Category Archives: Book discussions

Review: The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes

Cover of Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

As I mentioned in my Facebook posts about the book, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (published in 1976) is a wild ride, not at all for everyone. It could especially prove problematic for those espousing religious belief. Or, indeed, belief in the veracity of science. Or in any kind of certainty at all. Furthermore, at times, Origin goes speculative to what for some will be intolerable degrees, and Jaynes’s writing style can turn florid and irritating. I was in it for the idea that the human brain and the consciousness it houses have changed radically since early periods of civilization, an idea that bravely contradicts common belief that human consciousness bloomed suddenly full-flowered upon early man. Continue reading Review: The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes

Summer reading

I’m getting ready to crack the spine on Terry Tempest Williams’ latest book, Finding Beauty in a Broken World.  Over a year ago, I heard her read a little from the pre-publication draft and attended a workshop she conducted.  It was apparent to me that she had changed her approach to her audience somewhat as well as to people she does not expect to be in her audience but are part of her expressed concern with the stances human beings take in or against nature.    

If anybody would like to join me in reading this book, we could discuss it here on WIZ as we go along.  If nobody else wishes to read with me, then I’ll put up a review, probably in August.  It takes me a while to get through a book because I take copious notes but I’ll try to keep up a reasonable pace.

Also, if anybody has reading suggestions for nature-themed fiction, non-fiction nature writing (ex. Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods), or literary science or nature writing, including nature-themed poetry, Mormon or un-, please list them in the comments.

If you would like to read my Field Notes from Williams’ writing workshop, go here.