Exactly what is consciousness?
What consciousness “IS” must first be determined and I am not qualified to philosophize any more than Pessoa’s two donkeys, before one can speculate on the actual history of consciousness. Poetry may infer it is an enchanting soul effluvium. New Age authorities call it awareness of the inter-relatedness of energy? A Pizza maker may call it “Yeast of Love and a leavening agent. Even pirates have been known to hold sacred special yeasts passed on from mother to mother and take it in jars to sail the seven seas so as to never capitulate the source of divine panacea. Is it soul dough divine? We shall have to take up this recipe at a later more inspired date. It’s a date and don’t be late!
Nevertheless, peeping into the nature of these deep philosophical and universal questions have cooked up quite a few if not buffoony and empirally ordained research which is simply mustered up of out of pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo? Looking at anthropological findings of naive cultures believing wearing the tooth of a tiger would infuse it’s powers like a magical talisman onto it’s wearer. Is science no more than a tribal clan of “isms” Let’s face it it’s all the more rediculous if we think of flick : The Silence of the Lambs when Anthony Hopkin’s character the serial killer Hannibal Lecter probes into his victim (Ray Liota) brain while alive litterally via a superb cooking show all his own of eating his brains literally. ((leading man of our prehistoric primordial fears, The charming sociopathic psychology expert ) I vote my puppy as new Lord of the Land!
It seems to me almost just as absurd to discern via quirkly science to evaluate the origins of consciousness based on GPRS mapping of brain matter. Traumatic brain injury survivors having had their brains demolished like a omelette have been rescrambled back into a perfect souffle by Mother Nature and not Julia Childes. The so-call ordinances and mapping of our coordination and though processes down to our most precious memories have not been altered in many cases. Therefore, I refute the idea that the brain is a static motherboard controlled by finite principals. Some how discussed whether or not each cell of our being is a brain and carries the default “soul station” which programs our personal identity or that it may carry the vast multiverse of the entire outer existence like Indra’s net. Makes me think of the Beatles song ” I am you and you are me and we are all together” combined with ” I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in and stops my mind from wondering where it will go” ? Anyway if science is actually pantheism and primal alpha dominace ie the illusion we are ” IN CONTROL” via some cooked up tribal inference? I am very curious about this book about the “bi-cameral” mind. I saw it on the book shelf when I first came to New York back in the late 1980’s. I also ask if Cave men are our ancestors and we have evolved from some hairy leaping gnomes like the Happy Eric Burden character in the song ” Spill the Wine” This hairy fairy whose spinal column visa horizontal consciousness of being on all fours to the YOGI position not of Yogi the Bear whom stands on two feet quite eloquently as bears have done since at least as long as Hanna Barbera cartoons? Some scientists claim that when the spine became erect or verticle? Consciousness became more advanced and of a higher IQ? Does this mean that Yogi the bear standing on two feet will find a Dean and Deluca picnic basket as opposed to an Etruscan Pizza? I have never heard of an Ursa Orzo Italo velvet cacao colored bear eating pizza? So please tell me why only humans evolved into hairless hirsuteless geniuses whom analyze their beginnings with Freudian artificial calculations? Is’nt that like saying to a Lady Bug? You must have had Christian parents that you want to save the flowers and you eat the harmful aphids or bugs? Then saying to a hornet oh your father was a hardended criminal from Sing Sing that you scorge innocent honey bees? Tell me what is the origin of consciousness and I will make you a pizza and buy you a Dean and Deluca deluxe pickanic basket! In the mean time, let us ponder the bicameral mind by Jaynes here from the Novelty Theory website I am enjoying. Hope you don’t get indigestion. I have a funny feeling I disagree since high fevers can make you believe you are the pope too!
A Bicameral Mind
The term was coined by psychologist Julian Jaynes, who presented the idea in his 1976 book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, wherein he made the case that a bicameral mentality, that is to say a mental state in which there are two distinct sections of consciousness, was the normal and ubiquitous state of the human mind as recently as 3000 years ago. He used governmental bicameralism to metaphorically describe such a state, in which the experiences and memories of the right hemisphere of the brain are transmitted to the left hemisphere via auditory hallucinations. This mental model was replaced by the conscious mode of thought, which Jaynes argues is grounded in the acquisition of metaphorical language.
Jaynes theorized that a shift from bicameralism marked the beginning of introspection and consciousness as we know it today. According to Jaynes, this bicameral mentality began malfunctioning or “breaking down” during the second millennium BC. He speculates that primitive ancient societies tended to collapse periodically, (as in Egypt’s Intermediate Periods and the periodically vanishing cities of the Mayas) as changes in the environment strained the socio-cultural equilibria sustained by this bicameral mindset. The mass migrations of the second millennium BC, caused by Mediterranean-wide earthquakes, created a rash of unexpected situations and stresses that required ancient minds to become more flexible and creative. Self-awareness, or consciousness, was the culturally evolved solution to this problem. This necessity of communicating commonly observed phenomena among individuals who shared no common language or cultural upbringing encouraged those communities to become self-aware to survive in a new environment. Thus consciousness, like bicamerality, emerged as a neurological adaptation to social complexity in a changing world.
Jaynes further argues that divination, prayer and oracles arose during this breakdown period, in an attempt to summon instructions from the “gods” whose voices could no longer be heard. The consultation of special bicamerally operative individuals, or of casting lots and so forth, was a response to this loss, a transitional era depicted for example in the book of 1 Samuel. It was also evidenced in children who could communicate with the gods, but as their neurology was set by language and society they gradually lost that ability. Those who continued prophesying, being bicameral according to Jaynes, could be killed.
Leftovers of the bicameral mind today, according to Jaynes, include religion, hypnosis, possession, and the general sense of need for external authority in decision-making.
FOSSIL VERTEBRATES FROM THE DOUARA CAVE SITE
via Bulletin No.6.