Happy Bicameral St. Patrick's Day!

Discussion of Julian Jaynes's second hypothesis - that before the development of consciousness, humans operated under a previous mentality called the bicameral mind.
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Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 1:33 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Happy Bicameral St. Patrick's Day!

Post by Zoroaster »

This anecdote appeared in a local weekly paper here in Portland, Oregon around this time last year:

DEAR MERCURY — In full anticipation of general derision, I confess that I, for one, believe in leprechauns, having met one when I was a young man living in New York City. I was awakened abruptly one night — thrown from my bed — by a short, red-bearded figure, dressed in green, with a large belt buckle securing his trousers. He spoke first, saying, "You try too hard," then turned and disappeared into the mist from whence he came. I actually didn't realize this creature was a leprechaun until I related the story to a Scottish woman I dated soon thereafter. She explained that leprechauns appear when you least expect them, and only to those of Gaelic descent, and that they tell the truth. I should point out that this woman said that she had seen woodland sprites back in Scotland. That's all there is to it. I have never gone out of my way in any manner to explore or justify my experience. I am not a collector of crystals or new age music. If someone were to suggest that I had a dream, painted in cultural archetypes, I would allow their interpretation. If they were to insist that I accept some such interpretation, I simply wouldn't. The impression of truthfulness in my experience is as strong now as it was then, some 26 years ago. I believe in leprechauns, having once met one.
Patrick Hartigan
John R. Schedel
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Re: Happy Bicameral St. Patrick's Day!

Post by John R. Schedel »

This is a fascinating story! I know several people who in all seriousness, have claimed to see "little people".

On a lexical note, the word "ale" apparently is based on the Old English words. "alu" and "ealu". According to the Appendix in The American Heritage Dictionary, "alu" is an IndoEuropean root word that is "related to sorcery, magic, possesion, and intoxication. 1. Greek 'aluein', to be distraught: HALLUCINATE. 2. Suffixed form '*alu-t' in Germanic" '*aluth-' in Old English '(e)alu', ale.". Might there, then, be a Jaynesian connection between "bicamerality" and how St. Patrick's Day is celebrated, at least on "this side of the pond"? You make the call!
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