The Bicameral Mind

One my favorite podcasts is Stuff to Blow your Mind. Lots of fun stuff. They had a couple of episodes on the theory of the bicameral mind. The main idea is consciousness is something new. Humans used to function by using both sides of thier brains. The Voice of God was really just a voice in your head. One half of the brain talking to the other.

I read a book a couple years back by a man who suffered a brain injury. The Ghost in My Brain was filled with interesting stuff, but the most amazing to me was how the injury affected his beief in god. Before the injury he knew there was a god. After the injury, he didn’t. Once he was cured…he once more found his faith.

This was just a small aside in the book, but the implications struck me as profound. Belief in a higher power is a function of the brain. A function that can be disrupted by an injury. A doctor in another book said, ‘We are all one head injury away from being someone else.’

The Bicameral Mind proposes that at least two different ways of thinking were at work at the same time in history. People who could honestly look at each other and know that the others were mad, wrong, or just flat evil. Does this sound a bit familiar? Democrats and Republicans?

We tend to think of our own, personal thought processes as the ones that are correct. This is why we are shocked and often horrified to meet people with views that oppose our own. How can you think that way? Maybe, just maybe it has something to do with our brains.

 

 

Jon Herrera

Jon Herrera

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.
Jon Herrera

Latest posts by Jon Herrera (see all)

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.

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