Bicameral Mentality Hypothesis

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Swagnarok
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This is a pretty crazy idea, but one that's been floating around in academia and pop culture since the 1970s:

That until c. the late Bronze Age, humans were generally incapable of complete self-awareness. Instead, one part of the brain ("independent" of a person's core consciousness) signaled information to the rest (constituting a person's core consciousness), and people didn't understand this "voice" as originating from themselves but rather believed it to be an external voice.
It was analogous to modern-day schizophrenia and people thought they were communicating with the divine. This was not due to anatomical differences from modern humans but instead it was a cultural phenomenon. Or, that is, when civilization attained a certain level of sophisticated thought via the development of language and so forth, it altered the way that people perceived their own consciousness.

Thoughts?
oromagi
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What evidence supports this hypothesis?
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--> @oromagi
Bicameral mentality is a hypothesis in psychology and neuroscience which argues that the human mind once operated in a state in which cognitive functions were divided between one part of the brain which appears to be "speaking", and a second part which listens and obeys—a bicameral mind, and that the evolutionary 
breakdown of this division gave rise to conciousness in humans. The term was coined by Julian Jaynes, who presented the idea in his 1976 book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, wherein he made the case that a bicameral mentality was the normal and ubiquitous state of the human mind as recently as 3,000 years ago, near the end of the Mediterranean bronze age.
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All right.  I haven't read Jaynes but it seems sort of amazing to argue a universal change to human cognitive function right at the moment the surviving remnant of literature and history begins.  So the earliest writers demonstrate awareness of human consciousness was in place but since they don't write about their ancestor's self-conscious states human brains must have therefore been different? Is that really convincing evidence?   Seems like a big claim to make that conveniently depends heavily on the absence of direct reports from those earlier humans.

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I firmly believe that the conscious and unconscious mind are in some sort of communication all the time, and I do think you find schizophrenia in it where perhaps the unconscious mind has too much of a voice. But I guess the main idea of it is that the conscious mind latches onto these sort of "nourishing" ideas, which the unconscious mind will then feed to it. I'm not going to try to prove it, because it's some mental stuff (actually), but I think everyone is lost in it to varying degrees. It's Jung's synchronicities. It's superstitions. It's horoscopes and angel numbers and whatever other dumb shit women believe in. It's conspiracy theorist thinking. It's why you meet God when you take serious psychedelics. We take some sort of nourishment in all of these ideas and our unconscious mind feeds them to us. It'll feed us coincidences. It'll allow leaps over sense sometimes. It'll have you look up to see whatever number or symbol or analogy. ebuc looks lost in it for that last part tbh. Newton probably was too with his bible code. The universe whispers to us all, except it doesn't really. 
badger
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I'm just reading the wiki now. This is a fun idea.
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--> @FLRW
You're fucking with me. Stop doing that. 
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Sometimes when I wake up groggy in the morning from only sleeping for a hour after only sleeping a hour previous day, I talk out loud,
"What am I looking for?"
"You're looking for your keys."
"What do I need to do next?"
"Grab lunch sandwich before you forget it."

My mind feels rather blank,
Though I suppose I'm thinking, I don't really recall 'thinking anything, though I'm 'aware,
Just kind of act on habit and follow my vocal commands of what I need do.
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--> @Swagnarok
Degrees of consciousness ex infant > child > puberty > pre-25 > post 25 > 35 > 45 > 55 > 65 > 75 > 85 > 95 etc.

Cultural circumstances certainly affect much of thinking yet we always have those on the fringe wanting to think outside of the parameters set by their known culture. They ask why and why not.  Youth does this a fair amount, if not subdued by heavy handed culture or family.

Humans like all animals sleep with the twilight zones between fully asleep and fully awake.  Our thoughts can lead to more or less anxiety and that is same for who knows how many millions of years. The genetic split from apes is believed to be about 7.5 - 8 million years ago.

Now whales ive read sleep --vertically---  with one half of brain conscious and other half awake { so as to breath }  Talk about a split personality.
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Nobody has to tell or explain to anyone that the voice inside their head isn't God so I call b*******. 
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--> @Swagnarok
This is the first time hearing about this hypotheses. It’s not disputed how powerful language is in shaping the brain.
Humans are still not completely self-aware and probably will never be. 
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--> @Swagnarok
Who conducted such studies of pre bronze age people?




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--> @Swagnarok
I think it's a rather intriguing theory. It's a bit out there though. I see little reason to think people had this different conscious experience, as then it would be safe to say young children who haven't been very socialised should have this same experience. Which they clearly do not.
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People were just more superstitious in the past.
I believe it is much more pragmatic and likely to say that the lack of philosophers or written works from that time was simply due to a lack of technology (no paper) and simply too much time has passed for everything to be preserved in an easily identifiable manner today.
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Which they clearly do not.
Interesting you write that, because I spoke to God all day long when I was a kid. Then eventually it just went away.

I know that's anecdotal and not worth much to you, but it definitely gives me something to think about. I've written about that on here before too. Unpopular opinions thread. Myself and thett. Went right to the schizo idea too. 
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--> @badger
Culture beat it out of you. 
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--> @Ehyeh
I see little reason to think people had this different conscious experience, as then it would be safe to say young children who haven't been very socialised should have this same experience. Which they clearly do not.

Cultural circumstances certainly affect much of thinking yet we always have those on the fringe wanting to think outside of the parameters set by their known culture. They ask why and why not.  Youth does this a fair amount, if not subdued by heavy handed culture or family.

Humans like all animals sleep,  with the twilight zones between,  being fully asleep and fully awake.  Our thoughts can lead to more or less anxiety and that is same for who knows how many millions of years. The genetic split from apes is believed to be about 7.5 - 8 million year.s ago.

Fuller speculated that the first island peoples of south pacific landed on mainland Asia and encountered tigers and this initiated more aggressive behaviors of humans. Batman, what do we do now? Get back on our rafts and get back to islands quick!

Others, over time,  migrated north on the Japenese current and eventully landed in north america and south america. Some may have walked the land bridge some 36,000 years ago as there is new evidence of mammoths in Texas being butchered by humans.