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Did the ancients think differently?

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posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 11:03 AM

Originally posted by Johnmike
I like how people talk with such certainty about what actually the truth was, without really any background on the matter, and, in at least one case, without reading the material.

That sort of assumes that the author of that book could possibly know or have a good idea of what the truth really was, and that no one who hasnt read it couldnt possibly be looking at other sources of information that examine the same idea or concept in a different way. After all, the author of said book had to read other sources or come up with that information without his own book as a reference.

For instance, we know of one person who is relatively famous, fairly well documented, who did have that "voice." He lived around 2500 years ago, and he considered his "voice" very, very rare. So rare that it would be almost impossible to expect another human to have it.

From the Republic by Plato; Socrates is speaking.

The true philosopher is rare. They survive only if circumstances keep them away from politics and public, like our disabled friend Theages. Perhaps I shouldn't mention it, because it is so odd, but my own saviour is an inner voice that tells me what not to do. Without such luck, the best a man can hope to do is to survive by hiding behind a wall, living decently to depart gracefully.

Different translations phrase it slightly differently, but it is always portrayed as almost not worth mentioning because of its rarity. This, in my opinion, means that as far back as his life this ability was already quite unusual. It isnt far from the time frame proposed by the author, and evolution would not suddenly "delete" an ability from a population without some strong "selection" process that killed off a huge portion of the population that possessed that trait. We do not know of a mass die off of humans in that time frame that would seem to fit the bill for that sort of huge deletion.

We also "know" that throughout history, there have been those who have some sort of "guide" or ability to gain insight in a way not all humans do, and they have been held up as shamans, mystics, witches, druids, prophets, oracles, wise elders, etc. It seems that there has always, (as long as any of us could go back, including your author) been a small, very small minority of people who had access to information or guidance denied the majority. (Whether denied by biology or just their own misunderstanding of it, I will not speculate)

I would also say that there could well be those who today, perhaps here, have that ability to access that "voice" or "intuitive knowing" and direct experience certainly qualifies someone to have an opinion on the subject that one could argue even trumps speculation by the most diligent scholar.

It is a very good subject. I have yet to complete the thread, I just had to comment on your post when I ran across it.

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 12:02 PM
All that follows is opinion. Based on my own thoughts, experiences and studies. It is not meant to be taken as the gospel, I do not claim to know the gospel.

My opinion is that what the author called the "bicameral mind" never disappeared, or even lessened in the population. It was there, and it is still there. It is not "dormant," it is "distracted" or "overridden."

I also opine that what the author calls "consciousness" mystics would call the "Ego." (Very different from the Ego as used by psychologists, who feel the Ego is "normal" and adaptive/positve. I am using the term "Ego" as a less positive thing, common, and thus normal, but not desirable. Mystics would call the "bicameral mind" consciousness, and would find that more desirable. (If one could "desire" from consciousness)

I would say that what happened was not a breakdown, or doing away with of this "bicameral mind" but rather a "drowning out" of it by a newer, louder voice, the voice of the "Ego" or mind.

I would also suggest that if schizophrenia is related at all to the bicameral mind and not a wholly different thing, schizophrenia is not someone who has an active bicameral mind and others do not, but rather someone who has not completely overridden the bicameral mind, (there are gaps in the Egoic construct) BUT who chooses to try to interpret the data from the bicameral mind through the lens of the Ego.

I would argue that a Mystic has the same gaps in the Egoic construct, and receives information via the consciousness or bicameral mind, but when doing so "relaxes" the Egoic lens and allows the information to flow without attempting to first force it through the Egoic lens or filter. My feeling would be that the attempt to force this "intuitive knowing" through the filter of Mind or Ego is the part that is problematic, not the intuitive knowing itself.

I do not agree with his time frame, I do not think it (the takeover by the Ego) was that recent. I think one could safely assume by the time the writing of the Illiad occurred, most people were living primarily from the Ego perspective. Hero's and Kings, and common men in heroic circumstances, (going into battle) are described as having this ability to hear the Gods. I would say not much has changed since then.

If one wanted to "look" historically for a time frame, one could probably use the development of agriculture as the most recent possible date for the takeover by the Ego or Mind or Individual Identity, and likely it occurred sooner, and then technology developed that we could "see" historically. Agriculture requires planning, it requires an ability to predict into the future from knowledge of the past. Organized hunting to some degree does as well, but it is harder to date. However, even using agriculture we are left with a date of around 10,000 years ago.

I do agree that the process by which the Egoic mind drowned out the Consciousness or bicameral mind may have been a progressive one, much as we can see occur in little children as they develop from infancy to childhood as they form their identities and idea of "self." This is why I feel it had to have occurred prior to the development of agriculture. By the time that "symptom" would appear, the progression would be well underway.

I do think the "tool" of the Egoic mind is handy. And clearly adaptive in the short run. I feel that the ideal circumstance would not be a subjugation of the Consciousness to Mind, but a dominance of Consciousness with the use of mind as a tool. That the Egoic mind is best considered servant, not master. I think calling the game early by lauding the superiority of the Egoic mind over the bicameral mind is unwise. Although it has allowed a lot of things to occur, not all of them are positive, and in fact, with so many very unhappy people and an environment in a state of collapse, one could argue that the Egoic mind will harm us more than help us in the long run unless we can restore the balance between the Consciousness and the Egoic mind.

Also, I think that the story of the fall from grace and the eviction from the garden of Eden is a mythologized version of this happening.
If read from that point of view, it makes an interesting supplement to this topic. The Creation Hymn of the Rig Veda also describes something similar.

posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 02:10 AM
Illusionsaregrander, you said basically everything that I wanted to say but was too lazy to type.

I think the development of language skills allowed the ego to develop to the point where it "drowned out" the super ego.

If anyone wants to test this, try and sit there with a clear mind (not thinking anything) for 5 minutes. I BET you can't, the thoughts that pop into you're head would be the equivalent of these commands or voices from god.

posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 11:02 AM

Originally posted by Cthulwho

If anyone wants to test this, try and sit there with a clear mind (not thinking anything) for 5 minutes. I BET you can't, the thoughts that pop into you're head would be the equivalent of these commands or voices from god.

Yes, I would guess that most people by adulthood have experienced communication in the form of "intuitive knowing" especially in times of danger, when it overrides the Egoic construct to ensure your survival. I think that is the easiest way to direct someone to see what it is, by asking them if they ever were about to do something and suddenly they just felt like they really better not do that. A strong gripping sense of they better not do that, not a mental analysis of the pros and cons of the action. "Something just told me not to." But if they thought about it, it wasnt really a booming voice saying NO, it was something else.

I think the fact that schizophrenics call it a "voice" gives a clue to the fact they are trying to run it through the filter of the Egoic mind, and feel a need to label it. (Define it with language and as language) If you DONT try to label the input from this Consciousness or "bicameral mind" as one specific "thing," it really isnt a voice, it doesnt use language, it is a "knowing" of some information that is beyond language. It fills you, it pervades you, you just are filled with the perception of it without it coming through any specific channel.

I would tend to agree with you that language is the best place to look for a physical manifestation of the rise of the Egoic mind/construct.

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