one,no TWO questions for the nice humansssgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Aeon Flux : One Thread
I was wondering if anybody here was familiar with "Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" by Julian Jaynes(sic)?Trevor's "mental patient" monologue in Chronophasia closely parallels it's thesis,which is nothing short of mindblowing. Basically,ancient cultures(4000 b.c.) were all schizophrenic,and believed God actually spoke to them.Not just at prayer,and not just on such issues as whether rubbers make baby Jeebus cry.No,all the time,a constant stream of divine ruminations,telling them to say this to that guy,punch that guy because I don't like his god,pee in those bushes,even down to put right foot in front of left foot to effect forward momentum.If any body wants me to elaborate on the theory further,I will,but it is a 1,000+ page read(none of it filler).I was just wondering if anyone else had read or even heard of it.
Question the second(kinda):I've seen many people say that they don't know much about Hindu religion.To those people:you are missing out on a rich,varied,and very,very odd culture.First off,let me say that I am not Hindu and in no way Indian,so I'm not shilling for them.I think the main turnoff for people who'd like to know more about Hinduism,is the infantile,Hare Krishna-ish(a kind of Indian Jesus)bottom rung of the beliefs.This is due to the caste system,in which peasants are just given the touchy-feely personal god aspects,i.e. all they need to know to keep them in line.The good stuff is mostly contained in the Vedantas.The Vedantas are to the previous stuff what the creepy Kabbala is to the boring Old Testament.The basic tenets are thus:The real god is made up of three parts(sound familiar?)Brahma,creation,Vishnu,preservation,and Shiva,destruction(what about decay?demons,I guess).Now,it's still one God and I'll tell you why(nothing to do with b.s. three-for-the-price-of-one theology).When God the original consciousness created it all(the original thought),the effort left God amnesiatic. The process went something like this:God existed,but couldn't know what it was or how it came about because it had no point of reference.So God did all it could do,which was think.Thought cannot exist without something to think about(questionable),so matter came into being.The whole experience understandably left God wondering what the hell just happened,as it stared at creation.So in an effort to understand what it had created and just what the hell God was,God sent avatars into the material world.But the avatars were unreliable,and it was not assured they would return to God(die).So God,as conscious thought,forced itself into the material world,through the minds of a particular group of apes,us.So all human thought,and all those lesser gods,are all the same thing:God.We exist to experience as much of the universe as possible with our senses,in order so that God may know itself.The universe is the sound of one eye opening...to see itself reflected.Matter is a reflection of thought,comtemplation of said matter breeds more thought,et cetera.The boundaries between the the mental world and physical are constantly shifting and changing,and where the borders are thin,pure thoughts sometimes manifest in physical form,what we call art.Anyway,the Vendatas also have a Chariot of the Gods-style version of Indian prehistory,ending around 10,000 b.c.It's very bloody and futuristic,with wars featuring flying chariots(!),fireballs that consume entire cities(!!),and a text that states that this reality is composed of tiny vibrating pieces of matter,and causing those pieces to collide is how you produce aforementioned fireball(!!!)I'm probably going to offend any Hindis reading this(as if I haven't already with a half-assed rehashing of their ancient,sacred beliefs),but the Vendatas would be amazing as anime.Since the translation almost definitely butchered it(what words they could translate),some of it just has to be seen to be understood.What really gets me about the whole religion is how it fosters debate(there are four major and countless minor schools of thought on the extent of man's divinity)and science.No part of what I've seen,except obvious fairy tales,flies in the face of reason,and if you substitute scientific terms for gods,some texts look like a physics lesson.I'm not even going to pretend I understand the whole karma/dharma/reincarnation cycle.An interresting note:God isn't limited to humans.If there's a patch of jungle no human will ever see,it's entirely possible for an orangutang to achieve consciousness. On the other end of the scale,the justification for treating untouchables like shit is that they aren't "used" by God, i.e. not capable of true experience.Hey,it's still a religion,which means it still does the detestable job of squelching dissent in the masses.
-- alex walsh (don't worry,turned option firstname.lastname@example.org), May 03, 2003
I just got back from New Jersey, and spent a day on my own self directed Jersey Devil hunt down in the pine barrens. The Jersey Devil was a mythical creature seen by so many credible Jerseyites in 1909 it made me wonder how such an impossible creature could exist, (body of a kangeroo, head of a collie, face of a horse, wings of a bat, legs of a crane).... The only answer offered to date is the piney's were unfamiliar with the once plentiful and large sand hill crane. I think the public doesn't have to be schizophrenic to be delusional. A powerful belief system initiated through a culture might persuade inbred imaginations to see manifestations. I've not read Origin of the Consciousness but it is an interesting theory, think it could apply to Jersey Devils?
-- Barb e (Suesuesbeo9@cs.com), July 22, 2003.
The strikingly bad "Street Fighter" series, invented a story line whereby, "Ryu", a wandering pugilist, is taught the how to harness the "hadoken"(fireball) by Dahlsim, a religious Indian pugilist. And in the actual game Dahlsim employs his own version of the technique, called "Yoga Fire". I now wonder if these are the results of actual research done into Hinduism?
-- Sam (email@example.com), May 05, 2003.
CLAMP made an anime series out of Rg Veda. It's CLAMP though, so probably not that good.
-- Inu (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 05, 2003.
Sex-a-lent. Yah, I have always wondered how christianity has been able to stand up to these eastern religions that invoke so much reasoning and logic. But I'm sure it has it's own stuff, I don't know all too much about the religion. Accept of course the bad stuff, like extream violence and prejudice. Oh, well. Those do sound like some good read's, expecially the break down of the consciousness one, been strugling with that one far a llooonnng time. But damn, 1000+, I still working on Hunter s. Thompsons shark hunt(If yout haven't already read it alex, I'm sure you would enjoy it, Wierd! hehe, and all true too!) As for the whole turning the Vendetta's into an anime. Well, you know how people are about their religions. Yikes. I mean look at how they bitched about Dogma, I mean come on, the bible is just a bunch of stories anyway, what harm could a shit monster do? Sorry I have a strong bad habit of rambling. None-the-less, thanks for the info, talk to you later.:)
-- Joshua Aldridge (AtlantaJFNA@aol.com), May 15, 2003.
Nice post, alex. Haven't read the book you mentioned on your first point, but it sounds extremely interesting... I recall reading somewhere (In From Hell? Maybe) that if you read ordinary military records from the Roman Legions you'll find that encounters with the Gods - both communications and physical manifestations - were practically day to day occurances...
-- Charles Martin (email@example.com), June 02, 2003.
Well, I for one have read ulian Jaynes' "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" (a very popular book when it came out sometime around the mid-seventies). I don't believe there's any sound scientific support for its thesis, but at the time I certainly thought it was a very cool, interesting and not entirely unreasonable hypothesis. It certainly influenced the course of my college studies (I was a Folklore & Mythology major, and my principal interests were shamanism, mysticism and the roots of religious belief; I ended up writing my senior thesis on "Dream Theory in Tibetan Buddhism.")
I still think it's pretty likely that the voices heard by schizophrenics and the voices of the gods heard by ancient (and modern) mystics are closely related phenomena. I think it's less likely that the physical functioning of the human brain has actually fundamentally changed over the past 3000 years, but perhaps the extent to which we hear and/or listen to and/or obey the voices in our heads (which, according to Jaynes, originate in the area of the right side of the brain corresponding to the speech center in the left side) is the result of cultural conditioning. In other words, as more recent cultures have increasingly embraced left-brain, rational thinking, we've been progressively learning to tune out the voice of God. I'm not saying that's a bad thing; in the ancient world the voice of God seems to have spent a lot of time telling people to kill each other (it's lucky times have changed, huh?). But you have to wonder what else we may have learned to tune out...
However, there are at least two big issues that tend to make speculation like this ultimately kind of frustrating: (1) it's difficult to test scientifically; and (2) thinking about thinking tends to run up against the problem that subjectivity is the one thing it's almost impossible even to pretend to be objective about. Actually, the speculating itself is fun; you really only run into trouble if you start taking it seriously. (I think it was Kierkegaard who said that Hegel would have been the greatest philosopher of all time if only somewhere in all his thousands of pages of writing he'd just included one little footnote that said: "This is all just a thought experiment, of course." Since he didn't, however, he was ultimately -- according to Kierkegaard -- a complete fool.)
Anyway, the short answer is that I bet the echo of Jaynes' theory in Trevor's mental patient monologue wasn't entirely coincidental.
-- Peter Gaffney (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 15, 2003.
I bought Julian Jaynes book, but never got to read it all. Since it was speculation, no scientific proof was necessary. Science cannot decide about issues beyond its realm---the physical world. Unfortunately, the materialists seem to have convinced too many people that anything that scientists cannot explain or squeeze into their theories doesn't exist. That's how rationalists deal with fear and anxiety about what they don't and cannot understand. From my understanding of Jaynes, he wasn't arguing that the experience of the ancients was a delusion. I thought his thesis was that "consciousness" came about from a sort of nervous breakdown, which I understand as "the FALL". I don't really agree with Jaynes, but scientists haven't a clue about the orgin of consciousness, and at least Jaynes knows that the issue is too important to ignore. He deserves credit for trying, as do many writers such as James Hillman, who wrote the "Soul's Code". And interestingly, a writer named Morris Berman wrote a book called "The re-enchantment of the World" in which he argued the thesis that the much heralded "ENLIGHTENMENT" and "scientific rationalism" are themselves a form of psychosis!!!! Carl Jung saw the French Revolution as an "anti-christ" and wrote (not coincidentally?) a book called "Aion" !!!! I actually see how the split of Bregnia and Monica from a prior wholeness is rather Jungian. Aeon Flux slips into "consciousness" and trips up all its machinery. The "unconscious" is often depicted as female. Ideas, and meanings of words are metaphysical, so it's pretty stupid to argue for a materialist worldview. For those who are iconoclasts such as Mr. Gaffney , there's a book by Jeremy Hayward called "Perceiving Ordinary Magic--Science and Intuitive Wisdom". He's a scientist on the Buddhist path of the warrior, and his book tells a different story of science than we're used to hearing. Science doesn't believe in precognition or clairvoyance or ghosts, but I don't let other people tell me what's true or possible or what isn't. Not all true knowledge is scientific knowledge. Scientific knowledge is just one kind of knowledge. "Reason" is not a god, but is a mental faculty. We reason with our minds, but ours is the age of mindlessness because materialism has become a dogma that has become acceptable because anything that is not "religious" and which purports to be "scientific" escapes scrutiny and criticsm in our rather shallow and childish culture. Sometimes speculation such as Jaynes' yields a real harvest. For example, I started thinking about vampires while watching the film "Love at First Bite"---a light comedy---and I realized that what a vampire is is the shadow of Christ and of the Christian (or Catholic). "I vant to drink your blud!"Think about it. Vampires cannot stand the "light of day" because they are creatures of the unconscious. Christians hope to achieve life everlasting by drinking the blood of Christ. But drinking blood is taboo in Judaism. A vampire is Christ getting his revenge! That's why it takes a crucifix to keep him away. If you hold out the crucifix, the vampire passes you over,ie the blood of the lamb. But it's also to say to the vampire, "Hey, I'm with you. Look , here you are on this cross. I'm on your side!" I also learned from insight and intuition that the theme of the Wizard of OZ is "the Heartland". Kansas is located in the very center of the country--the nation's breadbasket. But "man does not live by bread alone...." Dorothy---another female---like Aeon--takes a hero's journey into the underworld. The Kansas state Fair indicates that the auteurs were concerned with issues of "fairness"! And the story essentially compares and dismisses ideas of a communist Utopia and a religious Utopia, represented by the Wizard and the witch, with her flying Scopes monkeys. Dorothy gets knocked "unconcious" and therein finds her strength. The witch is "all wet" at the end and holds no power over her. The Wizard is "full of hot air" and floats harmlessly away. "You're just a wicked old witch" says Dorothy. "Are you a good witch or a bad witch" says Glinda---. Glinda comes down into the unconscious --from up-ie North, and brings Dorothy back to "consciousness" . Down South. Up North. Dorothy is the witch of the South but doesn't know if she's bad or good because she's in a scary place that's unfamiliar to her, and she has no frame of reference. But here she finds wholeness. When she clicks her heels together, it signifies psychic healing has taken place. The munchkins are literally---the Little People. Jesus talked about "the little ones" and so did Marx, but I think they weren't talking about the same little people. (I'm sure the liberation theologists would disagree, but they'll get over it!) Oh, and the film "The Little Mermaid" is about fantasy and Jungian individuation. Ariel becomes human at the end of the film. She stands on her own two feet. Before that, she was uncoscious and undeveloped. She's actually the unscious female side of a man that he projects on a woman. At first, Ariel's voice is like a siren song, but Prince Eric falls immaturely in love with it/her. She gets her real voice at the end, and they end up married. All's well that ends well. Men and women are in crisis together. The gender feminists hated the Little Mermaid because they just don't get it. They should try being human themselves. They might come to realize it's not such a bad thing! (I have a daughter. I saw the film a lot! It was rather easy to understand. The ocean is the unconscious. Jesus walked on water. A man in proper relation to his unconscious.) I hope y'all weren't put to sleep by my post, but it was good for me! Thanks for letting me get this all out. Watch out for "analysis paralysis." Let it come to you, don't push it away! Robert.
-- Robert (RCBarberJr@cs.com), July 23, 2003.