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The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (Book Review)

Ruth Campbell
British Journal of Psychology, August 1980, 71: 443.

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... Jaynes claims that at a relatively early stage in man's linguistic and cultural history (around 3000 B.C.) modern, interalized, narrative consciousness did not exist, but that in its place was "unclothed consciousness" - observations, directions, which were experienced as heard commands. Ancient man did not think to himself but was spoken to. These auditory hallucinations were experienced and reported as the voices of the gods (or God). This is a joltingly literal reapplication of the notion that the gods are man-made, for Jaynes does not talk figuratively. The conclusion that ancient man had a bicameral mind, that he experienced a complete separation between the directive and executive components of conscious behavior, is not derived from any logic that I can follow but is suggested, brilliantly, by the earlier chapters of the book. ...