Posted by: Edward | June 15, 2006

Recapitulating Bicameral Mental Function

Originally posted: Fri, Apr. 7th, 2006 04:54

I want a new mode of mental functioning. I want to recapitulate the bicameral and transitional forms to loosen the hold that subjective consciousness holds on our brains. All of the features of physiology necessary for bicameral functioning will still be present if non-dominant. I figure that by behaving as if some degree of bicameral functioning holds some degree of bicamerality will evidence itself.

Features I am considering experimenting with include ancestor worship/communication, creation and use of an idol/head, and relaxing as much of my functioning as possible out of conscious comment/control. I am a little worried that this experiment will lead to symptoms of a schizoid nature and so will devise a program of recovery and control in case that proves overwhelming.

It should be noted that the creation of full-blown bicamerality is not the goal of these experiments but rather the creation of new and useful modes of mental functioning.

Another project could be the recreation of transitional “organs” of protoconsciousness that don’t require full conscious awareness. These transitional organs are taken from the terms and usages of the Iliad. The three I plan to emphasize are the thumos, the phrenes, and the nous. The nous is the perceptive or recognitive field. The phrenes are the feeling or emotional reactions, considered to rest in the heart and lungs. The most important, as far as I am concerned and therefore the most effected by my ideations, is the thumos, which is direction, or movement and I see as originating in the hara or center of gravity and moving out to the limbs. This is fairly similar to the transparent snakelike guides of Donnie Darko.

This will be undertaken by acting as if the organs are functioning and slowly releasing conscious interference in these tasks.

Works Cited

Jaynes, Julian. (1976). The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

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