Monday, July 18, 2011

Julian Jaynes Bicameral Breakdown: The General Bicameral Paradigm

Julian Jaynes Bicameral Breakdown Series, 8 of 8

Jaynes uses Hypnosis as an example for the paradigm:

Collective Cognitive Imperative:

-consensus reality [personal notes]

-cultural matrix (Haitian voodoo and nzombies) [personal notes]

-crowds strengthen the imperative (hypnosis works better with an audience)

-the imperative reinforces expectancy (of the hypnosis actually working)

-the isolation of the lab reduces the effect



-narrowing of consciousness

-Hypnosis: focusing on the stopwatch and then just the voice until all sensory input is blocked except the voice (of the original bicameral condition)


-left and right sides of the brain can act, but cannot communicate

-Hammurabi: ‘The Code’ was written in trance (and any ‘writer’ of a bicameral mind did so while in a trance)

Archaic Authorization:

-by an accepted god (or the hypnotist)

Jaynes describes certain people as having greater ‘hypnotizability’

-left-handed (due to their right-brain dominance)

-religious (more likely to believe)

-imaginary childhood friends (that represent the bicameral god/voice within)

-prior experience with hypnosis (or other induction ritual)

-children (more susceptible to authority)

-the severely punished (also more susceptible to authority)

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

ISBN 0-395-20729-0

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