Thoughts On The Breakdown Of The Bicameral Mind
Returning to the historical era of the breakdown of the bicameral mind is also when the idea of heaven and hell is created as an explanation as to where god has gone. God is no longer in the arch of the covenant, the temple, or the idol but in the sky far away and silently speaking only to a few with a remnant of bicamerality. These few are oracles or prophets. They sometimes question the validity of the voices they hear which in earlier biblical scriptures was not the case. This phase of human consciousness development is like a child scared of the dark, realizing mom and dad are not in the room, seeing hallucinations and clinging to a teddy bear or blanket (an idol that is physical which represents safety).
Fast forward to today where bicamerality has greatly diminished. We still have our teddy bear with us in the form of religion but we know there is no real monster under the bed. However, that bear wants to stay useful and not be out-grown so the church tells you about the monster, the devil, and an eternal hell created by a loving god. We still long for innocence, for simplicity like how my five year old complains about having to do kindergarten homework and longs for the days when there was no homework, not knowing that first and second grade homework is on the horizon. He also has not clue about the benefit of the hardship of neurological development; learning.
As time goes on, we establish consciousness being the integration of the two sides of the brain into one conscious observer of the two. This is you, in your head, having a conversation with yourself about what you are reading instead of hearing a voice that is reading to you as a separate god. It is important to note that the transition toward consciousness still had auditory voices, not so much in the day-to-day but more in times of extreme stress. So stress is a factor in all of this. Some people use stress to induce interaction with the gods. Others only encountered this when stress reached high levels, such as war or head traumas, like in the case of Saul in the New Testament. He falls to the ground, hitting his head and then hears the voice of Jesus in bicameral fashion. He changes his name to Paul and then writes most of the New Testament. He claims to be a direct follower of Jesus, who he never meets in person but saw in a vision. Paul (a Roman) takes the message to Rome a few hundred years later and an emperor named Constantine decides to unite Rome under one god as motivation to win the war. Rome wins and the rest is history. People have been winning wars in the name of Jesus ever since, even though he was far from militaristic in any way. He also told people to reject wealth on earth but the churches are not interested in that idea either.
The bicameral theory claims that consciousness birthed the ability to deceive as people where being forced to learn discernment instead of simply following their god voice. This is where we see deception and accountability take hold in the mind.
This is Deloris from the show West World, an artificially intelligent robot who hits the bicameral level of consciousness. She receives instruction from her hallucinated mind to kill her creator. The same creator who allowed her to be pulled from the bliss of non-choice. There is no blissful Eden in West World. Instead, pleasure-seeking humans commit horrible acts against AI. Actual memory instead of inserted/artificial memory allows for Deloris to contemplate her existence. In West World and the theory of the bicameral mind it was common for a person to die physically but to continue to speak through the bicameral brain just as the creator in West World continues on after his death as a hallucination or a "ghost". I'm losing the complexity of West World so don't correct me too hard if you are a devout fan. Just know that physical death is not viewed in the partial bicameral era the way that it is now. In the same way, the dead speak though bicamerality and are even given food, belongings, ect in many cultures. They very well may have even told a person what they wanted. Deaths are stressful and many people today continue to speak to the dead believing they can be heard or visited in the form of ghosts or visions.
This brings us to the modern conscious mind, or should I say semi-conscious mind. People who hear voices are considered crazy or schizophrenic unless the bicameral voice sounds like a god or angel in which case it remains fine in religious circles. Sometimes aliens or ghosts are acceptable as well. In recent history or some religions that have a counsel or pope that communicates with god a voice is ok as long as it furthers the economic institution (aka church) and has the proper interpretation of the written word of god. However, those hearing voices but rejected the church where cast out as demon possessed or as witches historically.
Joan of Arc is a more recent example of someone hearing voices in a bicameral way. Many would now consider her to be schizophrenic.
Verbal prayer involves one or more person audibly speaking to a non-visible deity. Non-verbal prayer is the only time when the three parts of the modern semi-consciousness mind are used while listening for another voice separate from all three. The two hemispheres and the interconnection that is the semi-conscious mind is talking to a separate entity in one's head and listening for a response. This is an interesting exercise that we often accept without question.
We see other remnants of partial bicamerality in the casting of lots, or luck; other superstitions to remove accountability. The character Two Face from Batman is a good example of this. After having a mental breakdown he is no longer able to make decisions for himself so he relies on the flipping of the coin to choose and must obey. There is no personal responsibility or ethic in the coin. He can do good or evil, but the coin decides. It is basically his bicameral hand of god where there is no voice.
We could say various mental illnesses are actually stress-induced neurological regressions into states of increased bicamerality. Many religious people are socially accepted in most circles and can talk about god as love, even though he promotes blood sacrifice, kills huge groups of people, commits horrible acts of evil and has no accountability in the Bible. They can do this because they believe that god is smarter than us. We are not encouraged to use reason or consciousness to ever question god's decisions. This is a bicameral regression perspective. It appeals to the mind that came before the conscious age and that is why consciousness is removed from it and replaced by blind faith.
Many are waiting for god to return and bring back ignorance and bliss with it. My mind goes to child brain development. We see a young child exist, make decisions and behave with clear intention yet we do not think of them as conscious because there is no or very limited language and a brain that has not evolved into a unified conscious self yet. The baby simply does whatever the nervous system tells it to. Cry, eat, poop with no conscious thought, just direct instruction from the nervous system. There's no thoughts on whether the behavior is wise or not. Wisdom is also a reaction to the development of consciousness.
As the child develops language, a phase that closely resembles partial bicamerality emerges. The line between fantacy and reality or hallucination and non-hallucination is not clear. Children can have an imaginary friend in this phase. They can run around making noises and be fully engulfed in fantasy. They can hear voices like the monster under the bed. I asked my five year old if he has an imaginary friend to talk to and play with. He stopped thought back, seemed to remember his hallucination and then said "I did but not anymore". It had left. Meaning his brain integrated, uniting the two hemispheres of his brain and now he is more conscious.
Conscious adults quickly begin to educe consciousnesses in children by removing bicamerality as soon as the brain evolves to a different level. This may be the switch from Santa is real to Santa is real but the guys that dress up like him are not but represent him, to Santa isn't real. Maybe we still have a gift from Santa as a throw back to innocence, back when he was real.
I have mentioned my 5 year old several times, but have only been participating in raising him for about a year now. It is too bad I didn't get to witness his early neurological development directly but this phase of partial bicamerality has been very interesting to me. A year ago when he was four he was much closer to absolute bicameralty. His memory was a mix of objective reality and fantasy. Explanations were not as concerned with morality as limited language limits conscious ethics. He is developing quickly and is now asking lots of questions as he begins to reason and decide what to challenge and what to accept for himself. I have let him know that it is up to him to decide what he thinks about god, religion or other questions he may ask when other adults seek to program him before he is conscious enough to challenge the ideas or use reason to dismiss them.
Children can do negative behaviors and we often say they don't know any better, but if an adult does the same thing they would be held accountable. My five year old can still dive into bicamrality but has also been programmed by adults to not talk to himself too much, ect. The hallucinations of monsters under the bed or the young brain's ability to directly record and play and back events without conscious evaluation, where they engage mirror neurons and memory systems, begins to fade. A conscious evaluation of the imagination and the line between is developing. As a child develops the conclusion shifts into what it should be; monsters under the bed or Santa is not real but it's fun to pretend. No conscious adult interacts with a child believing their hallucinations to be real. However, some adults especially ones that hold onto the hope for religious hallucinations or words form god, will fall into this more and more. Unable to guide the child into reason, consciousness and maturity, they often teach the child to use reason and apply it to everything except the religion they have.
The history of the break down of the bicameral mind into our current semi-conscious state is very much like the development of a child's brain only over the course of thousands of years. Different people find themselves at different states of consciousness even though (for the most part) the audible voice is gone and consciousness is established. We are very early into the era of consciousness as these changes take massive amounts of time.
This may be controversial but I look at people who are religious or New Age, promote prayer, rely heavily on luck, and have faith based ideas and self-destructive behavior or carnal and impulse-based actions to be indicators of a less conscious mind. At one time or another I was all these things but I am happy to have matured past them.
As we age into the later years of life our minds tend to diminish and you may see a person neurologically revert to some type of bicamerality as memory fades and the line of objectivity fades with it. Dementia, Alzheimers disease and many neurological issues come with age. I see aging as a decline in electro-magnetic charge potential. In this way reduced charge causes a reduced ability to sleep, causing many brain issues that start in mid-life. This results in a much greater dependence on the bicameral aspects of human behavior to cope with this regression.
I like this image as it perfectly shows the fractal nature of the brain. It also shows that we can not know the condition of the brain from the outside unless we look at the actions which indicate greater or lesser levels of consciousness. Those who do not prioritize the mind will loose it later in life.
I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who is single and he said he no longer believed in monogamy because of evolution. I immediately said I thought he was wrong. He said "you don't believe in evolution?" I said your physical body makes you poop and your conscious mind makes you not poop your pants. He looked at me for a minute but realized that the evolution of consciousness is the very thing that would oppose the type of sexual carnality he was promoting. Control of physical impulses is a clear indication of the transcendence from carnality to consciousness. He seemed to understand as having as much sex as you want with as many people as you want may be what your body tells you is good. In the same way there is a natural punishment for stealing the punishment for promiscuity is a lack of actual connection. Simple quantity vs quality.
I also see that the neurological development of the prefrontal cortex or the higher mind is potentially the place, if there must be a place, where consciousness resides along with the integration of the two sides of the brain. So there is the split brain, its interconnection (establishing consciousness), along with the higher and lower brain, allowing the newly evolved prefrontal cortex to think in a more conscious way (this is the part alcohol disengages). The use of the higher mind and having both higher minds integrated properly is the key to neurological development.
I go into great detail about the expanding brain in the Neuro Genesis Series (check it out after this one).
I hope this is all making sense. Part 4 will conclude the series. As we see the social psychology react to events taking place I hope the question: Are You Conscious is the one you are asking yourself and others.
On To Part 4
Rob Alexander is on a journey to learn not just about health but everything else.
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