The effect upon the analog I, of psychedelic experience.

General discussion regarding Jaynes's theory of consciousness and the bicameral mind. Please only post your topic here only if it does not fit into a more specific category below.
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The effect upon the analog I, of psychedelic experience.

Post by yukoner »

I first read Jaynes' book, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, when it was first published around 1976/77. This was subsequent to my own extensive experimentation with LSD in the 1960's when I was guided principally by "The Tibetan book of the Dead," as not much had been written at that time about Hoffman's discovery. My experience had led me to question other individuals who asked me about my own experience with the drug about the effects their use had had on them when they experimented with psychedelics. One of the questions I invariably asked was how they referred to themselves during their experience.

For me, one of the invariable characteristics of my own response to the drug was during it's effect on me to always refer to myself in the third person, and I never referred to myself in the first person "I" until I had sufficiently recovered days later. The LSD that I used came in a pharmaceutical bottle of 100 microgram tablets from SANDOZ labeled Delycid from Switzerland. It was very powerful and I never took less than one tablet. The response I got from most individuals was either a profound ambiguity, or a confirmation of a parallel to my own experience. I ended up using the question as a qualifier for further enquiry as to the veracity or authenticity of their experience. Valid or not, their response indicated to me whether or not their experience had been one that was either recreational, under dosed, or serious. For me 100 micrograms was definitely not recreational, usually taking around 14 hours before normal waking consciousness returned, and more used much additional time I did not always have.

Anyway, my question to the list is to ask whether or not anyone else who reads this list has experienced anything similar to what I experienced long ago. My conjecture is that I experienced an artificial version of the Bicameral Mind. Any response would be appreciated either critical, or supportive. Thank-you. Glenn Miles
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Re: The effect upon the analog I, of psychedelic experience.

Post by Moderator »

Thank Glenn. I've heard similar accounts, in terms of the dissolution of the 'I', but I don't have any first hand experience with this.

Did you experience any accompanying hallucinations?

I can only offer that I think psychedelics have long been a strategy used by many different cultures to re-experience the lost hallucinatory guidance and comfort of the bicameral mentality. The fact that hallucinations so often accompany the use of psychedelics also underscores the fact that they are part of the basic human experience, and not something rare that is restricted to brain pathology.

Perhaps we'll hear from others who will share their own experiences.
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