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The Lost Voices of the Gods

John Leo
Time, March 14 1977, 51-53.

Available in the Member's Area


Julian Jaynes was six years old and staring at a yellow forsythia bush when the problem first entered his mind: "I thought, 'How do I know that other people see the same yellow I see?' I had the idea that there was a space in everyone else's head that I couldn't get to. How did that space get there?"

Jaynes, 55, a research psychologist at Princeton, now knows that what he was trying to comprehend was consciousness - and how it arose from mere matter. Indeed, he thinks he finally has the answer: consciousness arose from language in two evolutionary steps and appeared for the first time in human history in the second millennium B.C. Jaynes proposes this startling concept in The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. ...