The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

Julian Jaynes

Jaynes posits that it has only been in the last 3,000 years that the human mind has shifted away from operating by “hearing voices,” which are in fact commands from the right brain transmitted through the corpus callosum to the left brain. Thus the “gods” actually “spoke” to people on a regular basis, especially in times of stress or important decisions. Jaynes sees such great works of ancient literature as The Iliad and the Bible as metaphorically describing the disorienting transition which a culture undergoes as the voices of the gods become still and its members begin to operate as autonomous individuals. In Jaynes' view, people today who “hear voices” in their heads, such as those termed schizophrenics, are throwbacks to the way all humans functioned in what he calls the “Bicameral Age.” SS

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Paperback: 491 pages

Precision and Soul

Robert Musil

A collection of essays and speeches from the author of the deftly ambitious novel trilogy The Man Without Qualities, from “The Obscene and Pathological in Art” (1911) to “On Stupidity” (1937). Musil searches for a new system of values amidst the bankruptcy of bourgeois Vienna as its plunges headlong into Anschlüss with Nazi Germany. From “The German as Symptom” (1923): “I believe that the average person is a far more avid metaphysician than he admits. Avid is probably not the right epithet, but a dull accompanying awareness of his curious situation rarely leaves him. His own mortality, the minuteness of our little ball of earth in the cosmos, the mystery of personality, the question of an afterlife, the sense and senselessness of existence: these are questions that the individual ordinarily brushes aside his whole life long as in any case unanswerable, but that he nonetheless feels surrounding him his whole life like the walls of a room… Generally speaking, the cure is sought regressively. (Nation, virtue, religion, antagonism to science.) Only very rarely is it made explicit that a new problem has been posed here, that its solution has not yet been found.” SS

Publisher: University of Chicago
Paperback: 301 pages

Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics

Alfred Korzybski

Important 20th-century philosophy of the mind and culture. Korzybski is the man who coined the slogan, “the map is not the territory.” The meat of Scientology/Dianetics (the theory of the reactive mind and more) was lifted from this book—get “clear” on the cheap! William Burroughs also studied with Korzybski in the 1930s in Chicago. SS

Publisher: Institute of General Semantics
Paperback: 806 pages

Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture: Including Recipes for MDA, Ecstacy and Other Psychedelic Amphetamines

Uncle Fester

Live the dream of unlimited insomnia, endless frenzied chatter and deepening paranoia—then profit from selling it to those you can trust least, your fellow tweakers. Fester guides the would-be “underground chemist” from “Industrial Scale Production” on down to “Last Resort Crank—Extracting Methamphetamine from Vick's Inhalers.” Not for the faint of sinus. SS

Publisher: Loompanics
Paperback: 246 pages

The Three-Pound Universe: The Brain — From the Chemistry of the Mind to the New Frontiers of the Soul

Judith Hooper and Dick Teresi

The 3-Pound Universe, a hip guide to the latest neuro-research circa 1986, has still yet to be surpassed as an overview of the scientific study of consciousness (including altered states of). The authors, veterans of Omni magazine, synthesize the findings of brain research all-stars each probing the grey matter with his/her own paradigm: John Lilly and his dolphins, isolation tanks and ketamine; Ronald K. Siegel and his empirical studies of hallucinatory case histories; Robert G. Heath and his brain electrode implant data; Candace Pert and her discovery of the opiate receptor; Paul Maclean and the “triune brain”; Karl Pribram and his “holographic brain”; as well as delving into the implications of endorphins, serotonin, and more esoteric brain chemistry compounds. SS

Publisher: Tarcher
Paperback: 410 pages

Trance and Treatment: Clinical Uses of Hypnosis

Herbert Spiegel, M.D. and David Spiegel, M.D.

A pragmatic guide to the application of hypnosis to treat phobias, control pain and anxiety, eliminate smoking and eating disorders, and deal with miscellaneous behavior disorders such as hair-pulling and stuttering from a psychiatric perspective. Included are specific dialogs and techniques for hypnotic induction. The authors divide people into the Nietzsche-inspired categories of Dionysians, Apollonians, and Odysseans according to their level of hypnotic suggestibility and personality profiles. Also discusses trance logic, spontaneous trance, amnesia, and abreaction. SS

Publisher: American Psychiatric
Paperback: 382 pages

The Job

William S. Burroughs with Daniel Odier

Important explanations of the experiments, techniques and theories which are usually encoded in Burroughs's fiction are provided in the form of interviews and essays intercut as “a film with fade-outs and flashback illustrating the answers.” The possibilities for drug-free liberation of consciousness are explored through sound cut-ups, porno film loops, subliminals, infrasonic frequencies, riot TV, speech scramblers and the Dreamachine. Burroughs also takes the opportunity to editorialize in plain English about the Family; the pernicious influence of the gentler sex; the CIA; Watergate; love, the word and other viruses; Wilhelm Reich; Korzybski; L. Ron Hubbard; mutation; and Death. SS

Publisher: Penguin
Paperback: 224 pages

Re/Search 4/5: William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, Throbbing Gristle

Edited by V. Vale

The first Re/Search magazine to appear in book form. Most interesting for exposing the links between the cut-up writings of William Burroughs, the theories and art of Brion Gysin, and the sound experimentation of Throbbing Gristle. Burroughs writes about Brion Gysin's invention of the cut-up method, Genesis P. Orridge and Peter Christopherson interview Brion Gysin, Simon Dwyer (Rapid Eye) writes about Throbbing Gristle, and the Paris Beat Hotel conceptual sources of Industrial Culture are laid out for all to ponder. SS

Publisher: V/Search
Paperback: 108 pages

Flashbacks: A Personal and Cultural History of an Era

Timothy Leary, Ph.D.

The bigger-than-biopic-style exploits, adventures and narrow escapes of the renegade academic turned acid evangelist, prophet of space migration and cyberdevotee told in his own irrreverent words: “Harvard Department of Visionary Experience… Sacred Mushrooms of Mexico… Secrets of the Beatniks… Drugs Are the Origin of Religion and Philosophy… Ambushed by the Harvard Squares… Psychedelic Summer Camp… Earthly Paradise… Life on a Grounded Space Colony… Pranksters Come to Millbrook… Busted at Laredo… Brotherhood of Eternal Love… The Exiles… Captured in Kabul… Folsom Prison… Escape Plot… Kidnapped by the Feds… Freedom?” SS

Publisher: Putnam
Paperback: 405 pages

How to Become a Schizophrenic: The Case Against Biological Psychiatry

John Modrow

How to Become a Schizophrenic is a thoroughly researched and timely refutation of the increasingly ascendent medical model of schizophrenia by a recovered schizophrenic who combines thoughtful arguments with a vividly written account of his own personal case history. “The universal acceptance of the medical model (or disease hypothesis) stems from the fact that it serves the needs of so many people including psychiatrists, the parents of schizophrenics, and society in general… Obviously, the medical model benefits everyone except the persons whom it is ostensibly designed to help: the schizophrenics.” SS

Publisher: Apollyon
Paperback: 291 pages