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Origin of the Gods

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:34 pm
by ebuchman
Given that we're all Jaynes enthusiasts, I feel safe assuming that everyone here is willing to put up with absurd yet evidence based theories. Here's one for you: Terrence Mckenna's stoned ape theory. In a nutshell, as our primate ancestors descended from the trees into the African grasslands, they began incorporating new foods into their diets, the most important (as far as were concerned) of which were the fungi from the genus Psilocybe, which have become notoriously known as magic mushrooms. According to Terrence's speculation, backed by some hard evidence on the subject, the use of 'magic mushrooms' provided evolutionary advantages to those primates utilizing them. Persistent use of these fungi over many millennia catalyzed the unique perceptual abilities of humans, perhaps resulting in language, religion, and consciousness. While I am in no way prepared to attribute the birth of language to mushrooms, it is undeniable that these fungi open up the extraordinary capabilities of the mind and without doubt aid in the processes of metaphor. I would thus be comfortable proposing that these psilocybin containing mushrooms (psilocybin is the pyschoactive alkaloid in magic mushrooms - i.e. the stuff that gets you high) were responsible for the rapid growth of human language and culture on the basis of metaphor, of which Jaynes discussed. I would also suggest that the use of magic mushrooms occasioned the first hallucinations (as they do in recreational/scientific/spiritual use today), and thus it is from these fungi that religion developed. It is important here to stress that the use of psychoactive chemicals has been apart of human culture and religion as far back as we can tell, and these drugs are far more important to the development of mankind than the United States' hippy-paranoid, power hungry, fear-of-the-unknown government would have you believe.

I sincerely encourage you to explore the topic. I recently finished reading Terrence Mckenna's "Food of the Gods", an astounding look at the use of drugs in human culture since the dawn of man. I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone with an intellectual appetite (which includes all of you, seeing as you're reading a Julian Jaynes message board - GO GET THAT BOOK!).

Basically, at this point in my life, I feel that there are two fundamental ideas which must be merged to provide a coherent framework with which to study psychology (biology has evolution; physics has quantum mechanics and relativity; psychology has Freud? Behaviorism? Jung? Descartes? Buddhism? A.I.? nothing coherent? you get my point).
I thus encourage us, as a community, to pursue the problem of the psychedelic drugs and the bicameral mind. How are they related? Did psychedelics encourage the development of the bicameral mind? What role does the bicameral mind play in a psychedelic 'trip', and so on....

As a final statement, let me point out that when research first began in the area of these psychoactive drugs, the term psychomimetic was employed, as it was thought that these drugs induced a temporary schizophrenia. Let me repeat: psychedelic drugs --> schizophrenia. Wait a minute! Schizophrenia -> bicameral mind!!! You see what Im getting at. The relationship between these precious drugs and Jaynes' bicameral mind have become too obvious for me to ignore. Let us explore the matter further!

Thanks for reading.

P.S. Psychedelic drugs don't actually induce schizophrenia, 50's researches just didn't have the insight that the 60's researches did. There's much more to the drugs then schizophrenia. They have a long history of use in cultures around the world and are still used today, particularly among South American natives and experimental therapeutic settings. Anything that's been in use for over 9000 years probably isn't doing any real neurological damage. Keep that in mind as you overcome the evil conditioning that's been at work since the hippy disaster. There's much more to say on the topic, but I'll let someone respond before I get too carried away.

Re: Origin of the Gods

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:54 pm
by ebuchman
Alrite, so it seems everyone hates my last post....maybe its too long....if you hate that one, read this one:

The human body produces a compound called DMT. DMT can be extracted from various plant sources. When smoked, this powerful alkaloid produces ecstatic hallucinations that supplant reality. Many people report contact with alien-like beings under its influence. Let me repeat: there is an endogenous psychedelic compound produced daily in the human brain, which, when administered externally, produces INTENSE hallucinations and contact with beings. Furthermore, correlations have been found between schizophrenia and elevated blood levels of DMT, which has led to the development of the DMT hypothesis of schizophrenia.
Have we stumbled upon the biochemical mechanism of the bicameral mind?!?!

There is no question which puzzles me more than this: WHAT IS AN INCREDIBLY POWERFUL PSYCHEDELIC CHEMICAL DOING IN OUR BRAINS ON A DAILY BASIS!? Many believe it is responsible for altered forms of consciousness, like dreaming and mystical states. As well, the alien abduction experience may be mediated by an immense release of endogenous DMT in the brain; the similarity between alien abduction reports and DMT trip reports is uncanny.

This is some powerful information here people, with potentially huge implications for the theory of the bicameral mind. Might DMT be its biochemical substrate? I wouldn't doubt it!

If this interests you, and I can't possibly see how it couldn't, look into "DMT: The Spirit Molecule" by Rick Strassman. As well, I would recommend watching some youtube videos of Terrence McKenna discussing the subject. There is a profound connection between DMT, language, and consciousness, and we are only at the forefront of unravelling that connection!

Re: Origin Of the Gods

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:36 am
by Moderator
Thanks I will take a look. A lot of people like to read posts here but not everyone is inclined to post replies, I wouldn't take it personally!

Re: Origin of the Gods

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:49 pm
by WS1
Psychedelics as a possible catalyst for consciousness is an intriguing notion, but I don't know enough about it to say. I do remember the great Bill Hicks, who was an avid reader of McKenna, using this is part of his routines back in the day.

I haven't read any of McKenna's work but I will probably get round to it soon. I'm just going on my Socratic quest now since very recently reading Jaynes' book. A lot to to be looked at in relation to his theory. Have you read "Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness" ebuchman? I'm waiting for it and harassing the postman every day.

Re: Origin of the Gods

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:25 pm
by ebuchman
Well thanx for replying guys, finally i can sleep at night, lol.

I have read Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness, its a pretty good read, some great material in there, though I have yet to read it a second time. I also must say, I found some of it a little slow, particularly the final chapter, but that's just because I know so little about Chinese.

Re: Origin of the Gods

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:23 am
by John R. Schedel
Sleep is a wonderful thing! It can be the occasion of good bicameral phenomena!;)

Hallucinogenic bases for "consciousness" seem to be "coming out of the closet" in "the literature, right now. For a good introduction, I recommend the perusing of Stanislav Groff's books.

Re: Origin of the Gods

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:46 am
by ebuchman
I have read "When the Impossible Happens" by Grof, basically a book documenting his findings during psychedelic drug therapy... Its an excellent book which offers new insight into the "spiritual nature" of reality and experience. The only relationship i see between LSD (or other 'psychedelic') trips explored by Grof and the bicameral mind is the prevalence of the unconscious and the expression of its contents and symbols, though I do not believe gods to present themselves too often, apart from psilocybin and DMT trips. For this reason I propose DMT as the biochemical substrate of the bicameral mind (since it occurs endogenously and elicits auditory hallucination), and perhaps the inhibition of hallucinations stems from a strengthening of the pineal's defense system (making DMT release harder), be it through biological or perhaps culturally conditioned means.

On another note: What relation the bicameral mind has to spiritual transcendence and transpersonal phenomena I am not exactly sure. The obvious thing is the expression of unconscious phenomena, and perhaps our nervous systems are capable of tuning into the vibrations of reality to allow for so called paranormal events. The power of the gods and their presumed ability to have some knowledge of the future (at least more than man) may be explained by this tuning process, and thereby make the connection between the bicameral and the transpersonal. I mean, bicamerality evolved as a mechanism of social control, which would certainly be strengthened by unconscious communication (think Jung's collective unconscious). This is of course the type of stuff considered 'pseudo science' by many, so we may be along ways away from understanding such 'weird' occurrences, despite persistence in beliefs of their validity. Many would also flatly deny the existence of such phenomena, and I am interested in knowing what the Jaynes community tends to think of these matters (telepathy, astral projection, telekinesis, etc.)

Re: Origin of the Gods

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:08 pm
by WS1
Interesting synchronicity. I've just bought a copy of Grof's "Realms of the Human Unconscious." Read a blog article on his work. Sounds most interesting.

Re: Origin of the Gods

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:59 pm
by Memento Mori

Re: Origin of the Gods

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:33 pm
by ebuchman
Yes I was definitely referring to the drug rehab spammer, I tend to get defensive when people ignorantly criticize the potential of the 'psychoheuristic' chemicals.
Memento, you've done no harm

I love the idea of the burning bush being marijuana. However, I am not sure if Cannabis grows in Egypt (though it probably does) or how anyone could possibly prove that the burning bush was cannabis. Fun idea none the less.

In Mexico, magic mushrooms are often referred to as teonanacatl, which translates as "flesh of god"

John Allegro, a leading scholar and translator of the Dead Sea Scrolls, proposed, on the basis of his analysis of the scrolls, that even early Christianity utilized psychoactive plants to access the mind of god.

Re: Origin of the Gods

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 10:14 am
by Memento Mori

Re: Origin of the Gods

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:54 am
by Gororules
Old thread, but I am reading Food of the Gods after watching many videos of Terrence McKenna videos on Youtube last year.

I too believe there is a connection between these two theories, at least in theme. It it possible that one is right, both are wrong, or some sort of synthesis, although I, too, am hoping others could chime in so as a group we could get to the bottom of it.

Basically, both theories share explanations for visions, shamanism, evolution of "self", gods, and differences between archaic cultures and modern ones.

I believe a "Theory of Everything" ought to consider Jaynes, McKenna, but also Robert Lanza's biocentrism, Jung's collective unconscious, and even historical research done on the evolution of religions, magic, occult, and secret societies (the mysteries).