I'm talking about . . . The platform upon which you pretend to be real
17th August 2011
Religion is schizophrenia; but then, so are poetry and hope
Meditation on a few concepts from Julian Jaynes' The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1976)
Imagine yourself immobilized on a stretcher, the rectangular fluorescent lights rolling past above you as you are rapidly wheeled to where you are going (where is it? is it some kind of psychic surgery?) with the back of your head leading the way, you realize you are being held down by four straps (cf. Jaynes, p. 324):
1. The belief. What you have accepted in your deepest heart, and/or, what most people in the world generally believe to be true.
2. The filter. This system's limits on thoughts to a certain approved array of acceptable subjects.
3. The trance. What lessens consciousness and disintegrates the platform on which your mind stands, and convinces you to accept something less than yourself by selling you something you already own.
4. The ancient authority, venerated object of the trance justifying its supernatural suspension of the obvious rules of empirical reality, and who by the belief dictates the filter that controls the trance.
The belief dictates the filter that controls the trance. And who, pray tell, controls the belief?
As you attempt to contemplate the scrambled gibberish of the lifetimes of six billion people, consider for a moment the word glossolalia, recently popularized by the Pentecostal Attorney General John Ashcroft, whose destruction of the Freedom of Information Act in 2005 was cosmically appropriate for a man who speaks in words no one can understand, but which are supposedly guided by the spirit of God. Jaynes explains it (p. 357) like this:
A final phenomenon that is weakly similar to induced possession is glossolalia, or what the apostle Paul called "speaking in tongues." It consists of fluent speech in what sounds like a strange language which the speaker himself does not understand and usually does not remember saying. It seems to have begun with the early Christian church in the asserted descent of the ghost of God into the assembled apostles. This event was regarded as the birthday of the Christian church and is commemorated in the festival of Pentecost, the fiftieth day after Easter. Acts 2 describes what is probably its first instance in history as a great rushing wind roaring with cloven tongues of fire, in which all the apostles began to speak as if drunk in languages they had never learned.
Point to remember: The birthday of the Christian church commemorates that very first time where everyone was so animated by the spirit of God that no one could understand what they were saying, and don't remember what they said themselves.
I bring up this matter of glossolalia primarily to introduce you to its sister concept, called echolalia. In describing the symptoms of schizophrenia, Jaynes writes (p. 424):
When no hallucinations are present, the patient repeats back the speech, cries or expressions of others. But when hallucinations are present, this becomes hallucinatory echolalia, where the patient must repeat out loud all that his voices say to him, rather than those of his environmental surroundings. Hallucinatory echolalia is, I suggest, essentially the same mental organization that we have seen in the prophets of the Old Testament, as well as the aoidoi of the Homeric poems.
Hallucinatory echolalia, for sure, is what you see going on at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, as monstrous mental messengers from the past animate karmic vengeance from the future, which also happens to some degree with rosary beads as they bob and weave through your desperate fingers, as well as perhaps with some sudden tumor disappearances at evangelical tent revivals in rural Oklahoma.
In my humble, "uneducated" opinion, Jaynes is one of the great scientists of the 20th century who has been suppressed by the profitmaking powers that be. His observations about how human consciousness evolved out of schizophrenic roots ranks with Tesla (free energy everywhere), Rife (cancer free world), Fred Hoyle (Big Bang bogus), and Tommy Gold (abiotic oil everywhere) as momentous achievements that have been deliberately suppressed by the men who print the money and manufacture kings and presidents, who then hire drecks like us to go kill innocent people for reasons that are never fully explained.
Jaynes saw his own contribution to the realm of philosophical thought in three main discoveries.
1. Consciousness is based on language.
2. Prior to consciousness, humans existed in a state Jaynes called "bicamerality," a mentality based on verbal hallucinations. These are the basis of our "holy books."
3. Consciousness was learned only after the breakdown of the bicameral mind, which he estimates occurred around 1000 BC.
Jaynes is renowned by much of the psychology community for his most famous National Book Award nominated book cited in this story. He taught the history of consciousness at Princeton University for 26 years and died in 1997, leaving an enduring mystery to conclude his legendary career, namely, his unpublished works, which much of the academic world eagerly awaited but which have mysteriously disappeared.
All the puzzling details can be found in the transactions of the Julian Jaynes Society but there is no real answer in them. As a consequence, two of the greatest books on psychology ever possibly written — the eagerly awaited sequel titled The Consequences of Consciousness and the often mentioned History of Comparative Psychology — remain in an inexplicable limbo surrounded by an odiferous mist of academic pettifoggery.
Jaynes, Origin of Consciousness, p. 431-432:
For schizophrenia, whether one illness or many, is in its florid stage practically defined by certain characteristics which we have stated earlier were the salient characteristics of the bicameral mind. The presence of auditory hallucinations, their often religious and always authoritative quality, the dissolution of the ego or analog 'I', and of the mind-space in which it could once narratize out what to do and where it was in time and action, these are the large resemblances . . . .
. . . The modern schizophrenic is an individual in search of a culture. But he retains usually some part of the subjective consciousness that struggles against this more primitive mental organization, that tries to establish some kind of control in the middle of a mental organization in which the hallucination ought to do the controlling. In effect, he is a mind bared to his environment, waiting on gods in a godless world.
If the shoe fits . . .
Because the intellectual platform on which society is based has lost its credibility, its myths disproven and its motives revealed, the human mind is crumbling under the weight of this new uncertainty, now that belief has betrayed its true purpose, which was never the exploitation of others.
What human society is undergoing at the present moment is the delegitimization of its platform of belief, resulting in the vaporization of both the filter and the trance. When you lose the platform of who you are, the result is schizophrenia, an inability to be anywhere, and hallucinatory echolalia, which is exactly the mass madness engulfing the world today.
And in this torpid moment, you couldn't be blamed for mistaking it for white noise, or even the voice of God.
You must have proven to yourself by now that the only thing that can really save us now is real religion and honest poets who refuse to say what they're told to say, but instead do their best to say what everybody needs to hear. That's the only currency that really counts, and why the powers that be seek to stamp it out everywhere they put their smelly feet.
Religion is schizophrenia, but then, so are poetry and hope, all connected to the same preliterate echo of the wonder of life imprinted inside every conscious mind. At the moment someone first attached a word to it, that's when the dream ended and the real trouble began.
It was easy enough to name everything. But now we have to deal with the words we invented that have taken us down this bleeding blind alley of so-called consciousness, and try to figure out a way to keep those words we invented based on the thoughts we hallucinated from killing us all, don't you think?
John Kaminski is a writer who lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida,
urging people to understand that no problem in the world can be
authentically addressed without first analyzing tangents caused by
Jewish perfidy, which has subverted and diminished every aspect of
human endeavor throughout history. Support for his work is wholly
derived from people who can understand what he�s saying and know what
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