[Shankalu] Re: Julian Jaynes again

Aditya Mishra a018967t at BC.SEFLIN.ORG
Tue Apr 27 23:09:20 UTC 1999

Adrian van der Meijden wrote:

> I've read him, years ago

I had not read him earlier but the references that I gave relate as much
his own work as to the more recent research by neurobiologists like
Therefore the rest of your comments seem to be outdated.
It is just possible that he may have hit correct conclusions by wrong
means just like conjecture by Kanad about the atomic structure long
before any scientific proofs were available for examining them.

> Thus the modern West allows of only two mind states mono and bi, and Jaynes
> wrongly superimposes this on our total past, by evidence only as between
> Iliad and Odyssey.  Any linguistic analysis of myths and epics in other
> countries and cultures will show Jaynes' thesis unsupportable.

That was exactly my point for posting to this particular list to
investigate if his assumptions can be supported or contradicted by other
cultures. I would suggest some other scholars to see if further research
is needed in this direction.

> Perhaps Jaynes' book has one merit. For the West, it points out that the
> mono dimensional, linear mind state, begotten on language, not the mind,
> was, once not the case. Since man invented culture, language, etc, there
> must have been a state before man had language, but he still communicated by
> way of body language, or as mime and ritual. TheVedas talk about four levels
> of language, still present in all of Sanscrit's  offspring. The current
> Hollywoodisation and consumerisation of all the world today lamentably
> influences other cultures and countries to even think that way, through
> education, and lose touch with its own origins.

Yes, I am aware of people like Velikovsy who have interpolated myths of
different cultures to reach conclusions unsupported by other scientific
disciplines. But does Jaynes' work fall in that category o not. I have
just found that there is an active Julian Jaynes society that is
interested in further discussions on this topic.

> As far as I am concerned NO account of man's origins is other than
> metaphoric and a tidied up version of what we believe to be the case.
> Whether man originates in 4004 BC, 3 to 5 milion years ago or 197 crore
> years in Gondwana land. One line in hymn RV 1.164 makes the point about the
> unknown ancestors before. The post Vedic confusion about early man rests on
> myth using personified mode and also superimposing modern findings on
> ancient wisdom.  That it nicely fits together is no proof of anything much
> other than that it nicely fits together. Exactly that is wrong with all and
> every history.

Not necessarily. Comparative linguistics is very useful tool in tracing
the early unrecorded history.
Is there anything wrong in proposing that evolution is a continuos
process and most of the current evolution is homo sapiens is in
development of the brain structures? Psychology is still as primitive a
science as biology was before the discovery of DNA  or physics was
before the invention of atomic theory.

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