Modernity Founded Upon Dreams, Hallucinations, Visions, etc

Discussion of Julian Jaynes's second hypothesis - the bicameral mind, specifically the subtopics of the implications of the bicameral mind theory for religion, neurotheology, and the origin of religion.
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Modernity Founded Upon Dreams, Hallucinations, Visions, etc

Post by Gororules »

What are the implications of world religions, science, philosophy, etc being founded by people who heard/saw angels/demons/gods/entities/Logos via hallucinations, visions, or dreams?

(I refer to the influence of religious prophets, Descartes, Socrates, and John Dee, just to name a few.)

How does a bi-pedal weak hairless ape have so much insight into the laws of nature and wisdom based on these internal voices/visual hallucinations?

Apparently all knowledge comes from within, but it sure is amazing how new ideas are "created".
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Re: Modernity Founded Upon Dreams, Hallucinations, Visions,

Post by Moderator »

It is amazing if you step back and think about how our entire world has been shaped by auditory hallucinations.

Here's my take on the process, summarized very briefly:

We evolved over millions of years, and during this process much of what we understand as morality was encoded in our genes. Those that stuck with the group, engaged in reciprocity, etc., survived and passed down their genes. Those who did not engage in reciprocity, etc., or for other reasons were ostracized from the group did not survive (obviously there's a spectrum here).

As we learned language, for the first time we were able to articulate many of the "morals" and "ethics" that had been encoded in our genes.

With language, these unconscious ideas began to manifest themselves through auditory hallucinations, were perceived as gods or dead ancestors, and then eventually were written down and codified. Consciousness, once developed, later could then reflect on our genetically based ideas and further refine them.

It's fascinating to think that only now are we at a point in civilization where, through conscious thought, many of our previous genetic and later religious-based morals are being called into question. Examples include society's rapidly changing views toward gay rights and animal rights.
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