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 JJ was right then consciousness is only around 3000 years old

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

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

If JJ 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 JJ was right then consciousness is a process of ignorance, a way by which metaphor enables us to bypass the void of the Lacanian ‘real’

If JJ was right then the point at which the signified became signifier, is exactly the point at which consciousness emerged, the point at which the void of the real became hidden, submerged

If JJ was right, and Slavoj Zizek was right when he expressed that language was an accidental phenomenon and completely unnatural, then consciousness is not only accidental and unnatural, but unnatural beyond even language itself

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

If JJ was right then literature is the key to unlocking consciousness, or at least pinpointing its origin

***

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

 

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