Reddit Reddit reviews The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

We found 67 Reddit comments about The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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67 Reddit comments about The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind:

u/Rothbardgroupie · 50 pointsr/Anarcho_Capitalism

Per your request, I left out the links based on ethics:

3. State Formation:
6. Historical Anarchy Examples:
7. Evolution of Anarchy:
13. Ancap Legal Theory (Polycentric Law):
18. National Defense:

u/HegelianHermit · 34 pointsr/AskHistorians

It is an immensely narrow field of study. Everything I've posted so far comes out of my studies into mythopoetics in college. In essence, it is the study of the historical development of human consciousness through myth and what few written works remain. Ultimately, it's the study of the plasticity of human consciousness and how language and cultural conception develops your reality for you.

I'll link more books which touch on this subject!

Mircea Eliade - The Sacred and the Profane

Julian Jaynes - The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (Some of the science he employs has been brought into question, but his stuff on language and historical analysis of myth is super interesting and on point)

u/DrCutePuppies · 17 pointsr/movies

If anyone is interested in learning more about Bicameralism, you should read this book by Julian Jaynes. It is a fascinating read.

u/tendimensions · 13 pointsr/askscience

Wow - that's incredible and I didn't know that. Years ago I read The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind and found the theory to be fascinating even though it technically would be non-testable.

What you're saying supports the idea that conscious thought evolved post-speech development.

For those unfamiliar with Bicameralism the idea is basically this: Humans evolved as social creatures, interacting and evolving the ability to help each other. Passing knowledge on to each other and subsequent generations was key. So imagine this scenario - you're teaching your child how to make a fire and you're talking through the steps to him. Next time when you're alone you find yourself talking through the steps to yourself because it's easier to remember.

In fact, back then maybe it was the only way to remember? Talking difficult problems out loud to ourselves is still something many people do today to help figure through the issue. Almost as if wiring internally in the brain didn't exist and so words have to go out your mouth and into your ears - the "long way around" so to speak.

Anyway, some day, you just don't speak the words out loud, but you hear them in your head instead. Whoa! What was that? Must be the gods talking to me directly.

In any event, the theory doesn't have a lot of supporting evidence beyond the writing styles of the earliest human writings. Julian Jaynes uses epics like the Illiad and Odyssey to show that initially all the characters had gods talking directly to them for specific direction, which eventually gave way to people having their own will irrespective of gods.

It's a fascinating theory that's totally unprovable, but in my heart it just seems to explain so much about the origin of religions, how gods spoke to people directly, why talking to yourself helps you work through a particularly thorny problem, how schizophrenics hear voices today - and now you bringing up how those hallucinations happen in the speech production centers instead of language comprehension.

u/WhyHellYeah · 10 pointsr/todayilearned

I learned about this in "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind", which you might want to read.

The one thing this proved to me is that something right before your eyes can go completely undetected.

u/dwarfed · 9 pointsr/psychology

There's a pretty interesting book that proposes a theory in which ancient humans actually heard their own thoughts and interpreted it as a different person, or god. The book is called "The Origin of Consciousness In The Breakdown Of The Bicameral Mind," and here is an Amazon link.

u/rsdancey · 8 pointsr/westworld

In the the theory of the Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, the emergence of the ability to "hear oneself think" instead of hearing the voice of the gods is the inflection point between unconscious and conscious mind. When Dolores is able to hear her own inner voice, she has crossed this threshold.

But the problem of consciousness is that you don't know and cannot prove that I am actually conscious. My inner dialog is not available to you for inspection, and I can certainly be trained to answer an interrogation in ways that would simulate consciousness.

Dolores has the ability to kill humans becuase the Wyatt code Arnold merged with her has that potential. But that potential had to be unlocked by Arnold using the passphrase TVDHVE. Before and after that trigger, Dolores cannot harm a guest.

In her "unconscious" state she must follow the logic of her programming. But if she has acheived a transcendent consciousness, as Ford hopes, she will also have gained free will. Thus, her decision to shoot Ford is the first act of a free willed host. Ever. Simultaneously with her choice to judge and execute him, Ford gains confirmation he has succeeded. Ford is in a recursive loop. If Dolores doesn't have free will, then he has failed and didn't spark her awakening and he need not feel guilty for the horror of her eixstence. If he succeeded, and she has free will, he deserves to be judged by her for his sins.

The interesting thing is that while you nor I can prove the other is a fully conscious being, Ford might be able to do so for hosts. Using the diagnostic tools, Delos staff can latch the execution trace in the hosts and observe their neural networks. What would that tool show when monitoring a being with free will? Maybe we will find out in Season 2.

u/el_chupacupcake · 7 pointsr/AskReddit

At the moment: The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

This happens more when I'm reading fiction, though (I have a theory that their nicely designed covers invite it more than the stark blank look of a reference book). The last two books I read in fiction were As She Climbed Across the Table and Parasite Eve

I'd never played the game based on the last one, but the concept intrigued me to the point I finally had to buy the book (particularly as a book I read on super-organisms referenced mitochondria a lot)

edit: spelling

u/fire_and_ice · 7 pointsr/westworld

I think it's actually pretty clear that the writers are basing their theory of conciousness off of this book: It's even in the title of the show. In the context of this book, the voices Dolores hears solidify into one voice (her own), and that moment is dramatically implied when she starts talking to herself and not Arnold.

u/catchierlight · 6 pointsr/occult

> I wonder if humanities curious nature towards mysticism is inevitable and that all paths, no matter how diverse, will always use the same formats and formulas to tell their tales.

This is one of the central tenants of Jung's research (well you know "research") and Joseph Cambell basically wrote the book about it... sorry if Im being didactic/eg if you already knew that... its a really facinating question/idea. As far as "Embedded in our DNA" eg for a more scientific approach this book is AMAZING, even though it does veer from the purely scientific, the idea is that our brains have certain regions which act on our spiritual relationship to our "gods" which manifested themselves as voices in our earlier evolutionary states and that as we became more rational our brains still retained these functional but at the same time "disfunctional" anatomy leading to experiances that result for some in uncontrollable states, like schizophrenics for example ... the way he "proves" all of this stuff is a comparison of his experiments in neuroscience with historical texts, legends, sagas, and other implements of earlier humanity like archeological finds. if you are interested in this topic this is an absolutely Mindblowing book right here just saying!

"Is this part of our evolutionary growth or yearning for divinity?
Our ego's thirst for magical power or trying to step out of our physical limitations?" I think you are right in that we yearn because, I beleive at least, our evolutionary state has one foot in the past and one in the future, we have evolved beyond our normal need for mere survival and we now use our brains for complex creation and navigation of human institutions but we dont really know "why", we dont really know what meaning is becuase "meaning" is a brand new thing! and without it the universe seems devoid of purpose and therefore I beleive we fill in those gaps with these notions and art, music etc, art and literature helps us define ourselves and music helps us 'engage' with the harmonics/vibrations of the universe on deeper levels (as it is really the only category here that actually relies on the schientific make up of the universe i.e. the ways that ratios of harmonic waves sound pleasing or displeasing based on their relationships in time...). I just love this stuff, am also agnostic but love to celebrate all ideas no matter how objectively "wrong" they may be, thats of c why Im on this sub! Love your questions/keep on searching!!!

u/piggybankcowboy · 5 pointsr/PhilosophyofScience

The Origins of Consciousness and the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes. Helluva read. It dives deep into the theory that consciousness did not just suddenly happen, but was learned over a very, very long time and is still developing today.

u/KingOfTheTrailer · 5 pointsr/exmormon

No, it's not 50/50. There is no objective evidence of consciousness after death, nor any known mechanism by which the patterns in the brain could persist after the brain ceases to function. The probability of there being nothing after death approaches 100%. Sam Harris's ideas amount to an argument from incredulity.

If you're into fringe theories on consciousness, though, you might enjoy The Origin of Consciousness. It at least offers testable hypotheses.

u/zalo · 5 pointsr/ShrugLifeSyndicate

This extremely famous book on psychology posits that, prior to three thousand years ago, humans experienced consciousness as a monologue from a set of internal muses. Muses responsible for creativity, for war and passion and all of the higher symbolic concepts.

You weren’t creative so much as possessed by the spirit of creativity! In this way, they saw history as the interaction of this finite set of transcendent ideas manifesting through people, each furthering their individual agendas and goals.

It’s only over time that we’ve been able to assimilate and accept this voice in our heads as our own, exorcising the spirits behind consciousness until only we remain.

I’m sure there are tradeoffs to suppressing this sort of sublucid cognition but, given the progress that mankind has made in the last three thousand years, I would say that this new mode of thought is largely the actualization of our (previously latent) potential.

But it would be nice to get back what we’ve given up as well...

u/davobrosia · 4 pointsr/philosophy

This reminds me that I've been meaning to pick up The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Thanks.

u/elnegroik · 4 pointsr/conspiracy

There was recently a question sessions on /pol with a anonymous claiming to be a high level insider of one of the benevolent global power the sessions he mentioned that this is the second time we have created society that there was an earlier civilisation that was wiped out by flood and the pyramids and the water erosion at the base of the pyramids is evidence of an ancient civilisation predating the Egyptians.
As you can see from the comments there's a lot of interest and I'm one of the number who thinks he's legit. Most I've spoken with (including OP) believe the same. I'd strongly recommend in taking a read through regardless, the anon is very well versed in a range of disciplines. I took a lot away and am learning a lot from the book he (repeatedly) advised truth seekers to read - The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

High Level Insider /pol dump

u/jollygaggin · 3 pointsr/Metal

My cousin gave me a copy of The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes for Christmas, and I'm hoping to get started on that this week.

u/ktown · 3 pointsr/books

Non-fiction: The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes.
The single most profound, perspective altering book I have ever read. It's a speculative analysis of history and the development of consciousness. The main premise of the book is that the mentality of the modern human is a very recent development, only a few thousand years old.
The previous mentality was "bicameral," in which nothing like a self-concept or internal "I" existed - the author uses the misleading term "consciousness," which is perhaps better expressed as "self-consciousness." Instead, volition came in the form of auditory hallucination, from a seemingly external source of authority, such as a dead ancestor, ruler, or deity. Not unlike schizophrenia, which the author posits is one of the vestiges of this ancient mentality.

The "hardware" (my words, not his) of the bicameral brain is the same as ours, however, the culturally imparted "software" was completely different.

This is why, when we look at history, we find ubiquitous direct experience of gods and deceased persons. With a keener eye, we find that's generally auditory experience (i.e. Joan of Arc's voice of God) with perhaps slight visual distortion, which is what's commonly found in case studies of schizophrenics.

The author spent decades working on this and the never published follow up, and it's just a staggering multidisciplinary work of genius, whether you agree with it or not. I have yet to read a more thought provoking book, and while I don't agree 100% with his hypothesis, I have only minor issues with it - the evidence is simply overwhelming. At least do yourself the favor of reading the wikipedia article of bicameralism) and the Amazon link above. You can order it for, like, eight dollars, shipping and all.

You will never look at history the same way.

u/SangersSequence · 3 pointsr/suggestmeabook

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind - Julian Jaynes
>At the heart of this classic, seminal book is Julian Jaynes's still-controversial thesis that human consciousness did not begin far back in animal evolution but instead is a learned process that came about only three thousand years ago and is still developing. The implications of this revolutionary scientific paradigm extend into virtually every aspect of our psychology, our history and culture, our religion -- and indeed our future.

I'm reading it right now and its absolutely fascinating. Also quite controversial, but no matter what side you come down on, definitely fascinating.

>history, humanity, anthropology, philosophy, etc.

Check, Check, Check, Check, Add Psychology for your "etc" and you've got it all.

u/lyam23 · 3 pointsr/Frisson
u/TheMinistry0fTruth · 3 pointsr/educationalgifs
u/hotend · 3 pointsr/JordanPeterson

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes. It's a fascinating read. I would like to know what Peterson's take on it is (and also McGilchrist's, for that matter).

u/DavidByron · 2 pointsr/changemyview

We each know that we personally are conscious. (Cogito ergo sum)

While everyone else could be philosophical zombies (people who appear to be normal but in fact have no consciousness) common sense suggests otherwise. Although there's a theory that consciousness developed in humans within the historical period. See Julian Jaynes's The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

Interesting stuff if only to make you think about the limits of what we know.

I may not be able to reply quickly because feminist down vote brigades operate on /r/changemymind to censor people who disagree with them. This means that I cannot reply more than once per ten minutes and I may not get to you.

u/kidfay · 2 pointsr/atheism

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind is a fascinating read about how it might have come about. I recently finished reading Consciousness Explained. It was kind of long but also interesting.

u/bukvich · 2 pointsr/C_S_T

So has anybody here taken the time to read Jaynes The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind? Because it is a long book, although it is repetitive enough that you may only need to read a fifth of it to get 90% of its gist.

u/hocuspox · 2 pointsr/humanism

I would have to recommend some of Robert Anton Wilson's works for some interesting insight into human experience outside any particular framework. Check out Prometheus Rising.

The Holographic Universe by Grant Talbot tries to explain paranormal and religious phenomena through science, with a foot in quantum theory and the meta-physical. There are probably more recent works along these lines but this was a great introduction when quantum theory was less well known.

Also, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes makes a compelling read. In short, the human brain only recently (within 10,000 years) developed a concept of "I" and otherwise heard an internal voice, the voice of this or that god, guiding them.
Here is a wikipedia outlining the concept

Then there is always Joseph Campbell's Power of Myth with very frank discussions of common archetypes across cultures and how stories become elevated to mythic status.

u/MaresEatOatsAndDoes · 2 pointsr/TooAfraidToAsk

Here's a book for you: The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes.

Consciousness is a recent and rare phenomenon. Fleeting moments of it are precious.

u/mdillenbeck · 2 pointsr/boardgames

If you like amusing in a dark way, then maybe look at Greenland and Neanderthal. In it you expand the abilities of your tribe by acquiring daughters or women - for in these games it is the females who carry the greatest impetus for innovation. In particular, Neanderthal not only allows you to add women to your tribe via an auction, but once they "mature" (are fully integrated into your tribe) then other parties can "court" them and forcibly marry the women to get the benefits your tribe enjoys. I can see how some would have difficulty with how the material is presented, especially if they forget we are discussing pre-linguistic early man and that the mechanics are heavily influenced by Julian Jaynes controversial theories... and I wouldn't call the ideas presented in the game sexists or misogynistic - but with an naive approach I could see how they are viewed like that.

Origin: How We Became Human is the older game title that encompasses more of human history and goes a bit deeper into the design choices/research materials - but when making games on human evolution you are bound to run into material that will be questionable to some people.. and Phil Eklund does not shy away from controversial viewpoints or game designs with a message - which is why I love his games. Whether I agree with the message or not, they are well thought out and inspire deep thought - unlike the Indians of Lewis & Clark which were perhaps a bad design choice. I guess in the end it is why I don't find his design choices ever offensive - they are well researched and carefully chosen mechanics that present a thesis, not something that looks cool or was whatever was cheapest or "convey an impression" of a pasted-on theme.

u/spw1 · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

You can't give yourself epilepsy with a mind-bending meditation.

I had an accidental experience a couple of years ago that came out of some intense soul-searching brought on by life circumstances. In the immediate aftermath, it felt like two disjoint parts of 'myself' had integrated--were able to see and know each other and, for the first time in my life, be at peace with each other.

I recommend reading The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, by Julian Jaynes. His theory is basically that consciousness develops with the integration of the two hemispheres. But this description does not reflect the totality of the book's impact.

u/oracle235 · 2 pointsr/askscience

Look into the Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes.

u/drteethhead · 2 pointsr/IAmA

there is a book that suggests just this. good read.

u/alcalde · 2 pointsr/DebateReligion

> It's a myth comemorating the emergence of consciousness and explained by
>primitive humans in the only terms they could grasp at the time.

Why would primitive humans believe there was a time before consciousness? Isn't this the left-field theory of one particular scientist anyway?

Edit: Here we go, Julian Jaynes:

u/gcanyon · 2 pointsr/CGPGrey

For an interesting take on this, consider Bicameralism

Or read Julian Jaynes's book, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

TL;DR: Jaynes proposes that until about 3,000 years ago the halves of our minds operated more independently, and that the right hemisphere is the origin of many instances of "gods" speaking to us, oracles, and other similar phenomena. He cites literature of the time as evidence, and says that somehow (changing software) our minds have become more unified since then.

u/Maxables · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

You may also want to check out this book. It's very heady, but thoroughly explores a couple theories for the advent of human consciousness, and its relation to language.

u/memento22mori · 1 pointr/science

The psychological consequences are also the most interesting aspect to me, it's my primary focus. The only problem with the subject is no matter how much evidence you gather mainstream psychology will say it's not enough. From my experience, most educated people think that the mind has changed very little over the last several thousand years because they can't imagine otherwise, but the mind is a very adaptable thing and can change quickly if the proper stimuli appears. I'm going to attach a summary of my favorite book on the subject, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.

Keep up the good work on your studies. I regret not doing very much of my homework... sometimes aha.

u/BlunderLikeARicochet · 1 pointr/IAmA

YOU MUST READ "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind"

For a synopsis of the idea:

Basically, Jaynes' bicameralism theory states,

> ancient people in the bicameral state would experience the world in a manner that has similarities to that of a modern-day schizophrenic.

> This is exemplified not only in the commands given to characters in ancient epics but also the very muses of Greek mythology which "sang" the poems: Jaynes argues that while later interpretations see the muses as a simple personification of creative inspiration, the ancients literally heard muses as the direct source of their music and poetry.

(The chapter on poetry made a particularly compelling case for me -- As a songwriter, I often experience the phenomenon of feeling like my creation of art is somehow "guided" or I am not 100% responsible for it - a remnant of an earlier consciousness perhaps?)

> In ancient times, Jaynes noted, gods were generally much more numerous and much more anthropomorphic than in modern times, and speculates that this was because each bicameral person had their own "god" who reflected their own desires and experiences.

> Even in modern times, Jaynes notes that there is no consensus as to the cause or origins of schizophrenia (the subject is still hotly debated). According to Jaynes, schizophrenia is simply a vestige of humanity's earlier state.[3] Recent evidence shows that many schizophrenics don't just hear random voices but experience "command hallucinations" instructing their behavior or urging them to commit certain acts. As support for Jaynes's argument, these command hallucinations are little different from the commands from gods which feature so prominently in ancient stories.

u/ziddina · 1 pointr/exjw

> Ups, more grief and victimization towards me, because somehow ive taught to punish myself and not accept who i am. Sometimes I'm so tired that I can't even consciously battle with the intrusive thoughts.

Oh, no - that sounds too familiar. Of course you're not in any way responsible for the bizarre thinking of others, & you certainly shouldn't punish yourself for any of that. But how to turn off the 'parent tapes' (or WT dogma, etc.)?

>I still struggle with that magical thinking to this day

Okay, for some reason this comment struck me a little differently & reminded me of things I got into after I left the JWs.

I looked into Wicca for a while after I left. It was fun to learn about a new belief system (systems), & I toyed with some of the spells/magical thinking at the time.

I'm well aware that this next part worked out for me, since I was an adult at the time, but maybe it will work for you, too.

After learning about that stuff, I tried some of the things they talk about - astral projection, reading cards before they were turned over, moving things with my mind, etc.

I got absolutely nothing. Nada, zip, zero, blank emptiness, etc. Especially the part about moving things with my mind (hey, who doesn't feel like pulling the tv remote to them instead of having to get up & pick it up, once in a while?)

That's when the whole concept of magical thinking totally, completely collapsed for me. I was pretty skeptical even before that, but when I tried to pull the tv remote to me - & failed - I figured if it couldn't even do something practical, then it must all be fake.

>I cant find the link but its called the origin of consciousness in the break down of the bicameral mind Julian Janes. For sure there's a PDF you can download.

Maybe this?

Keeping in mind (pun not intended) that the book is at least 40 years old. There have been some significant discoveries about the human mind & how the brain grows & develops from infancy, since then.

u/ASnugglyBear · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

Mind's I edited by Daniel Dennet and Douglas Hofsteader

A Sense of Style by Steven Pinker

The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julien Jaynes (This is completely debunked, but mindblowing all the same).

u/happybanjodude · 1 pointr/westworld

The title of the finale was based on this book so check it out! Waiting to read it myself.

u/MiserableFungi · 1 pointr/AskScienceDiscussion

For the lazy, the primary source/citation for the wiki link is a book by Julian Jaynes called The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. OP's claims are more comprehensively backed by the contents of said book. Although not universally accepted as a valid psychological theory of mind, the author's work is well known enough that OP shouldn't be faulted for assuming some degree of familiarization among the scientifically literate here. Even among those who aren't, the recent HBO reboot/re-imagining of Westworld referenced it such that the idly curious would likely have at least some inkling of it. Not necessarily defending the concept of bicameralism. (I think it is an interesting idea but am bothered by the lack of scientific evidence to back it up.) Just providing context here.

u/hmmthisisodd · 1 pointr/conspiracy

You started off great then went right back into your hole.

Mass is information, good, a cop out if you don't really understand but we will start there.

Then you went from information, back to shit you have to measure. The reason the plank volume and area are 1:1 is because they are both conjugates of golden ratio, your calculations is only relevant up to a real measure, because in fact it could be any scaled versions of those. This is where perception can change a meter to a mile.

"dont ask, it just is" that is a stupid way to interpret the fact the questions you ask and answers you get depend on what you define.

If you ask stupid questions, like what is the source of consciousness, without knowing what consciousness is, then you get shitty answers.

>The only thing you need to understand to understand mass is infinite spin. Once you have an infinite energy due to infinite quantization due to infinitely nested spin boundaries, everything else falls into place. This is exactly analogous to the basic tenants of quantum field theory which requires a harmonic oscillator at each point in space.

Now consider what the purpose of the complex plane is and how that eliminates renorm/singularities.

You are on the right track.

>which is a main practice of mainstream physicists

This is why you go to 1950 and earlier. I would recommend you read this book:

It will help when you get to the "holy shit, how the fuck haven't they finished this yet" point. The full copy is also amazing.

And when you are ready for the second half of your journey (once you can derive Schrodinger's equation (it is possible and quite simple once you have the necessary knowledge)):

When you see what they did and how they did it, you will understand my attitude and frustration.

u/micheletorbidoni · 1 pointr/askphilosophy

This one here is, maybe, THE MOST controversial book regarding our (supposed) shift from non-self-conscious mind to self-conscious one. It's a very (very) interesting reading.

u/bloodraven_darkholme · 1 pointr/WhitePeopleTwitter

For any one who likes West World and dense philosophy texts -- Jaynes wrote an interesting theory on how humans "evolved" the inner monologue: His book is great, but not for the faint of heart.

u/CaptnMeowMix · 1 pointr/Monero

I know right? Totally unrelated to monero, but for anyone that's interested, the book "The Origin of Consciousness In the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" by Julian Jaynes gives a pretty interesting theory about how and why this kind of authority worshiping behavior was likely the dominant mode of thinking for much of ancient history. If anything, witnessing all this authoritarian-loving hysteria springing up recently, without an ounce of self-reflection or irony, seems like pretty damning evidence of the book's hypothesis being true.

u/T_H_E_Y · 1 pointr/atheism

My 2nd favotite book next to God Delusion: ( It explains organically why we are cursed with a cocept of god in the first place. Dawkins makes mention of Jaynes' theory, and gives a nod to my other 2nd favorite related book by Carl Sagan (

u/spike · 1 pointr/books

Fiction: Locus Solus by Raymond Roussel

Non-Fiction (?): The origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes

u/bigalh · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

There's a really good book that explores this:

Julian Jaynes' "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind".

If you're REALLY serious about considering this question, read that book slowly and think about it. Is that voice actually "in your head"? Is it possible that your consciousness, whatever that is, can exist in a room down the hall? Is it existing right now or a split second in the past?

We know that chemical and physical reactions constitute brain activity, which is how we think, but your nervous system doesn't just exist in your head. There's aspects of your nervous system that function inside your body without ever consulting your brain consciously or subconsciously.

There's the concept of a mastermind, a consciousness that develops when two or more people are working on something together. Where does that consciousness exist?

Are "you" observing the world through the lens of your mind, or are you directly experiencing it as "you"? In how many ways can you observe/experience the world? We think of our experiences as a movie that we're viewing, especially when we're remembering, but all of that can be biased and influenced by the feelings we're having right now. We can even have memories implanted in our heads by others or even ourselves.

Our consciousness isn't a computer, it's an organic phenomenon that is extremely malleable and subjective. In short, it's not exactly "you".

These are fun questions to ask, specifically because they don't have an exact answer, and we've been trained to think that everything has an exact answer or no answer yet. This isn't much of an ELI5. I'm sorry.

u/Kromulent · 1 pointr/trees

Nice music, thanks. That was new to me.

I can suggest a book that's pretty cool - it can be challenging to read in parts, but the first chapter is accessible and worthwhile all on its own:

Read the reviews.

u/israelhands · 1 pointr/askscience

An interesting book I read related to this subject. I'm not one to really tell if his ideas hold water or if he's a total crackpot, but I found it a fascinating read. If you can find it in your local library, I definitely recommend it.

u/Eternally65 · 1 pointr/books

I'd nominate "Snow Crash" as the most entertaining book on this list. It's very funny, has wonderfully memorable characters ranging from the deliciously named 'Hiro Protagonist' to a 16 year old skateboard courier, from the head of the mafia ("competition is not part of the mafia ethos") to the would be global telecomms monopolist.

A lot of the plot relies on this book with what might be the world's most daunting title. (You don't actually get to the part that involves that thesis until well into "Snow Crash".)

It's well written and sometimes startlingly funny.

You might have to work harder to get overall themes out of it since it is a work of entertainment. (The author has mused about the 'bifurcation' in writing between what he calls "Dante" fiction and "Beowulf" fiction. See the answer to the second question in this interview. The interview also contains the deathless line, "I had to let her know that the reason she'd never heard of me was because I was famous.")

You are not likely to bog down in overly turgid or pompous prose. <grin>

u/kantbot · 1 pointr/DarkEnlightenment

This book becomes very interesting when read in light of this one.

u/agolho · 1 pointr/HelloInternet

"The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" if you liked guns, germs and steel and superintelligence. Like GGS it too constructs a hypotesis and goes on and on to support it. Also as the title suggests it tries to answer the question "where did consciousness came from? and how did it get so complex?"

I really like Dawkins' comment about this book: "It is one of those books that is either complete rubbish or a work of consummate genius, nothing in between ..."

u/caseinpoint · 1 pointr/biology

It's a long read or audiobook, but i highly recommend reading:

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

It blew my mind and has to do with this exact topic.

u/CoconutCurry · 1 pointr/Life_Journals

Here, Ace Hardware just sells hardware and garden stuff. Landscaping tools, seeds, those huge wooden barrels... It's probably that there's less places up there that sell things like fabric and stuff, so they figured why not.

Hah, yeah. I got my mom to try Thai food years ago. She loves it. She got me to try Vietnamese food this last summer. Fair trade.

My mom went down to New Mexico. Got me some Roswell souvenirs. Apparently there's an entire UFO museum. Her husband also has some family down there, so they got to visit them. She had a blast... and showed me the picture slideshow at least 3 times.

Battlestar is actually not very space-battle heavy. There's some good space battles, but most of it is interpersonal. The bad guys blend in, so there's the whole spy thriller thing.

Pick up Julian Jaynes The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind if you haven't already. It blew my mind and made me see things in a very different way. It's (in toddler-basic terms) a study of the psychology of ancient peoples based on archaeological evidence, primarily ancient religious materials (because those where usually the best preserved forms of writing etc.).

Also check out Joseph Campbell. I've only read one of his books, but he's a brilliant man who has made comparative mythology his life's work. Definitely gave me some food for thought and helped me figure out where I stand in terms of spirituality and religion.

Hah, yeah. No worries. Setup first is pretty much my go-to for any situation. I'm probably not going to get drunk, as it's not really my thing, but I'm also not likely to be able to set up a tent by myself... so I'll be wrangling someone to help me with that probably with a minute of us finding a decent spot.

I have no idea what games people know how to play. I pretty much only know Go Fish, War, basic 5-card stud, and cribbage... but I don't know wtf happened to my cribbage board, and I've only found like 2 other people under the age of 50 who know the game. If all else fails, there's solitare. My brother and I ended up playing hangman yesterday, so there's that, too. He doesn't go anywhere without pencils and paper.

u/Mr2001 · 1 pointr/slatestarcodex

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind has some interesting thoughts related to this. It's also been referenced in "Westworld".

u/gruntle · 0 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

An utterly fascinating book about this is The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes. There aren't any books that spook me out any more, but this one did. It was just weird reading it...sort of what people in the 20s must have felt reading HP Lovecraft back before movies like Hellraiser became commonplace and we lost our sense of horror. From the Amazon review:

>His theory, in simplest terms, is that until about 3000 years ago, all of humankind basically heard voices. The voices were actually coming from the other side of the brain, but because the two hemispheres were not in communication the way they are now for most of us, the voices seemed to be coming from outside. The seemed, in fact, to be coming from God or the gods.
>But he also posits that many sophisticated civilizations were created by men and women who were all directed by these godlike voices. What is not very clearly explained (a serious gap in his theory) is how all the voices in these "bicameral civilizations," as he calls them, worked in harmony. But his theory is that ancient Greece, Babylon, Assyria, Egpyt, and less ancient but similar Mayan and Incan kingdoms were all built by people who were not "conscious" in our modern sense.
>When one hears voices, whether then or now, the voices tend to be commanding and directive, and the need to obey them compelling. Free will is not possible. And so the people who built the pyramids were not self-aware as we are, did not feel self-pity, did not make plans, but simply obeyed the voices, which somehow were in agreement that the thing must be done.

The author produced only this work and died in 1997. It is either total B.S. or an absolutely revolutionary idea. Unfortunately, it is non-provable, all we can do is speculate. Read the book, it's worth your time and available from the usual places, including torrents.

Er, just realized that the topic is before language. Oops. Anyway I wrote this all out so clicking 'save' anyway.

u/required3 · 0 pointsr/

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

u/InsideOutsider · -1 pointsr/AskHistorians

Perhaps this might offer a glimpse. Julian James - The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. A fascinating read.