What if Julian Jaynes was right?

“The weight of original thought in it is so great that it makes me uneasy for the author’s well-being: the human mind is not built to support such a burden.” – D.C. Stove, in Encounter

***

If he was right then consciousness is only around 3000 years old

If he was right then before that there was only a universal form of schizophrenia

If he was right then before that there was no ego, only id and superego, and the people were at the mercy of their talking internal gods, their hallucinations, their unconscious

If he was right then Freud’s ego equates consciousness, the point at which the bicameral mind becomes one

If he was right then language is the key to consciousness, but not just any kind of language, metaphorical language, language which is unfixed, fluid and adaptive, as only humans possess

If he was right then consciousness is a process of ignorance, consciousness is ignorance, this a way by which metaphor enables us to bypass the void of the ‘Real’

If he was right then the point at which the signified became signifier, is exactly the point at which consciousness emerged

If he was right, and we are to believe that language was is an accidental phenomenon and completely unnatural, then consciousness is not only accidental and unnatural, but unnatural beyond even language itself

If he was right, then Lacan’s view that schizophrenia is the most logical form the psyche can achieve, then consciousness itself is completely illogical

If he was right then literature is the key to pinpointing the origin of consciousness

***

NB: featured image is Dali’s ‘The Anthropomorphic Cabinet’ (1936)

 

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