Saturday, July 16, 2011

Julian Jaynes Bicameral Breakdown: The Disappearance of God

Julian Jaynes Bicameral Breakdown Series, 2 of 8

As the complexity of society increases, the bicameral mind becomes stressed, requiring elaborate rituals to maintain the voice within.

[end of 3rd millennium B.C.] the tempo and complexity of social organization demand a far greater number of decisions in a far greater number of contexts, resulting in a proliferation of deities for any potential situation (p196).

As gods increased in complexity (in the Near East, 2nd millennium B.C.) unsureness creates personal gods to intercede and reach the higher gods – “Who seem to be receding into the heavens where in one brief millennium they will have disappeared” (p202).

Inconsistency between people:

As people migrate, quickly due to major geological/climatological stressors, as refugees, they are thrust into ever-increasing new situations not dealt with before, either by themselves or their ancestors. The voices then say different things to different people. Hierarchical authority deconstructs and loses its validity.

– Social Disorganization and Bicameral Breakdown

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, Julian Jaynes, 1976.

ISBN 0-395-20729-0

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