Posted By Hastamorir Artists Society

Julian Jaynes

At the heart of this seminal work is the revolutionary idea that human
consciousness did not begin far back in animal evolution but was a learned
process that emerged, through cataclysm and catastrophe, from a hallucinatory
mentality only three thousand years ago and that is still developing.

The implications of this scientific paradigm extend into virtually every
aspect of our psychology, our history, our culture, our religion — indeed
our future. In the words of one reviewer, it is “a humbling text, the kind
that reminds most of us who make our livings through thinking, how
much thinking there is left to do.”

“When Julian Jaynes . . . speculates that until late in the second millennium
B.C. men had no consciousness but were automatically obeying the voices
of gods, we are astounded but compelled to follow this remarkable thesis
through all the corroborative evidence.” — John Updike, The New Yorker

“Thi s books and this mans ideas may be the most influential, not to say
controversial, of the second half of the twentieth century. It renders whole
shelves of books obsolete.” — William Harrington, Columbus Dispatch

“Having just finished The Origin of Consciousness , I myself feel something
like Keats’ Cortez staring at the Pacific, or at least like the early reviewers of Darwin or Freud. I’m not quite sure what to make of this new territory; but its expanse lies before me and I am startled by its power.” — Edward Profitt, Commonweal

“ He is as startling as Freud was in The Interpretation of Dreams , and Jaynes
is equally adept at forcing a new view of known human behavior. ” — Raymond Headlee, American Journal of Psychiatry

“The weight of original thought in [this book] 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, Encounter 


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