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 Julian Jaynes and the Bicameral Mind Theory

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Cold Weasel

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PostSubject: Julian Jaynes and the Bicameral Mind Theory Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:38 am

Here's the Wikipedia entry: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

And this is from an article by Jaynes himself that I believe summarizes the theory pretty well:

“Verbal hallucinations were studied in a variety of groups. In a sample of hospitalized schizophrenics and a sample of homeless people on the streets of New York City, such voices were often multiple, critical in women, but more often commands in men, and commonly religious. In a carefully randomized sample of normal college students, a questionnaire study revealed that almost a third had ‘clearly heard a voice when no one had spoken to me.’ The voices were identified as parents, friends, dead relatives, or God. From a study of ‘imaginary playmates,’ it was concluded that verbal hallucinations were occurring here also. And a non-verbal group of congenital quadriplegics, who had never spoken but with whom communication could be established, heard voices they identified as God, such voices being usually helpful.
“Parallels were then drawn between modern verbal hallucinations and what is revealed in ancient texts. Ancient civilizations seem to have been governed by hallucinations called gods, a mentality known as the bicameral mind. It was concluded that the reason verbal hallucinations are found so extensively, in every modern culture, in normal students, schizophrenics, children, and vividly reported in the texts of antiquity is that such hallucinations are an innate propensity, genetically evolved as the basis of an ancient preconscious mentality.” (Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness: Julian Jaynes's Bicameral Mind Theory Revisited, ed. Marcel Kujisten, 86-93)

==

I'm interested to know what others think of Julian Jaynes and his theory. In particular, Satyr, whose YouTube channel and Aphorisms series directed me to the Know Thyself forum in the first place. Satyr, I especially enjoyed your talks on the sexes and on "Family," and the respect for--or concern with--traditional paternalism. This talk made me think of the bicameral mind theory, since it tries to account for the origins of social hierarchies in civilization; paternalism; aristocracy; religiosity; and other questions which interest me in your philosophy (albeit not the feminization of man, MRAs, and Judeo-Christianism/leftism, all of which you treat fabulously).

In some remarks made in the Symposium under “Narcissism and Schizophrenia,” you say that schizophrenia is due to modern specialization, the feminization of man, the cognitive dissonance of those who aren't fit to deal with reality and therefore manufacture another: one of the “psychological byproducts of modern western lifestyles.”

But the theory of the bicameral mind would contradict this strongly, since it suggests that what we moderns call schizophrenia (at least as manifested in auditory hallucinations) is a throwback to the mentality that formed the basis for ancient civilizations, with their values of leadership, community, religions, etc., perhaps even arête and the heroic Greek culture and others which you admire. WW III Angry said in his response that his experience with schizophrenia
Quote :
“helped me connect with myself and know myself even more. What I am and what I am capable of. What people are capable of. Human nature. Thoughts. All the symptoms of schizophrenia that I experienced helped me to understand myself better in all these facets. Of course, that all occurred after the fact. Kind of like a bad trip. But that isn't to say wasn't a part of my becoming.”

This excited me and seemed to beg the question. So if any of you are familiar with this book I’m eager to know your opinion, and if not, maybe it could offer a supplement or challenge to your thinking. It continues to interest me.
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PostSubject: Re: Julian Jaynes and the Bicameral Mind Theory Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:01 pm

I haven't read that particular book but the subject also interests me,
First it explains primitive spirituality and how man tried to explain the world and his relation to it with these images and metaphors, experienced as hallucinations; secondly it interests me as a form of modernity and a method of population control.
A hallucination, after all, is a kind of simulation of reality that may not have a reference to any immediacy. I would say modernity induces a kind of mass hallucination or a simulation, a fantasy, a delusion, that is almost totally detaches from nature and reality.

I differentiate between the sensation of an emergent self-consciousness which perceives itself as something other than the consciousness it detaches itself from and the body it is a manifestation of.

What you refer to is the emergence of self-consciousness in primal man.
I would think that since, at first, it was still undeveloped it caused some problems with hallucinations or the sensation of having a voice in your head you felt separate from.
This would be the conflict between mind/body that eventually turned into spirituality.

The schizophrenia I refer to in my thesis Narcissism and Schizophrenia is a form of social and cultural devolution where consciousness and its byproduct self-consciousness are stunted or rather they are detached offering a social and a natural drive, often in contradiction to each other.

Consciousness is primal instinctiveness which find an opposition in a controlled self-consciousness which begins feeling ashamed about its own consciousness and is trained, taught, to feel other than itself.
This creates an artificially induced schizophrenia which is counter-intuitive, anti-nature and nihilistic.

I would say that primal man was informed by his burgeoning self-consciousness and the imagery and sensations it produced in him whereas the modern form is meant to facilitate mass mind-control by alienating man from his own nature.

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PostSubject: Re: Julian Jaynes and the Bicameral Mind Theory Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:37 pm

See [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

While that part above is interesting, he suggests we are basically in a deja-vu/ER loop:

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Julian Jaynes and the Bicameral Mind Theory Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:53 am

Satyr, thanks for the clarity.

Most people alive now would not even live long enough to develop the primal self-consciousness you speak of, which gives rise to Culture in the first place, because of their sheltered upbringings within an already ossifying, decadent Civilization. The metaphors, the multi-generational wisdom, the symbolic and poetic qualities of these traditions, is entirely lost on them, because they live in the padded cells of Civilization, removed from cultural heritage and tradition, knowing them only as soundbytes, “facts,” Wikipedia entries which can be edited by everyone, etc. They become "superstitions," analyzed with the cold logic of someone who can't believe people used to be so stupid.

Now, instead we have the superstitions of the liberals and egalitarians, the Judeo-Christians, the slave minds, concocting myths, narrative, "hallucinations" that don't pay homage to nature and change (they cannot embrace tragedy, they are too childlike and tender to admit they are mortal because they live in a cradle and when they cry Mommy dangles her tits) but merely to the "nature" and "changes" of the decadent Civilization itself. Within the confines of this quantifying, mediocre worldview the myths of "equality," "freedom," "humanism," etc., are seen as noble, emergent, dynamic, virile, etc. But only within those confines. On the outside, we hear the whining of babies, the bleating of sheep.

I think Jaynes would agree with you. It's interesting to note his religious/metaphysical background was of the New England Puritan, Unitarian variety, while the scientific discipline prevalent in his time (and which he was refuting) was behaviorism.

"We sometimes think, and even like to think, that the two
greatest exertions that have influenced mankind, religion and
science, have always been historical enemies, intriguing us in
opposite directions. But this effort at special identity is loudly
false. It is not religion but the church and science that were
hostile to each other. And it was rivalry, not contravention. Both
were religious. They were two giants fuming at each other over
the same ground. Both proclaimed to be the only way to divine
revelation.

"It was a competition that first came into absolute focus with
the late Renaissance, particularly in the imprisonment of Galileo
in 1633. The stated and superficial reason was that his publications
had not been first stamped with papal approval. But the
true argument, I am sure, was no such trivial surface event. For
the writings in question were simply the Copernican heliocentric
theory of the solar system which had been published a century
earlier by a churchman without any fuss whatever. The real
division was more profound and can, I think, only be understood
as a part of the urgency behind mankind’s yearning for divine
certainties. The real chasm was between the political authority
of the church and the individual authority of experience. And the
real question was whether we are to find our lost authorization
through an apostolic succession from ancient [bicameral] prophets who heard
divine voices [as auditory hallucinations], or through searching the heavens of our own experience
right now in the objective world without any priestly
intercession. As we all know, the latter became Protestantism
and, in its rationalist aspect, what we have come to call the
Scientific Revolution.

"If we would understand the Scientific Revolution correctly, we
should always remember that its most powerful impetus was the
unremitting search for hidden divinity. As such, it is a direct
descendant of the breakdown of the bicameral mind. In the late
seventeenth century, to choose an obvious example, it is three
English Protestants, all amateur theologians and fervently devout,
who build the foundations for physics, psychology, and
biology: the paranoiac Isaac Newton writing down God’s speech
in the great universal laws of celestial gravitation; the gaunt and
literal John Locke knowing his Most Knowing Being in the riches
of knowing experience; and the peripatetic John Ray, an unkempt
ecclesiastic out of a pulpit, joyfully limning the Word of
his Creator in the perfection of the design of animal and plant
life. Without this religious motivation, science would have been
mere technology, limping along on economic necessity.

"The next century is complicated by the rationalism of the
Enlightenment, whose main force I shall come to in a moment.
But in the great shadow of the Enlightenment, science continued
to be bound up in this spell of the search for divine authorship.
Its most explicit statement came in what was called Deism, or in
Germany, Vernunftreligion. It threw away the church’s “Word,’’
despised its priests, mocked altar and sacrament, and earnestly
preached the reaching of God through reason and science. The
whole universe is an epiphany! God is right out here in Nature
under the stars to be talked with and heard brilliantly in all the
grandeur of reason, rather than behind the rood screens of ignorance
in the murky mutterings of costumed priests.

"Not that such scientific deists were in universal agreement.
For some, like the apostle-hating Reimarus, the modern founder
of the science of animal behavior, animal triebe or drives were
actually the thoughts of God and their perfect variety his very
mind. Whereas for others, like the physicist Maupertuis, God
cared little about any such meaningless variety of phenomena; he
lived only in pure abstractions, in the great general laws of
Nature which human reason, with the fine devotions of mathematics,
could discern behind such variety. Indeed, the tough-minded
materialist scientist today will feel uncomfortable with
the fact that science in such divergent and various directions only
two centuries ago was a religious endeavor, sharing the same
striving as the ancient psalms, the effort to once again see the
elohim “face to face.”

-
"This drama, this immense scenario in which humanity has
been performing on this planet over the last 4000 years, is clear
when we take the large view of the central intellectual tendency
of world history. In the second millennium B.C., we stopped
hearing the voices of gods. In the first millennium B.C., those of
us who still heard the voices, our oracles and prophets, they too
died away. In the first millennium A.D., it is their sayings and
hearings preserved in sacred texts through which we obeyed our
lost divinities. And in the second millennium A.D., these writings
lose their authority. The Scientific Revolution turns us away
from the older sayings to discover the lost authorization in
Nature. What we have been through in these last four millennia
is the slow inexorable profaning of our species. And in the last
part of the second millennium A.D., that process is apparently
becoming complete. It is the Great Human Irony of our noblest
and greatest endeavor on this planet that in the quest for authorization,
in our reading of the language of God in Nature, we should
read there so clearly that we have been so mistaken.

-
"This secularization of science, which is now a plain fact, is
certainly rooted in the French Enlightenment which I have just
alluded to. But it became rough and earnest in 1842 in Germany
in a famous manifesto by four brilliant young physiologists.
They signed it like pirates, actually in their own blood. Fed up
with Hegelian idealism and its pseudoreligious interpretations of
material matters, they angrily resolved that no forces other than
common physicochemical ones would be considered in their scientific
activity. No spiritual entities. No divine substances. No
vital forces. This was the most coherent and shrill statement of
scientific materialism up to that time. And enormously influential.

"Five years later, one of their group, the famous physicist and
psychologist Hermann von Helmholtz, proclaimed his Principle
of the Conservation of Energy. Joule had said it more kindly,
that “the Great Agents of Nature are indestructible,” that sea and
sun and coal and thunder and heat and wind are one energy and
eternal. But Helmholtz abhorred the mush of the Romantic. His
mathematical treatment of the principle coldly placed the emphasis
where it has been ever since: there are no outside forces
in our closed world of energy transformations. There is no corner
in the stars for any god, no crack in this closed universe of matter
for any divine influence to seep through, none whatever.

"All this might have respectfully stayed back simply as a mere
working tenet for Science, had it not been for an even more
stunning profaning of the idea of the holy in human affairs that
followed immediately. It was particularly stunning because it
came from within the very ranks of religiously motivated science.
In Britain since the seventeenth century, the study of what was
called “natural history” was commonly the consoling joy of finding
the perfections of a benevolent Creator in nature. What more
devastation could be heaped upon these tender motivations and
consolations than the twin announcement by two of their own
midst, Darwin and Wallace, both amateur naturalists in the
grand manner, that it was evolution, not a divine intelligence,
that has created all nature. This too had been put earlier in a
kindlier way by others, such as Darwin’s grandfather, Erasmus
Darwin, or Lamarck, or Robert Chambers, or even in the exaltations
of an Emerson or a Goethe. But the new emphasis was
dazzling strong and unrelieving. Cold Uncalculating Chance, by
making some able to survive better in this wrestle for life, and so
to reproduce more, generation after generation, has blindly, even
cruelly, carved this human species out of matter, mere matter.
When combined with German materialism, as it was in the
wantonly abrasive Huxley, . . . the theory of evolution by natural selection was the hollowing
knell of all that ennobling tradition of man as the purposed
creation of Majestic Greatnesses, the elohim, that goes straight
back into the unconscious depths of the Bicameral Age. It said in
a word that there is no authorization from outside. Behold! there
is nothing there. What we must do must come from ourselves. . . . We, we fragile human species at the end of
the second millennium A.D., we must become our own authorization.
And here at the end of the second millennium and about
to enter the third, we are surrounded with this problem. It is one
that the new millennium will be working out, perhaps slowly,
perhaps swiftly, perhaps even with some further changes in our
mentality.

-
"The erosion of the religious view of man in these last years of
the second millennium is still a part of the breakdown of the
bicameral mind. It is slowly working serious changes in every
fold and field of life. In the competition for membership among
religious bodies today, it is the older orthodox positions, ritually
closer to the long apostolic succession into the bicameral past,
that are most diminished by conscious logic. The changes in the
Catholic Church since Vatican II can certainly be scanned in
terms of this long retreat from the sacred which has followed the
inception of consciousness into the human species. The decay of
religious collective cognitive imperatives under the pressures of
rationalist science, provoking, as it does, revision after revision of
traditional theological concepts, cannot sustain the metaphoric
meaning behind ritual. Rituals are behavioral metaphors, belief
acted, divination foretold, exopsychic thinking. Rituals are
mnemonic devices for the great narratizations at the heart of
church life. And when they are emptied out into cults of spontaneity
and drained of their high seriousness, when they are acted
unfelt and reasoned at with irresponsible objectivity, the center is
gone and the widening gyres begin. The result in this age of
communications has been worldwide: liturgy loosened into the
casual, awe softening in relevance, and the washing out of that
identity-giving historical definition that told man what he was
and what he should be. These sad temporizings, often begun by a
bewildered clergy, do but encourage the great historical tide
they are designed to deflect. Our paralogical compliance to verb-
ally mediated reality is diminished: we crash into chairs in our
way, not go around them; we will be mute rather than say we do
not understand our speech ; we will insist on simple location. It is
the divine tragedy or the profane comedy depending on whether
we would be purged of the past or quickened into the future.

-
"What happens in this modern dissolution of ecclesiastical
authorization reminds us a little of what happened long ago after
the breakdown of the bicameral mind itself. Everywhere in the
contemporary world there are substitutes, other methods of authorization.
Some are revivals of ancient ones: the popularity of
possession religions in South America, where the church had
once been so strong; extreme religious absolutism ego-based on
“the Spirit,” which is really the ascension of Paul over Jesus;
an alarming rise in the serious acceptance of astrology, that
direct heritage from the period of the breakdown of the bicameral
mind in the Near East; or the more minor divination of the I
Ching
, also a direct heritage from the period just after the breakdown
in China. There are also the huge commercial and sometimes
psychological successes of various meditation procedures,
sensitivity training groups, mind control, and group encounter
practices. Other persuasions often seem like escapes from a new
boredom of unbelief, but are also characterized by this search
for authorization: faiths in various pseudosciences, as in Scientology,
or in unidentified flying objects bringing authority
from other parts of our universe, or that gods were at one time
actually such visitors; or the stubborn muddled fascination with
extrasensory perception as a supposed demonstration of a spiritual
surround of our lives whence some authorization might
come; or the use of psychotropic drugs as ways of contacting
profounder realities, as they were for most of the American
native Indian civilizations in the breakdown of their bicameral
mind. Just as . . . the collapse of the institutionalized
oracles resulted in smaller cults of induced possession,
so the waning of institutional religions is resulting in these
smaller, more private religions of every description. And this
historical process can be expected to increase the rest of this
century.

-
"Nor can we say that modern science itself is exempt from a
similar patterning. For the modern intellectual landscape is informed
with the same needs, and often in its larger contours goes
through the same quasi-religious gestures, though in a slightly
disguised form. These scientisms, as I shall call them, are
clusters of scientific ideas which come together and almost surprise
themselves into creeds of belief, scientific mythologies
which fill the very felt void left by the divorce of science and
religion in our time. They differ from classical science and its
common debates in the way they evoke the same response as did
the religions which they seek to supplant. And they share with
religions many of their most obvious characteristics: a rational
splendor that explains everything, a charismatic leader or succession
of leaders who are highly visible and beyond criticism, a
series of canonical texts which are somehow outside the usual
arena of scientific criticism, certain gestures of idea and rituals
of interpretation, and a requirement of total commitment. In
return the adherent receives what the religions had once given
him more universally: a world view, a hierarchy of importances,
and an auguring place where he may find out what to do and
think, in short, a total explanation of man. And this totality is
obtained not by actually explaining everything, but by an encasement
of its activity, a severe and absolute restriction of attention,
such that everything that is not explained is not in view.

"The materialism I have just mentioned was one of the first
such scientisms. Scientists in the middle of the nineteenth century
were almost numbed with excitement by dramatic discoveries
of how nutrition could change the bodies and minds of
men. And so it became a movement called Medical Materialism,
identified with relieving poverty and pain, taking to itself some of
the forms and all of the fervor of the religions eroding around it.
It captured the most exciting minds of its generation, and its
program sounds distantly familiar: education, not prayers; nutrition,
not communion; medicine, not love; and politics, not
preaching.

"Distantly familiar because Medical Materialism, still haunted
with Hegel, matured in Marx and Engels into dialectical materialism,
gathering to itself even more of the ecclesiastical forms of
the outworn faiths around it. Its central superstition then, as
now, is that of the class struggle, a kind of divination which gives
a total explanation of the past and predecides what to do in every
office and alarm of life. And even though ethnicism, nationalism,
and unionism, those collective identity markers of modern man,
have long ago showed the mythical character of the class struggle,
still Marxism today is joining armies of millions into battle to
erect the most authoritarian states the world has ever seen.

"In the medical sciences, the most prominent scientism, I think,
has been psychoanalysis. Its central superstition is repressed
childhood sexuality. The handful of early cases of hysteria which
could be so interpreted become the metaphiers by which to
understand all personality and art, all civilization and its discontents.
And it too, like Marxism, demands total commitment,
initiation procedures, a worshipful relation to its canonical texts,
and gives in return that same assistance in decision and direction
in life which a few centuries ago was the province of religion.

"And, to take an example closer to my own tradition, I will add
behaviorism. For it too has its central auguring place in a handful
of rat and pigeon experiments, making them the metaphiers
of all behavior and history. It too gives to the individual adherent
the talisman of control by reinforcement contingencies by which
he is to meet his world and understand its vagaries. And even
though the radical environmentalism behind it, of belief in a
tabula rasa organism that can be built up into anything by reinforcement has long been known to be questionable, given the
biologically evolved aptic structuring of each organism, these principles
still draw adherents into the hope of a new society based
upon such control.

"Of course these scientisms about man begin with something
that is true. That nutrition can improve health both of mind and
body is true. The class struggle as Marx studied it in the France
of Louis Napoleon was a fact. The relief of hysterical symptoms
in a few patients by analysis of sexual memories probably happened.
And hungry animals or anxious men certainly will learn
instrumental responses for food or approbation. These are true
facts. But so is the shape of a liver of a sacrificed animal a true
fact. And so the Ascendants and Midheavens of astrologers, or
the shape of oil on water. Applied to the world as representative
of all the world, facts become superstitions. A superstition is after
all only a metaphier grown wild to serve a need to know. Like the
entrails of animals or the flights of birds, such scientistic superstitions
become the preserved ritualized places where we may
read out the past and future of man, and hear the answers that
can authorize our actions.

"Science then, for all its pomp of factness, is not unlike some of
the more easily disparaged outbreaks of pseudoreligions. In this
period of transition from its religious basis, science often shares
with the celestial maps of astrology, or a hundred other irrationalisms,
the same nostalgia for the Final Answer, the One Truth, the
Single Cause. In the frustrations and sweat of laboratories, it
feels the same temptations to swarm into sects, even as did the
Khabiru refugees, and set out here and there through the dry
Sinais of parched fact for some rich and brave significance flowing
with truth and exaltation. And all of this, my metaphor and
all, is a part of this transitional period after the breakdown of
the bicameral mind.
And this essay is no exception.
* * *

"Curiously, none of these contemporary movements tells us anything
about what we are supposed to be like after the wrinkles in
our nutrition have been ironed smooth, or “the withering away of
the state” has occurred, or our libidos have been properly
cathected, or the chaos of reinforcements has been made
straight. Instead their allusion is mostly backward, telling us
what has gone wrong, hinting of some cosmic disgrace, some
earlier stunting of our potential. It is, I think, yet another characteristic
of the religious form which such movements have taken
over in the emptiness caused by the retreat of ecclesiastical certainty
— that of a supposed fall of man.

"This strange and, I think, spurious idea of a lost innocence
takes its mark precisely in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
as the first great conscious narratization of mankind. It is the
song of the Assyrian psalms, the wail of the Hebrew hymns, the
myth of Eden, the fundamental fall from divine favor that is the
source and first premise of the world’s great religions. I interpret
this hypothetical fall of man to be the groping of newly conscious
men to narratize what has happened to them, the loss of divine
voices and assurances in a chaos of human directive and selfish
privacies.

"We see this theme of lost certainty and splendor not only
stated by all the religions of man throughout history, but also
again and again even in nonreligious intellectual history. It is
there from the reminiscence theory of the Platonic Dialogues,
that everything new is really a recalling of a lost better world, all
the way to Rousseau’s complaint of the corruption of natural man
by the artificialities of civilization. And we see it also in the
modern scientisms I have mentioned: in Marx’s assumption of a
lost “social childhood of mankind where mankind unfolds in
complete beauty,” so clearly stated in his earlier writings, an
innocence corrupted by money, a paradise to be regained. Or in
the Freudian emphasis on the deep-seatedness of neurosis in
civilization and of dreadful primordial acts and wishes in both
our racial and individual pasts; and by inference a previous innocence,
quite unspecified, to which we return through psychoanalysis.
Or in behaviorism, if less distinctly, in the undocumented
faith that it is the chaotic reinforcements of development and the
social process that must be controlled and ordered to return man
to a quite unspecified ideal before these reinforcements had
twisted his true nature awry.

"I therefore believe that these and many other movements of
our time are in the great long picture of our civilizations related
to the loss of an earlier organization of human natures. They are
attempts to return to what is no longer there, like poets to their
inexistent Muses, and as such they are characteristic of these transitional
millennia in which we are imbedded.

-
"I do not mean that the individual thinker, the reader of this
page or its writer, or Galileo or Marx, is so abject a creature as to
have any conscious articulate willing to reach either the absolutes
of gods or to return to a preconscious innocence. Such terms are
meaningless applied to individual lives and removed from the
larger context of history. It is only if we make generations our
persons and centuries hours that the pattern is clear.

"As individuals we are at the mercies of our own collective
imperatives. We see over our everyday attentions, our gardens
and politics, and children, into the forms of our culture darkly.
And our culture is our history. In our attempts to communicate
or to persuade or simply interest others, we are using and moving
about through cultural models among whose differences we may
select, but from whose totality we cannot escape. And it is in this
sense of the forms of appeal, of begetting hope or interest or
appreciation or praise for ourselves or for our ideas, that our
communications are shaped into these historical patterns, these
grooves of persuasion which are even in the act of communication
an inherent part of what is communicated. And this essay is
no exception.

"No exception at all. It began in what seemed in my personal
narratizations as an individual choice of a problem with which I
have had an intense involvement for most of my life: the problem
of the nature and origin of all this invisible country of
touchless rememberings and unshowable reveries, this introcosm
that is more myself than anything I can find in any mirror. But
was this impulse to discover the source of consciousness what it appeared
to me? The very notion of truth is a culturally given
direction, a part of the pervasive nostalgia for an earlier certainty.
The very idea of a universal stability, an eternal firmness
of principle out there that can be sought for through the world as
might an Arthurian knight for the Grail, is, in the morphology of
history, a direct outgrowth of the search for lost gods in the first
two millennia after the decline of the bicameral mind. What was
then an augury for direction of action among the ruins of an archaic
mentality is now the search for an innocence of certainty
among the mythologies of facts.” (434-46, “The Auguries of Science,” Origin of Consciousness)



According to Jaynes's theory, bicameralism started to go away--and introspective consciousness began to appear--once populations became too expanded and diverse for the hallucinated voices of its authority figures to carry weight for everyone, to hold the social fabric together. To me this seems to correspond to Spengler's idea of Culture ossifying into Civilization (though right now I can only apply these terms loosely.) He uses the Iliad as an example of a document marked by bicameralism, with the main characters strictly following the orders of their gods; and the Odyssey as one marked by fascination with deceit and cunning, shame, guilt, etc. ... introspective tricksters like Odysseus, who can outwit the naifs, deceive the gods, take control of his own destiny, reflect on his own actions, etc.

Satyr, if you ever read the book I’d like to know your opinion on Jayne’s explanation of the Greek words thumos, phrene, etor, kardia, and psyche, as once being “preconscious hypostases”—physiological states, not yet introspective states of mind as we would conceive. (But I am unfamiliar with the etymologies of Greek words.)

“At the very beginning [of the Iliad], Agamemnon, king of men but slave of gods, is told by his voices to take the faircheeked Briseis away from Achilles, who had captured her. As he does so, the response of Achilles begins in his etor, or what I suggest is a cramp in his guts, where he is in conflict or put into two parts (mermerizo) whether to obey his thumos, the immediate internal sensations of anger, and kill the pre-emptory king or not. It is only after this vacillating interval of increasing belly sensations and surges of blood, as Achilles is drawing his mighty sword, that the stress has become sufficient to hallucinate the dreadfully gleaming goddess Athene who then takes over control of the action and tells Achilles what to do.
“I mean to suggest here that the degree and extent of these internal sensations were neither so evident nor so named in the true bicameral period. If we may propose that there was an Ur-Iliad, or the verbal epic as it came from the lips of the first several generations of aoidoi, then we can expect that it had no such interval, no etor or thumos preceding the voice of the god, and that the use and, as we shall see, the increasing use of these words in this way reflects the alteration of mentality, the wedge between god and man which results in consciousness.” (OofC 258-9)
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PostSubject: Re: Julian Jaynes and the Bicameral Mind Theory Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:13 am

Lyssa, thanks for the fascinating links.

"A New Theory of the Ka

If we could say that ancient Egypt had a psychology, we would
then have to say that its fundamental notion is the ka, and the
problem becomes what the ka is. Scholars struggling with the meaning of this particularly disturbing concept, which we find
constantly in Egyptian inscriptions, have translated it in a litter
of ways, as spirit, ghost, double, vital force, nature, luck, destiny,
and what have you. It has been compared to the life-spirit of the
Semites and Greeks, as well as to the genius of the Romans. But
obviously, these later concepts are the hand-me-downs of the
bicameral mind. Nor can this slippery diversity of meanings be
explained by positing an Egyptian mentality in which words were
used in several ways as approaches to the same mysterious entity,
or by assuming "the peculiar quality of Egyptian thought which
allows an object to be understood not by a single and consistent
definition, but by various and unrelated approaches." None of
this is satisfactory.

The evidence from hieratic texts is confusing. Each person
has his ka and speaks of it as we might of our will power. Yet
when one dies, one goes to one's ka. In the famous Pyramid
Texts around 2200 B.C., the dead are called "masters of their
ka's." The symbol in hieroglyphics for the ka is one of admonishing:
two arms uplifted with flat outspread hands, the whole
placed upon a stand which in hieroglyphics is only used to support
the symbols of divinities.

It is obvious from the preceding chapters that the ka requires a
reinterpretation as a bicameral voice. It is, I believe, what the ili
or personal god was in Mesopotamia. A man's ka was his articulate
directing voice which he heard inwardly, perhaps in parental
or authoritative accents, but which when heard by his friends or
relatives even after his own death, was, of course, hallucinated as
his own voice.

If we can here relax our insistence upon the unconsciousness
of these people, and, for a moment, imagine that they were
something like ourselves, we could imagine a worker out in the
fields suddenly hearing the ka or hallucinated voice of the vizier
over him admonishing him in some way. If, after he returned to his city, he told the vizier that he had heard the vizier's ka
(which in actuality there would be no reason for his doing), the
vizier, were he conscious as are we, would assume that it was the
same voice that he himself heard and which directed his life.
Whereas in actuality, to the worker in the fields, the vizier's ka
sounded like the vizier's own voice. While to the vizier himself,
his ka would speak in the voices of authorities over him, or some
amalgamation of them. And, of course, the discrepancy could
never be discovered.

Consistent with this interpretation are several other aspects of
the ka. The Egyptians' attitude toward the ka is entirely passive.
Just as in the case of the Greek gods, hearing it is tantamount to
obeying it. It empowers what it commands. Courtiers in some of
their inscriptions referring to the king say, "I did what his ka
loved" or "I did that which his ka approved," which may be
interpreted as the courtier hearing the hallucinated voice of his
king approving his work.

In some texts it is said that the king makes a man's ka, and
some scholars translate ka in this sense as fortune. Again, this
is a modern imposition. A concept such as fortune or success is
impossible in the bicameral culture of Egypt. What is meant here
according to my reading is that the man acquires an admonitory
hallucinated voice which then can direct him in his work. Frequently
the ka crops up in names of Egyptian officials as did the
ili with Mesopotamian officials. Kaininesut, "my ka belongs to
the king," or Kainesut, "the king is my ka." In the Cairo
Museum, stela number 20538 says, "the king gives his servants
Ka's and feeds those who are faithful."

The ka of the god-king is of particular interest. It was heard, I
suggest, by the king in the accents of his own father. But it was heard in the hallucinations of his courtiers as the king's own
voice, which is the really important thing. Texts state that when a
king sat at a meal and ate, his ka sat and ate with him. The
pyramids are full of false doors, sometimes simply painted on the
limestone walls, through which the deceased god-king's ka could
pass out into the world and be heard. It is only the king's ka
which is pictured on monuments, sometimes as a standard bearer
holding the staff of the king's head and the feather, or as a bird
perched behind the king's head. But most significant are the
representations of the king's ka as his twin in birth scenes. In
one such scene, the god Khnum is shown forming the king and
his ka on his potter's wheel. They are identical small figures
except that the ka has his left , hand pointing to his mouth,
obviously suggesting that he is what we might describe as a
persona of speech.

Perhaps evidence for a growing complexity in all this are
several texts from the eighteenth dynasty or 1500 B.C. onward, which casually say that the king has fourteen ka's! This very
perplexing statement may indicate that the structure of the government
had become so complicated that the king's hallucinated
voice was heard as fourteen different voices, these being the
voices of intermediaries between the king and those who were
carrying out his orders directly. The notion of the king having
fourteen ka's is inexplicable by any other notion of what a ka is.

Each king then is Horus, his father dead becoming Osiris, and
has his ka, or in later ages, his several ka's, which could best be
translated now as voice-persona. An understanding of this is
essential for the understanding of the entire Egyptian culture
since the relation of king, god, and people is defined by means of
the ka. The king's ka is, of course, the ka of a god, operates as
his messenger, to himself is the voice of his ancestors, and to his
underlings is the voice they hear telling them what to do. And
when a subject in some of the texts says, "my ka derives from the
king" or "the king makes my ka" or "the king is my ka," this
should be interpreted as an assimilation of the person's inner
directing voice, derived perhaps from his parents, with the voice
or supposed voice of the king.

Another related concept in ancient Egyptian mentality is the
ba. But at least in the Old Kingdom, the ba is not really on the
same level as the ka. It is more like our common ghost, a visual
manifestation of what auditorily is the ka. In funerary scenes,
the ba is usually depicted as a small humanoid bird, probably
because visual hallucinations often have flitting and birdlike
movements. It is usually drawn attendant on or in relationship to
the actual corpse or to statues of the person. That after the fall
of the more king-dominated Old Kingdom, the ba takes on some
of the bicameral functions of the ka is indicated by a change in its
hieroglyph from a small bird to one beside a lamp (to lead the
way), and by its auditory hallucinatory role in the famous Papyrus
Berlin 3024, which dates about 1900 B.C. All translations of
this astounding text are full of modern mental impositions, including the most recent, otherwise a fascinating chore of
scholarship. And no commentator has dared to take this "Dispute
of a man with his Ba" at face value, as a dialogue with an
auditory hallucination, much like that of a contemporary schizophrenic." (OofC, 189-94)
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PostSubject: Re: Julian Jaynes and the Bicameral Mind Theory Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:43 pm

Cold Weasel wrote:
Satyr, thanks for the clarity.

Most people alive now would not even live long enough to develop the primal self-consciousness you speak of, which gives rise to Culture in the first place, because of their sheltered upbringings within an already ossifying, decadent Civilization. The metaphors, the multi-generational wisdom, the symbolic and poetic qualities of these traditions, is entirely lost on them, because they live in the padded cells of Civilization, removed from cultural heritage and tradition, knowing them only as soundbytes, “facts,” Wikipedia entries which can be edited by everyone, etc. They become "superstitions," analyzed with the cold logic of someone who can't believe people used to be so stupid.

Now, instead we have the superstitions of the liberals and egalitarians, the Judeo-Christians, the slave minds, concocting myths, narrative, "hallucinations" that don't pay homage to nature and change (they cannot embrace tragedy, they are too childlike and tender to admit they are mortal because they live in a cradle and when they cry Mommy dangles her tits) but merely to the "nature" and "changes" of the decadent Civilization itself. Within the confines of this quantifying, mediocre worldview the myths of "equality," "freedom," "humanism," etc., are seen as noble, emergent, dynamic, virile, etc. But only within those confines. On the outside, we hear the whining of babies, the bleating of sheep.

I think Jaynes would agree with you. It's interesting to note his religious/metaphysical background was of the New England Puritan, Unitarian variety, while the scientific discipline prevalent in his time (and which he was refuting) was behaviorism.
Thanks for the Jaynes reference. I am always looking for thinkers who are more honest and who offer insights outside the modernistic box of herd psychology.

I like to consider this forum our own little contribution to the fight against uniformity and the leveling forces of modernity.
We few, must preserve this knowledge before it is swept away or forgotten or buried in slander and character assassinations.

I can think of no greater purpose than this. I am an individual with little power over anything but myself, and even here my power is limited.
Still I feel compelled for the sake of the next generation, my son, my bloodline, to make an effort to safeguard a tradition, an attitude, a world-view that has resulted in western civilization before the infection hit.
I do not do this for the many, the masses, the majority we refer to as "humanity" but for those few, rare ones who can think above and beyond the bullshit and who can rise above the gravitational pull of mediocrity.

Cold Weasel wrote:
According to Jaynes's theory, bicameralism started to go away--and introspective consciousness began to appear--once populations became too expanded and diverse for the hallucinated voices of its authority figures to carry weight for everyone, to hold the social fabric together. To me this seems to correspond to Spengler's idea of Culture ossifying into Civilization (though right now I can only apply these terms loosely.) He uses the Iliad as an example of a document marked by bicameralism, with the main characters strictly following the orders of their gods; and the Odyssey as one marked by fascination with deceit and cunning, shame, guilt, etc. ... introspective tricksters like Odysseus, who can outwit the naifs, deceive the gods, take control of his own destiny, reflect on his own actions, etc.
Having briefly gone through the Wikepedia entry you posted on Bicameralism and it seems to correspond to my own more simple definition of this stare as compartmentalization and also to Orwell's Wordspeak.
I realized the connection between modern religious fanaticism and the spiritual experience of the ancient tribal shaman, which today manifests in what we call "schizophrenia".
For me the goal is to reunify the two hemispheres of the brain not to dissolve one into the other but to make one a reference of the other.
I call this a state of enlightenment and of an emergent superior consciousness.

The advantage of the ancient from the moderns is that they were closer to this than we are today because they did not fear nor did they discredit the imagery that confounded them...but neither did they consider it to be supernatural.
Pagan gods and spirits were earthly one.

Cold Weasel wrote:
Satyr, if you ever read the book I’d like to know your opinion on Jayne’s explanation of the Greek words thumos, phrene, etor, kardia, and psyche, as once being “preconscious hypostases”—physiological states, not yet introspective states of mind as we would conceive. (But I am unfamiliar with the etymologies of Greek words.)

I don't know if I can offer any great insights into the words which you cannot find on-line or in a book, but I can offer you my take on them and my understanding of them as I use them in modern Greek.

thumos - Anger...something that rises from within.
For me the term has an ethereal element...like a gas filling your lungs and overwhelming your sense; clouding your reason.

phrene - This term refers to the faculties. The modern Greeks say "εξω φρενων" which means "outside your mind" - beyond your faculties.
Therefore "σχιζοφρενων" would mean to "tear your faculties" - to rip your mind apart.

Interestingly "φρενα" in modern Greek also means "breaks" ...as in the "breaks of a car". That which stops you form momentum, that which arrests your activities.
I think this is interesting because the mind, for me, is a director of actions.

etor - This term seems to be an ancient term, out of use in modern times.
I can only relate it to the word "ετερον" which signifies the other.

kardia - "Καρδια" This term refers to the heart; the organ itself. It can be used in place of psyche but only metaphorically and more simplistically. It also means center...the "heart of the matter". This term is more immediate when compared to the next term "psyche".

psyche - "ψυχη" This is a more appropriate term than the previous when trying to denote essence. It is often used as a substitute for "soul" but its original meaning was that of spirit...as in the very spirit, attitude, essence of a man.
The psyche is the core...the foundation.
I also connect it to the past...as the spirit is the past directing the present as this is made manifest in the individual organism.

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PostSubject: Re: Julian Jaynes and the Bicameral Mind Theory Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:51 pm

"Conscious mind is a spatial analog of the world and mental acts are analogs of bodily acts.
And again, since definitions are extremely important, Jaynes-consciousness…

"is an analog of what is called the real world. It is built up with a vocabulary or lexicalfield whose terms are all metaphors or analogs of behavior in the physical world. Itsreality is of the same order as mathematics. It allows us to shortcut behavioral processesand arrive at more adequate decisions. Like mathematics, it is an operator rather than athing or repository. And it is intimately bound up with volition and decision."

What we pre-reflectively understood very well through bicamerality (the synthetic decision making and enduring tasks opened up by means of linguistically coded neural commandsexperienced as auditory verbal hallucinations) becomes an analog for truly voluntary (i.e.consciously narratized) thinking, planning, reasoning, etc. This enables a type of linguistic cognition wherein deliberate, epistemic action is possible (Clark, 2008).
Behavior is transformed as we become capable of consciously manipulating experiential content as if it were a physical object in the environment. When the cognitive unconscious is no longer sufficient for handling the problem, the analog “I” is able to consciously narratize alternatives for action, leading to novel behaviors such as deception, thought-monitoring, private speech, theory of mind (helpful when encountering others in trading and cataclysmic dispersion), imagination, explicit planning, autobiographical memory, subvocal rehearsal, etc. For Jaynes, it was this functionality that provided a quasi-selection pressure for the emergence of J-consciousness out of the breakdownof the bicameral mind."
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So you could say, what was Bodily-Intelligence once, breaks down into Cunning and Herd-Consciousness when the organizing power or the Vitality of the body [you could call it excess or daemonic consciousness] has appropriated more than it can handle. Here's where the difference arises between the I.Es. and the Jewish consciousness.
Detienne and Vernant's groundbreaking work 'Cunning Intelligence' or Metis characterizes Odysseus' poly-metic consciousness as one of 'fluidity, lightning-like swiftness, versatile adaptability to the constantly shifting phenomenal world - the sphere of becoming, recall as foresight, un-mediated knowledge, shape-shifting and ease of metamorphosis', etc.
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The Odyssean personality [called the predisposition to 'schizophrenia' today] is characterized in the above in terms of a survival/evolutionary advantage that got thwarted with the rise of semitic moral infections, platonism, socratism, etc. and why Achilles comes to be celebrated in terms of 'honour' as more heroic than Odysseus.
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Jaynes' needs to be read along with Detienne/Vernant and Erich Auerbach's 'Mimesis';
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While Jaynes seems to place his auditory theory of both the Homeric and OT world side by side on the same ground, Auerbach, a Jew himself, contrasts and critiques how the un-mediated vital-consciousness in Homeric literature and hence its realist representations, varies from the mediated non-realist consciousness in the Old Testament, etc. leading to a tyrannical and increased abstraction - the soul and body become separate eventually. Among the I.Es., the 'soul(s)' are a mobile extensions of the body, so much so that when Achilles acts, it is his whole Race that acts with him. Jaynes equivocates this accompaniment of the 'gods' in the Homeric with Issac's, etc., but I differ with Jaynes there. Auerbach betters it further. And Nietzsche too picks up here to present his genealogy of the 'Holy Lie' of the Priestly Cunning, the Semitic as merely another word for the Priestly, and the need for a Dionysian/excess/daemonic consciousness.

"Auerbach summarizes his comparison of the texts as follows:
The two styles, in their opposition, represent basic types: on the one hand [The Odyssey 's] fully externalized description, uniform illustration, uninterrupted connection, free expression, all events in the foreground, displaying unmistakable meanings, few elements of historical development and of psychological perspective; on the other hand [in the Old Testament], certain parts brought into high relief, others left obscure, abruptness, suggestive influence of the unexpressed, "background" quality, multiplicity of meanings and the need for interpretation, universal-historical claims, development of the concept of the historically becoming, and preoccupation with the problematic.
Auerbach concludes by arguing that the "full development" of these two styles, the rhetorical tradition with its constraints on representing reality and the Biblical or "realist" tradition with its engagement of everyday experience, exercised a "determining influence upon the representation of reality in European literature."
It is in the context of this comparison between the Biblical and the Homeric that Auerbach draws his famous conclusion that the Bible’s claim to truth is "tyrannical," since
What he [the writer of the Old Testament] produced then, was not primarily oriented towards "realism" (if he succeeded in being realistic, it was merely a means, not an end): it was oriented to truth." [ib.]

"The genius of the Homeric style becomes even more apparent when it is compared with an equally ancient and equally epic style from a different world of forms. I shall attempt this comparison with the account of the sacrifice of Isaac, a homogenous narrative produced by the so-called Elohist. The King James version translates the opening as follows (Genesis 22:1): 'And it came to pass after these things , that God did tempt Abraham, and said to him, Abraham! And he said, Behold, here I am.' Even this opening startles us when we come to it from Homer. Where are the two speakers? We are not told. The reader, however, knows that they are not normally to be found together in one place on earth, that one of them, God, in order to speak to Abraham, must come from somewhere, must enter the earthly realm from some unknown heights or depths. Whence does he come, whence does he call to Abraham? We are not told. He does not come, like Zeus or Poseidon, from the Aethiopians, where he has been enjoying a sacrificial feast. Nor are we told anything of his reason for tempting Abraham so terribly. He has not, like Zeus, discussed them in set speeches with other gods gathered in the council; nor have the deliberations in his own heart been presented to us; unexpected and mysterious, he enters the scene from some unknown height or depth and calls: Abraham! It will at once be said that this is to be explained by the particular concept of God which the Jews held and which was wholly different from that of the Greeks. True enough -- but this constitutes no objection. For how is the Jewish concept of God to be explained? Even their earlier God of the desert was not fixed in form and content, and was alone; his lack of form, his lack of local habitation, his singleness, was in the end not only maintained but developed even further in competition with the comparatively far more manifest gods of the surrounding Near Eastern world. The concept of God held by the Jews is less a cause than a symptom of their manner of comprehending and representing things." [Auerbach, ps. 5-6]

"This becomes still clearer if we now turn to the other person in the dialogue, to Abraham. Where is he? We do not know. He says, indeed: Here I am -- but the Hebrew word means only something like 'behold me,' and in any case is not meant to indicate the actual place where Abraham is, but a moral position in respect to God, who has called to him -- Here am I awaiting thy command. Where he is actually, whether in Beersheba or elsewhere, whether indoors or in the open air, is not stated; it does not interest the narrator, the reader is not informed; and what Abraham was doing when God called to him is left in the same obscurity. To realize the difference, consider Hermes' visit to Calypso, for example, where command, journey, arrival and reception of the visitor, situation and occupation of the person visited, are set forth in many verses; and even on occasions when gods appear suddenly and briefly, whether to help one of their favorites or to deceive or destroy some mortal whom they hate, their bodily forms, and usually the manner of their coming and going, are given in detail. Here, however, God appears without bodily form (yet he 'appears'), coming from some unspecified place -- we only hear his voice, and that utters nothing but a name, a name without an adjective, without a descriptive epithet for the person spoken to, such as is the rule in every Homeric address; and of Abraham too nothing is made perceptible except the words in which he answers God: Hinne-ni, Behold me here -- with which, to be sure, a most touching gesture expressive of obedience and readiness is suggested, but it is left to the reader to visualize it. Moreover the two speakers are not on the same level: if we conceive of Abraham in the foreground, where it might be possible to picture him as prostrate or kneeling or bowing with outspread arms or gazing upward, God is not there too: Abraham's words and gestures are directed toward the depths of the picture or upward, but in any case the undetermined, dark place from which the voice comes to him is not in the foreground. After this opening, God gives his command, and the story itself begins." [Auerbach, ps. 6-7]

"Homer can be analyzed...but he can not be interpreted. Later allegorizing trends have tried their arts of interpretation upon him, but to no avail. He resists any such treatment; the interpretations are forced and foreign, they do not crystallize into a unified doctrine. It is all very different in the Biblical stories. Their aim is not to bewitch the senses, and if nevertheless they produce lively sensory effects, it is only because the moral, religious, and psychological phenomena which are their sole concern are made concrete in the sensible matter of life. But their religious intent involves an absolute claim to historical truth. The story of Abraham and Isaac is not better established than the story of Odysseus, Penelope, and Euryclea: both are legendary. But the Biblical narrator, the Elohist, had to believe in the objective truth in the story of Abraham's sacrifice-- the existence of the sacred ordinances of life rested upon the truth of this and similar stories. He had to believe in it passionately; or else (as many rationalistic interpreters believed and perhaps still believe) he had to be a conscious liar--no harmless liar like Homer, who lied to give pleasure, but a political liar with a definite end in view, lying in the interest of a claim to absolute authority...The Scripture stories do not, like Homer's, court our favor, they do not flatter us that they may please us and enchant us--they seek to subject us, and if we refuse to be subjected we are rebels." [Auerbach, ps.11-12]

"In the Begining was The Word." [OT]

The authoritative command/commandments abstract into a herd-consciousness... and as I read somewhere recently, has become the founding basis of our jurisprudence:

"In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was (a) God.

=

In the beginning was the Truth,
and the Truth was with God,
and the Truth was (a) God."

and,

"To Tell the Word-
The Whole Word-
and Nothing but The Word.

=

To Tell the Truth-
The Whole Truth-
and Nothing but The Truth."

Among the I.Es., Selfhood was experienced as an ever-shifting and ever-changing assembling of various psycho-somatic awarenesses... gut-feelings, etc.
Bremmer gives a brief on all the antique Greek words and concepts of soul you mention; an easy read:
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The Germanic world is equally rich:
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Nordic:
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'Ka' of the Egyptians is the same as the Vedic 'Ka' as well - 'swelling power of the psyche' able to take on many forms - initially called the Brahman and later platonized...
It is the same as the Chinese 'Qi' as well... 'vital double of the body':
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Teutonic:
The 'Name' itself is considered and honoured as an ancestral soul or a racial body-double...
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Aside:

Diff. theories;
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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Julian Jaynes and the Bicameral Mind Theory Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:06 pm

Jaynes' book:

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Julian Jaynes and the Bicameral Mind Theory Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:02 pm

Lyssa wrote:
Jaynes' book:

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PostSubject: Re: Julian Jaynes and the Bicameral Mind Theory Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:31 pm

Some tangential remarks wrt. Jaynes.

1.

In the first parts [p.81, 105, 210], when he speaks of bicamerality as a spontaneous non-analog-I 'consciousness', where to command was to obey with no interval, one goes back to how Nagarjuna or Candrakirti defined Nirvana:
"...the pacification of prapanca, or conceptual proliferation (Nagarjuna, Madhyamika Karikas)... is nirvana." [Candrakirti]

There is no clinging to authority ['authorization' is what Jaynes ascribes to the bicameral breakdown].

"If you would spend all your time - walking, standing, sitting or lying down - learning to halt the concept-forming activities of your mind, you could be sure of ultimately attaining the goal.
To be absolutely without concepts is called the Wisdom of Dispassion. ...You must get away from the doctrines of existence and non-existence... This is not something which you can accomplish without effort, but when you reach the point of clinging to nothing whatever, you will be acting as the Buddha's act. This will indeed be acting in accordance with the saying, "Develop a mind which rests on nothing whatever." For this is your pure Dharmakaya, which is called supreme perfect Enlightenment." [Huang Po/Blofeld, The Zen Teaching of Huang Po]

"Develop a mind that clings to nothing." [Vajracchedika Prajnaparamita, 10]

[Right perception] means beholding all sorts of forms but without being stained by them as no thoughts of love or aversion rise in the mind. [Hui Hai / Blofeld, Zen Teachings of Hui Hai]"

"Let your mind come forth without fixing it anywhere." [Loy]

"The Aryan Eightfold Path is for making cessation of consciousness (vinnana)…that being sammaditthi….sammasamadhi [self-con-centration]”. [Buddha, SN., 3.61]

Evola referred to this as the extinguishing of the consciousness;
"Here action ceases or, if you prefer, action is manifested in the form of nonaction, of spontaneity. The being and the law are here identical." [Evola, Doc. of Awakening]

To Nietzsche, Self-Assertion was the dionysian path of an effortless-effort. The cessation of consciousness was the path to perfection. He called the 'great calm', the paradigm of "no struggle" [eg., WTP, 799] - the great coordination from an excess/vitality that over-ruled any buffering between thought and action. Evola reflects on this very issue here:[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]



2.

The separation of Action and Contemplation brings us to the interesting assertion made by Revilo Oliver. He states, that the Priestly caste at the head of the pyramidal caste structure followed by the Warrior caste is a Semitic inversion, when originally it was the other way around :

"If we perpend the available evidence for social structure and religious practices of the Aryans when they first appear in history – the oldest hymns in the Rig-veda, the practices of the early Greek cults, the native religion of the Romans, what we can ascertain about the rites of the prehistoric Norse, and a scattering of corroboratory information from such sources as Tokharian and even traces in Hittite – we are driven irresistibly to the conclusion that the early and authentic Aryan religion had no place for professional holy men.

The essentials of native Aryan religious practice may be summarized in a few lines. The head of every household was its priest, who himself performed for his household such rites as the family tradition prescribed, usually or always including some sacra peculiar to the family line, and such other ceremonies as seemed appropriate to him. If wealthy and devoted to some particular god, he might erect an open altar or a modest temple (i.e., structure) to that deity on his own property, and the shrine would descend to his heirs in the usual way. The owner would determine whether other votaries of the god should be admitted to private property.

The tribe or the state was, in a sense, a great family and naturally had its own rites and gods to which it accorded a tribal or national worship. The rites were invariably performed by citizens, never by professionals. And, of course, the community had its own shrines and temples, which might be no more than a plot of ground in an open field or in a forest, but was usually an edifice as simple or elaborate as the community’s prosperity dictated.

At Rome, all the great priesthoods were filled by the election or co-option of men (or, where appropriate, women) from the leading families, usually Patrician families. The offices were usually held for life, but were not hereditary, and there were exceptions. For example, the priestess of the Bona Dea in any year was, ex officio, the wife of the presiding magistrate for that year. The priesthoods were high political offices and were sought as honors or for the political power they conferred.

No taint of religious professionalism appears. It is true that one of the flaminates, that of the Flamen Dialis, was hedged about with traditional taboos (the purpose of which had long been forgotten), which severely limited the political and particularly the military careers of the holder of that office: that is why the young Caesar prudently refused it. Late in the Republic some politician raised the constitutional question whether one of the other flamens could be prevented from taking command of an army outside Italy, but in general a Roman priest was a citizen of prominence, and no one ever imagined that he should have any religious qualification for the position, other than a suitable lineage, usually Patrician birth.

If the tribe or state had a specific ceremony for the collectivity, the priest was always, ex officio, the chief of the tribe, the king of the state, or a magistrate who replaced the king if the monarchy had been eliminated. In Rome under Augustus, one of the signs that the state was being gradually and almost surreptitiously converted to a monarchy was that Augustus (and his successors) became the Pontifex Maximus ex officio.

Aryan society doubtless included individuals who claimed some special skill in interpreting omens (one thinks of Tiresias) and religious enthusiasts. Such persons were free to communicate their opinions and might be asked for advice in perplexing situations, but they were citizens, received no emoluments, had no official standing, and could only offer advice which the king or responsible magistrate might or might not see fit to take (it was up to Agamemnon to decide whether he should pay attention to Tiresias’s monitions). There were no professional holy men. No one could gain wealth or grasp power by claiming to be an expert technician of the supernatural.

In short, the evidence supports the conclusion of Professor Hans F. K. Günther: "A priesthood as a more sacred class, elevated above the rest of the people, could not develop amongst the original Indo-Europeans. The idea of priests as mediators between the deity and men would have been a contradiction of Indo-European religiosity."* But there are difficulties.

* Religious Attitudes of the Indo-Europeans, translated by Vivian Bird and Roger Pearson (London, Clair Press, 1967). The question here is treated somewhat more fully in Ganther’s Die Nordische Rasse bei den Indogermanen Asiens (München, 1934) which has not been translated, so far as I know. The parts of Günther’s work that are most open to question are the dating of the cult of Odin and the supposed religious toleration in Iceland, neither of which is relevant here. It may be that here and there he is not sufficiently strict in weighing data favorable to his thesis. It is true that he holds our race in high esteem, and that, I need not say, is considered very sinful today.

Georges Dumézil, a sagacious and distinguished student of Aryan religions, has identified a "tripartite" modality of thought, an instinctive grouping of concepts in units of three, as characteristic of our racial mentality; which appears in everything from our fairy stories and other fiction, in which it is always the third attempt to solve a problem that succeeds, to the grouping of gods in triads,... which were reduced to the trinity worshipped in the famous temple at Uppsala (Odin, Thor, and Freyr). Dumézil finds this same tripartite pattern in a social organization consisting of warriors, priests, and commoners, thus making a priestly class a native and necessary part of early Aryan society. We may counter this theoretical objection by arguing either that the tripartite thinking did not extend to social organization or that Dumézil has wrongly identified the three elements, which could be king (or equivalent), nobility, and commoners, or even aristocracy, plebeians, and serfs. And there is the solid evidence that the earliest Aryan societies of which we have knowledge show no certain trace of a priestly caste.

The real difficulty is that no societies have been more priest-ridden than India after the Aryan conquest, where a caste of priests achieved an effective monopoly of all religious rites, and Celtic Gaul, where the Druids had virtually unlimited power. In other Aryan societies we find a caste of professional holy men, as in ancient Persia, or a priesthood which, though not hereditary, has attained an ascendancy over the citizens and the state.

So drastic a change seems, at first sight, incredible. It seems most unlikely, a priori, that in India, for example, in a territory that was certainly conquered by the Aryan invaders and ruled by them, and on which they imposed their Indo-European language and presumably the culture it represented so thoroughly that all but the vaguest recollection of what had preceded them disappeared, the Aryan principalities and kingdoms should have developed a religion and a social structure that was "a contradiction" of Aryan religiosity. For this paradox, however, Professor Günther has a reasonable explanation. In all parts of the world, Aryan migrations, so far as we can discern, followed a pattern that must have been determined by our racial peculiarities. An Aryan tribe invades a desirable territory and subdues a much more numerous native population of a different race and is content to rule over them, instead of exterminating them and even their domestic animals, as the Jews claim to have done in Canaan and as the Assyrians may have done in some places. The natives, thus spared by what could be considered a biological blunder, were made subjects, but the majority of them were not enslaved or even reduced to serfdom; they and their native customs were probably treated with a measure of the toleration and protection that the Romans later accorded their subjects. The inevitable result was miscegenation, both biological and cultural. The consequence of the long and intimate association of the dominant Aryans with their subjects of a different race, Professor Günther says, was that "a spirit alien in nature," corresponding to the dilution and hybridization of the racial stock, "permeated the original religious ideas" of the Aryans and "then expressed in their language religious ideas which were no longer purely or even predominantly European [i.e., Aryan]." And he identifies certain elements in our race’s mentality and especially in its religiosity, especially the lack of fanaticism, which made it particularly susceptible to the contagion of alien superstitions. What happened, in other words, was a kind of spiritual mongrelization that, in all probability, largely preceded and certainly facilitated the biological mongrelization.

We may find a small but neat example of this process in the Thesmophoria we have mentioned above. In the Peloponnesus, these rites were practiced by the native population until the Dorian invasion; thereafter, for some centuries, the ceremonies persisted only in the mountain-girt hill country of Arcadia, which the Dorians had not taken the trouble to occupy; but then the Dorian conquerors, including the notoriously conservative Spartans, begin to practice themselves the alien ritual of the Thesmophoria, giving to it a name that was at least partly Greek and associating it with their own religious concepts. There is an indubitable historical basis for this Greek tradition, first reported by Herodotus (II.171). The Greeks, naturally, had no means of knowing whence the Pelasgians (who were white, but of undetermined race) derived the ritual or with what superstitions the Pelasgians had associated it.

The process, so clearly illustrated by the Thesmophoria, probably took place in every territory that the Aryans subdued, and the cumulative effect must have been a religious and cultural perversion that could well have produced in India, for example, even so drastic a change as the eventual subjugation of the conquerors’ descendants to a caste of professional holy men. For an extreme and frightening example of what mongrelization can do to the minds of our race, we have only to consider the Guayakís of South America, who, as is conclusively shown by anthropological and especially anthropometric studies, contain a large admixture of Nordic blood and exhibit a cultural degeneracy noteworthy even among the Indian populations of that continent. See Jacques de Mahieu, L’Agonie du Dieu Soleil (Paris, Laffont, 1974); there is a German translation (which I have not seen), but none in English, so far as I know. Cf. Nouvelle École, #24 (mars 1974), pp. 46 sqq, Pessimists, who assume that the present direction of society in Britain and the United States will continue unchanged and have the courage to extrapolate from it, may see in the Guayakís the prototypes of what is likely to be left of our race two or three centuries hence.

These considerations, and especially our race’s notorious lack of a racial consciousness and its concomitant generosity toward other races, adequately explain a corruption of its native religious tendencies, and accordingly we may accord to Professor Günther’s description of our pristine religiosity a high degree of probability, although the limitations of the available data preclude certainty. We may, however, observe that it is possible to go much farther in speculations that can be no more than suggestive.

L. A. Waddell was a distinguished scholar, although his achievements and reputation have been eclipsed because his pioneer attempt to read Sumerian as an Indo-European language was as mistaken as the work of his numerous contemporaries, who were trying to read it as a Semitic language. ... That does not necessarily invalidate his startling suggestion that the name of the priestly caste that worked its way to power in India, Brãmana is a word derived from Semitic; that the institution of a class of professional priests in Sumeria was the work of the Semites that gradually took over Sumerian society; and that the priestly caste in India was derived from Sumeria.

What is important is not the origin of the word, but of the idea that it represents.

The etymology is probably wrong, but the suggestion is made the more impressive by the fact that Waddell in 1925 must have been prescient to anticipate that subsequent excavations would prove beyond doubt the presence in the Indus Valley of a relatively advanced civilization that flourished before the Aryan invasion and was very closely connected with the Sumerians so closely that it is possible that the Sumerians came to Mesopotamia from the Indus Valley.*

Attempts to identify the civilized people of the Indus Valley as Dravidians on linguistic grounds are nugatory; on the most elaborate attempt to do so, see Arlene Zide and Kamil Zvelebil, The Soviet Decipherment of the Indus Valley Script (The Hague, Mouton, 1976). There are extraordinary similarities between that script and the rongo-rongo script of Easter Island and they are too great to be coincidental; from this fact, he who wishes may evoke romantic dreams of what might have been.

This suggests a question that will startle students who naïvely cling to the old notion that race is shown by geography or language.† What was the race of persons who contrived the establishment of priestly castes in ancient India and Persia? That the breathtaking question is not entirely idle will appear from indications that the dominant priesthoods may originally have been racial, especially the following:

The great hero of the priestly caste of Brahmans in India is Parasurãma, an incarnation of the god Vishnu and a great warrior (!), who extirpated the Ksatrias, the Aryan caste of warriors and rulers, by killing each and every member of the "kingly race" twenty-one times – a phenomenal overkill that suggests a Semitic imagination! The blessed event thus described is mythical, of course, but something did extirpate the warrior caste (unless some escaped to become the ancestors of the Rajputs (rãjaputras) as the latter claim), and by the Third Century, at the latest, supposedly Aryan states were ruled by kings who were Sudras, i.e., descendants of the dark-skinned race that the Aryans, and quite possibly their predecessors in the Indus Valley, had subdued and subjected to civilization. It is probable that the ruling caste was destroyed as Aryan aristocracies always are, by miscegenation, war, internal feuds, revolution, and superstition, but the racial animus of the Brahmans’ Saviour and of the Brahmans who devised and perpetuated the story is unmistakable.

It will suffice to have indicated the likelihood that our racial psyche, though highly susceptible to alien ideas and superstitions, is innately averse from granting power and influence to professional holy men. This may help us understand some otherwise puzzling episodes in our racial history."

[url=http://www.revilo-oliver.com/rpo/RPO_NewChrist/chap5.htm ]Revilo Oliver: Aryan Worship[/url]


To Nietzsche, it was the other way around. He claimed that the Aryan Priestly class were formed of the most cold-blooded reflection and deliberation and it is their success that influenced and corrupted the Semitic world into a Priestly religion [WTP, 142, 143]

To Dumezil [hated by all anti-fascists!] and Evola, the I.E. structure was a tripartite division - Order, Action, and Sustenance; or, Sovereignty, Force, Fecundity based on the three gunas or natural natures - sattva [white - calm lucidity], rajas [red - passion], tamas [black - inert] in the gita or as Plato termed it - logistikon, thumos, epithumia. The Sovereign class was made of both the King & the Priest together; the Warrior & the Juror. Action and Contemplation were originally One. Brahmans till the Vedanta period were referred to this class of people who embodied both functions. Nietzsche, Dumezil, Evola, Plato tend to separate the realm of effortless action [sovereignty] with action [force].
I believe Oliver misunderstands this distinction. Nietzsche opines the Semites too at first probably had their Sovereign class which were overthrown by the ressentimental inferior class of its own people, - what Jaynes calls the Agitation within or the bicam.break-up.



3.

This bring me to my last point wrt. my saying earlier that Jaynes seems to conflate the greeks alongside the jews.
On pgs. 80-82, he distingushes the bicam. behaviour of the greeks from the jews, yet on pgs. 116 and 303, he puts them on the same plane.
On p.317, Jaynes remarks that bicamerality had a genetic basis in the jewish tribes, which he says remains with us as schizophrenia.
On p.432, he claims the natural selective genetic advantage for schizophrenia would be their excess of energy and vitality, and acute power of attention/alertness, that were responsible for massive and incredible structures like the Pyramids, etc.
Why then do we not see any such massive structures of jewish origin?
I think there's a conflation of two kinds of schizophrenia here; one that happens with the taking on of many versatile roles, quick adaptability, flowful un-clinging nature, because of inner coordination [Vernant's Odysseus, what N. calls the Actor's psyche] and one that happens with being "left with" a whole host of voices because of Lack of co-ordination... leading to Agitation, rampant Jealousy, Ressentiment, increased Abstraction, Staticity, permanent Authority figures...
Which is another way of saying Jaynes seems to say the jews are the least well-adapted people today. Except he doesn't say it; he only hints at it through the events of scientific rationalism and enlightenment, etc. - exactly what Nishitani said in his book on Religion and Nothingness [quoted here in the Primer on Nothingness].


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PostSubject: Re: Julian Jaynes and the Bicameral Mind Theory Tue May 28, 2013 2:50 pm

From hindsight, we can see N. intuiting possibly on bicamerality, beyond judaism...

"The division of labour has almost detached the senses from thinking and judging: while in the past these were inside the senses, undivorced. Earlier still, the desires and the senses must have been one." [Writings from the Late Notebook]

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PostSubject: Re: Julian Jaynes and the Bicameral Mind Theory Tue May 28, 2013 3:19 pm

Jaynes suggests that this division in the mind was due to human primitiveness.

Nietzsche, and I, suggest, that this division is manufactured, imposed upon the populace so as to create stable, harmonious unities, by using different standards and contexts, to meet different human needs.
No unity of conception - cohesive world-view - is promoted or allowed, for this would expose the ruse.

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PostSubject: Re: Julian Jaynes and the Bicameral Mind Theory Tue May 28, 2013 3:31 pm

Because the quote is from his notebook, I can't make out if in this particular fragment, when he says, "Earlier still", he means the pre-moral period of human evolution in general or the moral period when jewish morality has permeated... I have assumed the former.

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PostSubject: Re: Julian Jaynes and the Bicameral Mind Theory Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:11 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Julian Jaynes and the Bicameral Mind Theory Mon May 02, 2016 4:12 am

Lyssa wrote:
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