Souls, Gods, Kings, and Mountains: Julian Jaynes’s Theory of the Bicameral Mind in Tibet, Part One

Todd Gibson, in Marcel Kuijsten (ed.), Gods, Voices, and the Bicameral Mind: The Theories of Julian Jaynes (Julian Jaynes Society, 2016).

Excerpt: The relevance of Julian Jaynes’s theory of the bicameral mind to the history of religion in Tibet may not be immediately apparent to either readers of Jaynes’s work or Tibetologists. The former may object that if the dawning of consciousness across the Old World happened, according to Jaynes, around the first millennium B.C.E., what could his theory possibly have to do with Tibetan history and civilization, which flowered not until the beginning of the seventh century of our era? Those whose primary field of study is Tibet may also wonder (with some justification) whether the Tibetological world really needs yet another comprehensive theoretical framework, with accompanying jargon, to compete with the dozens of others already being used to describe the situation on the Tibetan plateau.