the creative aspect
To be complete, I think you must be able to use both at once.
Men are more analytical, women are definitely more on the creative aspect / right hemisphere thinking... Too many men put up their walls and close that side out of them entirely, some hide it more but let that side out to play ever so often, so to speak. My brain is just storming right now, so forgive me for any incomplete thoughts.
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
I read about Jaynes' book in one of Colin Wilson's. Great thread, OP, thanks. :)
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Re: The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
auditory hallucinations
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1012388


perhaps auditory hallucinations. perhaps something else. but in either case, the important thing Jaynes discovered was that:

1) Prior to 4000 BC, people in cultures all over the world were convinced that they could hear the voices of their gods talking to them inside their heads.

2) and then at the same time all over the world, people rather suddenly stopped being able to "hear" those voices anymore.

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