This book had a profound effect on my weltanschaaung when I read it a few years ago
The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes
From The New Yorker
“When Julian Jaynes . . . speculates that until late in the twentieth millennium b.c. men had no consciousness but were automatically obeying the voices of the gods, we are astounded but compelled to follow this remarkable thesis.” –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
At the heart of this classic, seminal book is Julian Jaynes’s still-controversial thesis that human consciousness did not begin far back in animal evolution but instead is a learned process that came about only three thousand years ago and is still developing. The implications of this revolutionary scientific paradigm extend into virtually every aspect of our psychology, our history and culture, our religion—and indeed our future.
“Don’t be put off by the academic title of Julian Jaynes’s The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Its prose is always lucid and often lyrical…he unfolds his case with the utmost intellectual rigor.”—The New York Times
“When Julian Jaynes . . . speculates that until late in the twentieth millennium BC men had no consciousness but were automatically obeying the voices of the gods, we are astounded but compelled to follow this remarkable thesis.”—John Updike, The New Yorker
“He is as startling as Freud was in The Interpretation of Dreams, and Jaynes is equally as adept at forcing a new view of known human behavior.”—American Journal of Psychiatry
About the Author
ALSO OF INTEREST
A welcome source of information for all those who are touched by the relationship between man and his myths. — The New York Times
Featuring a foreword by Jung, this Princeton Classics edition introduces a new generation of readers to this eloquent and enduring work.
The Origins and History of Consciousness draws on a full range of world mythology to show how individual consciousness undergoes the same archetypal stages of development as human consciousness as a whole. Erich Neumann was one of C. G. Jung’s most creative students and a renowned practitioner of analytical psychology in his own right. In this influential book, Neumann shows how the stages begin and end with the symbol of the Uroboros, the tail-eating serpent. The intermediate stages are projected in the universal myths of the World Creation, Great Mother, Separation of the World Parents, Birth of the Hero, Slaying of the Dragon, Rescue of the Captive, and Transformation and Deification of the Hero. Throughout the sequence, the Hero is the evolving ego consciousness.
There can be no doubt that [Neumann] has brought to his task a remarkable . . . knowledge of classical mythology, some considerable acquaintance with the comparative study of religion, and a deep understanding of those psychological views and theories evolved by C. G. Jung. — The Times Literary Supplement
No better exposition has come to us of the two Jungian themes: the evolution of consciousness in the history of mankind and the development of personality in the individual. — The Personalist –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
From the New York Times–bestselling author: “Each chapter . . . offers a window on a different intersection of psychiatry and spirituality” (New Age).
In Saints and Madmen, bestselling author Russell Shorto explains how modern science is beginning to reconcile centuries of religious experiences with current psychiatric theories. Psychotic patients sometimes believe they’re developing mystical powers, speaking to animals or conversing with God during their episodes. As one patient said, psychosis can be life’s greatest joy, and also its worst hell. Traditional psychiatry has approached the existence of these occurrences as a treatable medical problem, a case of unbalanced chemicals in the brain. But could it be more? In Saints and Madmen, Shorto writes about the scientists who reject the Freudian view of religious experience as narrow-minded, and shows us how their findings could change how we understand our own minds and spirits.