Julian Jaynes Society Discussion Forum: Exploring Consciousness and the Bicameral Mind Theory since 1997

Eckhart Tolle?
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Author:  BEN [ Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:03 am ]
Post subject:  Eckhart Tolle?

Has anyone read any of Eckhart Tolle? If so, what do you think of his interpretation of consciousness? Also when he talks of the mind, you could easily replace it with 'bicameral mind'.
I think I have been listening more to Julian Jaynes than to Tolle while reading Tolle's book on the Now.
Has anyone else had this experience? and what books were you reading?

Author:  spicemaster [ Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Eckhart Tolle?

I did, and seeing it in light of Jaynes' theory led me to very similar comparisons to the ones you raise below. In fact, you might take this comparison one step further, and suggest that what Tolle calls the 'I am' (the watcher) and 'the thinking ego' (the mind that we associate with 'self' that produces the chatter that is preoccupied with past and future) might also be represented as the parallel processing right brain (which lives in the now), and the serial processing left brain, which reaches back in time, and projects forward). It would not be a stretch than to consider that the meditation and focus on the now to achieve the connectedness with the Being or 'consciousness' that Tolle is talking about could be done by quieting the left brain (in right handed people) and focusing consciousness on the left. Of course, that's much harder for modern, non-bicameral man, given the powerful and efficient communication between the two. Interestingly, there was living experiment to support this notion that was reported by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor.


My understanding is that she had a stroke which essentially shut down the left hemisphere of her brain, leaving her mind essentially with only the right hemisphere to experience life. That quieting of the left brain, taking her out of time, produced a very spiritual experience, where she felt no form or physical boundaries to her perception of 'self' and was left with only a euphoric feeling of being one with the universe. Again, one interpretation is that having lost the left hemisphere function left her unable to perform even the simplest tasks, but it also gave her an ability to step out of time and allowed her unprecedented connection with a state of 'being in the now'. So instead of some metaphysical explanation, one might think that what Tolle (and other who practice that kind of medication to reach a spiritual connection) get a glimpse (experience) of God and connection with the universe by conducting meditation exercises that focus consciousness on the 'now' to quiet the left brain. Anyway, I think you're on to something in looking to leverage Jaynes to see other writings in a new light. Julian Jaynes' scientific theory is, in my opinion, very powerful at revealing deeper insights, connections and understanding of seemingly disparate spiritual and biomedical phenomenon as in the potential to explain this convergent overlap between what Eckhart Tolle and Jill Bolte Taylor's observations.

Author:  shrimperdude [ Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Eckhart Tolle?

When I picked up Tolle's book, I experienced an excitement of spirit that lasted 3 days(& it felt GOOD), but when he started explaining the pain body, all evaporated like vapor along with any further interest in his 'views!' Not so with Gurdjieff!

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