Excerpts From Julian Jaynes, RE-Visited Shari Soza PT15 Book Report

The Origin Of Consciousness In The Breakdown Of The Bicameral Mind

Jaynes Redefines The Word Consciousness After Surveying Eleven Thousand Years Of Psycho-History & Language Development

An Owner's Manual
A Basic Erector Set Of
The Bicameral Mind

At one time human nature was split in two,
an executive part called a god, and
a follower part called a man.
Neither part was ConsciouslyAware.

Biocomputer Programming Language

All Thought Is Not Conscious

Stages Of Creative Thought

Jaynes View Of Consciousness

Metaphor/{SoundString} And Analog/{SpatialModel}

Metaphor/{SoundString} And Language

How Language Grows

Jaynes Has Given Us A Shortcut To Understanding

Paraphiers And Paraphrands

Features Of Conscious Awareness

Jaynes' Conclusions

Note from the reviewer

I have taken liberty with some of Jaynes' choice of words, in trying to dig deeper into the meaning. I used the <Alt>Edit,Replace, especially with his use of Consciousness.

Where it says ConsciouslyAware, he had said Consciousness or Conscious.

Usually, I used Times New Roman for direct excerpts, and then Footlight MT Light for my commentary. I used { } to enclose my comments.

On some key concepts, I have tried to make block diagrams, to give a visual image. These are mine.

The first two chapters were more on linguistics, while the other chapters covered the evidence for his saying these things, over eleven thousand years.

This is one of those books that I envision digging deeper into over the years.

Shari Soza

Our BiCameral Mind Exposed In PreHistory Literature

The Mind Of Iliad

The Authority Of Sound

Which Brain Structures Were At Work?

The Function Of The Gods

What Does Jaynes Say Changed Us So Much?

How This Perspective On Biocomputer Programming Is Relevant To Systems Thinking & Wholistic Learning

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All Thought Is Not Conscious

ConsciousAwareness takes you into the task, giving you the goal to be reached. But from then on, ...it is as if the learning is done for you.

... The important part of the matter is the struction, which allows the whole business to go off automatically.

struction, ..to have the connotation of both instruction and construction.

When we speak, we are not really ConsciouslyAware, either of the search for words, or of putting the words together into phrases, or of putting the phrases into sentences. We are only ConsciouslyAware of the ongoing series of structions that we give ourselves, which then, automatically, without any ConsciousAwareness whatever, result in speech.

So we arrive at the position that the actual process of thinking, so usually thought to be the very life of Conscious Awareness is not ConsciouslyAware at all and that only its preparation, its materials and its end result are ConsciouslyAwarely perceived.

{ IS-LIKE making a Call Interrupt in PowerBasic }


Reasoning refers to a gamut of natural thought processes in the everyday world. ..Logic is the science of justification of conclusions that we have reached by natural reasoning. The very reason we need logic at all is because most reasoning is not ConsciouslyAware at all.

Stages of Creative Thought

The essential point here is that there are several stages of creative thought: first, a stage of preparation in which the problem is ConsciouslyAwarely worked over; then a period of incubation in the unconscious, without any ConsciouslyAware concentration upon the problem; and then the illumination which comes thru the intuitive unConscious RightBrain, and is told to the linear ConsciouslyAware LeftBrain, and is later justified by logic, thru the linear ConsciouslyAware LeftBrain.


Jaynes' View Of Consciousness

Conscious Awareness is not what we think it is.

It is not to be confused with {neurological} reactivity.

It is not involved in hosts of perceptual phenomena.

It is not involved in the performance of skills and often hinders their execution.

It need not be involved in speaking, writing, listening, or reading.

It does not copy down experience, as most people think.

ConsciousAwareness is not at all involved in signal learning, and need not be involved in the learning of skills or solutions, which can go on without any Conscious Awareness whatever.

{Signal learning is classical or Pavlovian conditioning.}

It is not necessary for making judgments or in simple thinking

It is not the seat of reason, and indeed some of the most difficult instances of creative reasoning go on without any attending ConsciousAwareness.

And it has no location except an imaginary one

If Conscious Awareness is not all these things, what is it?

{ My commentary }


Metaphor/{SoundString} And Analog/{SpatialModel}

Jaynes uses the terms Metaphor/{SoundString} and Analog/{SpatialModel} as the basis for most of his concepts about language and ConsciouslyAwareness.

The Analog/{SpatialModel} is the same as a mental model, a symbolic visual representation of the thing it is describing, like a map describes some territory of land. { the spatial model }

The Metaphor/{SoundString} is a kind of verbally-expressed equation of auditory sounds that describes the spatial model and how it IS LIKE something more familiar }.




An Analog/{SpatialModel} is a model, at every point generated by the thing it is an Analog/{SpatialModel} of.

A map is a good example.

Each region of a district of land is allotted a corresponding region on the map, though the materials of land and map are absolutely different, ...

And the relation between an Analog/{SpatialModel} map and its land is a Metaphor/{SoundString}.

A theory is a relationship of the model to the things the model is supposed to represent.

This map of the USA is an Analog/-{SpatialModel} of the larger maps, which are Analogs of the actual land mass, in visual/spatial terms.

Dare we say an Equate?

This paragraph is a Metaphor/Theory, in strings of auditory sounds, of course represented in our sound-based alphabetic characters.

If "analog" sticks in your gears, substitute "analogy"; in this instance, the choice of the word is incompatible with people studying digital and analog electrical circuits.

A theory is thus a Metaphor/{SoundString} between a model and data. And understanding in science is the feeling of similarity between complicated data and a familiar model.

Subjective Conscious mind is an Analog/{SpatialModel} of what is called the real world.

Mind space can be a Metaphor/{SoundString} for physical space.

It is built up with a vocabulary or lexical field { symbol table}whose terms are all Metaphor/{SoundString}s or Analog/{SpatialModel}s of behavior in the physical world. { LIKE software }

These lists of metaphors in our minds, IS-LIKE a table of macros that work to make the unConsciouslyAware mind do things for us automatically.}

All the things we learn that become habits


Recordings that play back when appropriate

This "learned" behavior becomes the substance to be used in constructing these macros.

{ More of my commentary }
I believe what having this new layer of ConsciouslyAwareness from Julian Jaynes book to deal with thoughts and ideas does to me is to give me more confidence that I can find a way to connect things into my symbol table.

It gives me the power to reject the notion that anything is too hard. I just assume that my unConsciouslyAware [ RightBrain ] SuperConsciouslyAware mind can handle it, if I can use a Metaphor/{SoundString} to make an entry in the list of macros, with my verbal LeftBrain.

The SuperConsciouslyAware mind can write its own macro. My ConsciouslyAware mind just assigns the macro name and connects a few wires. The rest is easy.



Metaphor/{SoundString} and Language

The most fascinating property of language is its capacity to make Metaphor/{SoundString}s, the very constitutive ground of language.

the use of a term for one thing to describe another because of some kind of similarity between them or between their relations to other things.

<SomethingNew> Metaphrand


<SomethingFamiliar> Metaphier

For example:

Using The InterNet NetSearch


Looking Up Something At The Library In The Readers' Guide

Over Time May Get Shortened To



The Readers' Guide

There are always two terms in a Metaphor/{SoundString},

the {new} thing to be described, ... the metaphrand,


the {familiar} thing used to describe it, ... the metaphier.

How Language Grows.

It is by Metaphor/{SoundString} that language grows.

It is not always obvious that Metaphor/{SoundString} has played this all-important function. But this is because the concrete metaphiers become hidden in phonemic change, leaving the words to exist on their own. Extended metaphiers ... with repetition become shortened into labels.

This is the major way in which the vocabulary of language is formed.

The grand and vigorous function of Metaphor/{SoundString} is

the generation of new language as it is needed,

as human culture becomes more and more complex.

Language becomes an organ of perception, not simply a means of communication. This is language moving out ...into the space of the world to describe it and perceive it more and more definitively.

We understand the brain by Metaphor/{SoundString}s to everything from batteries and telegraphy to computers and holograms.

{This process of generating Metaphor/{SoundString}s even works to } create abstract concepts ... {that refer to things that }are not observables except in a Metaphor/{SoundString}ical sense. and these too are generated by Metaphor/{SoundString}.

The concepts of science are all of this kind, abstract concepts generated by concrete Metaphor/{SoundString}s.

The lexicon of language, then, is a finite set of terms that by Metaphor/{SoundString} is able to stretch out over an infinite set of circumstances, even to creating new circumstances thereby.

Jaynes Has Given Us A Shortcut To Understanding

So, the new thing for which we do not yet have words to describe it is, according to Jaynes, the metaphrand, and the familiar thing is the metaphier.

Understanding a thing is to arrive at a Metaphor/{SoundString} for that thing by substituting something more familiar to us. And the feeling of familiarity is the feeling of under-standing.

<SomethingNew> Metaphrand


<SomethingFamiliar> Metaphier

My software developer's interpretation

Since, to me, our minds are like software, this might mean that we clone words from the more familiar thought that is already entered into our internal symbol table, to make a new entry into that symbol table.

And to me, this list of mental models/-{spatial models}--is a table of macros that can make the unConscious parts of the mind do things for us.

We might as well say that we use words as sound strings in an auditory mode like computer commands, to get

our unConscious mind to do things for us.

Relevance: How This Perspective On Biocomputer Programming Is Relevant To Systems Thinking & Wholistic Learning?

in learning better ways to learn, to quit struggling to learn by trying to use the biocomputer in the wrong mode;

in deleting the struction that any kind of data or model is "hard"----just find a similar familiar set of words that will make an entry in our internal symbol table

in convincing our biocomputer that something is "easy", it can more quickly find a Metaphor/{SoundString} to attach it to, and make that entry into that internal symbol table

This knowledge could also be useful in writing marketing materials and advertising copy. Knowing how human biocomputers are at the core can only benefit us, and perhaps help protect us against the advertising copy of others.

Paraphiers and Paraphrands

Jaynes broke down the Metaphor/{SoundString}s farther, and invented paraphiers and paraphrands, the implied qualities that we already have programmed into our subconscious.

He unraveled Metaphor/{SoundString} into four parts.

[ Here change your mindset level from a program generator language, to the assembly language level. ]

An Example Metaphor:

"that the snow blankets the ground".

<SomethingNew> Metaphrand==the way the snow covers the ground

{ and implied associations---the Paraphrands }


<SomethingFamiliar> Metaphier== mental image of a blanket on a bed

{ and implied associations---the Paraphiers }

According to Jaynes, the metaphier is
the mental image that we have of a blanket on a bed,

the metaphrand is
something about the completeness and even thickness with which the ground is covered by snow,

the pleasing nuances of this Metaphor/{SoundString} are in the paraphiers of the metaphier, blanket,   the implied qualities that we associate unConsciously with the word "blanket".. ...something about warmth, protection, and slumber until some period of awakening.

These unConscious associations already encoded within our minds, as attachments to the word blanket, then automatically become the associations or paraphrands of the original metaphrand, the way the snow covers the ground.

So, part of the power of the Metaphor/{SoundString} is the feelings or memories or associations that are attached to the use of certain modifiers like adjectives. He is looking at the total sum of our memories and thought engravings like language is the biocomputer code that makes our brains work in certain ways.

Of such poetry is Consciousness made.

As if the ongoing recording of our thoughts, the sum total of all these words and feelings, is what is I, the "story" that our thoughts and feelings writes in our minds engraving.

Of the struction of the Metaphor/{SoundString}, that part is ConsciouslyAware, and the implied associations that are attached, are in the unConscious part of our minds story, the way that we have programmed ourselves in the past.

Features Of Conscious Awareness

1) Spatialization=AssumingAnInteriorMindSpace

2) Excerption=FocusingOnOneAspectOrView
Reminiscence is a succession of excerptions, snapshots in visual, auditory, or
other kinds of views,    IS-LIKE CAD files saved in a particular viewport.

3) TheAnalog/{SpatialModel}I=TheInteriorMetaphor/{SoundString}


4) TheMetaphor/{SoundString}Me
An imaginary Self that we can send into imaginary spaces

5) Narratization
Seeing ourself as the main character in the story of our life.
 { External Level Of Awareness }

The picture that I have of myself in my life story determines how I am to act and choose in novel situations as they arise.

The assigning of causes to our behavior or saying why we did a particular thing is all a part of narratization.

6) Conciliation=DoingInMindSpaceWhat
NarratizationDoesInMind-Time OrSpatializedTime
{ Internal Level Of Awareness }
Assimilating things like categorizing, trying to assimlate new things into our previous experience. Assimilation Conscious-ized is conciliation, ... or compatibilization.

Conciliation ... brings things together as ConsciouslyAware objects just as narratization brings things together as a story. And this fitting together into a consistency or probability is done according to rules built up in experience.

Summarizing, Jaynes' Conclusions

Jaynes says

Consciousness is an operation rather than a thing, a repository, or a function.

It operates by way of Analogy, by way of constructing an Analog/-{SpatialModel} space with an Analog/{SpatialModel} " I " that can observe that space, and move Metaphorically in it.

It operates on any reactivity, excerpts relevant aspects, narratizes and conciliates them together in a Metaphorical space where such meanings can be manipulated like things in space.

Conscious mind is a spatial Analog/{SpatialModel} of the world and mental acts are Analog/{SpatialModel}s of bodily acts.

Consciousness operates only on objectively observable things. ...there is nothing in Consciousness that is not an Analog/{SpatialModel} of something that was in behavior first.

Conscious Awareness is a Metaphor/{SoundString}-generated model of the world.

The Mind of Iliad

The first writing in human history in a language of which we have enough certainty of translation to consider it in connection with my hypothesis is the Iliad, regarded to have happened about 1230 BC, and written down about 850 BC.

No words for Conscious Awareness or mental acts. Words that later on come to mean mental acts have more concrete meanings in the Iliad.

No word for will. Iliadic men have no will of their own, and no notion of free will. Words for volition were invented later in Greek.

No words for the body as a whole, just different body parts.

There is no subjective Conscious Aware-ness, no mind, soul, or will, and no concept of the body as a whole.

Characters in the Iliad do not sit down and think out what to do; they have no ConsciouslyAware minds and no introspections.

It is a god who jumps in and tells men what to do, at every instance.

In fact, the gods take the place of Conscious Awareness.

The beginnings of action are not in Conscious plans, reasons, and motives; they are in the actions and speeches of gods.

The entire epic is the song of the goddess which the entranced bard 'heard' and chanted to his listeners.

Except for its later accretions, then, the epic itself was neither Consciously composed nor Consciously remembered, but was successively and creatively changed with no more awareness than a pianist has of his improvisations.

Who then were these gods that pushed men about like robots and sang epics through their lips?

They were voices whose speech and directions could be distinctly heard by the Iliadic heroes as voices are heard by certain epileptic and schizophrenic patients, or just as Joan of Arc heard her voices.

The gods were organizations of the central nervous system and can be regarded as personae in the sense of poignant consisten-cies through time, amalgams of parental or admonitory images.

The god is a part of the man.

He simply leads, advises, and orders.

The gods are what we now call hallucinations.

{ Here we might make an Analogy to early man being like a robot, with instructions being fed to him, thru his auditory listening level of awareness, much like the computer gets fed the executible file for the program, as it is loaded into RAM memory. In Jaynes' view, early man in Greece was being operated by instructions that came to him thru his hearing. }

The Trojan War was directed by hallucinations.

Iliadic men did not have subjectivity as do we

he had no awareness of his awareness of the world

no internal mind-space to introspect upon

Bicameral Mind

We can call the mentality of the Myceneans a bicameral mind.

Volition, planning, initiative is organized with no Conscious Awareness whatever, and then 'told' to the individual in his familiar language, sometimes with the visual aura of a familiar friend or authority figure or 'god', or sometimes as a voice alone.

The individual obeyed these hallucinated voices because

he could not 'see' what to do by himself.

{ Hittite tablets, dating from 1300BC, as well as some other Myceanean archeological discoveries support some of the story elements reported in the Iliad.} The Iliad is not imaginative creative literature ...it is history, webbed into the Mycenaean Aegean, to be examined by psychohistorical scientists.

History indicates that there were many intermediaries who verbally transmitted whatever happened in the thirteenth century to succeeding ages. ... Homer, if he existed, may simply have been the first aoidos to be transcribed.

{ The Greek alphabet came into existence sometime between 1300BC and 900BC, when this story was written down. It continued to be rewritten up until 300BC to 200BC. }

The Iliad As A Stage Musical

The Iliad was performed at various sites, but particularly at the Panathenaea every four years at Athens, where the Iliad was devoutly chanted along with the Odyssey to vast audiences by the so-called rhapsodes.

{This sounds like it was a stage play or musical, repeated seasonally, like we sing the same songs again every Christmas.}

The Iliad As a psychological document

... the lack of mental language and

the initiation of action by the gods.

The divine machinery duplicates natural ConsciouslyAware causations simply to present them in concrete pictorial form, because the aoidoi were without the refinements of language to express psychological matters.

The Iliad is about action--constant action.

....that the presence of voices which had to be obeyed

were the absolute prerequisite to

the ConsciouslyAware stage of mind in which it is the self that is responsible and can debate within itself, can order and direct, and

that the creation of such a self is the product of culture.

In a sense, we have become our own gods.

The only possible way in which there could be a bicameral civilization would be that of a rigid hierarchy, with lesser men hallucinating the voices of authorities over them, and those authorities hallucinating yet higher ones, and so on to the kings and their peers hallucinating gods.

The Authority Of Sound

To hear is actually a kind of obedience.

In Greek, Latin, Hebrew, French, German, Russian, as well as in English, 'obey' comes from the Latin 'obedire', ...a composite of ob+audire, to hear facing someone.

We control voice authority over us by distance and by our opinion of them.

If you wish to allow another's language power over you, simply hold him higher in your own private scale of esteem, and get closer.

To protect yourself from them controlling you, tell yourself that you don't really think very much of them, and avoid getting closer.

...volition came as a voice that was in the nature of a neurological command, in which the command and the action were not separated, in which to hear was to obey.

Since we know that Greek culture very quickly became a literature of ConsciouslyAwareness, we may regard the Iliad as standing at the great turning of the times, and a window back into those unsubjective times when every kingdom was in essence a theocracy, and every man the slave of voices heard whenever novel situations occurred.

If we are correct in assuming that schizophrenic hallucinations are similar to the guidances of gods in antiquity, then there should be some common physiological instigation in both instances. This, I suggest, is simply stress.

In normal people, as we have mentioned, the stress threshold for release of hallucinations is extremely high; most of us need to be over our heads in trouble before we would hear voices. But in psychosis-prone persons, the threshold is somewhat lower. ... .This is caused, I think, by the buildup in the blood of breakdown products of stress-produced adrenalin which the individual is, for genetical reasons, unable to pass through the kidneys as fast as a normal person.

During the eras of the bicameral mind, we may suppose that the stress threshold for hallucinations was much, much lower than in either normal people or schizophrenics today.

The only stress necessary was that which occurs when a change in behavior is necessary because of some novelty in a situation.

Anything that could not be dealt with on the basis of habit,

any conflict between work and fatigue, between attack and flight, any choice between whom to obey or what to do,

anything that required any decision at all was sufficient {stress} to cause an auditory hallucination.

The divine voice ends the decision-stress before it has reached any considerable level.

Which Brain Structures Is Jaynes Alleging Were At Work?

The stronger form of the hypothesis

... that the speech of the gods was directly organized in what corre-sponds to Wernicke's area on the right hemisphere and 'spoken' or 'heard' over the anterior commissures to or by the auditory areas of the left temporal lobe.

...that auditory hallucinations exist as such in a linguistic manner because that is the most efficient method of getting complicated cortical processing from one side of the brain to the other.

The weaker form of the hypothesis

... that the articulatory qualities of the hallucination were of left hemisphere origin like the speech of the person himself, but

that its sense and direction and different relation to the person were due to right temporal lobe activity sending excitation over the anterior commissures and probably the splenium (the back part of the corpus callosum) to the speech areas of the left hemisphere, and 'heard' from there.

The central feature of both hypotheses is

that the amalgamating of admonitory experience was a right hemisphere function and

that it was excitation in what corresponds to Wernicke's area on the right hemisphere that occasioned the voices of the gods.

The evidence to support this

that both hemispheres are able to understand language, while normally only the left can speak;

that there is some vestigial functioning of the right Wernicke's area in a way similar to the voices of gods;

that the two hemispheres under certain conditions are able to act almost as independent persons, their relationship corresponding to that of the man-god relationship of bicameral times;

that contemporary differences between the hemispheres in cognitive functions at least echo such differences of function between man and god as seen in the literature of bicameral man;

that the brain is more capable of being organized by the environment than we have hitherto supposed, and therefore could have undergone such a change as from bicameral to ConsciouslyAware man mostly on the basis of learning and culture.

Is it possible to think of the two hemispheres of the brain almost as two individuals, only one of which can overtly speak, while both can listen and both understand?

The function of the gods

was chiefly the guiding and planning of action in novel situations.

The gods sized up problems and organized action according to an ongoing pattern or purpose, resulting in intricate bicameral civilizations,

fitting all the disparate parts together,

planting times, harvest times,

the sorting out of commodities,

all the vast putting together of things in a grand design, and

the giving of the directions to the neurological man in his verbal analytical sanctuary in the left hemisphere.

We might thus predict that one residual function of the right hemisphere today would be an organizational one,

that of sorting out the experiences of a civilization and fitting them together into a pattern that could 'tell' the individual what to do

Different events, past and future, are sorted out, categorized, synthesized into a new picture, often with that ultimate synthesis of Metaphor/{SoundString}. And these functions should, therefore, characterize the right hemisphere.

Studies of patients who had the commissure severed, show

that the right hemisphere is more involved in synthetic and spatial-constructive tasks

while the left hemisphere is more analytic and verbal.

The right hemisphere, perhaps like the gods, sees parts as having a meaning only within a context; it looks at wholes,

while the left or dominant hemisphere, like the man side of the bicameral mind, looks at parts themselves.

What Does Jaynes Say Changed Us So Much?

1) The invention of writing, which changed emphasis from auditory commands that they were unable to resist obeying, to visual versions that they could choose not to look at.

"In summary, I have sketched out several factors at work in the great transilience from the bicameral mind to consciousness:

(1) the weakening of the auditory by the advent of writing;

(2) the inherent fragility of hallucinatory control;

(3) the unworkableness of gods in the chaos of historical upheaval;

(4) the positing of internalcause in the observation of difference in others;

(5) the acquisition of narratization from epics;

(6) the survival value of deceit; and

(7) a modicum of natural selection." p221

2) Migrations and being refugees after cataclysmic climatic disasters; all the changes caused mental reprogramming, and pulled away from all that was familiar and unconscious habits, they were not able to hear their god voices as well any more.

3) For several hundred years, they apparently felt like their gods had abandoned them, and almost every civilization moved thru phases of talking statutes, from which they would hallucinate what to do, to having oracles channel what to do, to cataloging omens, to casting lots, to things like reading tea leaves or the entrails of sacrified animals, to other varieties of human mediumship.

How can its function change over so short a period of time,

such that the admonitory voices are heard no more and that we have this new organization called Conscious Awareness?

{Jaynes' answer:}

The brain teems with redundant centers, each of which may exert direct influence on a final common pathway, or modulate the operation of others, or both, their arrangements able to assume many forms and degrees of coupling between constituent centers.

it protects the organism against the effects of brain damage,

...it provides an organism of far greater adaptability to the constantly changing environmental challenges.

It is only in early development that such reorganization of the systems of multiple control can take place.

in the bicameral epochs, what corresponds to Wernicke's area on the right nondominant hemi-sphere had its strict bicameral function, whereas after a thousand years of psychological reorganzation in which such bicamerality was discouraged when it appeared in early development, such areas function in a different way.

..each new stage of words literally created new perceptions and attentions, and such new perceptions and aattentions resulted in important cultural changes which are reflected in the archaeological record.

originally from c:\pt51prj\jaynzhw.doc