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

Mein Kampf

Adolf Hitler

Hitler’s blueprint for the 1,000-year Reich that lasted, oh, how many years? At its peak in popularity, outsold the Bible in Germany.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Paperback: 694 pages