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Julian Jaynes Society Discussion Forum: Exploring Consciousness and the Bicameral Mind Theory since 1997 • View topic - Are There Any Christians Here?

Are There Any Christians Here?

Discussion of the implications of the bicameral mind theory for religion. Also neurotheology and the origin of religion.

Are There Any Christians Here?

Postby montroy2000 » Sat Mar 17, 2007 6:23 am

I was actually introduced to Jaynes theories by Christian friends, and I thought there might be quite a bit of dialog by Christians here. Are there any Christians here who would like to discuss Jaynesian theory in relation to Biblical topics?

A strong theory is that of bicarmel breakdown in relation to the flood, anyone else thinking about this?
I also saw a comment in relation to Western thinking and monotheism. I think there is a relation of monotheism and the personal sovereignty concept of early America. Does personal(more to say physical) and corporate(more to say philosophical) liberty effect the conscious, or what are the neurological effects, conditions, feedbacks?

Just some paths of thought. Love to hear from all!

MMS
Yours in Christ
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Postby Moderator » Tue Mar 20, 2007 5:04 pm

It has always been interesting to me how people with different backgrounds can have completely different interpretations of Jaynes's book.

For example, I once came across a Creationist website that talks about Jaynes's theory as support for "Christian Catastrophism" — as support for events such as the Biblical flood. Others view the hallucinations as the literal voices of the gods, not hallucinations that were simply interpreted as the voices of the gods.

At the complete other end of the spectrum, many feel Jaynes's theory offers a psychological explanation for religion, as a sub topic to the main discussion of the origin of consciousness, i.e. the gods are the psychological invention of man in response to auditory hallucinations.

This was perhaps due to the fact that Jaynes was somewhat vague and ambigious about his own religious views and always side-stepped the question when it came up after his lectures.

After reading Jaynes, what is your interpretation?
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Postby Fisherman » Thu May 17, 2007 12:11 pm

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Re:

Postby keeponrunning72689 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:44 pm

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Re: Are There Any Christians Here?

Postby Fisherman » Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:59 am

Your post is neither weak, nor juvenile. We are all looking for the truth. I dont have time to respond fully at the moment but I look forward to discussing this in more detail soon.
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Re: Are There Any Christians Here?

Postby Moderator » Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:28 am

RE: Moses hallucinating.

This was proposed not too long ago by Professor Benny Shannon at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He suggested hallucinogens were involved, but those familiar with Jaynes's bicameral mind theory of course know this would not be necessary.

If you are interested in exploring this subject further, I would recommend the book Muses, Madmen and Prophets by Daniel Smith as well as the sections on religion and the bicameral mind in Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness.
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Re: Are There Any Christians Here?

Postby keeponrunning72689 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:46 pm

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Re: Are There Any Christians Here?

Postby schrod » Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:57 pm

Hi,
I am rereading Jayne's book. I have some fundamentalist friends who pray for things like what they should do to get a job etc. Could this type of prayer be a holdover from prebreakdown days? My other group has a more metaphorical view of religion and prayer is seen more as meditating rather than shopping for help.
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Re: Are There Any Christians Here?

Postby John R. Schedel » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:29 am

I count myself a Christian and I am willing.

Marcel makes good recommendations.

One of the most obvious biblical references to what Jaynes writes about, of course, is the story in Genesis about Adam's and Eve's temptation and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. To me, this is the best metaphorical depiction of "the breakdown".
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Re: Are There Any Christians Here?

Postby tfoo79 » Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:09 am

Last edited by tfoo79 on Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are There Any Christians Here?

Postby micahtredding » Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:11 am

I am a Christian, and find Origin very revealing, particularly as combined with some of the thoughts from The Gifts of The Jews, which suggests some of the ways in which the incipient Hebrew consciousness was different than that of their surrounding cultures. What makes it hit home to me is the consistent way in which the Hebrew Bible criticizes the idols as being "unreal" - and yet, simultaneously acknowledges that their neighbors (and they themselves) had real experiences with these idols.

This leads to a dual critique: the idols were not real, but they were also evil spirits. The Hebrew Bible makes no attempt to reconcile these seemingly contradictory ideas, which implies very strongly that they were aware of or participating in the mentality Jaynes describes.
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Re: Are There Any Christians Here?

Postby Mikata » Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:15 am

[quote="John R. Schedel"]
"One of the most obvious biblical references to what Jaynes writes about, of course, is the story in Genesis about Adam's and Eve's temptation and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. To me, this is the best metaphorical depiction of "the breakdown"


Assuming you are correct, as I believe you are, Why did those who included the story in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures believe that consciousness was evil?
Absolute truths cannot be in conflict.
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Re: Are There Any Christians Here?

Postby Moderator » Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:53 am

That's a great question. It may have been viewed that way as consciousness opens the door to the possibility for evil.... whereas animals are amoral, through consciousness humans for the first time had the capacity for evil.
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Re: Are There Any Christians Here?

Postby Mikata » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:47 pm

Absolute truths cannot be in conflict.
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