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ISBN: 0395207290 / ISBN-13: 9780395207291

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind


At the heart of this book is the revolutionary idea that human consciousness did not begin far back in animal evolution. Rather, Jaynes presents ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

Overall customer rating: 5.000

consciousness & the vestigial bicameral mind

by yoryevrah on Oct 29, 2009

Hey, this is suppressed information. The "establishment" doesn't want you to read this book. Oh, they're not worried, really, about you reading it because there are so few that will tackle the insights Julian Jaynes offers us. In his book, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (1976), Jaynes points the way to understanding how easily it is to manipulate the bulk of us. 25 years before Jaynes' book, the behaviorists came up with a parallel understanding of 'consciousness,' or HOW TO MANIPULATE IT, rather. Leon Festinger's book A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance demonstrated how ruling elites could create collective cognitions that would be imperative for the deceived masses to adhere to (think Leo Strauss and E. Bernays). Jaynes doesn't look at the dark side, but very importantly demonstrates the recent evolution of consciousness (post 1628 BC, my guess), and how we are so easily manipulated (via our vestigial bicameral mind, a hypnotic-like state in which we surrender to a trusted authority). Jaynes' book is worth reading.


The possibilities of consciousness

by theunconsciousfiend on Mar 5, 2009

This mind-boggling concept from Julian Jaynes is quite astounding. Simply put consciousness has evolved from the level of the non-subjective, where people had no concept of the instance of individuality (there was no grasp of what "I" meant), and had a twin-chambered consciousness; one basically an automaton who was behoven to obey without question an hallucinatory "god voice" who instructed them in all higher functions. The related evidence he then presents is compelling, taking in the history and culture of the ancient world, the then modern psychological knowledge of his time and the similar biopsychosocial empirical methodologies of that era, ancient texts (such as Homer's Iliad and the Bible) and iconography of the "bicameral era." This is truly a breathtaking exposition and one fully deserving of careful contemplation, especially if we consider that our own level of consciousness may be the entire conceptual barrier to understanding Jaynes' theory. If language was indeed the catalyst for the evolution of human consciousness then perhaps a step beyond the construct of the metaphorical lexicon would be required to realise that this was indeed the case. And then would that would be the next Jaynesian leap forward? Once read play with the idea in your own Analog I mindspace, just a conceptual toy say...

by AbAlexander on Jul 19, 2007

This book is surely a key among keys, a wonderfully written text by an undeniably original mind. While not too academic, it is replete with concepts to push any mind. Illuminating a history so useful and new.

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Joan P

Reviewing the Reviews - positive look

I am reading the comments in the review section of this page. I haven't read the book, but I may when it comes up in the queue. I am interested in discussing the ideas expressed in the reviews with the people who expressed them. Then, perhaps, I can read the book with an ear to the opinions and ... Read more

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