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Tuesday Roundup 01-11-2005

A short list of readings to get you through the week…


  1. Seasons of the Great Year
    Anypne familiar with the work of Julian Jaynes, the author of “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind”?

    I believe Jaynes’ work is crucially important to understanding the true significance of those ancient legends of the “Great Year”. Jaynes believed he’d discovered a species-wide, dramatic shift in consciousness that occurred between 3000 BC – 1500 BC. During this shift, the human mind started working in a very different way than it had been functioning before. This shift changed the way the two halves of the brain communicated with one another. Before the shift, people everywhere thought they personally heard the “gods” speaking to them as a fairly common, even everyday occurrence in their lives. After the shift, that stopped, but something else started instead — reading and writing.

    There is alot more to the change than just this, but I encourage everyone to check out Jayne’s work. Anyway, I’ve been researching connections between the astrological ages of the “Great Year” and Jaynes’ work, and strongly suspect that one of these Jaynes Shifts occurs every 6000 years or so, four of them occurring during each 24000 year long “Great Year”. This would mean that over the course of each 24000 year cycle, there are four distinct mental or psychological “seasons”, and each season is so very different than the one before it that it becomes very hard for the people living in one season to comprehend the behaviors and cultures of those from previous seasons.

    If so, then there was one Jaynes Shift in 3000 BC, and another one before that around 9000 BC. And we should be on the cusp of still another one sometime in the next few centuries.

    I’ve been working on a new book on this subject, but it is still very much a work in progress. The four seasons seem to closely parallel Ken Wilber’s work on the “Four Quadrants” of reality. During two seasons, the human race thinks more as individuals, and during the other two, they think more as a collective. And during two seasons, people think more with their objective consicous mind, and during the other two they think more with their subjective unconscious. If so, we are now in the season of the personal unconscious, and will be slipping into the season of the personal conscious in the next few centuries. From 9000 BC – 3000 BC we were in the season of the collective unconscious, and before that, from 15000 BC – 9000 BC we would have been in the season of the collective conscious. This ‘collective conscious’ season, I suspect, would have been a time of great mental abilities for the species, which would seem to possibly have some connection of the ancient legends of using mind-over-matter to build the pyramids. And in the seaon that followed, the ‘collective unconscious’, great universal archetypes might have been the most dominant forces in the human psyche, what we might now understand as psychological “complexes” , except that they were active in everyone’s minds at the same time. This, of course, would have been the time of the great polytheistic religions, when everyone thought they could hear the voices of the gods in their heads.

    – Peter Novak

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