Threesology Research Journal
I Hear Voices...B
~ From a Bicameral to a Tricameral Consciousness ~

(The Study of Threes)
http://threesology.org


Tuesday
10:00 AM
12-09-03

The idea of the "Bicameral Mind" comes from the work of Julian Jaynes with respect to his book "The Origin of Consciousness in the Break-down of the Bicameral Mind," ISBN 0-395-56352-6 (soft cover). Here is a good summary of his idea taken from pages 201-202 of his book:


"I have endeavored (in these two chapters) to examine the record of a huge time span to reveal the plausibility that man and his early civilizations had a profoundly different mentality from our own, that in fact men and women were not conscious as are we, were not responsible for their actions, and therefore cannot be given the credit or blame for anything that was done over these vast millennia of time; that instead each person had a part of his nervous system which was divine, by which he was ordered about like any slave, a voice or voices which indeed were what we call volition and empowered what they commanded and were related to the hallucinated voices of others in a carefully established hierarchy."


NOTE: Julian Jaynes provides examples of this early mentality by providing distinctions between the content of the Iliad and the later Odyssey. Whereas the Iliad provides references to the god-controlled (Greek) human, the Odyssey provides us with a clear view of how the mind of (Greek) peoples began to change and take a much more personalized account of their actions, with the gods playing an increased subsidiary role. An interesting example of the changing bicameral state of mind can be seen in a short passage from Book I of the Odyssey:


---Someone may tell you something, or (and people often hear things in this way) some heaven-sent message may direct you.---


In the present age, we sometimes encounter those who think that an occurrence is due to a direction given by God, an angel, Jesus, etc., or that they have received a heaven-sent "sign" especially for them. That in one way or another they are a "chosen" one for a particular task, whether that task is widely recognized and acknowledged or not. We of the present will frequently encounter the expression "Oh My God" (instead of "Oh Our God") and there is the utilization of the idea involving "god parents" for certain individuals attending the baptism of a child. The idea of "god parents" gives me the impression of a time when adult humans had the mentality of children and the voice of one or more gods acted as a directing parent.


Borg as Bicameral

For many readers, the idea of a "Bicameral mentality" is difficult to appreciate unless they have some present day reference to make some semblance of comparison. The figure to the right is one of many pictures of the Borg, a fictionalized race of beings that appeared in several episodes of the various Star Trek types of television/ movie series. Without going into too much detail, I simply want to point out that the voices heard by ancient peoples with a Bicameral mind perspective, can be likened to the voices that the Borg were subjected to as part of a collective "social" order.


You'll have to watch one of the shows if you are not familiar with the voice-sounds. After hearing such a reverberation, it may be easier to understand what the mentality of a Bicameral-minded person would be like, by imagining yourself subjected to such an on-going chorus for an hour, day, or longer. It would be like a prisoner subjected to a type of non-stop harassment/conditioning/interrogation that they finally give in to in order to find some measure of peace by relinquishing a personal identity to a collective unit, just as soldiers and ball players are required to do during training, many businesses advocate a "team player identity" as opposed to each person acting independently (individually/creatively), and governments subject their young to an education/cultural system of repetitive "patriotic" themes.


While Julian Jaynes does speak of music/song in terms of lateralization of the brain hemispheres, and his idea is largely focused on describing voices labeled hallucinations directly associated with some socio-religious context characteristic of some past era, with an emphasis on the right hemisphere as being central to both music and the "voice" of early man's gods where the notions of (me- myself- I) individuality were almost non-existent in the sense we know of such today, it is possible to widen this perspective to include the idea that the role of music/song today might be used as a sort of lingering vestigial effect of the vocal/sound presence of early man's (collectively individualized) gods... just as is the modern phrase "Oh MY GOD" is, in terms of perpetuating the semblance of a past era's identification with a personal (culturally collective) god. In other words and in another sense, music/song (and meditative chants) can contribute to the influence of someone mentally returning to a time when a bicameral mentality was widespread. Those readers who have a lifestyle that typically does not include a deliberately taken daily dosage of music/song, may indeed have an advantage at appreciating what I am saying as compared to those readers who, in effect, go out of their way to insure that they subject themselves to a particular dosage of music/song (meditative auditory ritual) at home, work, while traveling, etc...


You can even observe people mimicking songs and variously voiced contents that they have heard on a radio, motion picture, or television, in a fashion that may indeed be (in many instances) a modern-day representation of a Bicameral past episode when ancient peoples began to claim that:


  • They were speaking for (a) god (as "The Chosen One"), [such as when someone claims some superiority over others for being able to "master" someone else's song, speech, joke, etc.,] or...
  • That god is speaking through them (because of some assumed unique attribute), or...
  • Their words were god's words, or...
  • The word of god is sacred and only the "most" sacred can hear/ speak with/ speak for/ speak as (a) god, or...
  • The "gods" were speaking to them in "god language" (signs) such as with good crops, rain, sunshine, tornadoes, lightning, disease, miracles, injuries, birth, death, or, etc...

To step back a bit, I want to state the obvious of what some readers already take for granted, that while we can recognize physical and mental stages of growth from infancy to childhood with respect to each individual's chronological age, there also exist psychological stages of growth which encompass all of hominid development.


For example, many of us generally conclude that children climbing trees and playing on jungle-gyms on playgrounds is a representation of early primate behavior. Likewise, some people view a teenager's interest in things Medieval such as dungeons, dragons, castles, witchcraft, sorcery, black magic, metal objects, etc., is a reference to a mental stage of development that was characteristic in the Middle Ages. Some readers might even consider that many so-called modern Societies, Corporations, Clubs, etc., have variously arranged elements within their organizations which are representative of perspectives that were developed and used by individuals and groups in past centuries, such as using a particular jargon, dress, and daily rituals. Additionally, it has been suggested that the Pentagon is a modernized rendition of an ancient castle that merely substitutes the old draw-bridge, moat, and towers types of protection, with things such as electronic surveillance, fortified walls and windows, etc... however, the citizenry of today is not permitted to take refuge behind the walls of the 'Pentagon Castle' as were the citizenry of ancient times when they could use the nearby castle as a sanctuary. We could even suggest that the habit of requiring security cards, security passes, identification cards, etc., are modern day renditions of secret pass-words, handshakes, and symbology... all attesting to the fact that the mentality of the past is very much alive in the present.


In other words, there are vestiges of an older mentality being presented in modernized garments, labels and settings. Thus stated, it is not too difficult for some readers to consider the possibility that vestiges of the older Bicameral Mind are still active in varying degrees. In order that a person not be considered crazy for hearing one or more voices, because our present-day era considers such a behavior to be an indication of mental illness (such as schizophrenia, multiple personality, etc.,) and not a part of normalcy as it was in ancient times, such voices can be concealed and even intermingled through various forms of substitution, such as with music/songs-singing, speeches, etc., or affiliation with a group singing cadences such as in marching, singing in church, singing in school plays, etc...


With respect to differences in the occurrence of the Bicameral mentality, Julian Jaynes has this say on page 194:


...For just as we know that cultures and civilizations can be strikingly different, so we must not assume that the bicameral mind resulted in precisely the same thing everywhere it occurred. Difference in populations, ecologies, priests, hierarchies, idols, industries, all would, I think, result in profound differences in the authority, frequency, ubiquity, and affect of hallucinatory control.


...just as it does today with differences in music such as rap, rock 'n roll, country and western, etc... drugs, alcohol, caffeine, food, clothing, etc...

Whereas such voices of the Bicameral Mind of ancient peoples might be highly prized as an individual's personal god, specialized form of communication with a god, or unique relationship with a god, this same perspective (and associated behaviors) becomes transformed into a modernized acceptance of a singer/musician (or sports figure/actor/actress, etc...) as a type of personalized larger-than-life god ("star"), of whom they may symbolically collect a personal piece of through various forms of memorabilia. In other instances, the existence of the ancient form of Bicameral mentality is re-expressed in modernized vestigial forms that gain some measure of social credibility through the participation of large numbers of others who collectively exhibit the same behavior such as in church, at a sports event, in military activity, political rally, graduation ceremony, etc... In other words, the Bicameral mind of early man is frequently re-experienced by some people that appear to exhibit a transitional stage of mental development between the Bicameral mind and consciousness, placed in a modern setting.


Julian Jaynes (on page 221) on the other hand, presents the idea of a developmental certainty and completeness by offering the following as suggestions as to what influenced a (non- re-experiencing) change from a Bicameral frame of mind to what he calls consciousness:


  • The weakening of the auditory by the advent of writing.
  • The inherent fragility of hallucinatory control.
  • The unworkableness of gods in the chaos of historical upheaval.
  • The positing of internal cause in the observation of difference in others.
  • The acquisition of narratization from epics.
  • The survival value of deceit.
  • A modicum of natural selection.

...yet writing can take on a type of replacement for the auditory control by someone reading or writing ("outloud") the so-called "words/commands of God," whether from a bible, the Koran, personal writings containing content about such "God" references, etc... H.O.B.


While the idea of someone exhibiting or regressing to a type of behavior that was more prevalent in a past era is not necessarily new to some readers, who have in fact considered such a notion on their own in various contexts, they may not have placed such a view in the context of a Bicameral Mind perspective, nor further considered the possibility that a song that "sticks in one's head and repeats itself" may be a vestigial representation of a god-present- atmosphere that occurred more readily, frequently, and forcefully in an era when a Bicameral frame of Mind was the foremost (accepted) world-view. Thus, we can only try to imagine what humans in early civilizations might have thought of a repeating phrase in their mind that would not go away. (Imagine what an ancient Greek would have thought if they heard the repetiton of a present day song!) Such a primitive state of mind would quite possibly consider it to be a message from a god (or, later, as an evil being), and take the message literally. Such would also be the case that early peoples would have imposed their own thoughts, their own inclinations, their own feelings on those repeating sounds that they imagined were a muffled, whispering, or even shouting voice. (I can concur that hearing some of our present day music is madness!!!)


To interject a related example of how humans might think they are in touch with (a) god:

"After the Bible was translated into English, complained Hobbes,
every man, nay, every boy and wench that could read English,
thought they spoke with God Almighty."


page 264, "The Uses of the Past, Profiles of Former Societies" ©1952, Herbert J. Muller

...It must be understood that prior to this occurrence, everyday people were not permitted access to the Bible or any religious writings since many of them were in Latin, the language of the so-called elite who used this language as a type of secret code just as many professionals (and businesses, politicians, etc...) use their day to day jargon as a tool, weapon, or password. Authority at this time (as it does today in many cases) thought that the common person did not have to have an individual interpretation of matters they themselves wanted to be in control of. This is why early church leaders claimed papal infallibility... meaning people did not have to have an "I"-ndependent perspective since they would be told what, when, how, who, (and where) to believe. (And like the "discovery" of the tomato by European Aristocracy who kept it for themselves, the Latin language as well as sparsity of reading material kept the "word of God" in the controlling hands of the religious elite who felt themselves to be the "chosen" ones just like some in the medical, legal, automotive, science, and political professions as well. They all attempt to give themselves and others the impression that they are something "a cut above" the rest of us.)


As an aside note, the old notion that "God helps those who help themselves" appears to represent God and the person as a single entity that is "I"-ndependent of separateness. This suggests "God" as a characterization of the self born from a time when the emerging self (due to a change in brain development) began to experience the "I" the "me" the "mine" in relation to an expansion in outer and inward awareness from which arose sympathy, empathy, and at times, varying excursions into views related to telepathy, be it mental, physical, emotional, intuitive, etc....


While Julian Jaynes makes the suggestion that the origin of a non-Bicameral mentality (that he calls consciousness but I call acknowledged awareness) occurred sometime when increased trading practices amongst different peoples took place, he does not offer the supposition that the exposure to different languages (voices/sounds) may have influenced a mental activity of obscuring (and not necessarily totally getting rid of) the "voice" of a (culturally specific) Bicameral frame of mind. In this instance I am presenting the Bicameral voice as a type of repeating sound similar to a repeating song that (in some instances) we can't seem to get rid of until we use another sound (song) that acts as a type of interference pattern which cancels both sounds out.


Hence, in contrast to Julian Jaynes' idea that the "I" of a personal consciousness may have been developed by early peoples making the distinction of differences in behavior from those they encountered in their travels of looking for and trading goods, the development away from the influence of a dominant form of right hemisphere Bicameral mentality came by way of the (combinations of?) vocal sounds heard in different language speakers, like someone turning on a radio to hear another song on a different station in an attempt to get rid of a song that repeats itself over and over again in their head. In this sense, the different languages spoken by the traders from different societies was like a person switching radio stations in an attempt to find some form of sound (song) pattern which would assist in getting rid of a sound (song) pattern that kept repeating. The "voice or voices of one or more gods" of ancient peoples were like a song that kept repeating over and over again. Imagine if we of the present interpreted a repeating song in our head as the voice of a god!


In this sense, it is not too difficult to appreciate that sounds from any source for early humans might well have been interpreted to be a voice that they strained to hear each time it repeated and claimed were a message from a god who took a personal interest in them (i.e. watched over them.) And for those moments when a voice was distinct, yet no one was around, (like so many of us today will swear that we have on occasion heard someone call our name but no one can be seen nearby), surely it was not a leap of an "over-active imagination" (state of brain development) for early peoples to believe such a voice was that of a god, particularly when they already believed in so many superstitions. However, the reader must realize I am using the word "imagination" in the context of what "imagination" would have been like to a Bicameral minded person, and not what we of today call imagination, since the frame of mind exhibited by a Bicameral-minded person would, by present day standards, be interpreted as imaginings or even severe mental illness, if such a person was being interpreted solely by an intern psychiatrist wanting to establish some enviable position of recognition in a social order of psychiatrists.


Please note that some forms of so-called mental illness are defensive measures to protect a person from an otherwise hostile social environment that can not readily appreciate their perspective. It is a perspective that Ronnie D. Laing might want to refer to, in some instances, as Super-sanity.

Though many readers will say that music is good for you, let us consider that it "soothes the savage beast" by way of merely camouflaging the behavior of the beast with acceptable mannerisms. In this analogical sense, the continued acceptance of music as it is practiced today, is actually assisting in the perpetuation of a Bicameral Mind's vestigial remnants, which hinders humanity's psychological development. It's presence (in how it is used today), is like a security blanket from which humanity might throw temper tantrums like any child, if the blanket is abruptly removed. Such an attachment is clearly recognized by many of us in our everyday lives. We have observed many people who (for a large part of their day) have some source of music on. Be it at work, while driving (or being driven) to work, while cleaning their house, garage, or yard, while walking, while in the solitude of a forest, etc., some people appear to be addicted to some form of music. Or if not music/singing, then the voice of a particular person speaking, the vocal throng of a sports crowd, the barking of dogs, chirping birds, or even the "vocalization" of a loud muffler by a neighborhood hotrodder who thinks a loud muffler is music to their ears, etc...


I'm not talking about the person subjected to a music background while shopping, watching a movie, or the occasional inconsiderate driver blaring their car stereo, nor am I talking about someone who may on occasion stop to listen to birds chirping, hammers hitting nails, wood sawing, or children at play. What I am trying to distinguish is those individuals whose lives appear to revolve around a deliberate more-than- natural (occurring in nature) level of exposure. Such a deliberate act, whether imitated, individually learned, or environmentally taught, may in affect be an acceptable means of concealing the presence of a Bicameral Mind's vestigial remnants that may be more abundant in some individuals than in others.


If "hearing voices" suggests mental illness, then can't it also be suggested that that which assists in concealing such an activity in assorted guises, whether or not it is socially accepted by the standards of behavior current in a particular era, is part of the same mental illness, even though it is not customary to view it as such because a collective majority says otherwise and participates in the same behavioral traits of the mental illness? Such a widespread condition of mental illness thus provides some readers with the acknowledgment of why the state of the world's affairs are in less than optimal order. Accepting such a view thus begs the question of whether or not such a condition can be changed. (And some observers would venture to say that over half of America's voting population is mentally ill because this is the only way in which Bush could have won a second term in office... by appealing to /manipulating the neurotic religiously oriented.) It also warrants asking how might conditions be improved through the adoption of a better usage of music, (total elimination thereof?) and if places (specialized treatment centers) for treating "sound addiction withdrawal" should be established in order that a person might grow beyond a dominant presence of a Bicameral Mind state in their lives and the larger society.


Such treatment centers can be used to train the individual to stop interfering with the development of their brain beyond the (Bicameral-related) usage of certain repetitive sounds/sound groupings, (such as the meditative chant Om?) whether of an artificial or natural design, that are frequently (but not always) labeled as music. (For example, the repetitive (polarized) noise coming out of many a politician's/judge's/lawyers/used car sales-person's, etc., mouth would not customarily be considered music or song.)


Is there a drug that can be taken for individual's experiencing the effects of a "sound addiction" lifestyle that perpetuates the vestigial presence of a Bicameral state of Mind in order that their individualized mental state may proceed in its development? Is such a drug merely abstinence? Or should we use a graduated withdrawal so as to not cause a mental breakdown by too quick a detachment from a sound source that has, in effect, been a substitute form of a person's Bicameral god presence?


Whereas instead of associating a particular pattern of sound usage to a personal god that is referred to as "My God," in the present day context we often hear someone referring to certain sounds (specialized jargon that may or may not be lyrical) as "My Music," or "My Team," "My Job," "My City," "My Country," "My Neighborhood," "My Family," "My Gang," etc., with as much reverence as any theologically-minded person gives to the god associated with "their" particular religious belief. In fact, some people become extremely angry if less than a complimentary remark is offered in reference to sounds that are labeled as someone's "MY Music." Even though it is not actually theirs but the performers, they have adopted particular sound (patterns) as a personal addendum to their self identity, without which they "lose part of themselves" (as they have grown repetitively accustomed to).


It can be said that a desire to be "one with god," "one with Jesus, (je- Zeus)" one with the Cosmos," etc., are modernized forms of the expression "I yearn for the good old days," whereas the good old days in this context are ones in which the person's frame of mind returns to an era of a particular type of Bicameral mentality. It is a world perspective wherein personal self control is subsumed to the presence of an assumed god-like (authority) figure presented to us in a context with a language and attire with which are defined as being representative of an appropriate Earth-bound image thereof. Some examples of different contexts in which one's personalized "I" is subsumed under the control of an authority figure(s) are:


  • Actors and Actresses are collectively and individually told what to do by a director... they are given scripts to follow.

  • Patients are told what to do by physicians... they are given prescriptions.

  • Cult followers are collectively and individually told what to do by their leader... often instructed by reading a bible, reinterpreted bible passages, etc...

  • Soldiers are collectively and individually told what to do by their commander... they are given "orders" which, if not followed, can often resort in severe punishments.

  • Workers are collectively and individually told what to do by their boss... they must frequently followed S.O.P's (Standard Operating Procedures).

  • Spectators/Participants are collectively and individually told where to park, sit, where the entrance/exists are, where the restrooms are, where the concession stands are, when to yell in unison, move in unison such as during a wave, clapping, standing ovation, when to sing, what memorabilia may be bought (or sold), etc... and are frequently provided with a (indoctrination) program booklet.

  • Members of a church, etc., are collectively and individually told what to do by a priest, minister, bishop, etc... such as when to pray, to listen, to memorize, to sing, to sit, to stand, to come and leave, etc... again, the usage of a religious text is frequently used, whether it be the Koran, Bible, or some individualized text interpretation.

  • Students are told what to do by instructors (with an interesting point to be made about some straight A students who have relinquished so much mental "I"- control to the control of their instructors that their grades are actually mirror images of the views of the instructor; whereas in the case of a Doctoral candidate who mastered the work of another and received straight A's, but they can not perform the individualized research requirement in order to receive a PhD... additionally, students are sometimes provided with course/grading/test outlines that they must follow. (The operative word being "FOLLOW.")

...or as in the case of Elizabeth Smart like so many children who are subjected to a strict religious cultural form of mental indoctrination whose personalized "I" has not been adequately developed... whereby she survived her kidnapping ordeal because her mind was easily changed to accept the similarity between her religion for another form of the same religion "preached" (voiced) by her captors. It is indeed a telling point about a Bicameral frame of mind when we note that Elizabeth Smart upon her capture and questioning by police had denied her own "I"-dentity and instead claimed herself to "belong to another," in this case being the daughter of her captors...


This last example brings to mind the Matthew 27:46 expression of Jesus on the Cross found in the King James Version: Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? (My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?), yet has also been translated as: My God, my God, for this I was kept!, or "God, God, why have you spared me?"


Why is it that Jesus personalized God with the phrase "My God," and did not express a Universal of God that is for everyone, everywhere, by using a phrase such as "Our God?" Clearly, the so-called words of Jesus are a writer's rendition expressing the presence of a lingering Bicameral mentality.


--- My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? ---
http://wahiduddin.net/words/forsaken.htm

Regardless of which translation you prefer, from a Bicameral perspective, we must ask if the crucifixion was an event which caused his god/voices to disappear, whereby he felt alone and abandoned which was particularly frightening for someone with an under-developed or practiced "I"- me- myself orientation in a world where the predominant perspective was a Bicameral frame of mind displaced onto individuals like himself, or rulers? Whereas he may have been used by others as a substitute god-voice, in times of great stress he may have relied on a personalized god-voice that he identified with. In other words, does this supposed expression of Jesus' give a tell-tale indication of a change taking place in the human brain during the era of Jesus?


At other times, Jesus' mind moved closer to what we of today might refer to as a normal (modern) form of "I"-ndividual (In-divisible?) consciousness, but in his era he would have been perceived as either someone who was a saint/prophet or someone quite insane/demonic, with respect to the definition of normalcy in his time. The problem with defining Jesus as someone with a super-consciousness is that people in later times (more modern eras) continue to measure their own mental behavior in contrast to his (as they individually interpret from the bible, hearsay, or authority figure, where in fact their own is further- removed from a primary Bicameral orientation being practiced on a daily basis by thousands of people. In other words it is an antiquated form of mentality that was in transition from a Bicameral frame of mind within a social context that was in many ways still practicing older forms of a world perspective that we of today would refer to as mental illness.


Though many people today want to regard Jesus, Einstein, and others as having some form of super-consciousness that all of us should aspire to, such frames of mind are only valuable in particular contexts in relation to mental states that are less "I"-ndividual oriented in terms of a world perspective. They are merely footnote examples of a developing brain and are not meant to be the primary content of humankind's efforts, as if they represented some mathematical formula that describes a theory of everything for eternity.


It might be said that whereas some religious practitioners have been known to "speak in tongues," the Bicameral minded individual of long ago frequently "heard in tongues," a reference that we of today would label as voices, but those of the past may very well have labeled as sounds that appeared to be speech, only because human speech was a dominant sound in their time, and if we of today heard such sounds, they might very well be an analogical source for such sayings as a "babbling brook," "whispering pines," "screaming eagle," "laughing hyena," and "weeping willow," though some readers might well be justified in arguing for an attendant influence related to a more generalized anthropomorphic association.


In making a connection between vocal utterances and a reference to some form of deity, the gospel of John (1:1) provides us with a unique description:

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


From a modern perspective of interpretation with knowledge of the Bicameral Mind view, there are various arguments revolving around the identity of who is being referenced to with the label "Word." Some distinguish an Almighty god, some distinguish the character called Jesus, and others distinguish the supposed author John himself. But the problem with these interpretations is that they are modern forms of interpretation being imposed on an ancient reference. If we look upon the same phrase from a Bicameral point of view, it is a type of historical reference to the before/during/after emergence of auditory sounds that were defined by Bicameral peoples as the presence of a god-like entity. The phrase does not refer to a Christian god, nor to Jesus, nor to John, but the historical appearance of particular sounds that were defined as one or more god-like presences. From this perspective, the designation "Word" did not have the same definition for the bicameral minded person that we of today use.


Perhaps an unacknowledged underlying reason that the chapter of John is labeled Idiosyncratic and the other three are labeled synoptic, to an extent that some biblical scholars refer to the chapter of John as being strange, weird, or different than the other three, is that it needs to be read from the perspective of a Bicameral Mind. Thus, we might venture to surmise that "Word" is a reference to a particular sound or sounds that repeated themselves in a refrain characteristic of a modern song that "sticks in our head," for which many try alternative measures to get rid of, such as 'fighting fire with fire' in terms of trying to get rid of one song by the introduction of another song in an effort of cancellation. Hence, in short, "Word" is used as a generalization of an event and not as a specificity of any particular entity.


The usage of the label "Word" gives the impression that the early stages of writing relied on primitive images of reference (they took several steps backwards) whereas before the advent of so-called modern writing (after Cuneiform), artistic references were more sophisticated in their own right, and had developed a more complex form of expression which used a variety of figurative portrayals (called the Akh, Ba, Ka, etc., and frequently mis?-translated as soul) and in one case is depicted as a figure which stood near the ear of an Egyptian, as a pictorial representation of the "Word" labeled as I think it is used in John 1:1. In this respect, some preliterate cultures developed a sophisticated level of pictorial (metaphorized) expression which out-distanced the early (infantile) "literate" attempts to describe the same circumstance. This is still a widely accepted interpretation when comparing words and pictures as described by the saying "one picture is worth a thousand words."


Yet, not only can we re-interpret the meaning of the phrase in John 1:1 in a Bicameral Mind sense, we can also suggest that it refers to a developmental change in the vocal apparatus (vocal cords, etc.) of human physiology. The occurrence of the "Word" in terms of a type of actual mouth-originating vocalization which emerged as being different from a pre-vocal "Word" right hemisphere realization, attentiveness, and interpretation may in fact be related to an evolutionary change in human physiology (and cognition) that was brought about perhaps by specific environmental circumstances that could be identified if we merely took the time to look. And while we are considering the possibility that there was a developmental change in the vocal apparatus of humans (from a right hemisphere origin to a left hemisphere origin), we should also consider that early man may have seen visions of one or more gods not because of some accidental or intentional usage of some drug, or necessarily just because of voices, but because ancient peoples did not have the same type of eyesight that we of today have. Perhaps their vision was not consistently 20/20, but was in fact what we of today would call experiences of momentary blurriness, like the vision of an infant that can only see clearly at a short distance as its eyes are developmentally maturing. (Along these same lines, we might want to consider that other parts of human physiology at this time were somewhat developmentally different than what we of today would call normal. What was physiologically normal in their time may have been different than what is generally construed to be physiologically normal in our time. And just because we might find the frozen corpse of an ancient person who looks human according to the interpretation of a journalist, an anatomist with the knowledge that early "modern" humans may have subtle but distinct differences might be a better judge at interpretation.


Alternatively, we have:
  • The mechanism of speech may not have been fully developed.
  • The right hemisphere was the original origin of vocal-like sounds because the left hemisphere had not fully developed the capacity for such.
  • The level of sight was not 20/20 which resulted in some level of compensatory behavior related to brain development.

However, accepting these considerations as a viable possibility also implies that further developmental changes are, and will occur with human physiology in general, and with the human brain in particular.


Another idea that we might want to chew on is the usage of animal/human sacrifice to appease the gods, whatever this may have meant in terms of interpreting what (or who) has caused the gods to be displeased. Was the advent of the god/voice in bicameral peoples due to a condition of malnutrition which, when worsened, also increased the presence of a god to an extent the god/voice created such pain that only a diet of protein/fat/carbohydrate-rich meat helped to quell the "agitated" god? And the distinction of favored sizes/shapes/colors of organs was (unknowingly) related to the nutritional value that took on other social attributes?


We might also want to consider that before the act of socially-sanctioned rites of sacrifice, there may have been accepted actions of widespread killing for which the participators displayed no remorse for murder, torture, or enslavement, just as many criminals today show no remorse for their actions. Such a similarity of behavior suggests that criminals exhibit a bicameral frame of mind though those of the past who lived in a world of predominant bicamerality and killed, were not considered criminals though we of today would impose our values and call them animals, reptiles, creatures, barbarians, etc... Perhaps the biblical commandment of "Thou shalt not kill" not only gives an indication of a widespread bicameral mentality, but also the beginnings of the transition to a new world-view due to a change in human brain development with respect to a beginning left hemisphere dominance of language for most people.


Are prisons micro-cultures museums - zoo-cages - warehouses of a past when most people had a bicameral mentality but many were transitioning into a type of human with a left hemisphere dominance for language? ...a transition that is still taking place both in and outside Corrections facilities, for which many individuals are physiologically unable to make a distinctive break from a bicameral past not only because prison conditions perpetuate the existence of a transitioning culture, but also because prison officials and the society at large is unaware of such developmental changes?


Did early hominids experience/express a type of bicamerality or is bicamerality (in the Julian Jaynes sense), a phenomena of a modern human developing brain? Were early "modern Bicameral (right hemisphere dominant) humans also predominantly left handed, and the (left hemisphere) development of "The Word" as being God (with a subsequent increase in a right hand dominance) influence the notion that the left hand was bad/evil (sinister), an idea that was further accepted as fact because it is the hand most frequently used to wipe one's dirty (unclean) butt? [Hence, once looked upon as an unclean spirit, in the same vein of superstitious logic once applied to account for sneezing- which was thought to indicate the presence of the devil, whereby a "God Bless You" was used as a magical form of (verbal) incantation to ward off the evil spirit, and we of today hear the same expression commonly used as part of a linguistic tradition (non-thinking repetition), though its initial origin and usage are rarely known or even considered?]




Borg image source and other references:

--- Wikipedia: Borg ---
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borg

--- Human Centered Computing: The Borg Hypothesis ---
http://www.computer.org/intelligent/homepage/03x5hcc.htm

--- An Introduction to the Borg (modern day application)
http://www.parasitica.com/archive/borg_intro/



Your Questions, Comments or Additional Information are welcomed:
Herb O. Buckland
herbobuckland@hotmail.com