Monthly Archives: December 2009

7-12-09 Bicameral Mind – Bah!

I have lived in many parts of the world often for extended periods of time with people who work the land – by hand and with hoes and sickles and perhaps pick axes if they should be so lucky.
And except for sick individuals I have never met anyone who was living his life as if he was doing the automated actions of say driving a car.

Yet Julian Jaynes says that until 2000 BC(E) we were all living like that.
He equates the existence of unconscious activity – I can even read unconsiously – with an existence ‘before the development of consciousness”.
This is racist nonsense.. There never was such a state. I doubt if there is such a state in chimpanzees.
The most remote humans today or 100 years ago – who cannot read and write and have or had no television or radio or anything else – still set themselves intellectual problems, still consciously judge the characters of those around them, and try to predict their actions.

They do not live in a world in which there is a reward for publishing their findings, but they still do it, even though they do not share a common way of formalizing the process with their neighbors.

And when there is a social reward – lo! they make up songs of quality,. and do other things to show off their mental skill.

There is no state of a human society without CONSCIOUSNESS.